Ending an abusive marriage
Was married for 19 years to an emotionally abusive man with ADHD/ OCD and possibly bipolar. I am chronically ill. Have two teenage boys. In the middle of a nasty divorce. Just went to mediation. Would like your thoughts about this.
I came out of child custody mediation feeling that I was emotionally abused by the court system. I tried to summarize the last 19 years of increasing emotional abuse, cheating, lying, stealing, controlling, name- calling, anger issues, and mind games, etc. When a problem occurred that escalated to potentially causing harm to my children, I had finally had enough. A criminal court hearing is pending about this incident. I had to get a restraining order, and have had to deal with retaliation from my STBX and his family who are fighting tooth and nail to get things that are not rightfully theres and custody.
The concern I have is that during the child custody mediation for the divorce, the mediator really came down hard on me for not doing something sooner. I was so sleep deprived and stressed out, I don't think I conveyed well my position in all this. I do blame myself for not leaving the marriage earlier, and yes I have been the typical victim, staying in the marriage for what I thought was for the kids and because of my religious beliefs. Add on that I am chronically ill and was very sick last year with a medical problem, and my STBX's lies, I felt that I did everything could do at the time with the information I had. It isn't easy to get out of something like this.
But, now there is a whole can of worms opened up. She is recommending to the court to have Child Protective Services involved- and I can understand this for my STBX, and she wants a psych evaluation for every one, including me.
I am seeing a counselor. I am just seeing my part in this as the victim who has good intentions, but stays in the relationship way too long. We can't change the past, and I finally wake up to the reality of the situation and am divorcing the guy. I wanted to be congratulated for finally waking up and smelling the coffee. You really don't see it when you are in the middle of it. And if she deals with this sort of thing all the time, she should understand that it isn't black and white and easy.
I understand her position, but she made it seem as if I was a terrible mother. She admitted that I was not a terrible mother, but her affect was so flat, without any compassion. Maybe she just tries not to get emotionally involved or tries not to favor one side over the other. But, I am a victim here just as much as the children, and I felt she could have been more sympathetic to my situation.
The answer is obvious that my husband should not have custody of these children and that was her job to determine and recommend to the judge. The kids are out of the situation with the restraining order. I am planning to have counseling for me and the kids. What more does she want? Now, I am going to have to go through all the stress of the system as well as dealing with a STBX who violates the restraining order on a regular basis, who hasn't paid a dime of child support in the last 4 months, and who still finds a way to cause problems for me.
I told her that I wanted to move away, and of course she said that I couldn't do that until all of this was finished. I was going to wait until the kids got out of school if I could. Now I am stuck in the system- its as bad as being stuck in a bad marriage- help!
Was I treated fairly? Is this typical of the system? Am I just being too sensitive? Anyone with a similar situation have an opinion or comment?
Last edited by Administrator; 02-03-2011 at 01:55 PM.