Re: Ending an abusive marriage
First let me say CONGRATULATIONS for removing your children and yourself from that situation!
I am so sorry you have suffered, and that you have this distress to go through while ill, or at all! I stayed 34 years, myself, but my kids are grown now and I only answer to myself. It did damage to my children that they are dealing with as adults.
All we can do now is take care of ourselves and take responsibility for our mistakes. We can't fix the past. I hope you can start seeing that you aren't a 'victim', that you made choices to stay, though yes you were treated badly. That you are a strong, viable person that can take care of herself and her children. That is the picture you need to get in your mind about yourself and that the mediator needs to see, regardless the past.
You didn't know you needed to or could get away before but you do now, and that is what matters. The mediator needs to see this in you, but won't if you want her to take care of you and congratulate you. We are here to congratulate you. The mediator must be impartial or your case is sullied.
Be glad the mediator is not showing partiality or setimental bias. She could have just as easily looked at your problems and felt sorry for your husband for what he went through. It's true, but she is instead equally taking a hard look at both of you to determine her recommendations. Really, for court proceedings you have to let go of the victim role. Your husband is not being judged whether he abused you or not but whether without you in the picture would he be the best parent to have custody. Do you see what I am saying?
If you don't have a good attorney, you need one. The court is here to determine who would be the fit parent, you, him or both, and if both you will have to share custody and get along with each other. They have to question why you waited so long to leave and protect the children. The law makes the hard decisions. The mediator (the law) is not your friend, except in getting to the facts. That's just the hard reality of life. People make mistakes, which is why the law is involved at times like this.
The law cuts to the chase and does damage control and the children come first no matter what we went through. Being subjected to the law is painful since someone wins and someone loses. The children are the ones that lose the most: they lose having the stability of both parents. They always feel divorce is their fault because they are stuck in the middle of the struggle and one parent (or both) is forced to leave the family.
In family court decisions it is hoped that the children will win, and both parents can be kicked aside if they aren't careful to prove themselves capable and responsible. Family court is not a place to be a victim. A victim or invalid could be deemed unable to stand up and take care of her children. It's up to you to prove yourself stable and that you can and will do right by your kids. They do need their father in their lives as long as he acts responsible toward them, which only a court of law will decide. You will likely have to keep going to court unless you can cooperate with him as the other parent.
All this to say that right now all that matters is whether you are strong enough to take a stand and protect your children even from yourself. That is what the mediator cares about and is required by law to care about.
About mediation, a mediator is not your attorney or on your side and can't feel sorry for you. And you need your doctors and councelors to be willing to state that you are stable now. The mediator's job is to make decisons on both sides of the story, not feel sorry for you or build up your self esteem. The court requires that the children comes first, period. That you were abused has nothing to do with this. All that matters right now is whether you are a fit parent.
This is just a hard fact of life: the court mediator may decide that since you are indeed possibly BP and are still thinking of yourself as the victim (I don't judge you about it), and you didn't protect your children from chaos with your husband by leaving sooner, then the court wonders if you are fit and you stand a chance to lose your children. So psyche evaluation is necessary to determine if you can and will take care of the children now. A mediator can't side with you just because you suffered or ar suffering. Most that leave bad situations step right back into them and the kids keep suffering this poor parenting (I did it myself, so I am not blaming you. Until we get serious psycological help that's what victims do). The mediator has to find out if you are responsible and stable enough to parent. If you don't seem to be, then someone else will be awarded guardianship or custody.
Please know that I am sharing the hard cold facts. It doesn't mean I don't empathize. I totally do. This is very hard. However, it was hard cold facts that snapped me out of my old victim thinking so I could take care of myself and my kids. This is what the mediator seems to not see in you: that you simply state that you were irresponsible in not leaving sooner, but your eyes are open now. That you see what the kids were put through by staying in the chaos, and that is not going to happen again or any more. But if you want warm fuzzies from the law, you see, you aren't going to get it. The law is the judge. It is on you to show yourself stronger (stronger than you feel) for your kid's sake.
I hope this helps you see the big picture. I think you are strong and will get through this.
Last edited by Administrator; 02-03-2011 at 09:05 AM.
Reason: removed legal info