750 Days Ago

Hey Reader Person(s)

750 days ago, after two extremely tumultuous frightening years of legal entanglement, my divorce was finalized at the courthouse with then Master, now Judge, S.  Outside of the courtroom, Judge S wears bespoke suits from New Orleans with matching fedoras.  Inside of the courtroom, he flairs with exaggerated arm movements so that his robes take some flight when he approaches his bench.

Judge S doesn’t pull any punches and seems committed to squelching any potential tomfoolery nonsense from anyone in his courtroom (including attorneys).

In case you have not been to family court in your area,

let me assure you that there is a LOT of attempted tomfoolery happening.

It’s how many attorneys make an* s-ton of money.

 Judge S should have his own show or be my bestie.  I like that guy.  I liked the other guy too (retired Judge D), but he did not wear bespoke suits, or flair in the courtroom, and his face is too pleasant.  Also, he is my friend’s FIL and I am prone to thinking he is a kindly grandfather rather than a serious law interpreter. See you at the Pop Shop, Pops!

Y’all

746 days ago, I began this blog.  I wrote the opening piece a year or two earlier but did not have the wherewithal to begin a blog or continue any writing.  Since then the opening piece here has been published in a book!

 

Fingers Crossed that I will be selected to have a new piece, not yet posted anywhere, in a new book. Updates will be available soon.

 

In the meantime, I am once again revisiting my fiction works.

 

S L O W L Y   

S L O W L Y  

Little Callapitter**

 

And so the world keeps moving.  I am getting older, farther away from things I need distance from, closer to things I need drawn closer to.

 

Time is ticking – eventually that ol’ bell will toll for me.  In the meantime, I carry on each day with SonHerisme and myself doing the best I can do in these sweet/painful/joyous/difficult moments of life.  It is lonely over here.  Sometimes thankfully so.

 

How are you?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

 

*Grammar police:  “an” is acceptable here in my opinion because saying ‘s’ sounds as if there is a vowel at the beginning.  So ha ha ha on you – no correction needed snarky pants!

 

**SonHerisme coined this one at 2!

Weekly Penance

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In the Game of Courts, your attorney versus his attorney, you must be willing to suspend disbelief and all sense of what you know as truth and logic, in order to survive.

 

Much like you do when watching a popular HBO series.

 

You must also retain the ability to blithely travel back and forth in your history, even to other lands, as others will rewrite and redefine everything you have known, even about yourself and your child(ren) as truth.

 

Much like a character in a popular Showtime (or is it Starz?) series.

 

Anywho – fun!  Right?  WRONG

 

At the end of it all, going through a divorce with an abusive spouse is as ridiculous and insane as believing any of those television shows is true.

 

Yet, throughout the entirety of the process, you will be surrounded by people trying to convince you, no, actually, DEMANDING that you accept time travel, zombies, dragon-riding queens, and magically clean/fully-toothed Scottish warriors from the 18th Century, are real and accessible.

 

They will insist that you are anxiety-ridden, overprotective, and therefore incompetent parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are sexually promiscuous, potentially introducing your child(ren) to a pornographic lifestyle, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are the one who has abused your child and your spouse, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are a lazy incompetent willfully unemployed person who is reckless with money, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are unstable and unreliable in all areas of your life, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

Divorce from an abusive person is a disgusting disorienting process.

Because abusive people are disgusting and disorienting.

 

This is how it came to be that every week, I am court ordered to pay penance for my compliance in allowing an abusive and ill man to father my child.

 

Every week, I have to send an email to MrexH, MrexH’s caregiver, SonHerisme’s attorney, and my attorney.  The email has to include facts and positive comments about SonHerisme.  Including a picture is optional.

 

Every week, I sit down and compose the same email, with a sequentially numbered attachment containing 2 facts and 2 positive comments about SonHerisme.  Each school report card period, I attach a photo of the report card (at the request of SonHerisme’s attorney).  I have also, on occasion, included a photo of SonHerisme’s school work.

 

SonHerisme has been asked many times over the past few years, by Social Workers, a variety of Therapists, Attorneys, Counselors, Friends, and Family members, if he wants to say something to his father, send something to his father, or hear something from his father.  SonHerisme has always been consistent that he does not want to do any of those things.

 

Because of this, I have never felt comfortable telling SonHerisme that I am obligated to do this weekly penance.

I have never sent pictures of SonHerisme.

After our divorce was final (FINALLY), I stopped including pictures of SonHerisme’s work.  It just doesn’t feel right.

If SonHerisme doesn’t want to send copies of his personal works, I do not feel it is my place to override his wishes.  Since MrexH has a legal right, as SonHerisme’s parent, to have access to school records, if he chooses, so I do include SonHerisme’s report cards.

 

My weekly penance typically looks something like this:

 

Facts about SonHerisme:

  1. SonHerisme attended school every day this week
  2. SonHerisme was healthy all week.

 

Positive comments about SonHerisme:

  1. SonHerisme made progress with his math works
  2. SonHerisme is proud of his forms

 

 

This is court ordered under the guise of me maintaining my cooperation in keeping MrexH informed and a part of SonHerisme’s life.

See how cooperative and encouraging I am?

I have sent 39 of these reports to date.

So consistent.

So compliant.

So still up to me to maintain, negotiate and navigate this relationship *sigh*

(Here is where an attorney would threaten me with having to pay a professional to do weekly evaluations and reports, or lose my sole legal and physical custody, if I cannot comply or if I speak about how ridiculous this process is)

 

I am sending information about my young child to someone who is basically a complete stranger to us.  Someone who is so ill and unstable that he is unable to care for himself.  Someone abusive, with a legal trail of court recognized abuse.

 

These are things that might never occur to you to consider before your life is ripped apart.

 

Sometimes I feel like an asshole sending this report.

Most of the time, it feels like my punishment.

A weekly grim reminder of the truly unfortunate and sad circumstances of our situations.

 

My weekly penance.

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

 

One Might Say…

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That a Divorce and Dissociation Doula would be indispensable

 

That a SanctiMommy Spirit Guide would be useful

 

That a Gymboree Grief Group would be helpful

 

That a Cancer Conquerer would be a miracle

 

That an Abuse Avenger would be a G-dsend

 

That a tree which grows viable renewable currency would be nice to have.

 

I would like to express more on these topics, but it is all too painful and raw.

 

Hold your friends and family and neighbors and community members,

close to your hearts and in your prayers.

We are all going through something,

and that something is sometimes better than nothing,

and sometimes it is the absolute worst.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

*POOF*

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Hardly anyone phones me up.

This is NOT a plea for anyone to call me on the telephone.  I am horrible on the telephone.  Without physical conversation cues, I’m all flustered with silences, weird pauses, speaking over each other, dropping the phone and then explaining how the phone dropped, wandering mind, etc

 

Actually, even with physical conversation cues, I am quite awkward.

 

Anywho…

 

When my telephone buzzes (I rarely have the sound on because the noise is too jarring for me – and, yes ALL the ringtones are jarring to my sensitive ears, including harp, but thank you for the suggestion), and I do not recognize the incoming number, I do not answer the telephone.

 

There is always this lingering worry that it will be MrexH, or someone in his family, and they will be angry and horrid with me, MrexH might express his interest in murdering me again.  Or something awful has happened and a Police Officer, State Trooper, or even worse, my attorney, is contacting me with the bad news.  I am not ready for any of those things – again.

 

Or, it could be a telemarketer, and I do not want to speak with them either.

 

Last week, my telephone rang in the morning, with an incoming number that I do not know – however, this was a number for my city/state.  ALARM BELLS went off in my brain and I let the phone ring 4 times before I decided to bite the bullet of fear and answer the telephone.

 

It was the assistant from my attorney’s office.

Uh-Oh

As soon as I heard her voice, my stomach split in two and dropped into my legs.

 

The call was benign, as calls go.  But, it took me a while to calm down just from the stress of contact with my attorney’s office.  The office assistant is a lovely person, and has gone out of her way to be kind and welcoming to me.  It’s the whole idea of knowing why we have a relationship at all, that is upsetting.

 

She wanted me to stop by the office and pick up some hard copies from my divorce case, and decide if there was anything that I wanted to keep.

We set up a time for me to do that.

I drove into my little downtown, parked in the courthouse parking deck, and walked to my attorney’s office across the street.

 

By this time, my mind was completely blank and numb.  I have to go into this space of, “What would Oprah do right now?” and just keep moving forward.  Oprah would just jay-walk across that one-way street in front of the courthouse and all of those parked police vehicles, and be confident in her stride into her attorney’s office.  Or was it Dr. Phil’s office that she strode confidently into?  It was somewhere, and Dr. Phil was there, the cattle farmers lost their case against Oprah, and Dr. Phil got his own show as a side bonus!

 

I did the jay-walk thing, minus the confident stride, and plus twisting my hair into a giant knot on top of my head as I walked because it was ridiculously hot and humid – so also minus any of Oprah’s presence or finesse.

 

The paperwork consisted of a 5 inch thick stack.

 

It was too nervewracking for me to stay in the office and look through the daunting stack, so I said my, “thank-you”s, and skeedaddled out of there.

 

I felt more confident walking back to my car, because I had an impressive stack of papers to hold – like a comfort blankie.

More Linus than Oprah.

Out of that stack of papers, the only piece that seemed worth saving was the less than 1/4inch bound deposition of MrexH official transcript.

That transcript = $640

Just for the copy of the transcript.

 

This amount does not include the cost of my attorney’s time, SonHerisme attorney’s time, or my time, or my severe emotional strain, or the stupid (yet delicious) take-out tomato soup I stepped out to eat at our lunch break, OR my parking costs…

 

Ugh

So. Much. F’in. Money.

Just gone.

*POOF*

 

The rest of the paperwork?

I shoved it into the chiminea at 10am and had myself a lil’ ol’ bonfahr

*POOF*

 

Sadly, no marshmallows were consumed.

This fiery episode sounds like it should have been cathartic.  It was not.  I did not feel anything other than now I did not have to file the remainder of the papers.

*POOF*

Do not panic if you are unable to reach me by telephone.  I have not disappeared, although some days I would like to do so.  I am only nervous and awkward and frightened and concerned.

 *POOF*

 

I wish I could magic all of that away too!

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps.  Thank you, oh great tribe of friends, for sticking with me!

 

 

 

 

Welcome to My House

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Open up the champagne, pop!
It’s my house, come on, turn it up

 It’s okay to nod your head to Flo Rida

 

In speaking with a friend today, I realized that we all live in our own little houses of logic.

 

While our logic may seem natural, sound and accepted truths among our like-minded peoples, it can be supremely difficult when your house of logic is trashed to bits by people with different values, beliefs, logics.  Especially when those people are involved with deciding your, or children’s, safety and future (lawyers, social workers etc).

 

You can swing the doors to your house of logic wide open, offer the best snacks, drinks, entertainment, hospitality etc, and throw in swag bags to boot.

The hardest part is figuring out how to get

those people who are not willing to step inside your house of logic,

to just take that first step inside.

It feels like if you can entice them to get one foot over the threshold, they would totally see, understand, believe in, and champion your logic.

 

Unfortunately, lawyers, social workers, judges, therapists, etc are all paid handsomely to stay out of your house of logic. No matter how compelling it is to them personally, they will avoid going inside.  They are there to see the larger world around your house of logic, and make the best decisions they can, within the confines of the law and their professional ethics.

 Despite all of this,

I encourage you all to be brave

and continue to stack up all of the things you believe are important and true. 

Pile it all up in your house of logic. 

Especially if you are preparing for any legal custody/divorce battle(and it will be a battle – but that’s another post).  Let your trusted professionals guide you as to what they can use or not use to help you. Even when you do not believe them, TRUST THEM.

Keep your house of logic for you and as you need it to be.

Keep opening those wide doors

and providing the tasty enticements

until someone threads out the useful bits for you. 

 

I am rooting for you from over here in my little house of logic too!

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

Table Experts

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First Class View

Imagine this…

You are sitting at a large conference table in a very tasteful plush office.  This is the kind of office where one entire wall is covered in floor to ceiling windows, with the most exquisite view of the park/ocean/city/historic district of your dreams.  The opposite wall is also covered in floor to ceiling windows with visually seemless automatic double glass doors.  Outside these windows you observe the effortlessly smooth professional busy-ness of the surrounding professionals.

You have been hand selected to sit in the office with an impressive assortment of uncompromising professionals who are in deep discussion and debate over the attributes of the table they are comfortably sitting around.  You are not included in the discussions and you are unclear why you have been invited to this office.  When the discussion about the table begins to address the firmness and solidity of the table, you decide to enter the conversation, since you know the table is a hard surface.

You say, “One thing I know for sure is that this table is hard.”

No one acknowledges that you have spoken. Only one person even makes slight eye contact with you, then continues on with their conversation as if you had never spoken at all.

At the next opening in the conversation, you try again to insert your knowledge and observations.

You knock on the table twice to prove your point, and you say, “One thing I know for sure is that this table is hard.”

There is a brief pause where you think your comment and demonstration might be acknowledged, but it is not.  No one even makes eye contact with you. The surrounding professionals continue on with their conversations about the table.  The things they are saying focus on your topic:

“I wonder if anyone has considered if this table is hard”

“How would one go about determining if the table is hard”

“Do we even have access to the proper tools to measure if the table is hard, and do we have the proper staff to evaluate those measurements”

“Should we even be speaking about the hardness of the table, why not the pliability of different woods”

“Is hardness even a relevant table discussion”

And so on, so you are aware that on some level at least one of them must have heard your declaration of the table being hard.  Yet, no one has even acknowledged your presence, much less your words.

Now you decide to confront the ridiculousness of the conversation, stand up from your chair, knock harder on the table, firmly declare, “This table is hard,” and knock three more times for emphasis before you sit back down.

You continue to be ignored by the group as their conversations hum all about the table.

You yell, “THIS TABLE IS HARD!” 

You stand up on the table, stomp around on the table, jump on the table, run up and down the length of the table screaming the whole time,

“THIS TABLE IS HARD! TABLES ARE HARD!” 

Until you lose your voice and all of your energy is spent. 

The group’s discussions have continued on as if you, your voice, your truth, your physicality, do not exist in their awareness. You are totally bewildered and exhausted.

After your tirade, the gorgeous glass doors silently glide open and a new professional person confidently walks in.  Everyone’s conversations abruptly stop and all attention zeroes in on this new person. As the doors glide shut behind them, the new professional strides around the impressive conference table and callously pushes aside the seat at the far head, in order to take that place in an intimidating stance – both hands palms down on the table as they lean into the group.

Every previously animated professional now seem to be eerily enraptured  by every movement this new person is making.  They wait in almost painful anticipated silence.  You are so caught up in this dramatically altered tone of the room, that you are staring and waiting for whatever is going to happen with this new person too.

New Person finally speaks, “I am a table expert.  See on my bade right here on my lapel.  My badge says, ‘Table Expert.’ I. AM. A. TABLE. EXPERT! I have come to tell you all, that this table is hard!”  Then the person knocks on the table three times to emphasize that the table is indeed hard, turns, and strides back out of the conference room as quickly as they entered.

After a brief silence, the conversation in the room begins again.

“Wow! This table is hard”

“I have spoken about tables before but now I absolutely know that this table is hard”

“We are so fortunate that the table expert stepped in to clarify that this table is hard, so that now this topic can be resolved with the conclusion that the table is hard”

Your conference table mates are all making eye contact with you now, as if you have been a natural part of their discussions and conversations the entire time.  They are addressing you.

“Did you ever know that a table could be declared as hard?”

“This table is hard, look at this,” they trepidatiously knock on the table a few times with their eyebrows raised in astonishment.

“Did you see the table expert came in and now we know for sure that this table is hard”

“I am overjoyed that now we can rest easily finally really knowing that the table is hard”

You may now roll your eyes.

Welcome to every divorce from an abusive spouse, where you have mutual children.

Suddenly you are a non existent entity on every single topic of discussion.  Unless a professional declares an expert opinion/fact which matches your reality, your opinions/facts mean nothing.

You think you know what is best for your child that you gestated, birthed, nurtured, fed, bathed, clothed, loved, educated, kept healthy, kept safe, loved some more and spent basically 24/7 with for the first 6 years of their life?  You do not.

You think you know what your child needs to thrive?  You do not.

You think you know when your child is upset and distraught?  You do not.

You think you know how your child learns? What they eat? How they like to play? That they need the tags cut out of their underpants but insist on having tags on their shirts?  You do not.

You know nothing.*

The table will never be recognized as being hard, no matter how loudly you scream, knock, know to the deep core of your soul that the table is indeed hard, and that a table being described as hard is a fundamental accepted truth in our human world, until the professional table expert declares it to be hard.

You need professionals to help your voice be heard about what is right for your children.  Even then, divorce in an abusive situation is unjust and difficult.

If this is your path, I am holding you in protective prayerful light.

If this is not your path, I am holding you in compassionate prayerful light.

Love, Ms Herisme xo

*I would add “Jon Snow” at the end of that sentence, but not only is there no Night’s Watch version of Kit Harrington coming to your rescue (he is too young anyway), at some point you would gladly welcome White Walkers, but they aren’t coming either.  The analogy is lost by adding “Jon Snow” and ruins my whole flow.  But I cannot help at least mentioning it, because, just like we all snicker when Granny says, “Winter is coming,” and we repeat it in an intense earnest whisper of impending doom, I feel obligated to at least acknowledge that out loud I am saying to myself, “You know nothing (Jon Snow),” and flipping my un-curly un-red hair.  Don’t deny – you’re doing it too! Twinsies!

Giant Flaming Elephants

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There are a few giant flaming elephants roaming around our communities.  Some have been recognized for what they are, yet they continue marching about in flames.  Some are reluctantly seen from a safe distance through a dirty window, and appear to not be having an immediate impact, so they are dismissed as illusions.  Some are blatantly ignored, as they go stomping about smashing and burning everything in their path.

 Abuse is a giant flaming elephant in family law.

 No one wants to admit abuse’s disgusting infestation of custody and divorce cases, much less face up to it, acknowledge it for what it is, and provide a platform for true health, safety and personal responsibility.

 “70% of men who sue for custody get it,

and of those men who sue for custody,

80% to 90% of them are abusive.”

 Abuse in marriage is rampant in this world, country, state, county, neighborhood. You don’t think it is in your neighborhood, but I assure you, it absolutely is.  Abuse doesn’t go away with socioeconomic or educational status.  Why this is true is a topic for another time, and does not change that it is true and it is affecting our entire culture, especially children.

 Are you aware that there are programs in your community, which exist to promote healthy relationships between parents and children?

Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful resource for families in need of support?

Are you aware of how this translates to an abusive family situation?

 Father abuses mother (raping her, punching her, threatens to kill her with a weapon, removes financial resources from her to gain power and control, verbally assaults her – you know, the usual).  Mother calls domestic violence center to get help after years of trying to work things out and comply with whatever she believes is provoking her abuser, in order to please him so that he will not be triggered to be abusive anymore (yes, I KNOW this does not work, but when you are in the situation, you do not know this.  You do not even know that you are being abused – another topic for another day).

Domestic Violence center provides services including a counseling session for mother, safety shelter for immediate threats, coordination with other agencies (police, child protective services etc), and sometimes legal services.  Even if the abuser is seen as a threat to the mother and children, the children will be ordered to visit with their father in a supervised situation – with the helpful people who promote, encourage and support developing healthy families.

How is it okay to force children to sit with the human who abused their other parent?

How can we expect someone who feels that they have the right to abuse another human, will not abuse other humans?

Why do we allow children to be counted as property of marriage, rather than as humans?

 

Why do we not believe women when they report abuse?

Less than 2% of women are found to have falsely claimed abuse. 

Are we saying that a woman being abused is okally dokally do, and has NO impact on any other areas of their lives?

Or, perhaps, we are saying that children are not affected by an abusive person abusing their mother?

 

The abuser will become even more angered that he is unable to be in control, and possibly files for divorce from mother. Abuser also files for immediate sole physical custody of children because HE has the home, HE has the family income, HE is being cast out of his children’s lives by his “crazy wife” who is making false allegations of abuse and requires counseling and therapy for her anxiety.  Guess what?  The court grants him at the very least, 50% custody of the children, and threatens mother that if she doesn’t have her own adequate home and income to take care of the children during her 50% custody, father will be granted more custody until she can get herself straightened out.  Also, father claims, mother is traumatizing the children by subjecting them to being removed from their home and father.

 

The court agrees.  Father has no criminal record.  Mother has no hospitalizations from suspected abuse.  The court has no professional evidence or proof that father is abusive, so they rule as if this is a “regular divorce,” and tell the father and mother to go to mediation and work everything out like adults.

 

Even if mother has some proof of abuse (Dr reports, photos etc), father hasn’t abused the children, so 50% custody and mediation it is. Mother is forced to negotiate the terms of her custody and divorce with her ABUSER, who is abusive to her.

How can you negotiate with someone who fundamentally feels the need to abuse you?

You are not on even ground and by that very nature cannot negotiate.

Why do we expect that a difference of opinion can be mediated when one party has all of the power and control?

Our custody laws do not make any sense for abusive situations.

 

The laws are the laws and the court has a responsibility to uphold the laws.

I do understand that.  I also understand that laws are not entities unto their own.  They did not create themselves, nor do they interpret themselves.  Humans are making laws.  Humans are interpreting laws.  Humans are often doing this on behalf of very vulnerable other humans.

 

Abuse in divorce and custody cases is so incredibly rampant, that it has become marginalized, causing laws to swirl around and enforce the ultimate legal system drive of power and control.

Guess what abusers want?  Power and control. 

Guess who wins in legal battles? Power and control.

Too frequently, custody morphs into institutionalized abuse by lawmakers and courts who blithely absolve themselves under the auspices of upholding ‘fundamental parental rights.’

 

Only in the very rare case, are children and mothers protected from the abuser by court order.  Ironically, the abuser is the one who helps them the most by his concrete abusive/criminal actions which physically prevent him from having responsibility or contact (he is in jail, in rehab, in a mental illness facility etc.).  However, even then, a judge may, and usually will, order some kind of contact between the abuser and his children.

This may include forcing the mother to drive her children (at her emotional, financial and time expense) to jail/rehab/mental illness facility every week in order to spend time with their father.  If the mother indicates that she is unwilling to, or unable to, comply with that suggestion, the judge will order that a social worker come to her home, remove her children and transport them to visit with their father. Especially after the abuser’s attorney argues that the mother’s extreme anxiety is harming the children and frightening them, as evidenced by her bizarre dependence on her therapist and domestic violence shelter support, and therefore she should not be involved at all with the care and support of her children as they rebuild their connection with their father.

You know, because fathers of any kind are better than no father at all…  WTF  … because studies show that children who have the (safe and healthy) influence and (safe and healthy) support of two (safe and healthy) parents, they are statistically proven to do better in school and as functioning adults.  Except when this is quoted to you as a reason for placing your children into contact with an abuser, all the “(safe and healthy)” bits are turned into the disregarded flaming elephants, because “property parental rights” trumps all.

In my case…

In my case, we have a temporary reprieve (which on the surface appears permanent), due to the father’s serious mental illness combined with dangerous behaviors, which have led to him being placed in the State’s custody for a few years.  And while in their custody, he still managed to violate court orders, which resulted in him having additional restraints on his ability to be responsible for himself, much less a child.

Even given all of that (and the lethal threats he made), there was continued talk of him obtaining at least 50% legal custody of our son, right up until the last few weeks before the final divorce.  This would not have been unprecedented, unfortunately.  This could have been a disaster.  I would be in the same position as countless other women, and be forced to co-parent with an abusive person – which is probably in my future anyway.

To me, our current orders are a temporary reprieve, because at any time, father can appeal the court to modify custody, when his “treatment is successful,” and the State has fulfilled its commitment to be responsible for him.  I can assure you, the judge will change the order, should that come to pass.

In the meantime, I have to bring my son to a reunification therapist so that she may facilitate contact between son and his father.  I truly respect her opinion and understand she is obligated to provide some context for contact.

I do not understand WHO, outside of the legal system,

thinks that physical contact between my son and his father is okay.

Inside the legal system, they have this ability to make it seem like an awesome idea only because it fulfills some legal obligation which has nothing to do with keeping a child safe and healthy.

I am also ordered to send weekly updates about my son to father.  At this time, to us, father is a stranger – and a dangerous stranger.  He weighs about ½ of what he did when we knew him, his thick black hair is gone because he shaves his head.  Yet, I am supposed to willingly and obligingly, send information about my young child to this person every single week, who, for all I know, still intends to murder us.

 

My story is just one of many. 

Even here in our community, my story is one of many.

I am one of many flaming elephants.

 

According to my attorney, who has 25+ years of experience, my story is one of the scariest she has encountered (um, I would rather not be special in this regard), yet, in terms of the relentless abusive power and control tactics used in custody cases, I am, sadly, not at all unique.

Justice, as seen by rational reasonable humans, is rarely served in custody cases. If you are seeking human justice, go to a religious entity.  Power and control are always served in custody cases involving domestic violence.  When abuse is involved, the children and abused spouse, ultimately ALWAYS lose.  The best you can hope for is that you are a strong enough parent with a strong enough child, to survive until that child is an adult and makes healthy choices for themselves.

Children are manipulated by the abusive parent.  Children are silently abused by the abusive parent.  The abused spouse is never ever allowed to not be connected with her abuser, unless they want to abandon their children to the abuser.

What message are we sending to victims of marital abuse? 

Don’t report it, or you’ll lose your lifestyle/money/house/much of your children’s time/any ability to potentially protect your children from the abuser/dignity/privacy/etc?  (why abusive men get custody link here)

What message would you send to a mother in an abusive marriage? 

Are you prepared to support the consequences of your advice?

What are you doing right now in your community to help these mothers and children in need? 

How can we help prevent our daughters and sons from entering into these situations?

Can you see this giant flaming elephant?

What do you do once you see it IS there?

 

Love, Ms Herisme