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I have been really down on myself. My ex-husband and I got divorced a year and a half ago and we have two daughters, ages 4 and 2. He walked out of their lives about 2 months after he moved out and was gone for a year. After getting child support papers 2 months ago, he walked back in. All of this just as I was learning to deal without him - after my children quit asking for him - and after I started to feel good about myself again. Now he takes the kids every once in awhile. When I see him, he tells me how terrible I look now, how I work at home because I'm ashamed of how I look, how crazy I am, how he did everything when we lived together and he raised the girls alone because I was too busy being crazy. He wants custody because he was just slapped with $422 a month in child support and he doesn't want to pay it. He is 24 and has a total of 4 kids under the age of 5 by 3 different women. Mine are the only ones he is obligated to pay support on.

At any rate, he started texting me one night (I'm not even sure it was him. His girlfriend does not like me at all) and told me over and over again that the world would be better off without me, to kill myself. I laughed it off the first time he said it but by the end of the night "KILL YOURSELF YOU FAT BITCH" got kind of ingrained in my brain. He told me my kids wouldn't miss me, no one would, and to just get it over with. I have NEVER in my life felt so low, so hated, so horrible. For a split second, I considered what he said. It scares me that I did.

Now I have dreams of driving myself and my children off of cliffs. It seems whenever he is in my life, I am depressed. I want to exclude him from my life but I feel like I'd have to exclude him from my children's lives too and that's not fair to them. I even wondered if I could go to the psychiatrist, tell them how I feel, take it to court and get an order telling him he's too detrimental to my mental wellbeing to have to deal with and take his rights away. Shit, I wish! But they'd just say I was crazy.

I'm so depressed that my friend that lives with me does everything for my kids. I sleep all day. She gets up with them, bathes them, feeds them, plays with them. Mommy sleeps and works, that's it. She said she'd never let him have the kids but sometimes I wonder if we went to court - would he win? I can't lose my only reasons for living.

anyway, I dont know what I am doing here saying all this, I guess just had to get it out there. I asked him if when the girls grow up, was he going to tell them that he told their clinically depressed mother to kill herself? He said he would.

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That's really, really horrible. Not much I can say, just didn't want you to think that nobody was responding because it's somehow not horrible. It sounds like you're doing all the right stuff to take care of your kids and keep them supported and well, though.

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The world would not be better off without you, and neither would your children. I hope you can find the strength to take care of yourself...go see a tdoc so you can talk about all of your feelings and figure out how to deal with your ex. He sounds like a miserable man that is not happy. Your children WOULD miss you. Your children WOULD be devastated if you were not around.

You know, it would also be good to save those text messages. You may be depressed, but you are obviously a caring person. If you were to go to court, you can present those texts. How could any judge NOT consider those awful messages when making their decision?? So, save save save everything - nasty voicemails/emails/texts.

The best thing you can do is keep taking care of yourself and automatically know that everything your ex says is only designed to hurt you in order to benefit himself. You know that he is detrimental to your well-being, so do your best to minimize your contact. Maybe recite some sort of mantra each time you start feeling the self-doubt from what he says creep in.... "I will not let Joe hurt me. I AM beautiful. I AM loveable. I AM a wonderful mother. I AM a good person. I DESERVE to be treated with respect." I know it may feel a little silly, but that is similar to an exercise my tdoc had me do, and after a few weeks of reciting my own mantra constantly, the negatives I would hear about myself didn't stick in my head anymore, and the positives would stay.

- blue

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Find out from your lawyer how to keep legally-admissable logs and copies of all communications to and from both this person and his girlfriend. You may need these for should they ever find a way to wear you down enough to do something that would risk your custody of the children. Accept no communications that do not include a way to identify the sender.

There is the remotest possibility that it is a third party trying to screw your ex over. In that case, the records would be useful in prosecuting the trash.

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The bullshit your asshole ex is trying to pull aside, which by the way is totally reprehensible, there are some things to consider.

When my 10 year old, (who by the way is the center of my universe) was about 2 my ex tried to take her away. She cited all kinds of terrible things, all untrue. I slapped her with a document called an "Order To Show Cause". Basically it meant she then had to prove everything but of course she had nothing. We ended up in arbitration and worked out a reasonable custody schedule. She tried, she lost. But you do have some ammo if he really tries the legal route. We're friends now but thats neither here nor there.

My current situation is similar in one way. My mom does a lot of the care taking. She handles the homework. I can't even do 5th grade math after all the ECT I had. She cooks and does a good deal of looking after her when I can't. My daughter still loves me very much and she knows I still love her more than anything. Point is, Your kids know you love them. Don't ever get down on yourself about that.

I hope my rambling helps in some way.

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leadlinglady that is HORRIBLE. what a fucking asshole! you deserve to be as far away from this jerk as possible. and i would venture a guess it's better for the kids too.

unfortunately i have heard this story so, so many times. fathers who up and decide they want custody as soon as they're forced to pay to like, you know, FEED their kids. the really, really stupid part is that they have no idea that it's gonna cost way more than four hundred bucks a month if they DO get custody... parting with four hundred dollars is a joke compared to what it really costs. do they really think they are saving money with that maneuver?

i'm sorry my experience with this comes off sexist - it's just that i've never ever seen the reverse in action.

what others have said about documenting everything is a really good idea. i'm pretty sure as soon as the powers that be understand what's actually going on, he won't be taking anyone anywhere.

i'm sorry you're feeling bad that you aren't able to spend the time with your kids that you'd like to. i know it's not an optimal situation. but i think that working to keep a roof over their heads is a huge deal - i couldn't do that much for years. it isn't your fault you're ill. i does suck though. ;)

keep us posted about how you're doing, k? i'll be thinking of you.

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How horrible! Let's look at the facts if he does want to challenge the custody of the kids-

- He abandoned them and stayed away for a year!

- He tells you to kill yourself via text message (funny how this is AFTER he got ordered to pay support!)

- He is mentally and emotionally abusive towards you!

- He has other kids with 2 other mothers that he doesn't support.

You have been there for those children. It doesn't matter if you need "help" at times. Rich people hire nannies all the time. Point is, you didn't move out and abandon them and NEVER would, right?

I agree to document everything. Keep a log of calls, texts, letters, etc... My bet is he's just threatening and won't

follow through, because, you know, it would cost him more than $422 a month to house, feed, clothe, educate, ya know, RAISE them!

Take care and remember everyone needs help at times raising two small children. That's why we have friends, family, babysitters and nannies. Maybe talking to a therapist could help you right now. That's a whole bunch of bullshit he's dragging you through! Jackass!

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I am not sure about the laws where you are, but here you can press harassment charges and a restraining order against him for that...which would be in your favor in any custody battle. I would save all the texts that you are getting. Keep everything to yourself tell no one that you are saving the texts and so on.

He is harassing you in hopes that you will do something to make him look good, such has have a breakdown or be hospitalized. Make sure you tell your therapist about all of this too.

I am sorry that you are dealing with all of this, he is an asshole for putting you through this. And his girlfriend is nuts...she has nohthing better to do than harass you. I hope that things get better, good luck

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Yeah, definitely find out from a lawyer how to make sure that the text messages are admissible in court. If it ever comes to that, your ex won't exactly look like a very caring person...

Seriously, for your own sanity, don't actually pay attention to any and all bad things he writes or says. He definitely sounds like a greedy bastard who doesn't want to pay child support, and who'd go to any lengths to avoid it. Makes him sound like a really pathetic excuse for a human being.

I'm kind of hoping that all the things he's said/written to you come back to bite him in the ass... Would you ever want your kids to end under his care?

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I am not sure about the laws where you are, but here you can press harassment charges and a restraining order against him for that...which would be in your favor in any custody battle. I would save all the texts that you are getting. Keep everything to yourself tell no one that you are saving the texts and so on.

He is harassing you in hopes that you will do something to make him look good, such has have a breakdown or be hospitalized. Make sure you tell your therapist about all of this too.

I was gonna think of that too.... sounds like more than enough for a restraining order or at least a temporary one. Save 'em and go see a lawyer.

dunno how to sound supportive without a clich

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Well I'm still standing but he is steady threatening to take my kids away. He told me to prove he has not been there for the past year and I told him I had witnesses. I told him to produce receipts for things he has bought the kids over the past year. He has done nothing today but rattle my nerves and make my life a living hell today. His plan is to use my mental health against me in court so that he can gain custody and then file child support against me because I make more money than him and he lives with his girlfriend, her two kids, and the one they just had so he is money hungry right now. The fact that he would use my kids as a cash cow sickens me. I just hung up on him after getting tired of his threats. He told me I only wanted the $422 a month to replace the fact that I'm single and can't get a boyfriend. When I told him I actually did have a boyfriend he just said "oh that won't last." Although I must say he seemed a bit perturbed that I have one. LOL!!!

Another thing though is that I wish I could afford a lawyer but I really can't. I am in school to be a paralegal so that helps some with understanding a lot of legal stuff but other than that I don't know what to do. He can't afford a lawyer either (at least I don't think so.) I know he keeps logs of everything I say to him, all the clothes I send down to them when the kids go visit, and he takes pictures of the kids at each visit before and after to document if they are disheveled, etc. ;) I hate feeling like all of that is being monitored. I guess I need to start doing it too. I wish I could just run away with my kids but I know I can't because as of now we have 50/50 custody and I'm having a hard time understanding the custody papers in order to file them. I feel like I'm in betwen a rock and a hard place. I don't want to let him see them at all but my kids do ask for him and I know that it helps me mentally to have that break from them. They go probably 2 weekends a month at the most and usually I initiate it, I drop them off and pick them up, I've even paid him $40 to take the kids once.

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leadinglady -

Get your psychiatrist onside - it won't be the first time they have seen an ex-spouse pull this crap.

Even more, they can help you find a way to get your legal expenses covered. Every lawyer is required to do some pro-bono (free) work. There must be some legal aid for students at your school, especially for paralegals. Ask everyone you can - your psych, the student counselling centre, a trusted prof.

You need to have your lawyer call this jerk of an ex, and have your ex speak to HIM/HER, not you.

And get a restraining order - I am sure you can do that without a lawyer!

As others have said here, save all your evidence.

HUGS!

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Well I'm still standing but he is steady threatening to take my kids away. He told me to prove he has not been there for the past year and I told him I had witnesses.
With joint custody already in place, he is going to have a huge (and expensive) uphill battle to win full custody, especially since you are the "custodial" parent. You don't have to PROVE shit. The onus is on him for that. I have been through custody bullshit with an evil ex and would be more than HAPPY to share what I know. PM me if you want.

I just hung up on him after getting tired of his threats.

As the others have said, document, document, document. If you have no way of recording his asshole messages, DONT TALK TO HIM. Let his calls go to voicemail. Let him bury himself in vitriolic messages. Talking to him only makes you more upset. Refrain from it as much as you can.

Another thing though is that I wish I could afford a lawyer but I really can't.

Child support is one thing to do without an attorney, custody, OTOH, is a whole different ball game. Many are under the assumption that the two go together, but they don't. Find a way to get an attorney if this gets beyond the "threatening" stages. I would, at a minimum, scare up 150.00 (or whatever is the going rate in your town) and see a decent Family Law attorney for an hour to lay out your situation and get some idea of what it would cost to retain them to represent you if it goes to court. Even at the level of mediation--you want an attorney to do that. Custody is much more important and more complicated from a legal standpoint than Child Support is.

I hate feeling like all of that is being monitored. I guess I need to start doing it too.

You absolutely have to. Document, document, document. I think the pictures is going a bit overboard. But document when they go, when they come back and any other shit that you think is noteworthy. The courts could give a shit if kids are dirty unless you are talking about squalor, and I don't think you are. Kids GET dirty.

I wish I could just run away with my kids but I know I can't because as of now we have 50/50 custody and I'm having a hard time understanding the custody papers in order to file them.

Don't leave with your kids--that is the worst thing you can do. The courts frown on that big time. You will be held accountable and you can be charged (and yes, unfortunately, I know this first hand). I know rules and regs vary from state to state on child support, but I'm willing to bet the farm they are all pretty much the same on this one. PM me.

I feel like I'm in between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to let him see them at all but my kids do ask for him and I know that it helps me mentally to have that break from them.

Does he hurt them in any way? If he says nasty things about you around them, and they come back and tell you, DOCUMENT THAT TOO. If he is cool around them, then let it go. Let go of it, let go of them. Cooperating with him is the very best thing you can do.

They go probably 2 weekends a month at the most and usually I initiate it, I drop them off and pick them up, I've even paid him $40 to take the kids once.

Okay, this is exactly at the heart of what you need to document. The court wants to see a record. Go buy a cheap spiral bound notebook. The kind you can't insert pages into (so nobody can say you cheated) and start keeping track of when he has them. If he doesn't get them as much as he is presently allowed to have them, there is not a judge in this country who would give him full custody. He is exploiting the fact that you are MI and that sucks, but he is an evil asshole and will stop at nothing to not pay child support. You have to keep telling yourself that--you don't suck, you're awesome and you're a great mom.

God, this reminds me so much of what I went through about 10 years ago with my youngest son's father. My son is now almost 13 and I still occasionally let myself get dragged into his Dad's cesspool of drama, but most of the time I know better. They don't really WANT the kids, they are idle threats. Even if the could get them, which they can't.

Don't tip your hand to him that you are tracking all this shit. If he senses you are preparing a valid defense, he's likely to step up his visitation just to spite you, and, yes, they will go to ANY lengths to not pay child support. $422.00. a month is a lot of money.

Oh, and if your daughter is saying "Mommy I want to calm down" is it possible that you say, "calm down" to them when they are acting up?

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