Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Worst Fears Cont…

I wish I had known more about divorce and custody cases. No one talks about it. Everyone talks about planning a wedding; I had never come across anyone who was planning a divorce and talking openly about it. I know why no one talks now: it is a public failure and it can be such a traumatic process, when you finally get out the last thing you want to do is re-live the experience by talking about it. It is difficult writing about my experience, but I feel compelled to get my story to women who are thinking about leaving a narcissist, sociopath or any sort of abusive relationship. There is a pattern I’ve learned. It’s not ever going to be easy, but there are things that can be done to make it easier. Like I said in my first post, please learn from my mistakes, I made many.
Back to the courtroom
I left the courtroom and a woman I didn’t know pulled me into a side room. She was a domestic violence (DV) advocate and had been sitting to the right of the Judge. She told me to stay in the room; that I could not leave at the same time as Peter, from her observation he was a typical abuser and my safety at risk. I broke and began to sob uncontrollably. She left and brought back a female attorney and a female police officer. They began to explain what was happening to me.
They explained that abusers plan ahead; he had probably been planning this for years and it would take an enormous amount of energy, discipline, money and time to turn the court in my favor. This is what happens to victims: we look crazy because we don’t expect our loved one to turn so quickly and with such venom. It catches us off guard. We have spent years defending our abusers and blaming ourselves, to change this distorted thinking is nearly impossible. Sociopaths thrive on the unpredictable and destabilizing their victims. This was completely unexpected and I was destabilized. We may cry, we may yell, we panic and at the very least become so anxious we cannot hide it. Our babies are being ripped out of our arms, our deepest most intimate moments/mistakes exposed to the public and hard earned money being taken. Our worst fears realized. The advocate, in an attempt to encourage me, said she had never seen a domestic violence victim be so composed; generally we lose control lending credibility to the abuser's claims of  mental illness.
*Show no emotion and say as little as possible*
Then began the search for an attorney and theses DV advocates wanted to help. They gave me the name of a woman who was an expert in dealing with domestic violence cases (“the best”) and the former county domestic violence prosecutor. I left. I could not go home. I had not lived alone since age 19. My 3,000 square foot home was empty and I didn’t know what my abuser was capable of, he had just shocked me in court. My 6 year old son was at his godparent’s house and I was not allowed to see him; I could only call him. How was he dealing with this? My abuser had isolated me (more later), had left me with a negative balance in a checking account, and no credit cards. I was broke and had no idea where I would come up with a retainer for an attorney. I wandered around the local mall in a daze.  

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Thank you for your comment. Positive feedback and helping those that have experienced the same tragedies are what keeps me going.