Desperate for advice

Old 09-27-2013, 06:04 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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WTBH, my only suggestion is to get creative. Start harassing your lawyer for alternative solutions, because the court is setting you up to get murdered in your own damn home.

The exchanges have to happen at your house? Fine! A police escort needs to be present considering the violence that continues to happen (blamelessly and passively, apparently?) at the custody exchanges. Don't ask anyone, just call ahead to the local PD and ask that someone escort the exchanges. I know they're not your friends, but they don't have to be. You're trying to ensure you don't get punched in the face for following court orders. STXBAH won't punch you in the face if cops are present -- if he does he's straight to jail, and if he doesn't go straight to jail, you have an epic civil rights suit on your plate.

Also, you *can* record anything. Whether or not this is admissible in court is another thing. But you can record whatever you want in and around your home. Whoops! My smartphone just happened to be recording this conversation. My bad! And you can remind him that whatever he does is now on record. Even seen a narcissist shut up and/or hang himself with his own rope? Let him know others that don't have his back may see his crazy.

Is the financial part of the divorce final? Curious about who "owns" the house. It's not your problem if AH is homeless. Instruct your lawyer to beat the drum about his pending DCYF cases. If there's smoke, there's fire.

And finally, what are you willing to give up? If I were you I'd be planning how to get out of the toxic living situation ASAP my any means. Even if your AH suddenly left you alone, which won't happen, you're still butted up against toxic, alcoholic, perjuring, meddling, broken people. Talk about this with your lawyer. If you leave the house, what happens to the equity in it?

I'm sorry you're going through this. My experience with my xNPD was that this level of antagonization did not end until the court finalized our split. By then I was a shaking leaf and it took a long time to get my bearings again. There are things you can do to get others to help you, but some of this has to be from within you, refusing to take the bait, not letting it get to you in a real and fundamental way. Changing this from the situation that will ruin you to a situation that you find annoying but endure while you pursue the next best thing. That backbone needs to be made of steel. You want that back waxed so his **** slides right off of you.

How are you coping? What are you doing for yourself? How to you heal inbetween the explosions? Is his violence against you documented? Can you press charges for him hitting you?
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:49 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Neighbors witnessed him hit me. Then lied.
People lie. All the time. This is a "so what" issue. Doesn't change the fact that your only witnesses are liars. What needs to change is how you deal with this from now on.

Court order says he will get them from the house. I asked that it be public. Judge told us "best interest of the kids" is that we act like adults and do it at our house.
There is a reason why the judge is telling you to act like a grown up. Find out why. Something you are doing is being perceived as combative. Figure that out, and stop doing it.

My state will NOT allow me to videotape/surveil etc... So it's not an option.
As Florence said - any state allows you to have security cameras to protect your property. Sorry, WTBH, you are making excuses about this option.

I am dealing with a dangerous narcissist who has manipulated the police and court system as Lundy Bancroft describes to a T and I have and continue to take the steps to protect myself that I can and am getting no where.
Again, another "so what" issue. You already know this by now. We all here know it. Your approach to date isn't working. So what are you going to do differently? Or are you choosing to remain in the same sick dance you've been in with him for years now?

I am not about to change the court order without the judge approving it and be held in contempt so that is why he shows up at my house. NOT my choice. I argued against it.
No one said change this. We are saying have a witness with you, a neutral third party who can report on a situation if it goes badly. Hell, maybe even someone who can be honest with you about your part in it all.

I guess I am at a loss as to what roads to go down at this point. I have taken the advice you've all given, I don't believe I am reacting so much as being blindsided by the legal manipulation that is occurring.
But here's the thing. WTBH, you really haven't. You keep fighting him, like next time will be different, or next time he will magically get it that he is abusive and narcissistic. You are trying to rationalize with an irrational person and wondering why the results are the same every time. Go back and read LaTeeDa's post again. Stop reacting!!! Stop being blindsided. The world is not a fair place. Fair is a place we go to ride the rides. People who play fair rarely win against manipulators. People who are smart and strategic do.

In order to be effective at this, you need to change your approach, stop thinking the world is a fair place, and start manipulating the manipulator. Turn the tables, quit being so predictable, and stop reacting!

P.S. Have you ever wondered why the neighbors are witnessing this? Because he is bringing his own witnesses to the exchanges. And yet, you won't. This is a great example of my point about being strategic.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:41 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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The judge believes this is us just not being cooperative. The same mindset of therapists who work w couples when one is NPD. Am I blameless? No. The mediator we saw years ago said it was useless bc HE was un bending, not me. The judge is buying whatever xAH says bc I have the charges now so his word must be true, right? My credibility sucks bc he's an abuser who has had charges brought on me. My behavior isn't the problem but no one in power cares what the truth is.

And the morning he hit me my contribution was to tell him to back away from me or I would call the police. He took my phone and punched me. Then said go ahead and call. I did and went to the ER and have photos. I had a red face, swollen jaw, broken necklace and bruises already forming and the cops said it was "verbal only". A week later they came to arrest me saying witnesses came fwd that I hit him.

And the judge didnt seem to care that this is all ass backwards.

I guess when I'm a statistic of cops getting it wrong they will care then.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:49 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Look, I know this really, really sucks for you. I know you are scared of what may happen. But the point I am trying to drill home here, and this will be the last time I say this, is your approach is the problem.

He will be who he is and do what he does best. And he is winning. And he knows it. He pushes your buttons, you react, he manipulates the situation to be the victim of you. So easy to do, hon. Why? Because you aren't being smart here. You are being a victim.

For example, why are you talking to him AT ALL? STOP TALKING. You can exchange kids without talking. You can report about said kids without talking about anything else. If he starts talking you SMILE and NOD YOUR HEAD until he stops talking. Then leave. Stop threatening him. Stop goading him. STOP engaging.

Oh yeah - STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS. It is a waste of energy.

Be smart, WTBH. Being a victim is a choice, and completely within your power to change.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:51 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Praying for you WTBH.

Hope you try some of the suggestions on the posts here.

You can do it, you've done so much for you and your girls.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:58 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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You have asked for advice. I hope that the advice I give doesn't make you feel defensive, but it probably will. All I know is what you have said on this post, so that's all I can respond to.

The fight in the driveway was partly your fault. You didn't have to be out there. You can kiss the girls in the house and say "Daddy's here! Go have a great day!" and push them out the door.

When he said "hurry it up", you could have responded by turning around and walking back into the house and letting him buckle the girls in and wait for him to leave.

Your retort of "Don't talk to me that way" contributed to the fight that ensued.

His friends saw it and defended him. You should expect that. They will always see it his way. That's not fair, it's just a fact about people - especially sick people.

I know that there are charges filed against you by him, but there was a time when you filed charges against him and prevailed, wasn't there? This truly is what we call a "mutual combat" situation. It sounds like you care more about being right than you do about being safe - and eventually happy.

The ER documents are admissible. If you told the nurses/doctor what happened, then that is admissible as evidence. You can video whatever you want if you are involved in it. You can protect your property. You can video the girls having fun with Dad or the first day of school, right? Then you would have video.

I understand that other people can't always be around, but you can request that exchanges occur at the police station. That has a chilling effect on couples fighting.

I hope that you will find a way to abide by the court's order without engaging with your H. The only way to win is to not play.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:47 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Hope this helps-in similar situation but no children but once as a woman there is one black mark against you with court or police you are doomed. My ex came to house drunk, called police on me because I would not let him in & wanna guess who they sided with. . .Hint Hint, he's a man and cops a man.

You need to "think outside of the box". Court may have ordered you to allow him to stay one night because less stress on children. . .guess where you will stay? Do what I did. . .call the abuse hotline in your area when he arrives and you stay at a safe house. Court date later shows abuse forcing you out of the house. Involve other agencies to get done what you need to. Also, contact your local senator, congressman. I had to reach out to other agencies for help but it finally did--You can do this!

Don't fight him or police or court system, find a way to make it work for you!
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:08 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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wanttobe, you need to get some heavy duty advocates on your side.

Have you tried NOW or any local groups that advocate for women? I am not local to you, but I can advise approaching all local and national advocacy groups for those affected by DV, including law schools.

Do you have good documentation of events? If not, start now, even if you are writing notes pf past events. Date them and possibly take a picture of them next to a date on a newspaper, so that you can see both clearly.

Have you heard of Narcissim support groups? There are a ton out there and will probably help you more in a practical way than this one.

I really feel for you. Hang in there.

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Old 09-27-2013, 02:47 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Dear Wanttobehealthy---I think AyeRobot has hit on a HUGE point, here!! I was also thinking that you need a better lawyer and you need more WITNESSES on your side.

Narcissists are Assho***!! You have to play hardball with them. Trust me--I know this.

Please don't feel that people are "beating up" on you, here. They are just trying to help you realize that you have to give up on any "Miss Nice Guy" image that you may have accumulated. It is like--you are a nice person who believes in essential fairness and right vs. wrong. Nothing wrong with that--EXCEPT THAT A NARCISSIST SEES YOU AS RAW MEAT.

We are on your side--you have been through so damn much with this A**!

Consider carefully the suggestions you have been given here---esp. what AyeRobot has said.

very sincerely,
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:54 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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hey WTBH, hope you can find some time to breathe and try and get grounded.

It's really difficult to get some perspective and make decisions when in the thick of it, and I understand that, and the spinning wheels in your mind, trying to make perfect decisions when there seems no way out and trying to protect your children.

after an incident between myself and ex, I described it to my therapist and there was a point where he had got into my car, and I couldn't remember how he had got in there, I was so frightened, the children were terrified and crying, and I still can't explain how he managed to get in the car. My therapist told me I had to find a way to de-escalate the exchanges. not because his behaviour was my fault, but because I can't make him be any way other than he is, and the safest thing for me and the children was to let him feel he has won.

If he wants the house I would now be very seriously considering leaving it and moving yourself and the girls to a rental that he cannot enter, with security cameras installed. If you can afford it at all, then it doesn't matter if you think that is part of his game-plan to get the kids, because staying in the house is not putting you in a stronger position.

as above if you get to keep this house, is it where you want your girls to grow up, would it be good for your sanity? if the girls have to be exchanged at the house and you are living elsewhere you could drive them there, let them out of the car and leave, or ask someone else to drop them off and pick them up and keep to the court order?

for the immediate changeover can you arrange someone else (not your mum, and not a friend - because he will try and succeed in charming whomever they are, and you need your resources on your side) someone from al-anon? someone entirely neutral whom you pay to stay with the girls for an hour until he comes because you have an appointment that clashes? who could act as a sitter for the changeover, and you not be there?

from my experience, lawyers are great for the legals of divorce, and you need one to defend these allegations about you, but they can only bring legal solutions to a situation - a DV center and contacts can give much greater insight and help you negotiate the what-if's and having plans in place for "if he does/says x, I will do y".

you and your daughters living a free and happy life is you winning, letting him think you are broken (before you get to the point where you are), letting him think he has won, is not the same as him actually winning.

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:14 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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What ever became of the Target incident? Why, after THAT, did you not start doing drop-off/pick up inside somewhere with witnesses? That's what I do, I do drop off/pick up inside of a grocery store, half way between ex's house, and mine. I don't speak unless I have too(ok, once I muttered to myself and he took offense to it) but I haven't been touched by him in this time.

THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN WITH YOU! This is what, your 2nd or 3rd arrest for this? Obviously changes need to happen, and happen NOW. Not two weeks from now, not a month from now. Immediately. CALL the domestic violence hotline, i don't care if you're embarrassed because you used to work with them. You and I separated at the same time, and while my divorce isn't final either(mostly because I don't have 3k to file, I will very soon though) my life has become much calmer than yours, because I took a stand and put a stop to it.

it's tough love time dear. Stop being a doormat. Teachers can get hired anywhere, do a quick google search.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:06 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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WTBH...ok..i have to say a this...your friends here get it....why are you fighting it? your avatar says "want to be healthy" keep looking at that, and be calm about it...

please dont be defensive here...really look at what they are saying...and hey, maybe try it...they are only trying to help...

please breath...and calm and DONT ENGAGE...i am an re actor too...we must THING! and count to 20 and remember our actions and behaviours...

with much love..your friend(s') here at SR
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:14 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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hey wtbh,

I hope you are still coming back and reading - none of this is your fault. He is entirely responsible for his behaviour and actions, no matter what you said (and in any other circumstance drawing the boundary you did would have been entirely appropriate with no negative consequences). But you are dealing with a clever, confident and getting away with it abuser who is able to manipulate people, including the legal system, to aide him. Alanon doesn't apply here, and unfortunately the legal system sometimes works against justice, fairness and any way that makes sense.

I think the strength of people's reaction on this thread is not because they think you are to blame, but because they care deeply for you and can see him escalating, and we can't do anything to help (and we want to keep you safe) but support and advise you.

I rarely come to this forum now, as exAH's madness is at a very manageable arms-length and I have slowly, slowly got all the pieces in place to protect myself, but I do come back to read how people are doing, and you are one of the names I look for.

I know you will get through this, the fact that you haven't imploded under the intolerable pressure you are under shows how strong you are, however fragile and weak you feel now. I know when I was living in a situation with a much less clever abuser my psyche was shattered, I was in "survival right now" mode and therefore some of the decisions I made may not have been the best for my long -term survival. I was to a certain extent a hostage, I am alive and stronger than ever, living a life that is peaceful, and filled with joy and the minor irritations of everyday life, so they can't have been that bad on balance.

He is holding you hostage, which means you need help from people who understand how to keep you and the girls safe from him - that probably isn't a lawyer - unless it's one used to dealing with dv cases just like yours. (my lawyer, bless her, once told me that if my ex came into the house and would not leave I "just had to make him" - I looked at her with utter incomprehension and asked how?)

I understand that this is NOT your fault, and that it is very easy for concerned onlookers, in love, to think we know what would have been a better way to react/behave/organise things (in retrospect, from across t'internet ) that's not to say that there aren't very good ideas in this thread, but I would have been unable to sort those ideas into "workable" and "liable to make him escalate further" on my own.

please don't be ashamed or embarrassed to talk to dv services, if you worked there you know that this can happen to anyone, that they would far rather you talked to them and allowed them to help you than, what? die? have him arrange matters so that you are locked up?

please, gather some of that strength, for you and your daughters and walk through the doors of the dv centre and tell them all this, print it out and let them read it, please - otherwise I am going to be forced to book a transatlantic flight to wherever it is you live and frog-march you there - what with me being codependent and all
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:45 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I'm a former domestic violence/child abuse prosecutor and if she were a child I would say that none of this is anyone's fault but his.

I don't see it that way. Sorry. The person who finds herself in the same scenario over and over again has an obligation to do things differently. Like choosing not to participate in the drama. Or hearing advice from a bunch of strangers on the internet if that's how she titles her posting.

My advice is tough, but know how courts work and what they're looking at. I also know how to show that he's the aggressor. It's by staying away from him and letting every incident be clearly HIS action, not a dance of he said/she said.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:09 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I understand what you're saying Stella, but I also understand that under pressure people don't make perfect decisions, they need help to plan the possible outcomes of scenarios based on their intimate knowledge of the person they are dealing with, by someone who knows how to deal with these situations.

Whilst I am absolutely sure you are right about how the legal system views abuse situations and what they require the target to do and how they require the target to behave in order to prove they are actually targets not participants. I would counter that the law (because of the burden of proof) has unrealistic expectations that someone being abused always behaves with the perfect rational detachment of a disinterested on-looker. In the situation WTBH describes, stating that she will phone the police if he persists in verbally abusing her is the sort of advice that is given on here all the time, and when the OP describes what happened, blaming her for his massive over-reaction and physical abuse in front of their children is entirely unhelpful. That stance doesn't help keep people safe, it actually helps perpetuate the situation. That may seem counterintuitive (much as dealing with an alcoholic can seem counter-intuitive) but that doesn't stop it being true. I would suggest we all re-read the "about abuse" sticky. There is a vast difference between blaming someone for something that has happened, and sitting with them, validating that abuse is NEVER the victim's fault, and suggesting a plan of action if that situation or something similar happens again.

Further, in my case a non-reaction doesn't de-escalate matters, I have to have an entirely different strategy. It may well be the case given OP's ex's confidence that nothing she could have done/not done would have made any difference to the outcome (he has any times physically abused her AND had her arrested for it, when witnesses are around, when she has done nothing to "provoke" him. I bet in this situation he would still have punched her, the neighbours would still have lied, and she'd have had no different outcome, whether she had responded or not. Therefore she needs help and support to keep her and the children safe first, in her particular situation, and then legal protection to cement that (because frankly, in many situations the law only actually kicks in effectively after the abused person is near-dead). A DV centre can help her sort out strategies for her situation, help her practice them and give her the confidence that they will work, not tip him over the edge.

that is my experience.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:59 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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I thought that the OP was asking for advice in how to show the court that she is not the problem here, and prove that her STBXH is dangerous to the children.

That's the kind of advice I know how to give. I may have misunderstood the question.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:10 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GoingAlone2 View Post
Could you move out of state or to a different area? Go live with family etc... so you are not staying in his house. Then, you would be in a different jurisdiction & he would have less access to the kids. It's also a different police department & diff. courts. I would do it ASAP before the courts in your area can rule any more in his favor.
I do not know if this is accurate advice. I moved to a different state after my divorce, but the state in which the divorce was filed and granted has jurisdiction over matters that concern the children. We lived in Florida for only 3 1/2 years and have lived in Alabama for 6 1/2 yet the judge will not relinquish jurisdiction. So before you move, I would make sure jurisdiction can be changed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:41 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Also, google this judge assigned to your case. Sometimes people make comments about which lawyers that particular judge favors. Ask around. Try and find out if there is a particular lawyer that always wins in this judge's courts. That would be the lawyer I would hire.
Secondly, IMO, it would help you to have someone there with you as a witness. I would hire someone who has experience testifying in court. A lawyer, an off duty policeman (this would serve two purposes, it would get the police department to understand your situation and maybe begin to see your side of things through this one off duty policeman's accounts), a court appointed child advocate. Any of these people would serve as good people to have around when your A is picking up/dropping off girls or staying over night.
Also try and have the judge appoint someone in addition to the therapist to be the girl's advocate. This is usually a lawyer, who acts as the children's lawyer. Their only goal and job is to ensure your daughter's well fares and best interests are being met. That way it isn't your word or his.
I went through and am still going through thing with my XH (not an A) so I understand and sympathize with you. Please try and listen to what the people in here are telling you. I know it is blunt and comes across as harsh. But their hearts are in the right place and they are trying to help you. You are not going to win this verbal battle with him. No one will win and the girls witnessing this are the true losers. It doesn't matter who is right at this point, try not to engage. Also, I did find with my XH that as soon as I started cooperating with him and giving him everything he "wanted" he no longer wanted it. He tried to force all three of my children to have visitation even after he had abused my daughters. I spent years fighting it and trying to protect my girls. When I couldn't fight it any longer all three wet for visitation. That was the last time he forced it. He didn't want all three children. He just wanted me to suffer. And as soon as he thought it wasn't making me miserable, he no longer wanted it.
I like the idea of the security cameras inside an outside your home. Even if it is not admirable in court, the fact that he knows he is being recorded will force him to behave differently.
I wish you much luck with everything and hope for your safety.
One last thought, look to see if there is an age in your state where your girls get to choose whether they see their dad or not.
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