Guest Post By: Pat
I am having a horrible time with anxiety. My ex alcoholic girlfriend of 4 years filed for joint custody/visitation of my 4 kids and hired a lawyer. Fortunately, we haven’t lived together in a few years, but she was here a lot. The fight that led to the demise of the relationship was because I needed her to sit with my kids (all under 5 years old) so I could take my mom to the ER. She was “too busy” with her drinking buddy, so I took all of them with me. I was angry and didn’t speak to her for a week.
While my mom was in the hospital for pneumonia my ex girlfriend went and filed, behind my back. She has retained a lawyer, her alcoholic friend lent her the money. So, I have now hired a lawyer at $350/hr. Last June, in my attempts to make her happy, I put her name on my son’s birth certificate. The hospital told us unless we were married we couldn’t do it. So, I lied and told them we were married.
She became very close to my sitter, to the point they talk daily. I warned my sitter when this happened to not get in the middle. There have been several breaches in confidence over the last few months. Yesterday was the last straw, when something I told only my babysitter came back to me via my ex within 8 hours! I now have to tell the sitter she is done, I told her to take the week off I needed to think but I already know the answer.
My ex is posting all kinds of mean statements about me on Facebook, accusing me and blaming me for all of this. She has blocked my phone and Facebook, but mutual friends have informed me. My major issue with her seeing the kids is the company she keeps-drug addicts, felons, and alcoholics. When we were together, I told her repeatedly I did not want these people around my children, yet she totally disregarded me and did what she wanted. God is good and I know He is there for me. My kids are doing well over all.
JC: An attorney at $350 an hour should be able to help you with this one really quickly. I have to wonder if she is requesting that you pay for her legal fees? In my experience, the alcoholic I was in a legal situation with had demonstrated such insane behavior that the legal fees on my end went through the roof. Hopefully you can settle the matter quickly, without going to court. Even though you have retained legal counsel, learn all that you can about this situation. If you have any one else in your life who knows a lot about legal things, get their opinion on every course of action that your lawyer wants to take.
Remember that God knows the end before the beginning. Rest in Him and pray a lot. The closer you stay to Him the less anxiety you will experience. Rest in knowing He is present with you, right now!
JC. She isn’t asking for legal fees, just visitation and custody. My lawyer delayed the hearing for 3 weeks, which set her off. In case I wasn’t clear, we were a lesbian couple. My lawyer says she has no legal standing and it should get dismissed. But who really knows? I ended up firing my babysitter last week. I found out she was basically telling my ex everything. I feel very betrayed. I am having a hard time staying no contact with her. Her friend posted a picture of her with a friend I suspect she is sleeping with. She spent the nite with her when I was pregnant. I blocked all her friends on Facebook. Detachment is so hard!
Pat, thanks for clarifying a few things. Please feel free to add whatever you fell necessary to convey to our readers more details of your situation.
Is Supervised visitation an option? In a safe place with no ‘others’ about?
I am going to ask for it if it gets that far. The reality is she has no legal rights. We were never married, she didn’t contribute any DNA to my kids, these are MY kids (conceived with a sperm donor). She has said she “only” wants visitation (the paperwork says joint custody/visitation), but she wants it legally stated. I don’t. I was willing and letting her visit the kids at my house until she filed. I have read so many stories about separated/divorced couples and the actively using A makes the ex’s life hell. Why should I choose that? Leave the A is so hard, I am a codependent and am trying to gain some sanity for myself and my kids. I get caught up in my fantasy – that we will work it out and be together again. Even though it was never good between us. She has been actively drinking the entire 4 years we were together. She has an untreated mental illness. I used to think that if you met someone when didn’t have it good and offered them a better life – they would appreciate it. Wrong! All she has done is try to destroy me. My eldest, who is 5 suffered molestation by one of her friend’s teenagers…she didn’t agree to end the friendship until I threatened to stop her from seeing the kids. Then when I reported it to CPS so my daughter could get counseling, her friend filed a false CPS report on me. I was 4 months pregnant with my youngest at the time. She got fired from 2 jobs in less than a year, I did my best to support all of us and find her a new job. When I had my son it was a very tramatic delivery and he was in the NICU. She threatened that if I didn’t find a way to get her on the birth certificate, she was done with me and my kids. Then she left me there alone – after 20+ hours of induced labor and my baby in the ICU. I was frantic. You know what? She left me 10 days later – with 4 kids under 4 and my elderly mom to take care of. Just so she could hang out with her drinking/drugging buddy. I am now trying to fix my mistakes. Hired a lawyer to get her name off the birth certificate and to fight her in court. She has no legal rights to my kids and is so arrogant that she thinks she shouldn’t have to deal with me to see them.
Pat, if your attorney has made it very clear that she has no legal right, then rest. Let it go and trust that the lawyer will get this taken care of. If the amount you are paying your legal representative is any indication of how good they are, I’d say you are in good hands. Just stay on top of things with your attorney and let him/her do all of the communicating with this woman.
Thank you. I hired the best attorney in my city. It is hard to stay no contact but it is getting easier and easier. Letting my babysitter go last week was the best thing I could’ve done for my sanity. She was a conduit for information between us – it because apparent afterwards that she was really sharing information in one direction – to my ex, but it made me feel like I still had some connection to her. Now that avenue is gone. She spent sunday sending me texts saying how she missed the kids. I didn’t respond. I kept in my mind that she was sharing this holiday with the girl she likely cheated on me with. I have to keep my head straight.
Detachment is hard but will help you in the long run. Just as JC says, let the attorney handle it (detach to him). Letting the babysitter go was good and another way you detached. This will be hard but I believe the easy part is the custody–from what you wrote your attorney is telling you she has no claim & I doubt the attorney would be so strong about that if not so–hang in there, you’re doing great!
Just wanted to update you all: they dismissed her case in court. They told her she had no legal rights to my kids. I still have to file to change my youngest child’s name and birth certificate. Now a whole new issue has started: she is trying to come back. She convinced me to get together Friday night for romance. I did miss her terribly. I hired a sitter and went. The next day, I took the kids to mcdonald’s and she met us there. The kids were estatic to see her. She was on her best behavior, saying she wanted God’s will for our family, that she wanted things to work out. She came over Sunday and went to the playground for a few hours. When she went to leave my 5yo became hysterical. I spent my whole weekend crying, I feel like MY abandonment issues were being triggered over and over. She said that if I can’t change and meet her halfway, I need to let her go. She can’t hurt like this again. Neither can I. I know she is still drinking, probably daily. At one point, she could admit she was an alcoholic, now she denies it. Says it just got out of hand.
My best friend says she is trying to manipulate her way back in. She knows there is no way she can see or have the kids unless I marry her or let her adopt them. The weekend she kept suggesting all these wonderful family activities. i would’ve given my right hand for even one of them 5 months ago before this happened. i would beg her to spend time with me, and she wouldn’t. She recited the past year and it is TOTALLY different that what I know to be true. It is like 2 differt versions! She went out and bought a new $17,000 truck, even though she was in alot of debt when she left. She is still supporting her family.
Writing all of this I think I am CRAZY for even talking to her. I feel crazy…one minute we are talking, then I am crying, then i am refusing her calls. Ugh.
I am so glad for you that the case was dismissed & not a bit surprised that your A contacted you & tried to return. Remember they use anger (filing a custody case against you to anger you) and they use anxiety & guilt (now she’s telling you that you need to change and changing history to make you feel guilty over ending it). Don’t make any decisions about your relationship until your mind gets off that “anger-anxiety-guilt wheel” she’s got you on now. Take all the time you need to make the best decision for you and your children when you calm down. I made too many rash decisions when he had me angered, upset or feeling guilty. But I’ve learned to “sleep on it” until my emotions calm down to even begin to decide what I want. ((HUGS TO YOU))
thank you so much for responding. I feel like this weekend has been such a set back for me. One week before court, when she was so confident she’d win, she told me there was no chance of her and I reconciling, that she was happy with her life without me in it. That we needed to be civil for the kids. I was upset, crying, and she basically ignored me. My feelings meant nothing. She was jovial in court, until they told her she lost. I bolted. Then the text messages started, how her heart was broken, how she lost her kids, how I stole them from her. After the night of sex, she knew I was hooked in. My insides were screaming from anxiety. That is why I decided to take some time. i am taking my kids on a cruise may 1-9. She has said she wants an answer by then. I told her i didn’t want contact until I come back. I doubt that will stick, on either of our ends. i also feel back for the kids. they are all young, less than 5yo. The coming and going, uncertainty is hard for them.
They can be so cruel sometimes. I can remember just walking in the door from work, 5 minutes late and being accused of everything & this sometimes would cause me to literally sink to my knees on the floor crying from the hurt he was inflicting while he stood there stone-faced with no empathy for what he just caused. I feel your pain–I have been there. I would like to tell you it will get better but I’ve been told by much wiser people than me that I needed to stand up, refuse this treatment, divorce & still it would take 3-5 years to recover. So, take that cruise, have fun with your kids, don’t think about it at all and your subconscious will do all your thinking for you & you’ll come back in a much better frame of mind–Have a Great Cruise!