I have been so incredibly sad the past few days. The 2nd portion of my trial looms near. Supposed to have a 3 hour hearing in 4 weeks to finish the trial that began in December 2013. Also at this 3 hour hearing we are supposed to squeeze in the contempt hearing that I have been begging lawyers to do for 20 months now that they never did. A total of about $17,000 in lawyer fees so far and still NO contempt hearing in almost 2 years.
We are also supposed to “finish” my cross examination from a motion to vacate hearing that I tried to have a year ago in July 2013 (my ex got to speak first as always but I never did – between him and the Judge we always run out of time and I never get the chance to state my side). That hearing was never completed. AND, we are also supposed to try and squeeze in yet another motion that never got heard from November 2013. Another motion to vacate the original “illegal” temporary order from September 2012 – an order which violated all Florida case law. Based on nothing more than finances. Sadly, by then it was a moot point because my ex-husband had succeeded in severely alienating me to the point that my daughter was suddenly saying that she wanted to live with him the “majority” of the time and that she and I had an argument at our last visit and so now she did not want to stay over night with me anymore. At least for now. So I have now been further punished by having “public visits” with her since November 2013. Public visits with a child who is so alienated from me after two years that she does not even view me as a parent anymore. Let’s call it what it is. Parental Alienation is child abuse, bullying and a form of domestic violence.
But yet parents that are involved with child protective services who are alcoholics, drug addicts and who beat their children still HAVE their children. PLUS we are also supposed to have the trial itself at this upcoming 3 hour hearing. Yes, of course this is ridiculous and will never happen. I told my lawyer this many times. That it will never be enough time to properly hear everything and that everything should not be shoved into one final hearing. Not fair to me or my child. But, the lawyers do not care because it is all about the money. It will never be enough time to get all of my testimony and evidence out. But, I am not surprised. Every hearing up until now has been my ex-husbands. He has always been the one to talk and talk while I am forced to sit silent. I thought one day my day would come. I believed in the “system”. Now I realize that in family court, that is not the case. At this final hearing in June, I will have no lawyer. Mine quit because I can’t come up with another $4,000. I have already paid her $10,000 and I am worse off now than I was before I hired her. All I asked of her when I hired her 14 months ago was to do a motion of contempt for me so that my ex-husband could be held accountable and that this parental alienation and emotional abuse of my daughter would stop. She did the motion but never followed through with scheduling a hearing for it. So my worst fears came true. The alienation got worse over time. Chipping away at our once very close and loving mother daughter relationship. Remember, this is a child that I raised alone from birth until almost age 12. With no help from the ex-husband. He was single then and did not care. He did not want the responsibility. Over time, the alienation really began to take its toll. My daughter began rejecting me as she saw that if she did not love me and if she ignored me then she was rewarded for that by being treated much better by her father and her brand new step-mother who she was “temporarily” living with.
Temporary order going on 2 years now. During this time I have quit a perfectly good job to move to the city that my daughter is now living in, broke two apartment leases causing thousands of dollars in debt, taken out a car loan on my previously paid off car to pay moving expenses and more lawyer fees, had to relocate for a 3rd time due to not being able to find a new job in the new city. Now I am far away from my daughter, living with a friend in another state, in debt up to my ears and still looking for a job. I know I will lose in June by default because I am broke, I had to move away and I have no lawyer. This makes me very sad. Family court decisions should not be based on finances and who has the most money. Before all this, I had ZERO debt. Now I am looking at probably having to file bankruptcy. A child should not be separated from the mother who raised her for the first 12 years of her life due to being poor and broke – in large part due to the family court system. I feel so beat down. I trusted the system and how wrong I was. I knew my ex-husband would be treated well because he is a police officer. But, I guess deep down, I thought that common sense, logic, a 12 year mother daughter bond and the actual laws of Florida would have to be followed. I trusted that I would have “my day” in court where I would be able to speak as my ex-husband has been allowed to do, that I would be able to bring up all of my concerns and all of the horrible things that my ex-husband has done but that day never came for me. $17,000 and it never came.
I sit here lost and confused. I paid the lawyers every dime I had and also what I didn’t, I moved, I gave up a job, I took out loans, I broke leases. I did everything asked of me and then some to try and get my baby girl home where she belongs and I got nowhere. In fact, I am worse off now than I was before. I now have “public” visits with a child I raised alone from birth – visits which my ex-husband rarely let me have. Everything has been totally turned around on me to the point I feel like I am living in the “Twilight Zone”. The abuser now points his finger at me and calls ME the abuser. ME?! I now live away from my only child and rarely get to speak to her. She is more distanced from me every day that goes by. Something I begged my lawyers for almost two years to help me stop and no-one cared. I could not afford the high powered lawyers like my ex-husband so I guess I got what I paid for. How sad that in the United States of America, in 2014, the parent that gets to be in the child’s life is the one who can “afford” to fight the legal battle the longest.
My child is now being raised by a brand new step-mother who could care less about her. Her father – the one who kidnapped her out of school – does not raise her. He works too much at his Vice and Narcotics Job. He pawns her off on the new step-mother. And, the new step-mother pawns her off to raise their “new” baby. Yes, that is what this whole thing is about. My ex-husband got this woman he knew for 5 months pregnant and had to marry her. Neither one of them liked the $870 per month child support that was going to me. Now that he had a new wife, he could take our daughter. And who cares if it disrupted all our lives? It is all about HIM and what he wants. The narcissist. Always has been. Always will be.
Our daughter now spends her time raising their new baby instead of being a 13 year old. Her education has suffered. I have been kept off of all educational records until recently. I went from being PTA President, Girl Scout Volunteer and Home Room Mom to nothing – overnight – thanks to the alienation tactics of my ex-husband and his new wife. Yes, she has been very over-involved, interfering and downright proactive in alienating me as well. Almost moreso than him at times. I used to be super involved in my daughter’s school and activities. The step-mother is now listed as the mother on MY daughter’s education records and they will not change it even though I have sent them my Drivers License, a notarized letter and a copy of her birth certificate showing me as the mother. I can’t get it changed because of school policy. Only the father who enrolled her can make changes to the school records. And, he lists the step-mother as the mother. The school, in essence, enables the alienator to continue the alienating behaviors. I told the school social worker and she told me not to “worry” about it because it is not as if our daughter “sees” the school records and knows who is listed as the mother. I think she missed the point. It truly amazes me at how uneducated, unaware and ignorant schools, counselors, therapists, lawyers, professionals, Judges and the public in general are when it comes to Parental Alienation. Parental Alienation is “enabled psychological child abuse”.
SO, my questions is, how do I move on when I don’t want too? I don’t want to move on without my daughter. My only child. I go through the motions every day but I can’t be happy. I may have a good moment here and there but it always comes back to the same thing – I miss my daughter and I don’t know how to live this way. I don’t know how to live without her. Before, I always had hope that the court would eventually do the right thing and this whole nightmare would end. Now, I don’t hold out that hope anymore. So, I am really scared. And, I am really sad. I am lost. I just want my daughter back home where she belongs – with her mother. With ME. I want this so badly. I miss our life together.
I have already missed the last 2 years of her life thanks to this illegal “temporary” court order which violates all Florida case law. A decision that was made by a BIASED Judge who had already been in the news for treating women domestic violence victims like garbage in court. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/i-team-investigates/domestic-violence-experts-question-comments-made-by-tampa-judge
A decision that was made solely because my ex-husband was financially better off than I was and I was struggling financially. A Judge who has shown extreme bias and favoritism to my ex-husband because he is a POLICE OFFICER. The Judge did not care about his abuse. All the Judge cared about was my bank account. That does not determine who is the better parent. I was the parent that stuck around. That raised our child. That put in the blood, sweat and tears. Then I got punished for being the broke, struggling single mom. I feel so cheated.
All I can do is cry and literally pray for the pain to go away. But it never does. How do I go on when I don’t want too? How? I don’t know how I will ever be happy again. Unlike my ex-husband, and his new wife, I am not in this fight for the “money” or to “win” or to “get back” at anyone. Unlike my ex-husband, I was also not in this fight to have a “do-over” or to get a “second chance” to be a parent when I CHOSE to never be there for the first 12 years. Because I WAS there. I DID sacrifice everything to be there for my daughter and to be a full time parent. So, I don’t need a do-over. I was ONLY in this fight because of the “love”. The love that I have for my daughter. Therefore, this hurts me on a different level and they know that. It is downright cruel. It is cruel to our daughter to deny her her only mother. A mother who raised her. For me it is not about money, child support, getting revenge, getting a do-over when I was never there before because NOW I am ready to be a parent. It hurts me on a different level. It shreds my heart and soul. I have had to learn to live half-alive.
How do I move on when I don’t want too? I am not ready to give up on my daughter. I am not ready to quit fighting. But in my heart and soul, in my wallet, I know the fight is over. I know I have lost in the “family court” system. It hurts me so much. I feel like I really let my daughter down. I feel like such a failure because I could not afford a high powered lawyer to fight for us. I tried my best and my best was not good enough. I tried to play by the “family court” rules and lost. I miss my daughter and the pain is unbearable. I don’t want to move on without my beautiful daughter. I love her so much. I miss her. My heart hurts.