Please get your children into counseling right away. They ARE learning things from their dad and your kind and loving treatment--and counseling, individual for the kids (and you) AND family counseling sessions, with a professional therpaist---will be a very important part of maintaining your relationship with your kids.
And start now with a new mantra, "No one 'makes' you feel or do anything. It's a choice you yourself make." Learn how to explain that and follow up on it with your kids--not necessarily in relation to their dad right now, just in general. You'll probably be surprised to realize how often people say things like, "Well, s/he made me feel . . " The sooner your kids learn that they choose their emotions, the better. And assuming they are intellectually normal, they will eventually understand why their dad's words are so wrong. God bless & good luck.
I finally saw my kids again tonight after work. My husband had returned from his trip with our three kids, and was already at home along with a few of his family members. At first, only my 8-year-old son was glad to see me, while the others just stared at me in awkward silence. I was playing with my son, and asking him about his trip, when everyone else assembled in the family room and formed a semi-circle around me. All of them began accusing me of using my own kids to attack my husband because I wanted to "get him" before divorcing him. When I replied that I did not want a divorce, and that I had only filed for temporary legal separation, just like I had promised my kids, my 10-year-old daughter came up to me, called me a liar, and handed to me court documents on which the word "divorce" had been highlighted in yellow (I think this was a standard letter from her attorney). My eldest son then stated, "You dragged us all up here for your job, knowing that you were going to divorce Dad, and now that we've lived here the required 6 months, that's exactly what you're doing." (I didn't know about this law, and obviously this is not something my son discovered on his own.) Then things really got out of control, with everyone becoming very angry, especially my eldest son. I can’t even bear repeating the things he was saying. At one point my little daughter said, "Dad's on the side of God, and you're on the side of Satan." How can anyone teach a child such things? I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach. Then I looked over at my husband, who was just standing there with his arms folded, and he was actually smiling. As long as I live on this earth, I will never forget that smile. Finally he said to me, and these were his exact words: "You brought this upon yourself when you tried to take these kids away from their father." I couldn't even process what was happening--it was completely overwhelming. All I could do was run out of the house. I’m staying with a friend tonight.
I don't think think I'll be posting for a while. I definitely appreciate everyone’s advice, but I feel like my story is just becoming too crazy, with no end in sight. I don't want to overextend the good graces of everyone who has spent time responding. My lawyer is petitioning the court for a guardian ad litem and for a forensic psychologist. Hopefully they will be able to help. Most of all I believe God is ultimately in control. Thanks everybody.
I read all your posts and it really seems like you have a fight on your hands at this time.
This is the time for you to be strong, calculated and decisive in your actions. Your children are at the age where they will believe whatever they are told. It is not their fault what they are telling you neither do they mean it. They are being heavily influenced and do not know any better.
A wise person on your husband's side would have left your children out of this conflict. An even wiser person would have made the effort to look at things from your perspective as well.
However it seems clear that you do not have that luxury. They may portray themselves as Christian but they treat this situation like a fight and they hold nothing holy when it comes to fighting it.
My dear, this is not the time for you to give in to the pain. You as a woman are stronger than you think. Focus on your kids, they need your help now and they need you to be strong for them.
Focus on your husband, he needs your help too. He likely has psychological problems and he needs to hit rock bottom before he will concede to treatment.
I strongly suggest you be wiser and better than your husband and his family seem to be. Refrain from doing anything illegal or immoral, however aside from that:
Set aside your grief for later. Now you need to get the kids and yourself separated from your husband and his family by whatever legal means necessary. Plan your actions carefully, calmly and deliberately. Enlist the help of anyone you can call on.
Make no mistake this is the defining conflict in your life and you need to rise above it and conquer it.
Once things are in your control, once the kids are with you and away from him, then is the time to discuss him getting help. I strongly advise that he is to be allowed back in the family only with the accord of two psychiatrists, one who treats him and one for a second opinion chosen by you or someone you trust.
Reason being that your children are suffering through turmoil that risks affecting them deeply for their future adult lives. They need a balanced environment and you need to be strong and take steps to provide that.
If for example you are within your legal rights to take the kids and go somewhere do so. Do not let yourself be swayed by emotions or what they tell you, remember they are being influenced and it is your duty as their parent to protect them.
Any step, any option including divorce needs to be analyzed in order to gain control over the situation. Focus your mind and block the fear and the pain, get good legal advice and once the plan is made act decisively and unwaveringly. Nothing is stronger in human interactions than a woman acting for her children. Tap into that power.
I strongly suggest you break off talks with him and his family. You just act, you do not talk.
There is no winning a situation where you are surrounded by his angry family, you need to be strategically smart like that and not allow yourself into these kinds of situations.
You talk to who you want to talk and about what you want to talk. Choose your words and actions carefully and remove the chances they have and will use fully to hurt you.
Do not read their sms, mail or even legal documents. Your lawyer is very good for that.
You need your focus to gain control of your situation not to sustain the pain they will inflict on you if given the chance.
Watch out, they will use your children to communicate. When you speak to them control the conversation do not allow your children to transmit messages for them or to accuse you. Simply say words along the lines of "mommy does not want to talk about that right now, I will talk to daddy about this later, what did you have for dinner honey?"
After the previous episode I contacted my lawyer, who stressed the importance of staying in the marital home, and so the next day, after work, I returned. Nobody was home, and when I tried to use my key to get in the door, I found that the locks had been changed! How could he be allowed to do that?! I saw my lawyer again the next day, who again stressed the importance of staying in the marital home. He told me that I had just as much right to be in the home as my husband, and that legally I had the right to break a window to get in if I needed to. But, he advised me that should I decide to do such a thing, I should call the police first. At this point I felt numb. I couldn't think straight. How could my kids--who just a week ago, were so affectionate toward me, and who would never let a night go by without me tucking them in--how could they be turned so completely against me? All I could think about is that I need to be around my kids, so they can see that I'm the person I've always been, and that the things being said about me were untrue.
That evening I called the police dispatcher, explained the situation, and requested that an officer be present at my home because I planned on breaking a window to gain entry. The dispatcher replied that an officer could not be present for liability reasons, since property was going to be damaged, but advised me, "If it is your home and you have a legal right to entry, you do what you have to do." "What if things get out-of-control?" "You can call us then." At this point I should have stopped, and thought things through further, but like I said, I still wasn't thinking straight. I went to the home, broke a back window, and entered. I didn't know it at the time, but my husband was upstairs, locked in a room with our kids. I was only walking around downstairs for a minute or two, when two police cars showed up at our home--apparently called by my husband. I came outside to meet them, and they actually started to arrest me! After a half-hour of confusion, with my husband shouting things out the door, suggesting that I'm a danger to our children, the police eventually called the dispatcher and confirmed my story. They also went inside and talked to my kids, who, according to the police, were deathly afraid of me and saying that I was coming to kidnap them! What?! Finally the police said to me, "Look, you have a right to be in your home, but we're letting your husband leave with the kids." And in five minutes, they were all gone.
Beth, like Complexity, I found your update painful to read. I am so sorry you are having to suffer through this. I cannot say that I am surprised, however. If your H is a BPDer, he can be expected to be very vindictive and mean. As I said earlier, my exW had me arrested and then made such awful allegations to my five step children that none of them spoke to me for two years. One has since reunited with me but the other four will never do so.
I don't understand what you were doing when you broke the window. I understand about the legal rights part, but what were you actually trying to do? What did you hope to have happen differently?
Was she going to camp out on the lawn? It was clear by her H changing the locks that he wasn't planning to let her back in. And it was stressed by her attorney that she needs to stay in the marital home. If she wilfully leaves the marital home, she has a greater chance of losing primary custody of the children.
What an awful situation Beth. I sure hope the courts can see right through this whole situation. Does he have anything that he can use against you, proof of any kind of neglect, abuse, etc.? In other words, have you been a good mother, and he has nothing solid to dispute that? Posted via Mobile Device
It was stupid of me. Stupid. My lawyer told me it could take 1-2 months for parenting orders from the magistrate, and I could not bear to be shut out of my children's lives until then. I just wanted to be with them, so they could see I'm the same mom who's always loved them. It was bad advice from my lawyer, but ultimately it was my bad decision.
By the way, I have no skeletons in the closet. I've never abused anyone, and I have never before been accused of abuse. Even when my spouse would occasionally strike me, I never struck back. Not once. I have no drug or alcohol problems. No mental health history. No medications. I have no criminal record whatsoever. I come from a stable, loving family. I have a spotless job record.
I've found out that my husband is telling other people it is my intent to "kidnap our kids and take them to a different country." He has told our friends that I'm "emotionally abusive," and has even accused me of having an affair with someone at work (untrue). Previously mutual friends at church have cut off contact with me. He actually has "prayer chains" going on on his behalf.
So has anyone actually filed for divorce? I was under the impression that they can have an emergency temporary order when the parents are not being civil? Where are you going to stay? In the marital home, has he taken them elsewhere to live until then? I don't understand.. Posted via Mobile Device
There is actually more going on, but I have to be careful discussing it right now. After the broken window incident my husband filed a restraining order against me, which was granted on a temporary basis. I have to appear in court on Monday to defend my actions, and the judge is going to decide whether or not to uphold the restraining order. My lawyer tells me not to be discouraged. He told me that once the judge hears all of the facts the protective order will likely be dismissed, and we can appeal for emergency temporary parenting orders, just like you mentioned. He said all this may be a blessing in disguise, though this seems overly optimistic to me. However, there is some additional evidence against my husband, which I cannot discuss at this point, but which gives me some hope.