It all started when...
It started one night when my husband at the time, was in a particularly hostile mood, and I finally called the police. I didn’t know that the deputies would restrain him and take him to jail. But, when I realized that someone was stepping in to protect my children and me, I also realized that this was my opportunity to get us safely away.
Calling the police changed my life, but not in the way most people would think. It led to a divorce at which time I became his target for blame and punishment--now from a distance. He knew me well enough that the key to destroying my life was to use our children as shields and weapons to drive me out of their lives.
I really didn’t think that he could turn my children against me. I certainly didn’t think that the mental health or legal systems would let him get away with it, if he actually tried.
I was wrong on both accounts. Aided by apathy and/or mistaken assumptions by the mental health and legal professionals, my ex-spouse destroyed the relationships I had with my children. It was easier than I thought for him to re-write their perception of me and suppress our secure attachment. He made them choose between their parents. they could only have and love only one, the other was disposable. The impact of the psychological trauma on both of my children and me was something I could have never imagined.
We spent almost 4 years in family court and 2 in criminal court. My ex-spouse illegally interfered with my 50% placement for years, sabotaged a dozen attempts for therapy, refused to payback the money that he took from the children's college fund. He was never held accountable and even violating injunctions against him I was told there was nothing anyone could do. Two psychologists and Child Protective Services found that my children were severely psychologically abused, but the court still gave him 50% placement, CPS wouldn’t open a case, and the local police told me that basically, it was my problem. I had over 100 people involved in my case and only the DA and the Criminal Court Judge did NOT say, “There is nothing we can do!”
I was tortured by what was happening to my children. They were innocent children and their father caused irreparable psychological damage by forcing them to choose to love only him, when he did not have the capacity to love them back. I lost most of the years that I could have been the best mom and given them what they needed and wanted; security, safety and love.
More than ten years after I made my first phone call to the police, my children are grown and still struggling. I grieve deeply for my losses and theirs. I fought the good fight for too long to let it end here. I realized that no one in America was going to help parents like me to protect our very own children from from their severely abusive other parent, so I started the National Alliance for Targeted Parents.