Corinne - posted on 07/31/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
I received this email in my inbox and thought there might be someone that could send this poor mom some advice/courage/hope/ anything? I blocked names out for her privacy. Its a read but if anyone can help in anyway, please do. If you want to remain anonymous, email me what you want posted and I will leave off your name!
"Friday I was ordered to hand my children over to their abuser by a Morgan County, Indiana judge although I did nothing wrong and was not found to be unfit. My lawyer says its unheard of. I'm ***** and my children are 5 years and 13 months. Their names are ***** and ***** who we call “*****.” My daughter loves to sing opera and put glitter nail polish on her toes. When she was seven months old, laying in my arms after finishing breastfeeding, my husband broke my nose because I asked him to stop yelling at me so I could put her to sleep. My son ***** can't walk yet, but he loves dogs and will call them by name. He will have to be weaned because I won't be able to breast feed him anymore. On Thursday, August 2 my children will be forced to leave their home in Kissimmee and taken 1000 miles away to Indianapolis, IN.
My husband physically abused and emotionally tortured me for eight years. I have proof of this and Judge ***** believes me.The judge stated in court that he "knew what sort of guy he is" and "this is a case of severe abuse." This didn't stop his ruling on Friday.
In November 2010 I fled to Orlando, Florida while pregnant with my son as my 6'6” husband continued to physically abuse me to the point that I almost lost my baby. My internal bleed was three times the size of my son when I was put on bed rest.
I followed all the rules. I tried to get my husband help. He was put on disability for organic brain syndrome and intermittent explosive disorder. We found out he had other severe mental issues which explained some of his abuse. But he was so unstable, he would threaten me over the phone until one horrible night I became so frightened that I had to file for a protective order at around six months pregnant. I was given my protective order, so my husband filed for divorce in our home state of Indiana, and even though I'm very poor, I traveled back and forth from Florida to Indiana in order complete the divorce. Because those are the rules and I followed them.
I was able to prove the abuse to me, but not the abuse to my daughter. Her black eye at five months was not an accident and there were other "not accidents" and flat out cruelty toward her. I had pictures, letters and my husband admitted a large portion of it, but stated it was my fault of course. This is all documented. The judge awarded me full physical and legal custody of my children in March. But he stated that I was fully responsible for all costs for them to visit their father four times a year. I borrowed money from a family member for the first visit, terrified because I knew what ***** (husband) was. When I picked up my daughter on the last day, I discovered bruises on her ribs, flank and legs. The legs looked like rough play but the rest didn't look right. My daughter told several stories about how she got hurt, but they were inconsistent. I took her to an ER and they put down suspected child abuse and called CPS. But since my frightened five year old wouldn't say he hurt her, they ruled unsubstantiated.
This is when things began to change. My daughter became self harming and I had to bring her to a new counselor for this. I wasn't able to afford the next visitation. My husband filed for full custody based on that. He then said I was mentally unstable, bringing no current evidence of this. He brought up a medical problem from when I was a teenager, over 15 years ago. He made up many things that didn't happen, bringing no evidence. I brought official records of my daughter's counseling, which had diagnosed her with PTSD. I brought notarized letters from my family which was admissible under Indiana law because of the domestic violence issue.The judge, annoyed that I didn't comply with his order (despite the fact that I was unable to due to finances & also made an unintentional error about child support) threw out all of my evidence. He ordered a summery judgment, not giving me a chance to testify about my daughter's PTSD. He didn't allow me to submit the custody evaluation I had obtained from an expert. I was told by my lawyer that my husband had not met his burden of proof for custody modification.
The judge stated immediately before court on Friday that if I didn't come to an agreement with my husband on custody, he would award it to a third party. The problem was that my husband was seeking full custody. You can't negotiate with an abuser. If I didn't agree to that, I would lose custody for absolutely no reason? This sound unbelievable, but this happened to us on Friday, July 27 in Morgan County Indiana. I've also been ordered to have a psych eval which I don't mind because I have no mental issues. But horribly, the judge also ordered me to reveal our address to my husband although it should have been protected. We are crime victims with an active protective order in Florida, and now he knows where we live.
Judge ***** removed my children who have never been cared for by anyone besides me to the custody of their grandmother *****. This is my husband's mother--whom he lives with. She works full time so during the day, he will be alone with them. The judge is aware of this. Despite his mental illness, disability and violent abuse, he will be caring for a baby boy who has never visited him overnight and a little girl whose PTSD from the abuse she witnessed and experienced BY HIM was dismissed. In addition, my mother in law blames me for my abuse and knew about it the entire time. She will never, ever put the children ahead of protecting her son.
This is how a devoted, stay at home mom lost custody to her abusive, mentally ill husband, even when abuse was proven and there was absolutely nothing to even hint that I'm unfit. I'm appealing of course. I'm filing motions frantically. But nothing can happen in time to save my children from being brought to Indiana. My son is still breastfeeding. My daughter is scared. I'm at a loss.
My only crime is being poor and being brave enough to leave my husband and stay away. Many moms can't stay away from men they love, but I did to protect my children. I am not unfit, there is no evidence to suggest it, but its completely proven that he IS unfit. I have full documentation. I have pictures of our injuries, psych evals, transcripts of depositions and motions. I am able to provide all of this to anyone who wishes to see it.
I made bad choices and found myself married to a monster. But all my children did was be born. It shouldn't hurt to be a child."