How to leave with limited cash?

Kat - posted on 03/06/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have been married 4 years. We have raised our blended family together since the children were all very young. Mine are now 7 and 9. My youngest is a special needs child with ADHD and bipolar disorders. My husband has had 3 incidences over the last 4 years where he has left marks on my youngest that lasted anywhere from 3-7 days. After the first two incidences I very sternly stated that it would not happen again. After the third incidence less than 3 months ago, my children and I left for 36 hours. He promised to stop being so angry and disciplining too harshly and things were great for about a month. But lately he's been getting increasingly worse and worse yet he denies it and blames it on her if there is a mark left, even if I witnessed it. I really feel like I need to leave him so this can stop happening to my child, but my oldest is incredibly attached to him AND probably the biggest issue is the lack of money. I simply don't make enough money to afford a place to live, car to drive, and after school care. Even if we moved to a bad side of town and even if I put the children in a daycare that I would never let them step foot in. Is there a way out (without going through the battered womens and children's shelter) with limited cash? Or is there anyone who has advice on how to make him stop being so angry?

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Iridescent - posted on 03/06/2010

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You can't change him. Try to look for a good roommate since a shelter isn't something ideal, and you can combine income for rent and utilities. If they also have children you could swap child care. Even looking for ads in the paper and on Craigs List and such might help.

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Brandy - posted on 03/14/2013

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If an abusive man involves himself in child discipline, he has rigid expectations, low empathy and an angry style of "power-assertive" (i.e. verbal and physical force) punishment. Discipline is a quick fix to an immediate problem, not a thoughtful strategy based upon reasonable and age-appropriate expectations. He may see himself as a superior parent and not listen to input from his partner. He may swing between authoritarian and permissive, even neglectful, parenting.
"He expects them to be perfect, like adults, but they are just kids who need to run and play."

"Most times he just ignores the kids but if he had a bad day, he explodes at them for no reason."

the more frequently a man abuses his partner, the more likely he will maltreat the children

children can be injured when mothers are assaulted (e.g., babes in arms)
the emotional abuse that virtually always accompanies physical violence will have a profoundly negative effect on children
children face enormous barriers to disclosing abuse or maltreatment in their homes..... You need to get out ASAP! Stop making excuses( only happen on three occasions??!!!) understand this..no child deserves being abuse and you as there mother is responsible for there well being. I don't care what you've to do to leave do it!! What happens when he's having another bad day??!! Stop making excuses for this man... Protect your children and LEAVE. He will repeat the pattern again causing permanent damage or even death let's all pray it doesn't come to this. GET OUT ASAP!!! Your children needs unconditional love not Excuses.

L.A. - posted on 05/10/2010

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Shelters I know appear to be something no one wants to do but you will find that by going to one unlimited resources that can help you that you will not be able to find without. Staying, they help with Attorneys for divorce, child support, restraining orders as well as other things provided only to those in shelter that you have to pay for out of pocket if not in one. It's all a part of the program. Shelter also provides other programs that help with inexpensive housing, programs that help pay for some of the rental costs, they even help you move and some give house allowance for moving or to obtain things like cooking utensils, furnishings etc. after shelter if you have been forced to leave all that behind. Don't knock shelter. There is a reason they are established & funded to help women in abusive situations. This my friend is abuse and you don't need that. Staying in an abusive relationship can also cause you to have your children taken away from you. You don't want that. Here is a site I suggest you check out as well as a link to my blog on Domestic Violence. http://www.couragenetwork.com/magazine/r... for blog or if that doesn't open check out Courage network here on FB: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Ne...
As well as their site with very helpful information: http://www.couragenetwork.com/

Taheena - posted on 03/11/2010

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here is my lil adivce... this has happened before.. and if u have pictures of the incidents right after it has happened and says the time and date and u report it right away to police he will be taken out of the home and a protective order will be put against him.. but thats ur call to do this... a protective order lasts about 2 yrs.. and they immediatly process it.. but i will pray... i know what u are going through... god bless

Katherine - posted on 03/11/2010

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Kat!!!!! You will be ok. You have taken the correct steps. Check to see if there is a First Step around you, they are great. I know it's scary and you're stressed, but you are going to survive this :)

Valerie - posted on 03/11/2010

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They won't take your children from you! Because you reported the abuse. They will probably make your husband leave the home, until he receives counseling and gets his anger under control. You made the right choice, and Child Protection Services are there to protect your children and you! It will be O.K.....
There are programs available through the office of social services that can help with food, shelter and daycare. Be brave and protect those children at all costs!!

Valerie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Contact your local child welfare office and report the abuse. They will make him leave the home or receive counseling. If they make him leave, they will require him to pay child support for the children. Your children could be in grave danger. Get help now!!! Your husband needs therapy and the only way he will receive it is if you report it to the proper authorities.

Kat - posted on 03/11/2010

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All of you ladies are so incredibly nice. I really appreciate all the positive responses and recommendations and words of encouragement that I have received!



Unfortunately I am not sure how things will go from here. I called a counselor today to set up an appt and the social worker who answers the phones needed to interview me first to determine which counselor would be best for me to work with. We spoke for about 20 minutes until she had asked all her questions and I was ready to set up an appt. However, she said that since I am currently in professional counseling elsewhere I cannot see another counselor with them! After that she told me she would be calling CPS because of the information I gave her. I was absolutely mortified. I had no idea that by this woman asking me "interview questions" she really was trying to get all the info possible to call CPS. After I hung up I felt sick to my stomach, dizzy, and couldn't concentrate for the remainder of the day at work. This is NOT what I wanted. I wanted advice on a temporary place to take us and give my husband a chance, with us out of the house, to get his anger under control and perhaps eventually try again if he showed true changes. Otherwise, the temporary place to stay could become permanent. But CPS?? They'll take my children from me!! They'll say that I am to blame because I didn't leave already and I'm an accessory, etc, etc, etc! And I am terrified of what he is going to say and do once he finds out that CPS has been called. I'm assuming that they will come to our house tomorrow sometime although they could come anywhere at anytime.



I feel scared, sick, worried, and betrayed by that woman I spoke with on the phone.



Thank you again to all of you wonderful ladies. Thank you, Jessica & Jen, for the vote of confidence in me being a strong woman. Right now my strength is being tested to the limit.

Jessica - posted on 03/11/2010

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I'm in complete agreement with Jenn Morris on this. You ARE strong enough and you CAN do it. Shelters are there to help you and keep you safe. In addition to counseling, safety, etc. you will see other women who are in similar, if not worse, situations as you are. There is a comfort to know that you are not alone. For your sake and your childrens, I pray you choose you and the kids over an abusive husband. My prayers are with you sweetie, you WILL get through this.

Jenn - posted on 03/11/2010

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I don't think you need to have marks on you to go to a shelter. If you are afraid to go there because of the stigma of a shelter - get it out of your head. They are not gross, dirty places, where dishevilled looking women go - they are a stepping stone for women and children to get to a stable, safe place in their life. I won't tell you what to do, because in the end only you can make that decision, but I think you already know what you have to do, otherwise you wouldn't have even asked the question. You just need to realize that you ARE strong enough, and that you CAN do it! Best of luck to you.

Amy - posted on 03/11/2010

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Chances are you will never make him "stop being so angry". You have to decide on your own what is the best thing for you and your childrens well being. It is a very hard decision to make...I truly understand! My prayers go out to you....

[deleted account]

hey Kat, You have a big thing going on in your life right now... I really don't want to push you one way or the other just wanted to make sure you have all the info so you knew all options. Your reasoning sounds fair.. I would imagine that that your course of action hasn't been taken lightly... Good on you for looking at a counselor and I'm sure more ideas will come from there... Good Luck Kat. I feel for you and the situation you are in and I wish you the best

Kat - posted on 03/10/2010

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Thank you, Katherine, for those links. I have saved the number for the domestive violence hotline. I appreciate you listing that link for me.



I understand that I am being encouraged to leave. Now. Trust me, I would love to do so and I feel like I am doing my child a diservice by not doing so. However, it just isn't as simple as walking out the door and not looking back! For now I am trying to diffuse any situations that could arise before they turn into something bigger. I do have limited income but I do not qualify for governmental aid, either. I'm in that bracket that makes too much for government help but can't afford to live on my own. I also don't have a single friend currently so I don't have anybody I could go stay with. I understand some people might doubt the validity of that last statement but it is an absolute honest truth.



Regarding shelters, I am avoiding the shelters because as I stated, he does not abuse her on a regular basis so I could go at any time with bruises etc on her. He has only hurt her to that point on 3 occasions, and I understand that some people might believe that it puts me at fault as well for not taking us to the shelter on one of those occasions, and they are correct. I wish I had left then, but there's nothing I can do about it now. Since there are not any marks right now, there would be no reason for a shelter to even consider accepting us.



I really don't want to sound like I'm making excuses. I'm really not trying to. I just feel so hopeless right now because I feel like I'm being a horrible mother by not leaving, but at the same time I'm not sure where/how to go? It's not exactly an option to live on the streets. I did get to speak with my mom, however, and she encouraged me on a professional counselor she knows to speak to. I will be giving the counselor a call tomorrow to schedule an appt. My mom does not live close, so that would be a last option to stay with her because I would have to quit my job where I have excellent medical benefits which are very necessary to afford my daughter's medications.



In the meantime...my husband is just not being left alone, even for me to go the bathroom, with the children. It has gone on too long and I won't allow him to hurt her anymore while I continue trying to find our new home.

Tah - posted on 03/08/2010

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these are things you may not want to do, but there are always things we don't want to do, but your child needs you to put what you dont want to do on a back burner and do what needs to be done, even if it means a shelter, a job and daycare..far better than a broken child, physically and mentally.....and the others see it and it affects them also...get out...now...

Ashley - posted on 03/08/2010

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Kat, you need to move forward for your children's mental health and your own mental health. The sooner you leave the sooner you can begin to heal. The children will go through alot and its up to you to make that transition happen quickly as possible. I would go through a domestic shelter because they have so many resources especailly if you don't have family to friends to turn to. Your husband needs to find his own way and no one can make him do that only he can. Some will some will not---your focus should be your children and their safety.
Ashley

Gwen - posted on 03/08/2010

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Also, if there is abuse taking place and you allow it to continue, you can be arrested for child endangering.



I read one of your posts and it made me sad. Asking for help is not LOWERING yourself. Don't believe that for ONE MINUTE!! Getting help and getting out is the most courageous and empowering thing you could ever do for your family!

Gwen - posted on 03/08/2010

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Check w/ your local social services agencies. Women's shelters can also provide much more than "shelter." Many can also assist with restraining orders, obtaining discounted legal services, etc. They have great networks that can connect you with many important resources...even if you don't STAY at the shelter. I'd start there first.

Julia - posted on 03/08/2010

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Kat,
Ok I am probably going to get slammed for this, but I will say first off I DO NOT AGREE WITH ABUSE OF ANY SORT. However have you ever thought of making him go to counseling? You have said that it is very few and far between, to me it seems like he would be one of the few that would benefit from counseling. Tell him before it happens again that if he doesn't agree to it you will leave PERIOD! Your child is your first priority.

Also if it happens again call the police, because if he leaves marks that means it is DOMESTIC ABUSE...you should know this. Maybe an arrest for it will put the boot in his ass to show him what he is actually doing.

Now Carla had some good ideas with government assistance. I know most states that have subsidized child care...which means you pay what you can afford and the gov pays the rest. My mother in law did this in her home for someone before...she only got paid $25 a week for 2 kids that she kept for 5, 12 hour days. You could also look into subsidized housing. I actually own a single family home in Ohio that I have on section 8 housing. It is a nice home in a good neighborhood just wanted to help out my tenant who has been living there for 2 years has helped us both out. I say all of that just because it's section 8 doesn't mean you will have to live in the projects.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

[deleted account]

Hi Kat... Have you looked into what assistance the gov can offer you in terms of accomadation.... child care... they may be able guide you to some other areas of help apart from going to the shelters.. if you are aware of what the gov can offer you so you can get a good idea of what you will have to work with.. Good Luck Kat.

Tracy - posted on 03/07/2010

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Go to a shelter, find a roommate, ask your family for help, do SOMETHING. I was the kid the step parent beat, and I can tell you it only gets worse. It took me years and hours of therapy to learn to forgive my father for allowing it to continue, even now 20+ years later it's something that will bother me. He did eventually get me out. But not before severe damage was done. I won't bother you with details, but even my therapist I went to to help me through my divorce was shocked I survived my childhood and teen years.

You HAVE to go, for your kids' sake.

Kate CP - posted on 03/07/2010

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Good for you, Kat. I wish you the best of luck for you and your kiddos. I can only imagine how hard this is for you guys. May God be with you on your journey. *hugs*

Katherine - posted on 03/07/2010

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He needs to be removed from the home. NOW. It's not your job to stop him from being angry. Where do you live?

Kat - posted on 03/07/2010

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Thank you ladies for your recommendations and support. I did look online today through Craigslist ads and agree with Lori that Craigslist is probably not the best idea on where to look. I'll have to keep looking but quietly so my husband doesn't catch on. Like I said, I have left before...for a day or two, but he always manages to talk me into coming home because he'll "change" and be better. I need to do this quietly so as not to raise any suspicions. I think I'm on the right path, however. I finally did lower myself enough to go to my mom and ask her for help finding a place and she said we will meet this week.

I truly appreciate everything every one of you ladies had to say to encourage me and the ideas posted. And yes, it is more difficult when it only happens 3 times in 4 years because you want to believe that it was an accident or she moved wrong when being disciplined or anger slipped out of control just for a second and it will never happen again. It's difficult to admit that he does have a problem and it's time to leave but I know that now is the time.

Thanks again ladies.

Joanne - posted on 03/07/2010

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Please contact an woman's abuse center. They will help you. Abuse is abuse. I grew up with this and bear the scars to this day. No not physical scars but emotional and spiritual scars. Sitting here my heart is racing, terrified, for your children and you. I am praying for you.

Lori - posted on 03/07/2010

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Okay - some advice was a little rough.... I think we can ALL understand not wanting to live in a shelter and living on the streets is not an option either. If you look for a roomate do not use Craigs List to do so. Perhaps you should seek some council BEFORE you make any decision(s). Go to your church, the social worker at your childs school, Catholic Charities, etc.etc. Find out your options and in the meantime stockpile your monies.Your child is fragile to begin with adding the abuse from your husband isnt going to make her cope with her disabilities any better. You know what is right and what is wrong otherwise you wouldnt be asking for opionions. You need to talk with a professional. I hope things work out for you ... Best of luck...

Krista - posted on 03/06/2010

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Anyway, I'm not going to harp on you about this. But please just think about what we've all been saying. I hope you make the right decision for you and for your children.

Rebecca - posted on 03/06/2010

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Shelters can really help you get back on your feet. A friend of mine left her husband for the same reason and she said it was the best thing that ever happened to her. Saved her life and her daughters. Why would you allow money to rule if you and your kids were safe. I would live on the street before my kids would be beaten. My husband spanked our son once and he got an earful that night when the kids were in bed. He agreed to do time outs like i was doing and that's that. No if's and's or but's.
If you are totally against shelters try to find a roommate who will live with you and your 2 kids...remember the size of the place you will then need will be gigantic and expensive still...i highly suggest a shelter until you can get your feet planted on the ground and you can get some governemtn grants to help with childcare and health benefits.
Good luck.

Krista - posted on 03/06/2010

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That does make it more confusing. Things are sometimes easier when they're cut-and-dry, aren't they?

But, think of it this way. You've only been married for four years. He's done this three times already, and it's getting worse and worse, and most telling of all, he's DENYING it and blaming your 7-year old child.

He's not taking any responsibility for this, is he? I mean, yes, special needs kids can be very challenging, and very frustrating. But as adults, we are supposed to know better and control ourselves. And if, heaven forbid, we do lose control, we take full responsibility for it and take steps to be able to manage our anger/frustration more productively.

I'll ask you this: I'm sure your daughter has frustrated the hell out of you, right? Have you ever hit her hard enough to leave a mark that lasts a week? I'm guessing not, because you are a responsible enough adult to know when you need to walk away for a moment and collect yourself.

The very first time he lost control with her, he should have been looking into family therapy or anger management classes. But he hasn't. All he's done is make promises. And it's a cliché, but talk really IS cheap. Promises don't mean jack-s**t if he's not taking any measurable actions to ENSURE that he doesn't do this again. And if he's trying to shunt off responsibility for HIS actions onto a 7-year old girl? His promises aren't worth a dime, if he's low enough to do that.

I'm sorry. I know it's tough. But think about your little girl, and how scared she must be. She's old enough now that she'll remember those incidents, and it could seriously affect her for the rest of her life. Abused children often grow up to marry abusers. Is that what you want for her? If you stay, and this keeps happening, even if it's "only" once a year, it'll really damage her.

Kate CP - posted on 03/06/2010

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But you recognize the pattern and you know what will happen next: he won't change, it'll get worse, and you'll feel even MORE guilty. You're moving in the right direction but I think you need to move faster.

Kat - posted on 03/06/2010

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No, you are absolutely correct. And you have no idea how much guilt I live with every day. My first husband was extremely abusive. I have such an incredible amount of guilt for staying with him as long as I did. I just never thought this kind of crap could happen to us twice. The difference between them is that my first husband abused the children every day or nearly every day. My current husband has left marks 3 times in 4 years. It's more confusing when it is this infrequent and he seems so sorry and says he'll change.

Krista - posted on 03/06/2010

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I understand what you're saying, Kat. But my worry is this: he has obviously shown that he's not able to keep himself under control when disciplining your child, despite his promises to the contrary.



Are you waiting until he DOES cause serious long-term damage? Until he breaks an arm, or gives your kid a concussion? Or kills her? Don't fool yourself into thinking it can't happen. He's obviously not able to control himself, so who's to say that someday he won't take things that far?



Your child isn't being "treated unfairly" hon. She's being abused, and you're standing by and letting it happen.



Marks that last from 3-7 days ARE serious, long-term damage. If your husband was hurting only you, then it would be your decision as to how much you can put up with. But your job as a mother is to protect your kids. And it's not fair of you to basically be saying to your child, "Well, I know Daddy really hurts you, but there's really no rush to leave just yet -- we'll wait until he breaks your arm, okay? Just hang in there, kiddo."

Kate CP - posted on 03/06/2010

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You don't think longterm damage is being done? Your children are being beaten. That leaves emotional scars.

Kat - posted on 03/06/2010

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Thank you for the suggestion. I'm going to start looking around and doing research to find a good roommate I could trust around my children.

Shelters are great for people who are in serious need of them. If I felt like serious long-term damage was being caused that needed us out of the house immediately then I would go there. But right now there's nothing that a bandaid or ice can't solve temporarily. I've been waiting for him to change and he keeps promising he'll do better but I don't think I have any more chances to give when my child is being treated unfairly.

Krista - posted on 03/06/2010

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A roommate is a good idea.

Why are you opposed to shelters? They're not an ideal situation, but they're still a heck of a lot better than having your husband whaling on your special needs child, aren't they?

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