Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Custody Situation

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  • This topic has 10 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Phoebe.
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  • #1099417 Reply

    Custody and Morality

    Let me start off by saying I am in a very difficult situation and need help with some clarity and different perspectives.
    September of 2016 I gave birth to my son.
    The Father of my son was not an ideal partner and mentally abused me (sometimes physically). He is a narcissist (I know people throw that term around) he truly is.
    In May of this year I had a pretty rough night and ended up getting choked and slammed down a wall IN FRONT of my (at that time) 4 year old son. I made the decision that night that I couldn’t take anymore, and so I called my mom and said I was finally ready to leave. I was in Texas at this point, but the ONLY family I had there was my mother and my son of course. I am originally from Florida and all of my family and support system is in FL. So, naturally I took my son where I knew that I would have the most support. In less than 24 hours I was in Florida and my sons father was in Jail. Eventually he got out of jail after about 2 days and was absolutely livid that I left him.

    I got my life together and began to heal and was actually able to be a better and happier mom to my son. I started with absolutely nothing, but worked my way up to getting a job, a car, and a stable home with my Grandfather and I enrolled my son in School. We were doing great. He talked to his Dad on the phone everyday, but I tried my best to limit contact between him and I because he would constantly try to manipulate me and tear me down. Unfortunately after 4 months of being there I started to feel guilty about him not being able to see his son. So, we worked out a deal that he would come and get him and keep him for 1 week and then bring him back. Everyone in my circle told me NOT to do it. But I trusted him.

    So, everyone was right unfortunately and he told me to come to Texas and get back with him so I could have my son. So I took another week to see if he would bring him back to me. He didn’t. So, now I’m in Texas and I see my son as he sees fit, which ends up being a lot because my EX is so possessive over me and still tries to control me and convince me to be with him. He tells me constantly That he will kill whoever I end up with and that I have no other choice but to be with him if I live in the state. I have spoken with an attorney and her advice to me was the next time that my son spends the night with me I should go back to Florida. I know that if I choose to do that I will be completely fine legally because I’m not breaking any laws.

    I am honestly just asking the question, should I stay or should I go? I don’t like the thought of doing anything to hurt anyone like taking someone’s kid away from them or taking someone’s dad away from them like I feel like I’m doing to my son, But he has made it very clear to me on multiple occasions that he is not willing to try for joint custody and if I’m not with him then I will not be happy he has told me that out of his own mouth. I don’t feel safe living in the same town as him, I honestly feel like he would kill me or anyone I was involved with. What would you do?

    #1099424 Reply
    Dear Wendy

    You need to be as far away from this person as possible. But, obviously, make sure you are doing everything legally. Do all the necessary paperwork and cover your butt.

    As for the emotional side of things, your and your son’s safety is the most important thing here. Your son seeing his father abuse his mother isn’t going to do him any favors, no is being raised by a mom who is literally scared for her life. Get some good counseling for you both, and lean on the support system you’re lucky to have in Florida.

    #1099433 Reply

    Everything Wendy said. Consult a lawyer and do everything you can so legally to protect you and your son from this dude. Cross your Is, dot your Ts, because you don’t want him claiming something that will make you lose your son or make you stay. I’m not a lawyer so have no advice on how to do all of that except work with a lawyer.

    Yes, it’s important for kids to know their dad’s, but not when their dad’s are abusive and violent. You don’t want your son exposed to that.

    #1099437 Reply

    Lawyer lawyer lawyer. This is so beyond what anyone here can advise.

    #1099440 Reply

    I agree with Leslie. I have no advice other than to say get a lawyer as there is too much here to deal with the legality of custody, etc.

    #1099441 Reply

    Next time though… LISTEN to those around you. It’s why you are now in such a mess.

    #1099475 Reply

    Yes – lawyer and PFA. Get the hell out of there and back to Florida where you have support and distance between you.

    The single biggest predictor that a man will murder his partner is choking her. Once that happens, the likelihood he will kill you increases exponentially. You feel like you’re in a lot of danger because you are. You need a safe exit plan, which likely means leaving quietly without notice. Also, like Wendy said, therapy for both you and your son. Reach out to women’s and domestic violence support groups in your hometown for help, they can point you to sliding scale or free counseling, help with food or school supplies, all kinds of things. And look around http://www.thehotline.org or give them a call. They can help you develop your plan to leave

    #1099476 Reply

    The choking thing, yes. Look at the case of Gabby Petito, who was recently found to have been strangled to death by her boyfriend. And a couple weeks before that, they had been seen fighting, and were pulled over by police. In the bodycam video that was released, she seems to be making physical gestures that indicate protecting her throat. Experts think it’s likely she’d been choked by him before, and have commented that a woman who’s been choked by her partner has some exponentially ridiculous likelihood of being killed by him.

    This guy could literally kill you. And your son should not be around him. Listen to these people!

    #1099738 Reply

    Failure to Protect would also be a concern, where DFS/CPS gets involved and you become the bad guy because you let your son stay with a dangerous man. I know this is awful and not trauma informed, but it’s something to consider when you find yourself feeling guilty. He made his choices. He isn’t free from consequences.

    #1099739 Reply

    Get out of there. Legally as much as possible. But don’t ever let him see him or take him if you don’t legally have to. If he’s choked you, like already said, the chance he will try to kill you in the future given the chance is high. Which to me means the chance he will hurt his own child is high, too. To make you hurt.

    Please be careful. Exercise extreme caution and don’t apologize for it. He doesn’t need that bio dad in his life, he needs a good male role model teaching him to treat other people with respect to be nonviolent. That person need not be his real dad.

    #1099742 Reply

    I hope what Salli said helps — sometimes when you can’t make yourself do it for yourself you can do it to protect your child. And your son isn’t safe with his father.

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