Well, after almost 8 months of divorce proceedings (and we're still not even close to done), a really nasty custody battle (which thankfully I won), and all that time of running around trying to get everything straightened out and set up, I'm back. I lost internet for most of that time, and let me tell you - if ever I needed a place to vent, it was then.
For reasons too numerous and personal to mention, I asked my husband for a divorce in late January. We went through the typical cycle; he got angry, he begged me to stay, I said no (we'd been through this before), and we agreed to try to be friends for the sake of our girls.
He started accusing me of cheating (which I never did, though I did start seeing another man a while after my husband and I split up) and basically kicked me out of my own house - and without my children. I stayed with my sister for a while, and he'd occasionally call and ask me to come back and stay a while "to spend some time with the girls." For some stupid reason even beyond my own comprehension, I'd actually believe him. I'd go, and the only time I got to spend with my children was the rare day when he'd leave for school.
Fast forward to the time when I told him I was through putting up with his manipulations and ultimatums, refusing to go back to his house because I got tired of trying to fend him off 75% of the time, and fighting in front of my girls the other 25% (usually because I wouldn't sleep with him).
He called MY FAMILY day and night, griping about me and then asking if they thought he'd still have a chance, eventually even having the nerve to ask them to testify on HIS behalf in a custody hearing. When I would call to talk to my girls, I'd be stuck on the phone with him until the battery died, listening to everything from "I love you" to "You're a *expletive deleted* and I can't believe I wasted my time on you - good luck ever seeing your kids again."
I finally got a lawyer and went to the first custody hearing - where the Judge, despite the fact that I had endless proof of psychological abuse toward my children and even suicide threats while they were in the house with him - decided to go ahead and leave my girls with him until the next hearing, about a week later. A few days later I was told by a source very close to all of us that my children had been left unattended - with 3 adults in the house - and had both been allowed to drink Windex. To make matters worse, they were sick enough to be taken to the hospital, and not only did no one inform me, but child welfare wasn't contacted either. Long story short, I went to his house, practically busted down his door, and took my children. They've been with me ever since (and yes, the Judge ruled in my favor for custody at the last hearing).
Thier dad was granted standard visitation; every other weekend and certain holidays. I'll just say that I've gotten my girls back to some level of normalcy and stability, but I have to start all over every time I get them back from their dad. As if the stress and trauma of the divorce weren't enough for my girls to have to deal with, he thought it was okay to keep me from them for 4 months before I got custody, berating me to them the entire time, telling them that he wasn't their dad, and to thank Mommy for finding them a new Daddy, and even still filling thier heads with a bunch of petty, selfish things that children should never be subjected to - especially from thier own parents.
At any rate, the nonsense continues, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all of this will be over soon and maybe either he'll grow up and be a parent, or the Judge will realize what he's doing and remove him from the equation until he does. My girls, despite all his behaviors, are doing a lot better - in fact we all are. I do my best to not say negative things about him to or in front of my girls, because even though I apparently have to put up with him no matter what, one of us has to be the grown up and truelly do what's in the best interest of our kids.
I just really have to wonder what possesses people sometimes.
Thanks for listening to (er, reading) my rant, I'm done for now.