Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End The Silence On Domestic Violence

That is the name of the show that is on Dr. Phil today and what his concept for this coming year for the entire season.  Here is the link:

Since I am a survivor of Domestic Violence I am asking that you all check out this link.  Listen to his plea.  End the Silence.  Abusers want silence. They want their victims to stay quiet, keep it hidden and behind closed doors because it makes what they do so much easier for them. Stop making their life easier.  I know that there are others who are uncomfortable hearing about abuse.  They would rather have the opinion that what happens in the home stays in the home.  In this day and age that is not something anyone should do.  By looking the other way you are not ignoring the problem, YOU are part of the problem. 

No one deserves abuse, No one is asking to be abused.  END THE SILENCE TODAY!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Good and The Bad

Today has had both good and bad.  Isn't that always the way it is though.  Today I had an awesome surprise.  I have had a terrible week.  First getting sick with a stomach flu, then wrenching my back.  I am not a happy camper.  And still waiting on the department to let me know if we will get to see the kids for Christmas.  The main highlight to my day was checking the mail.  I LOVE Christmas Cards.  And have been receiving quite a few this year.  I have strung them up around my home and they have helped to bring in some Christmas cheer.  Well today I went and checked my mail and their were 3 new cards.  I decided to oped the big one first(doesn't everyone?).  Inside was a musical card.  And when I opened it out fell a check for $100.  I was in shock.  The note with it said this is for your family to purchase some Christmas presents with and also have a Christmas dinner.  I started to cry.  We had no money for Christmas dinner.  We were most likely going to have Kraft dinner.  I couldn't believe the kindness that this person had shown us.  I showed the check and card to my fiance and as he read it tears came to his eyes as well.  This check means more then just presents and food.  it meant someone felt my pain and empathised with me and my family.  Someone extended a part of their heart to us.  Talk about an angel in disguise.

Even hours later I still get choked up thinking about this act of generosity.  But with this good of course has to come bad.  I also just received an email from the department about the request for a visit with my kids this week to give them their Christmas presents.  My request was submitted at the beginning of last week. They have denied it. Said maybe next week. They also told me that all communication now will have to be done via phone calls or in person. No more emails. My lawyers had advised emails in the fall of 09 because of all the lies about who was denying/refusing visits, accusations about what was said during phone calls and such. They know I have saved all the emails. So now want to take away that form of protecting myself.

I thanked them for again denying me yet another holiday with my children, especially since they have not allowed me to see them since the end of October. And I also refused to end the email communication. On that I will not give an inch. I am not going back to giving them the power to create all sorts of stories anymore. When I can again try to appeal(if I can ever get the money together) I need that proof to show they are the ones denying visits and lieing.  I had a feeling they would do this but it still hurts. And I can't imagine what my kids are thinking. They thought I hated them the last time the department refused me to see them for so long.

So today has been a good and bad day.  I discovered an angel and also saw the cruel side of someone.  I have one request for all those that continue to read my blog.  This holiday season please hug your kids tight, even when they are being naughty.  For there are those out there like me that can only dream of being with out kids again.

Update: December 23.  Got even more wonderful news.  My fiance came home from work on his supper break and told me he had his yearly review.  Said that they gave him a raise.  Things are finally on their way up.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is There No Hope Left?

Today we went to the court house and picked up the papers to file the appeal.  While there they explained that there are no costs to filing the appeal but there are costs to get the transcripts of the trial and that has to be submitted at the same time as filing the appeal.  We went home and called the place that we need to get the transcripts from.  They calculated at 3 days(Lenght of the trial), 8 hours a day at .0052 cents a character.  They said based on just that the cost will be over $6000 for the transcripts.  I was in shock.  And that did not include the 30 minutes of the verdict being read or the 2 days we went over in time by at least an hour or more.  I am on disability.  My fiance is working 2 part time jobs.  Even with that we make just enough to live day to day.  There is no way we can come up with the money needed for the transcripts.

Now I see why so few appeal a PGO.  Not because they don't have a case.  It is because they don't have the money to get the transcripts.  None of our friends can afford to help.  And we can't get a loan.  Is this how it ends?  Is all options now stopped just because I am not well off enough to pay our $6000 in the next two weeks?  How is that justice?  Where is the justice for my children?  Is there only justice for the people that can pay for it?  Is that the system we live in?  That the poor or disabled have to suffer just because they do not have the money to fight back? 

I have less then 30 days to submit this appeal other wise it will never even be considered.  I never thought I would have to consider just walking away and allowing my kids to suffer at her hands.  Is that the ending to the story?  The abusers get to continue the abuse with no end in site?  I need options and ideas.  I don't want to stop.  Someones eyes must see what is going on and can stop it.  Or am I wrong and the abusers really do have all the power?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Angels In My Life

Someone pointed out that it seemed unbelievable that everyone in my life would be this against me.  The truth is I have had many angels in my life.  Many people who have been there for me in so many ways.  I have yet to write about them because I was needing to get some of the crap out first but they deserve to be mentioned.  And I want them mentioned as most of them are still very important parts of my life.

The person who had the biggest influence during my youngest years was my first step dad.  And he has already been mentioned in one of the posts.  The next person was someone I called Nana.  She was an older lady I met when I was 21, in a play and newly pregnant.  She was living with her father and caring for him.  She had no husband and two grown sons.  And she had the worlds biggest heart.  We were not related in any way.  But she took me under her wing.  She helped me in so many ways.  When I had my daughter she would show up with a trunk full of groceries or take us out to lunch.  She told everyone my daughter was her granddaughter and treated her as such.  She was the closest person I had to a mother that I ever got.  She was always they for a shoulder to cry on, vent too, help with baby sitting and so on.  She was the type of person that always gave and asked nothing in return.  She loved to love people.  And I wanted so much to be just like her.  When I got married and she saw some of the abuse that was going on she tried to convince me to leave.  My husband was doing all he could to keep her out of my life but we still managed calls and a few visits a year.  I should have listened to her advise.  Sadly she got Cancer and passed away in April of 2005.  But in my home where we have pictures of our parents I do not have a picture of my mother.  I have a picture of Nana.  She will always have that place of honour.

Another big influence in my life was a friend I made when I first moved to this province.  He and I became fast friends.  Tried a romantic relationship for a few months and found out we are better friends then anything.  He is the type of friend where we can go without talking for months at a time and then will call each other out of the blue and take up where we left off.  He is the type of person that if I ever am in a bind I know I can call him and he will do all he can to help me.  And he knows he can and has done the same with me.  He is the type of friend that while I was with my husband, and my husband was trying to keep me isolated, he ignored it.  He would show up randomly to not just check on me but also visit the kids.  One memorable experience is when he showed up with a fire truck.  A real one for my kids to explore.  I will never forget that day and neither have my kids.  I found out that while I was with my husband there were many times my spouse tried to threaten him to keep him away.  He never listened and for that I will be eternally grateful.  He is a single dad and has been for a long time.  He son is incredibly intelligent and mature for his age.  I feel so privileged to have both of them in my life.

Another big influence in my life is a dear friend that I met on a forum I am on.  I have known her for many years.  She was a shoulder to cry on and a place to vent.  She is someone who offered unbias advice that was heart felt and good advice that I didn't always listen too.  I made so many wrong choices even with having people like her and Nana trying their best to give me good advice.  I just refused to open my eyes.  This person knew some of what was happening but I kept a lot of it from her for fear of loosing her respect.  She tried so hard to help me deal with my husbands addictions and to not blame myself for those addictions or his choices.  When things went south in the marriage and I had no money for gifts she asked her friends for donations and showed up one day with a box full of toys and decorations.  That was one of the best Christmases though I don't think she knows it.  I could never imagine my life without her in it.  She is like the older sister that I can always turn too.  I try my best to reciprocate. 

There are many others I have met this past year.  All of these ones I have known them for only a short period but they have been such a support to me.  The feeling of acceptance is wonderful.  And they all know what my past was like and they treat me no different.  The support I receive from them is incredible.  They are cheering me on in this project and also helping in the wings of it.  For them, and they know who they are, my life would not be complete without them.  There are others not mentioned that were a support through the years.  Some of the puppy adopters, the rescues I worked for, some people in the LDS church.  I could go on and on. 

All of these people mentioned and not mentioned are angels in my life.  I have many.  I am sorry that almost all of my posts are so negative.  I needed to get the big nasty stuff off my chest first before I could share some of the wonders and joys that were hidden under them. 

And one last thing.  Some people(only a handful compared to the people supporting me and have contacted me) feel that some things are better left unsaid.  Hidden away so others do not have to deal with it.  Maybe it makes them uncomfortable, maybe they can't accept that people can be that cruel to not only adults but children as well. I don't know. But just about all of it is verifiable. So it is not just my word people are accepting.  And this story has not just been my story of suffering but also the story of the step kids and my children as well. 

It is there and continuing because it is part of my therapy. It is there and continuing because it is helping me to get it out there and it might help others. I have received many responses from others who have suffered thanking me for not only getting it out there but for giving them the strength for having a voice as well.  Yes some things should be kept private. but never abuse. Abusers want silence. They love silence. It gives them the ability to continue what they love. I will no longer be their silent victim. I will no longer be silent.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Trial Part Four - The Final Verdict

The PGO was granted. Because I was not allowed to submit my defence there was no proof to counter what the department was accusing me of and what my mother was lieing about. My 6yr old son will now be placed on medication that he does not need so that my mother can continue to abuse him. My mother will now submit her claim for private gaurdianship removing all chances of me getting my kids back or ever seeing them agian. My lawyer informed me that my legal aid has now run out so I have no money to fight for an appeal. This woman who has destroyed so many lives is now free to destroy my kids lives. She has won and there is nothing I can do to stop it.


To all those who are reading this blog please do not be quiet about it.  Pass the link to everyone you know.  Send it to any newspaper, newsroom, or anyone who can make this be heard.  My kids are not safe.  instead they have been legally kidnapped and handed over to a known child abuser.  Please do not be silent.  Pass it on.  I don't want to give up but I have no other place to turn and my kids will now become her silent victims.  There will never be a real Merry Christmas for them as long as they are with her.  She will drug them legally with medication that cause halucinations and strange thoughts so that if they say anything about what she is doing no one will believe them.  Please make your voices heard for these 3 children and help put a stop to this in any way you can.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Even Church Leaders Are Not Safe

I learned that even church leaders were to be feared and not trusted.  After my mother left her third husband and after being raped church became a place that I feared.  Having to see my rapist every Sunday was something that I was forced to do.  And if I ever tried to get out of going to church then my mother made sure to lecture me on how it is my own fault and that I have to attend church because it was my only chance at redemtpion.  I tried to keep my head down and tried very hard to never be alone while there.  I would usually find some missionaries to hang out with.  They thought it was because I had crushes on them.  When it was simply so that I would not be alone.

When I was about 14 we had a new branch president.  Our church had to few members to be called a ward and have a Bishop so we had a branch president.  He was very hands on with the young women.  To understand what is going on you have to know how Sundays work.  For Mormons there is 3 hours of church.  The first hour is usually everyone in the chapel for sacrament and talks.  The next hour is Sunday school where all the girls and boys are together.  The second hour the girls and boys(once teenagers) are then split up for Young Women's and Young Men's.  I had never seen a branch president so involved in the young women's classes.  Almost every Sunday he would be there.  Usually a Bishop or Branch President would attend only once a month and even that was not regular and only for a few minutes.  So this was very unusual.  Then it changed that any time the teacher could not attend then he was teaching us.  This was fine at first.  He stuck to what was in the book.  But then a few minutes at the end of class it would switch to him talking about art.  OK that is fine. We all enjoyed art.  He talked a lot about Greek statues and pictures.  Then he started to bring pictures.  At first they were not very graphic.  But then one Sunday he brought a picture of a completely nude statue of a man.  One of the girls asked him if we should be looking at that.  His answer was that it was art so it was OK.  We had always been taught that any kind of nudity was wrong so this was confusing for us but we didn't question it.  He was our branch president after all.

Several more weeks went by and during this time more and more time was being devoted to talking about "art".  Then he brought in some photographs of people nude.  The same girl again questioned him on it.  Asking him why this was OK but pornography was not.  He said that standing nude for art photos is not the same thing.  One was OK and one was not.  Again a few weeks went by of him telling us this and bringing in more and more photos.  We were curious so we did check them out and ask questions.  Then he started bringing pictures and younger and younger people till they were young teens like us.  All the time telling us that this was OK because it was art.

 I was getting increasingly uncomfortable about it and tried to discuss it with my mother.  She told me to stop spreading lies.  That the branch president would do no such thing.  And that the church taught us that a leader would be removed by God if he tried to lead us astray.  I was confused.  At this same time though my mother was having an affair with a missionary.  This was a big no no.  And I did not know at the time that the branch president knew and was hiding the info for my mother.  This missionary ended up being sent home from his mission disgraced because of their affair.  After talking to my mother I didn't know what to do.  He was a leader and I was taught to never question my leaders.  Then my mother invited the stake president over for supper one day.  During dinner he asked my sister and I how we liked our classes.  My sister was older then I was so was not in the same class as me.  My sister told him about some of the things she was learning.  Then he turned to me.  I immediately started to describe the "art" lessons.  The Stake President looked alarmed but said nothing.  He asked for some descriptions of the pictures and some of the things the branch president was saying to us.  My mother started to act shocked.  Saying she had had no idea and she wished I had informed her sooner. 

After the Stake President left I got a sound beating for talking behind an adults back like that.  That I had no right to spread such filth and so on.  And she said I would look like a fool when the truth came out.  She went on to say how ashamed she was to call me her daughter.  That Sunday the branch president never showed up for church and we never saw him again.  I later learned he was exed from the church.  And when my mother learned of this I again got a sound beating for leading another man astray and for causing him to think such impure thoughts.  I could never figure out how I was causing men to go "astray" so I started to spend more and more time alone and in my room.  I hated everything about me.  Hated the "effect" I seemed to have on people no matter what I seemed to do.

Then a year later when I was 15 an adult man in our branch became interested in me.  At first it seemed normal.  He had a daughter that went to school with my sister.  He was married also.  He talked to my mother about driving us all to school and back home after.  She was fine with it.  After a few months of this he started driving me more and more alone.  I trusted him since he was a member of the church and had callings.  His reason was that my sister and his daughter always got rides with friends and preferred that then driving with the old man.  He would ask me tons of questions about my day and me.  I never had my mother interested in any thing I did so I talked and talked.  After a while he started writing me letters.  This seemed fine at first.  It was basically just the same as our conversations.  Then he started signing them Love *****.  I thought of it as more of a father daughter type thing because I saw him as more of a father figure.  Then he started turning the conversations to be about polygamy.  He said our church still believed in it and that to get to heaven that a man had to have multiple wives and the wife had to accept the other wives for them to get in as well.  This became a constant topic that he would go on and on about.  Then one day he handed me a letter after he had drove me up to my house.  When I went in an read it my blood ran cold.  He was telling me that God had told him that I was to be his second wife.  This scared me to no end and I ran to my mother crying.  She read the letter and then slapped me across the face.  Demanding what he and I had been doing.  Screaming at me for again leading another man down the wrong path.

I don't know what happened after I talked to my mom but he never came to pick me up again.  Though he did follow me for weeks after and even left me love letters.  I started throwing them out because every time I would give one to my mother I would get a sound beating for them.  Luckily we moved a few months after that to another province.  But for years my mother took pride in telling people that I was such a whore that I could not leave branch presidents alone or even married men.  I constantly felt like I was being watched and hated.  Being alone became my only option.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trial Part 3

This is about my day in court.  I was suppose to have 2 days to present all my witnesses but as you will read I was unable to present them all and was able to do it all the first day. 

The first one that testified was my psychologist.  He went up and testified about how he has been working with me for close to 2yrs.  That I worked hard with him and everything he had asked me to do I did.  He talked about my improvements and also my huge improvements since I was taken off the medication.  He talked about how some medication can cause adverse side effects including sever depression and suicide.  He talked about how I have stabilized since being off the meds and how much better I have been doing now that I have a good support network with friends and also my fiance.  He stated that in his opinion my mental health is now in a place were I can parent again.  He did have to testify that there is always chances of relapse and that is the truth but he went on to say that as long as I keep working hard and keep my safety nets in place(therapist, him, my friends and fiance and so on) that I should be able to get the help I need when I need it.  Basically what I thought he would say.

My therapist was suppose to testify but she told my lawyer that her boss would not let her.  So instead she sent a letter that confirmed all my psychiatrist had stated but she did not get the letter to my lawyer in time so it could not be submitted.  The next to testify was 2 of my friends.  A long time friend that I had met over the Internet when I was going through so much abuse from my husband.  She and I had met up and remained in contact over the years.  So she got up and testified about what she knew about my home and about me from our conversations and the times she had visited.

Then another friend who is a single father and I have known since high school also got up and testified.  He talked about how my husband had shut all my friends out of my life but that he would not allow it.  He talked about the kind of parent he knew I was because we used to let out kids play together when I was a single parent and also he would stop over randomly to check on me.  He talked about how much my husband hated him but he stuck it out.  He talked about the improvements he had seen in me when I separated from my husband and also when the medication had stopped.  He also talked about how stable my life had become since all those changes.

Then the youngest step child got on the stand.  She and her sister(the oldest step child) were scheduled to testify.  The step son would have as well but my lawyer didn't think he was pessary with the other two able to be there.  The step son would have had to travel a long way to do it.  She got on the stand and my lawyer asked how she knew me.  Asked how long we have been in contact recently.  Asked if she had met my kids, been to my home and so on.  Then he went on to ask her if she knew my mother.  Then he asked what life was like with my mother.  This was shot down by the other lawyer before the step daughter could answer.  The line of questioning was then instructed to be stopped.  The judge said that this was not about my mother so that could not be submitted.  That this was about me.  My lawyer was allowed only one other question and he asked her why she stopped living with my mother.  She said she was kicked out at the age of 12.  That is all she could testify to.  My lawyer then told the oldest step child that it was pointless to put her on the stand since the judge would not allow it.  The final nail in my coffin was firmly in place.  All of my defense was refused before it was even presented.

Then they put my fiance on the stand.  They asked him how we met, when we got engaged, started living together and so on.  They asked him about his children.  They asked him if he had met my children and what that relationship was like.  They asked him about our home, rules and so on.  They asked him if he thought I could parent or if he could.  They asked him if we would both consent to a supervision order and so on. 

Then it was my turn.  My lawyer had made it clear I was not to go on the attack of the things the department had accused me of.  He had said that it would look bad.  So when I got up I just answered the questions asked.  I was asked about my mental illnesses, my marriage, my rules, my home keeping, my relationship with the department and many other questions.  But I knew without the emails being submitted that it came down to a he said she said.  Without the tapes to prove the facts and the pictures that since I had a mental illness I would automatically be seen in a bad light.  I remained calm the entire time on the stand.  But I was also not stupid either.  If I was the judge without the proof I would most likely push the PGO through because there was nothing to prove the truth but the department just has to give their words and it is enough.

In the closing arguments the department said as much.  Stating that it was doubtful that the department would refuse visits and ignore requests.  That it was obvious that I made no effort to see my kids till a trial date was set and it was basically clear that I made little effort.  All lies but what did I have to prove it without the emails.  My lawyer presented case studies and also the rules the department is suppose to work with and tried to make it clear that the whole mandate is to bring families back together as soon as possible and do as little intervention as possible. 

The date for the verdict was set for the 19th but was then post poned to the 24th then and now the 9th of December.  In the mean time my lawyer told me to keep the visits going.  So I requested one the same week the trial was over.  When I got a reply back they told me that my visits had been cut from 6hrs to 3hrs and that I could no longer take them out of the town they were in.  I was in shock.  I sent the email to my lawyer.  He demanded to know why.  They never gave him a clear answer as to why.  Just said the kids are very confused by all of this.  There was no way I could have a visit with them in the town they were in.  Even the worker stated that there was nothing to do and no place to take them.   And they were stricked about what we could and could not doing.  Saying they have to have a meal and a place to play.  This is a very small town.  My lawyer was angry but he said there is nothing we can do.  We can't even tell the judge because nothing can be added after the trial is over.  So since the trial I have not been allowed contact with my children.  They are eliminating me from there lives, before the verdict is even given, and there is nothing I can do and this is what they have done all along. 

My legal Aid runs out when the trial ends.  I am on disability.  They know I am unable to afford a lawyer to fight it or force visits with my children.  And it has already been stated that my mother will get private guardianship as soon as the PGO is granted.  I have no idea where to go from here and it breaks my heart.  This woman has hurt so many children and now is raising mine. I never hurt my children and I have lost them because of her lies.  Where is the justice?

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