We sat in court on May 27, 2011 and my X was asking for additional visitation. Additional visits meant less child support. Additional visits also equals “winning” which is what is most important to him. He’s set on “winning” at all costs. I’m tempted to use a Charlie Sheen reference but I will hold back.
He brought his cousin into the courtroom to testify on his behalf. My X’s agenda was to prove that he had a stable, safe environment for the girls. He grilled me on the stand– asked me what I thought about his cousin. I answered honestly- “I respected his cousin and I respected his cousin’s wife. I respected them as people and as parents“. At that point in time, I did.
The thought of my children staying at their home on the weekends actually set my mind at ease. They were good people and their children were the same age as our children. They claimed in court that my X had total and complete use of a guest house on their property. I was more at ease knowing that his cousin’s wife would be in the general vicinity to “supervise” and I was at ease knowing that my daughters would be in one place each weekend rather than a new bed each night. I was hoping in that moment that I could trust what they were saying. I wanted to believe the white picket fence story with every ounce of my being.
In the visitations immediately following this court date, this is what happened:
- June 3-5, 2011 — The girl’s Father-Daughter Call: No Show
- June 17-20, 2011 — They did not stay at his cousin’s house as they had testified in court. On Friday night, they stayed in San Francisco at his condo. The second night, they stayed in his friend’s home somewhere in San Francisco– they did not know these people prior to sleeping there. The third night, they stayed in a hotel. Three different beds in three different nights.
- July 1-5, 2011– They stated with a family friend in Morro Bay, California. My daughters returned home with bad sunburns (the first of their lives) and my youngest daughter had a horrendous rash from defecating in her pants and sitting in it while at the beach. She had been potty trained since she was 2 years old. She was 4 at the time. These were documented by our pediatrician.
- July 15-18, 2011– They stayed in a hotel.
- July 29-31, 2011–I received an email 11:00pm stating that his cousins house was unavailable and that he had to drive the children four hours north to San Francisco. I was unable to contact the children all weekend despite many attempts. My daughter normally calls me several times each day so I was getting very concerned. I finally contacted the San Francisco Police and Child Welfare Services to investigate but they couldn’t verify the address that he supplied me. He ended up returning the children early with no explanation. I later discovered that this was the weekend of “The Monster and the Parking Structure” incident.
There is no white picket fence and there is no stability. The court presentation was all for show which has been one of the biggest obstacles in this battle. The lack of stability causes visible signs of stress– bed wetting and other things. As a mother, it is heartbreaking to watch. I feel helpless and I am desperate for someone to stop this from happening to my daughters. I am beginning to realize that I can’t depend on the courts– I have to take matters into my own hands.
One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.
History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.
Tina Swithin: Divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat. Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.