August 29, 2009 6:30am- I made the call to the Women’s Shelter. I drove my pink-pajama clad little girls (ages 2.5 and 4.5) to a local parking lot to meet an intake volunteer. We then followed her car to the shelter- a hidden residence where we would be safe.
Have you ever “almost” been involved in a car accident that leaves your legs shaking so badly that you can barely keep your foot on the gas pedal? My leg was shaking so badly as I drove my car to the shelter that I could barely drive. I vividly remember that my teeth were actually chattering due to my nerves.
How did my life come to this? I thought I was making the right choices. I got married to someone who appeared stable and successful by every sense of the word. He was smart– he went to a good college– his parents had been married for 30 years. What was happening? Nine months ago I was living in a brand new, 4,000 square foot home in a gated community. Today, I was taking my children to check into a shelter.
Shelter. That is what I’ve tried to do for my daughters. I’ve tried to shelter them since our world started crumbling. I could barely look at them through the rear view mirror as I drove my car across town. I was trying to keep them safe but I felt like I was failing them as a mom. “Where are we going?”, I heard a little voice ask from the backseat. “We are going to a hotel for a few days…we are going to a special hotel…a Women’s Hotel. It’s going to be like having a slumber party with other moms and their children”…I answered through my tears.
We were taken to our room– it was actually a little house away from the main house. We had privacy– we needed to go into the main house to use the kitchen but had our own space which I was grateful for. Three little twin beds…I remember the girls jumping on the beds and giggling. They thought we were on vacation. There was a little playground…and a handful of mothers with their children. I felt alone- like I didn’t belong here. A million thoughts going through my head (why, how….I was a good person….why was this all happening to me?!).
These were the darkest two days of my life. I would have paid a million dollars for a hug. I wanted my Aunt…my dad…my sister…my friends…Glenn. Anyone. I cried during the day- and sobbed during the night. I was overwhelmed. I had a million court documents to prepare since he had stolen everything I’d been working on. I worked late into the night and I put everything I had into those documents.
September 1, 2009- The Judge awarded me “exclusive use of the home” barring him from entering the house. Prior to that, the police had told me that they couldn’t keep him out. Now I had a court order, a hammer and mace. I checked out of the shelter and went home with a false sense of security.
September 2, 2009- I took my laptop and went to a local coffee shop. He entered my home while I was away. I called the police- they came and took a report. They called him and told him that they would arrest him if he came onto the property.
I was devastated.
He was above the Judge and he was above the law– he has no regard for either.
My sense of security was gone.
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.