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Post Info TOPIC: Legal system - Sanctioned Gaslighting - Looking for my own pot of courage.


Senior Member

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Legal system - Sanctioned Gaslighting - Looking for my own pot of courage.


Recently my ex Spouse managed to get his second (of 3) DUIs dismissed. This despite a staggeringly awful police report, and the fact that he couldn't even show up to the arraignment because he was in the hospital for alcohol withdrawl.  And yet the legal system is very happy to ignore the fact that he drives drunk with children in the car. So drunk that the children have to speak to the officer because their parent cannot. This was wiped clean. 

My attorney had warned me about this, but it never fails to amaze me (in a bad way). 

I am still pressing forward with legal action. In navigating this maze of YUCK, I'm learning that my ex's legal strategy is to gaslight me the way he did when we were married. Trying to paint me as a liar, as crazy, as unreasonable.  This takes my breath away, and makes me feel like I am walking into a headwind of alcoholic narcissism. A headwind that is now amplified by an attorney. That makes it spectacularly unpleasant.

There is a chance that the court will decide against the custody modification, and let everything go. I will have to go home and accept a bar so low for my children that my hopes are not for them to get into a fancy college, or win sports awards. It won't even be "I hope my kids can have a happy life."  The bar will be set at "I hope my kids don't get injured (or worse) by their other parent." 

I feel so horribly alone in those legal offices. Even though I have a great attorney. I wish I could have a friend go with me to my attorney meetings/depositions etc. But one cannot do that. I wish there was someone who could just hold my hand and say "you hang in there. you're doing your best. you're advocating for your kids' safety. That's what good parents do. That's what strong people do. No matter what the other side throws at you, you lean into the darkness and you keep shouting I OBJECT!"  

But of course the person who has to say these things to me, Is Me. 

*****

Completely unrelated ... my remaining parent is about to have surgery. We are anticipating a not good report as a mass has already been located and my parent's age is going to cancel out most treatment. I am expecting to get the report literally hours before going into a big meeting at the attorney's office.  Which will be immediately before I  start a new semester at school (I teach) and I cannot run away from anything or anyone. I want to say that I'm ready to "lean into the unknown" and "feel all the feels" because running away has never solved anything. The Serenity Prayer! But oh wow, if I could just find an extra pot of courage somewhere right now, I would sure like to have it. 

*****

One of my favorite mantras was "One Day at a Time". Now I'm editing it into a few different versions ... One Foot at a Time. One Breath at a Time. One second at a Time. 

 



-- Edited by Fedora on Sunday 8th of January 2023 01:11:06 AM

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~*Service Worker*~

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{{Fedora}} I would like to say to you that "hang in there, you are doing your best to advocate for your

kids safety, you are such a good parent and such a strong person"!! I have been where you are,

depositions and all (a long drawn out ugly 3 1/2 year divorce) and I sat back and let him hang himself.

The less you say and the more you let your goodness/fairness/honesty shine through as an example,

the better. The more you let him talk/walk and get arrested the more a judge will see that he is

not someone who should have any type of unsupervised custody. The judge found in my favor

and letting my attorney do all the talking was the best way to go, he lost custody and the house.

{{HUGS}}


__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



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{{{Fedora}}}. You are describing a God-awful situation with your ex. A man I know of (not a friend or family) got his 6th DWI, has been in rehab 3x, and is not going to jail. WHAT?? Does anyone care if he kills somebody? I sure do.

I would think in F2F meetings you might find someone to buddy up with who could give you the support you need. An alcohol counselor could help, and most counties have an alcohol organization that could perhaps guide you. It sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place. Prayers, light, and love to you.

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Lyne



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Fedora, I'm sorry for the angst you are feeling concerning upcoming events. I'm grateful today for the feelings of desperation and pain from isolation with the problem that finally led me to seek more help from attendance at Al-anon meetings and for resources members in the program offered to me outside of our meetings. I wish you and your children the best as you go through all of this. I hope you'll keep coming back to share how you and your family are doing. (((hugs)))



-- Edited by tiredtonite on Monday 9th of January 2023 08:49:22 AM

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Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.



Veteran Member

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I am sorry you're going through all of this Fedora.

There's so much I could say but I really don't want to include my own current mess in this post. I just hope and pray things work out in your favor and especially the kids' favor also.

Do you have someone that can tag along to the legal offices with you? Even someone riding in the car with you(or them driving you) and having that support on the way there and on the way back makes a big difference I think. I recently took someone along to court and just having someone there for me helped even though she wasn't able to stay by my side the entire time.

Hugs and best wishes to you.

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Senior Member

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I am so sorry for your struggles.  I find the legal system completely frustrating and exhausting.  Alcoholics can be such amazing manipulators and gas lighters.  It's frightening to see how many people they are able to fool.  You are absolutely doing the right thing.  I wonder if getting cps involved would help expedite your custody modifications?  I'm lawyer, but as a mandated reporter, I can say that sometimes getting them involved helps keep the kids safe.

Hugs to you and keep your head up...you are amazing!



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Senior Member

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Hi everyone, and thank you for the words of support. :)

I do plan to go back to a F2F group. I had left it some time ago but it's time for me to revisit it. Right now its not possible because of a scheduling conflict but I am anticipating that that will end in about a month and I can go back. (I live in a small town and there is only 1 group.)

I've had a good talk with my therapist and she reminded me that when I worry about what the courts will do, what the opposing counsel will say to my face, what my ex husband will tell the judge / GAL, etc... I am straying from my lane. I am trying to anticipate and potentially control things I cannot control. The lane that I must inhabit is my own: the reason I'm pursuing legal action is because my ex spouse is doing things that can cause physical and emotional harm to my children, and this is unacceptable. As a parent, my job is to try and keep my kids safe. Driving them while drunk is not safe. End of discussion.

She reminded me that this is a wholly reasonable and rational position to take, and is not a position from which anyone will be able to move me no matter how rude they get, how much gaslighting they try. The State can say that they don't care about kids and DUI, but I have the police reports and I am going to have my "day in the sun" to state my position in court. I will have done everything in my power to keep my kids safe, and I will have no regrets.

Everything else is out of my control.

****
imom: CPS has been contacted twice (not by me, just as a matter of protocol after the two DUIs where the kids were in the car) and done nothing. The first time they interviewed my kids at school, and then didn't follow up. The second time, the investigator was blatantly honest. When she called me, she said "Hi there. I'm not the regular investigator. That person isn't in the office this weekend. I just need to see the kids. Someone might follow up later. " When I told her that I was out of state and the kids were in the custody of one of my ex's friends (while he was being held in jail), she literally gave up. My attorney makes nasty faces whenever someone brings up CPS. "Do not get me started on that useless agency..."

My attorney told me "Regular court sees DUIs as a nuisance. Something that just needs to be moved through the system as quickly as possible. No one (around here) goes to jail until they've been Convicted at least three times. And if you have an attorney at ALL, you can avoid convictions." He also told me "Family court (in our county) does not take that position. So there's a better chance that a judge will listen."

DM2021: Letting my exH hang himself is definitely in my plans. I haven't talked to my attorney about this yet, but I'm almost positive that he is going to tell me that when we get to the deposition and trial, I should shorten all my answers to single-worders, and let my exH spew all he wants.




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~*Service Worker*~

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You got it {{Fedora}} sending you best wishes for excellent outcomes!! You are doing great!!

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



Senior Member

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Date:

((Fedora))) So glad you are getting the support and legal help needed for a positive outcome for you and your kids.



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Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

El


~*Service Worker*~

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Sending prayers and love that the right thing will ultimately be done. You are obviously an amazing mom working through your own fear and frustration to see justice done for your children. Sending my best!



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Senior Member

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Thank you everyone. I am determined to use this time between legal events (attorney meetings, depositions etc.) to remind myself that I cannot control anything other than myself. (And even that takes some effort.) Serenity Prayer is my daily mantra. I think that if I can start with that as the foundation for my mental survival gear, it will be a solid start.

I am also trying to remind myself is that it's entirely normal to be both "put together" and "a mess". To be courageous and terrified at the same time. I am human.

(Side note: I just saw the funniest meme: "Never fight unless you have to. But when it's time to fight, you fight like you're the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark - and brother, it's startin' to rain.")








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Senior Member

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Sweetheart, we are praying for truth to shine through onto this situation. I believe things can really turn around for you & walking by faith not by sight can be very hard to do wearing your shoes. Keep reaching out-keep doing that great one breath, one foot at a time work. Keep the faith!!!
Luv

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Wishing all the best on your recovery journey, Luv

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