To the person whose sole job it was to protect my children:
They were counting on you to make the right choice. They were honest with you about everything. I didn’t instruct them to tell you anything specific, but you bought his story instead and turned me into the villain of the story. Here’s the thing, I fell for his lies too. For the person he pretends to be. The victim he says he is. But reality is this. He is a monster. A real life monster. The only person he has ever cared about or will ever care about is himself. He is the only person who can ever win at his games. He appealed to your empathy in ways you refused to open up to hearing the truth. You actually attempted to take reality from me by believing his lies about me then confronting me with accusations rooted in his lies.
When I came to you, I spoke from a broken heart, mind and soul. You only heard my pain and anger and twisted it into something I’ve never been; a vindictive, hateful, manipulative person. I could tell you didn’t like me as I left every single meeting feeling as if I had not been heard, but rather, attacked with his false stories and accusations about me. There was never a time you asked a question and waited for the full response. I was always interrupted by you. I shared things with you that I have not shared with anyone else: the need to record our arguments, things he did to me sexually, imprisoning me in my own home, preventing me from being able to call for help, breaking and destroying anything that carried sentimental value, using guns to cause fear and anguish when an argument wasnt going his way and so much more. If your job is to see the signs and read situations, I have to wonder what happened to you in your life that made you believe the things he did were somehow my fault. What happened to you that you’d dismiss as insignificant the incredibly abusive conversations I presented to you?
Your job was to see through the lies and deception to expose the truth. To you, the children and I reciting the similar stories was “evidence” of manipulation from me instead of evidence of the person he really is. Reality is that these things happened to us and you ignored them. You revoked their reality. You denied their voices. You added to the abuse he is still dishing out. Your job was to be the voice of the children. Their advocate. To protect them in this broken judicial system, and you failed them completely. You should be ashamed of taking work that will permanently affect children, taking money that is based on what is best for children without a solid understanding of psychology, the effects and signs of emotional abuse and clinical narcissism. A qualified psychologist actually has deemed him a narcissistic sociopath but because of their relationship with the children, isn’t allowed to testify in court, though you could have (and should have) spoken to her. You missed every sign of abuse from his now ex girlfriend too. She was and still is terrified of him and he used her in court to lie on his behalf until he got what he needed from her, then discarded her like trash when he got what he wanted in court. By the time we went to court, she was a shell of a person like the walking dead. I watched him slowly suck the joy and life from a young, vibrant, successful 20-something who just didnt know any better. Anyone who couldn’t see how broken and robotic she was on the stand is blind. Clearly, the system needs stronger regulations around social investigators and their expertise. Early Education Degrees do not grant the psychological knowledge and understanding to recognize emotional abuse. Your multiple choice tests do not see the non-verbal cues and when a child is taught to toughen up and not tell what is going on, do you really think they’ll give an honest answer to a test like that? They gave you their ideal answer to appear as healthy and whole as they could. Nobody wants to be a victim or to be seen as broken, especially children. Trust me when I say I know I'm not perfect and never claimed to be. But I have never abused or mishandled another human or their feelings. I have never caused pain out of spite.
In court, you made completely unfounded accusations that I would keep the children from their father, making excuses for not booking flights to see their father when I have never even once failed to ensure he has his time with them or speaks with him while we are on our vacation time. You spoke as if you were my ex, in every sense of his being, from the twisted stories he’s created. Ironically, everything you’ve accused me of is what he has done since that final ruling. He has been utterly unwilling to work out a new visitation schedule, vehemently refusing to even discuss potential changes. He has completely ruined the holidays for my children this year by not allowing appropriate time to visit my side of the family over the one holiday that is mine this year (forcing us to celebrate alone in a place that isn't home). Then by not allowing them any time at all over the Winter break from school to see me after having not seeing one another for more than half of the last 4 months. He has chosen to allow for zero deviation or flexibility to the old parenting plan to give me any form of my 50% timeshare with my kids when I am able to be in town. He is effectively using the current parenting plan from when I still lived nearby to prevent me from having an equal amount of time with my children. It's yet another weapon for him to use against me rather than to protect my rights. He doesn’t allow them to call me in spite of several denied requests from them to the point they don’t even ask him anymore. They have to sneak away when they are at relatives’ homes to call me. He’s badmouthed me to our youngest to the point that she is distancing herself from me more and more. He has dumped his parenting duties onto his step-father and disabled mother for days at a time when the children have a loving mother they could be with every single day. Even the nights he isn’t working, they are with their grandma and grandpa, who had seen the kids 3 times in their life prior to moving to Florida this summer—they are not close to my children like my mother and grandmother are. The children have become a possession to him to use as a weapon against me, to further abuse me in any way he possibly can and believe me, he is doing exactly that.
In spite of all of this, I want to thank you. Thank you for opening my eyes to a world of injustice, to a broken system and domestic violence by proxy. Thank you for showing me what I needed to heal within myself after years of abuse in order to thrive. Thank you for highlighting the fact that a mother can do everything for the good of her children, attending every ceremony, recital, practice, and doctor appointment yet never be recognized for what she does, but when dad shows up for the awards, and takes them to the zoo a couple times, he gets a “Father of the Year” trophy. This dose of reality, that even the people whose job it is to protect the innocent fail miserably, has driven me to expose the cracks in the family court system. Thank you for lighting a fire in me to ensure this doesn’t ever happen to anyone going through this after me, if I can at all help it. But most of all, thank you for showing my children how much strength I have in the face of absolute adversity. They have a real, positive role model in me and they have seen first hand in their father what they never want to be.
You were supposed to protect them from the monster. Instead, I will fight with everything I am to save them.