An open letter to the judge who is ruining my life.
Looking at your age, I will wager to guess that you have adult children around my age. Going on that assumption, I am going to go one step further and guess that you have grandchildren. I imagine you and your husband have built a beautiful family together and have a lot to be proud of. I imagine you love being grandparents.
Because of your rulings, I may never get to be a grandparent.
You see, it was clear to our previous judge that my ex-husband was not fit to have custody of our children. I was awarded sole custody very shortly after filing for divorce. In all 8 years of our case, the Guardian ad Litem (GaL) has never once recommended he have custody of our children. She very clearly testified against him in our 2015 custody trial. She used the words “water boarding” to describe his treatment of our children and clearly stated that he was alienating the children from me. And yet, on a technicality, you completely ignored the GaL’s testimony (the GaL your forced us to appoint and spend thousands of dollars on), and you awarded him sole custody. You handed the children to their abuser on a silver platter and changed my life forever simply to punish me for attempting to represent myself.
Sometimes I wonder if you misread my desperation as arrogance. I assure you that was not arrogance. I came into your courtroom in 2015 with full faith in the family court system and truly believed that you, our judge, would do everything in your power to protect our children.
You have failed us.
Over and over again since that trial, you have failed me and my children. You consistently punish me for being a single woman living on a third year teacher’s salary. You gave him sole custody leaving me out of every decision made for our children, yet force me to contribute money that I can’t afford to cover the costs of his choices. You believe every lie he tells you and fail to see the bigger picture. You shame me as the victim. You fail to see that my actions are only reactions to his.
You have insulted my intelligence and mocked my mental health status in your open courtroom and never considered that my anxiety and stress is coming from 18 years of being verbally and psychologically abused by this man. This man had my children steal hundreds of dollars of goods from my home, and you punished me.
I have now not been allowed contact with my children for two months. My son started middle school this year, I was not a part of that. My daughter is now a freshman in high school. How has her transition been going? Is she going to Homecoming? Is she going with friends or did a boy ask her to be his date? Another woman bought my daughter her first semi-formal dress. Another woman did her hair and make-up. My children call another woman Mom.
As an American, I have the right to represent myself in your courtroom. Yet time and time again you have denied me the right to speak in your courtroom because I’m not an attorney. Due to your unfair treatment of me, I am forced to hire an attorney with money I don’t have, after you have increased my child support to cover expenses that I don’t have control over, while you are punishing me by forcing me to cover fees for his attorney. You have forced me into a poverty cycle that I will never be able to break. I am a teacher. The only way to move up the pay scale is to further my education, I cannot do this while my student loans are in default because I’m being punished for being poor. You and my ex-husband constantly throw my “instability” in my face and use it against me in your courtroom when you are the ones causing it. I will never financially recover from this divorce and custody change if you continue to force me to spend more and more money that I don’t have. You even went as far as deciding how I will spend my 2019 tax return. You have no right to tell me how to spend that and guess what…. It will likely be withheld again and put towards my student loans. So, what do you suggest I do then? Opposing counsel said I should just have someone loan me the money to cover the fees you are forcing me to pay her. I ask you, Your Honor, who in my life is obligated to loan me money? No one. You cannot force punishment on me knowing full well the money isn’t there and expect my family and friends to cover it. This is not their divorce. I believe that what you are doing is actually illegal, but I guess I’m no expert.
If you’d like to continue backing me into a corner, go ahead. There’s obviously nothing I can do at this point to remove the unfair bias you clearly have towards me. So, in the next few months, when I become homeless for the third time since you took over as our judge, I hope you think of me every time you hug one of your grandchildren.
This blog is written by those living through parental alienation. Some authors have chosen to remain anonymous. Silence breeds abuse.
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