Monday, September 10, 2012

Financial and Legal Abuse is Emotional Battery

And I am a victim.

Photo Credit:  MintLife Blog

Recently, I divulged a bit into the never ending conflict cycle that I keep finding myself in with the STBX and as much as I keep trying my hardest to disengage and draw boundaries to limit my exposure to his insanity, I just can't seem to get myself completely untangled from his web.  I'm constantly battling his argumentative and disagreeable demeanor and his bitter manipulation and "get-back-at-me" stunts.  Every time I progress forward in starting over wonderful in my own life, I somehow find myself sucked back into his mess and every single time I'm pulled back into it, well it most always has to do with the financial and legal aspects of everything.

When is it going to end?  When will that part of this divorce be over with?  When will I finally be divorced? Never?

I feel as if I've thoroughly processed and moved on from every other aspect of this divorce process. I've worked through and survived both the physical separation and the emotional one. I've taken time to process my feelings and I've spent time looking back to identify what went wrong and why I got married to someone so utterly wrong for me in the first place. I've forgiven myself for the mistakes that I've made and I've forgiven him for the same.  I've simply moved on in every sense of moving on except for those aspects of the law and the legal intricacies of dissolving a marriage.

With the recent douchery on his part, I'm starting to feel as if it's never going to end because it's been made so abundantly clear to me that he just wants to cost me financial and legal difficulties.  I'm losing faith that I'll ever be legally and lawfully done with him.  He's like the worst friggin' hangover that I've ever had in my life and I just can't seem to get rid of him.  And the party wasn't even fun or worth getting drunk! (If that makes any sense ... )

I just want to be divorced!!

So far, that desire has cost me well over $20,000 with no reasonable end in sight.  For a two year marriage where we shared nothing but debt, I'm just so fed up with it all I don't even know what to do anymore.  I don't take comfort in knowing that it isn't unusual for non-amicable couples with child custody disputes to find themselves out $100,000 when all is said and done.

When I first left my marriage, I borrowed $12,000 from my 401K to move from Virginia to Massachusettes to resettle and start over near my family.  It cost me almost $7,000 just to move and gain custody of our son and the other $5,000 covered me while I went AWOL (absense-without-leave or pay) for almost a month in order to manage every thing that went with the move and finding my son a new daycare.

Visitation and child support disputes and the drafting of a proposed property settlement agreement cost me about $9,000 total in attorney fees over the past 11 months.  I still owe my attorney $5,000 of that and thankfully, she's agreed to let me pay a small portion of that each month for the time being.

Still, I'm drowning a little financially.

I seriously would be able to just eat the money I've spent so far and move on happily with my life if the STBX would cooperate, let us get divorced as previously agreed, and if the financial and legal abuse ended from here on out. Unfortunately, he's prepared to make me take him to court over every single issue that has to do with this process and with our son from now until he's all grown up and on his own.  He won't agree to help me pay for extracurricular activities without me taking him to court again, he's stonewalling me about transferring jurisdiction to where I live and adjusting child support accordingly and he even is fighting me about letting me take more money out of my retirement (which he's waiving rights to via our divorce) so that I can simply pay some bills this fall.

I'm starting to really grasp the concept that he is most definitely a narcissist and he's never going to let me go peacefully.  And it's going to cost me time, money and aggravation for years on end.

I have to be strong.

I have to keep my faith.

I need to figure out how to keep moving forward on this starting over wonderful journey and to not let his douchery emotionally devastate me if we have to keep going back to court time and time again over the years.

Blogging when I get the chance and my online support groups for other divorced women are helping me tremendously as I struggle through the financial and legal mess that just keeps growing.  And James Dean and our flourishing relationship most definitely helps keep me sane, grounded and happy.  But I think I need a plan bigger than that.

I need more advice from others who have been there and I need to do more research about divorcing a narcissist when there is a child involved.  I will reach wonderful someday and I refuse to go broke doing it ...

Do you have any advice to give?

Have you been through the wringer financially and through litigation abuse in your own divorce? How do you disengage from the stress it causes? How do you keep the faith to keep fighting back? Please share your stories below as I work to compile the ideas in a follow up post ...

7 comments:

  1. So many details you write of are familiar, particularly paragraphs four and five. Abuse takes many forms.I asked him to leave, and defying his control over my life,the money,the last minor child at home,have created a man who is a nuclear warhead, just praying for someone to push the button.

    I was a SAHM for 20 years.So, his view is that his income is all his, and if I want money, I need to go get a real job. The State disabused him of that, and after 18 months of resorting to food stamps and not knowing if the power would be turned off(as happened often),I got an interim support Order.
    One year into that, he appears at a mandatory settlement conference with the news that his income as a VP in the largest international engineering/consulting firms, was to be cut by 40%. He said business was slow, so he volunteered for the temporary cut to save the 20 members of his team any cuts. Really fishy. And I've not the funds to go deposing folks. My support was cut by 30%.
    Meanwhile,I filed C-7 because he stopped paying two CCs in my name-used by both of us. He seemed delighted that he was going to"get me" and was pissed that I chose BR.
    Another issue is custody. My youngest is turning 17 this week.STBX keeps demanding 50%,when the kid refuses any overnights. Judge explained, mediators explained, his former atty (he's been pro per since the interim order),that this is unrealistic. "But I'm the father, and my kid must do what I say!."
    Recently, a 3rd mandatory settlement conference was cancelled because he never filed I7E declarations, etc. Hiding income and avoiding now.
    This has been going on 3 1/2 years. Our 24th anniversary is 9/11(of course).
    I got federal student loans, and enrolled in grad school. Straight A's! Halfway to go.I tutor to make up some of the lost support income.
    My marriage had physical and emotional abuse, and I am still dealing with a bully. I keep waking up each day not knowing what's to become of me. I fight depression. But I still hope for a time when I will feel free.
    Thank you for listening, and good luck and prayers for your situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sending you lots of love and cheering you on for going back to school during all of this turmoil.

      My only recommendation for you is to ensure that you let go of any energy around the emotional abuse. When you let go of this then you will truly be free, whether he is still hounding you or not.

      Divorce helped me to let go of my childhood abuse and now I am truly free. I wish the same for you.

      Lots of Love,
      Jacque
      www.yourdivinedivorce.com

      Delete
  2. I don't have kids, but I can certainly relate to the rest of it... And, yes, it IS abuse.

    I first looked to the courts for a "fair" result. I soon realized that the court system is not set up to deal with people who are willing to lie and manipulate their way through divorce. They need to be in the criminal system, not the civil (that word is such a joke in these cases!). My anger transferred from him to the courts for a while (the decree was good on paper, but I had no way to enforce it...he never paid me what he was supposed to to cover his deceptions, court fees, etc). I ended up shelling out over $50,000 (not including the tens of thousands more he swindled during the marriage and the house that he let go into foreclosure).

    Eventually, I just had to let it go so that it would not poison my life going forward. I celebrate the victories when they come - Innocent Spouse Relief from the IRS, selling a book based on my story, helping others with similar situations, etc. I have had to give up on the idea of "fair." When it comes to him, no such thing exists.

    Do what you need to so that you maintain custody, yet move through the legal process as quickly as you can to try to limit the damage he can cause. When you start to feel like you're going crazy, talk to others that "get" him and can re-ground you again. The money is a tool he his trying to use to control you. Don't let him win that battle. You are not a victim.

    Good luck and may the money fairy visit you soon:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I first looked to the courts for a "fair" result as well and in order to establish custody and visitation orders that would protect both me and my son. I soon learned the evil lesson that unless you have an unlimited financial resource at your disposal to spend well into the thousands, the courts can only take you so far. If I could just get jurisdiction for my child custody, support and visitation issues transferred to the state where I live I could represent myself for a majority of the issues. For now, I'm stuck paying a VA-based attorney because my case is still in VA. Since I can't physically get to the courthouse on a regular basis, I need her to file motions for me if need be. Jurisdiction won't be transferred until we are divorced. I feel like that part is never going to happen.

      You are so right that the money is a tool he is trying to use to control me. It's the only control he has left over me and he isn't going to be quick to want to let it go. He claims he is happy and that he has moved on, yadda yadda yadda ... but his actions prove otherwise.

      Thank you for sharing a bit of your story and commenting :)

      Delete
  3. I can relate to so many of your post. I am living out of the state that he lives in and he even has the kids since I don't have my own place yet and am living in between family and friends. he always made all the money and I stayed at home. somehow I am still stuck with my credit card bill. At this rate with money preventing me from getting the ball rolling it seems like I will never have peace and this will never be over. good luck with yours.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this...it sounds awful. I had a very amicable divorce but even still we are dealing with issues related to the children. When the money gets sorted out...he will forever be around...so best to try to be at peace with him in as much as is possible. I'm so so sorry it's so hard. My heart goes out to you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mine lies. Moved in with his. Witch. Lied to get an open on me. Did the same to hid kids mom
    Left me 3 weeks before. My hysterectomy. Took my bed. Never. Ends. I hope the judge sees through
    I have emails Tex
    TS pics to proove he. Plays me emotionally. And we work together.

    ReplyDelete

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