You Want To Act Like A Man, I Will Treat You Like One

"You want to act like a man, I will treat you like one." The last words I remember the judge saying before I lost custody of my children. I dont want to act like a man. I wanted to provide for my children. Their father hadnt given me a dime in 2 years! He had been MIA for 6 months to get clean, sober, and find God. While I appreciate him doing that (after years of begging) how could he all of a sudden be awarded custody. I worked 14 hour days at the restaurant we bought while he was out doing drugs and making mistakes. We had nannys quit because of him, we had friends stop talking to us for his actions, and he ripped my family apart. I busted every bone in my body to pay our bills. I still got up every morning and cared for our children until it was time to go to work. I still woke up in the middle of the night to take care of them. I made their meals for a whole week on my day off by staying up late. I still went tp the 24 hour grocery store at 2 in the morning to get groceries when the restaurant was closed and managed to get up at 6am every morning when the kids woke up. I bathed them, fed them breakfast and played until I had to go to work. It wasnt an ideal situation but he had disappeared and someone had to keep everything in order. When we went to court I was portrayed as an emotionless witch that cared more about providing than taking care of my children. That my ex was more nurturing etc. When I said to the judge someone had to pay the mortgage and the electric and for sitters and health insurance and everything else he told me I was going to be held in contempt of court. My ex husband cried on the stand as he told the story of how he became addicted to drugs because life was overwhelming and I expected too much from him. When I got on the stand I tried not to cry. I tried to be rational and listen to all the wuestions and then answer them truthfully, correctly, and without bias. His lawyer pointed out that I was emoitionless (clearly he hadnt seen me during the recess throwing up and crying in the bathroom). He said there was no way I could give the children emotional stability and be so cold on the stand. I sat silent as the lawyer berated me afraid to speak out and ruin my chances of custody. I wanted to say Im not crying cause Im trying to be strong, Im not showing emotion cause Im terrified, I have cried so many days because of my ex that I didnt have tears for his story. That my children had played in his vomit while he was passed out. That when he overdosed I sat by his side in the hospital for 3 days while he was in a coma and prayed that he would pass because I couldnt take it anymore and that when I finally kicked him out it was 2 years too late. Where had he been when I needed a partner to raise our children. Where was he when the kids needed a father in the past 2 years. I didnt have anymore tears to cry on the stand or in the courtroom. I had cried myself to sleep for months praying that I could hold our family together. But instead I sat there silent cause I couldnt speak. Words couldnt form and finally my lawyer was able to get him to stop. The judge listened to countless people tell him I worked too many hours, that he was more available than I was because he didnt work. Maybe if he had worked I wouldnt have had to work as hard. Then the judge was told that my ex husband would be living with his parents so that they could help him raise our children properly. The people I had begged for 2 years to help me get their son help and had said what a great mother and worker had now turned on me. I was asked what my plan was. I told the, my plan would be to try to work less but that I had to provide for them. Our business is only open 6 months out of the year so most of the school year I am completly off. Its just the summers that I have to work long hours. After 2 weeks the judge decided that he had reached a verdict. He talked about the kids well beings (he had never even seen them), and about nurturing and caring for the children and then he said. If you want to act like a man I will treat you like one and then turned to my ex husband and said. Im giving you primary physical and legal custody because you will have more support thqn your ex-wife and are available more hours than her. He turned to me and said now your children wont affect your work. Congrats and stood up and walked out of the court room. I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. All of a sudden I felt like there wasnt enough air in the courtroom I turned and ran out into the parking lot. My ex walked out after me and came up to me and said Sorry I had to do it...you ruined my life and now Im going to ruin yours." I ruined his life by asking him to leave and not staying by his side and this is how he returns the favor apparently.
That was 2 years ago. I have cut back my hours. I am more successful than ever work wise. I support him and my children to this day. I get them every other weekend and once a week for 4 hours. I have begged for more time. 50/50 split. I offered to pay the money and not go back to court to get more time. I was told by the court that there is not a significant reason to contest the ruling. My kids cry every night that they have toleave me. My ex husband doesnt get them ready in the morning or put them to bed at night his mother does. I know this because my kids tell me everything. I cant prove anything though cause they are too young to testify for themselves. I volunteer at the school. I am at every game etc. He goes to none of these things but still there are no grounds. I cry all the time now. I cant be as strong as I want to be because I feel such a huge void in my life. I have to put on a brave front when my kids are upset about our situation. It is like living in my worst nightmare. No one understands what it feels like unless they are the parent that has been through it and it is hard to explain it to other people. I feel like people are judging me and it hurts. I know I was and am a good mother. Its just so hard!
workingmomof3monkeys workingmomof3monkeys
26-30
3 Responses Dec 5, 2012

My heart sank while reading your story, I too have been totally wronged by the court system that is supposedly so just. I posted my story just recently as I am knew to this forum. I wanted to commend you for your participation in your children's school and in their lives. For that I guarantee you they see who truly has their best interest in mind. I canncannot understand where the hatred comes from that drives so many to use the children as pawns and ploys to "destroy" the lives of the other parent. Just hold on to the thought that one day your "monkies" will come running back to you and leave their dad in the dust for what he has done.

It sounds like your an awesome mom trying to provide for your kids. I am very sorry to hear your results. I hope you get your kids back soon. Best of luck to you.

Wow thats terrible. I don't think children should be taken from their mother unless they are unfit or being mistreated in some kind of way. You didn't mention any of that above,only that you work too much. I hope you get your children back asap. Good luck.