2007-01-15 - 12:33 a.m.
IT's been rather busy here.
Last Thu was the Protective Order Appeal in the Loudoun Circuit Court.
The judge ruled that there was no need for a protective order.
He also said the only evidence he found credible of abuse was that he heard of testimony of Westely who lied and claimed I hit him over the head with a piece of paper.
Very strange that the judge actually commented that he found that testimony to be credible evidence, yet he disregarded my testimony of the FACT that Westely REALLY did throw a jewelry box at me, grab me by both shoulders and pick me up and try to literally throw me out of the house, hang up the phone on me when I called 911 (the call went through anyway), grab me and throw me across the room, spit in my face, tell me "I hope you burn in hell"
The judge ostensibly only wanted to hear about the incident which was listed on the actual petition for the protective order.
Yet he allowed all this discussion of where we lived over the past seven years when the opposing counsel said " I think you really have to go back to 1999..."
So he let that in as if it were relevant. Sadly my husband even had someone there ready to testify as to the value of our VA home as if that had anything to do with the protective order at all.
He didn't touch the topic of domicile. But he stuck with the term residence.
The judge committed what appears to be reversible error by not allowing a rebuttle by my attorney, and by not allowing any witnesses to be called. He basically heard my attorney's opening argument, the opposing counsel's response , and my husband on the stand, then me on the stand for cross ex.
That was the point at which it was over as I totally lost my composure when the opposing counsel started to go through a line of questioning clearly intended to imply I am a liar.
The problem with eggregious abusers is that they abuse SO OFTEN that there are SO MANY INSTANCES that one can't possibly fit THEM ALL on a typical PETITION for a protective order or a typical CRIMINAL COMPLAINT form which the system wants to be short, consise and to the point.
So I just wrote what was sufficient.
In my petition for the protective order I included the incident of Westely throwing me out of his parent's home last DEC 23, 05 in 20 degree weather in New Windsor NY. I had no shoes on nor coat and he and his parents left me outside for a good 15 minutes. I walked down the driveway and a car passed and I waved hoping it would stop and take me to the police station there. It kept going. The girls were all inside. So I deceided to go back and wait at the door until someone deceided to let me in.
After that Dec I talked with some folks and deceided that I would never go there again, but that I would chalk it up to Westely acting like a nut in the context of his nutty family and hoped to get us back into counseling with the hope he could act normal. HE hadn't been so nutty for a little while before that so I still had some hope. I thought the regression with family was forgivable.
SO at the first Protective Order hearing the whole darm family came and while believing they were testifying on Westely's behalf said things like "He picked her up GENTLY and placed her outside. She was provoking him."
My attorney then gave a very strong oral argument for the protective order as he said "She was treated like a dog. Thrown outside "
IN this hearing on Thu Jan 10, my attorney attempted to bring up the fact of the reason we were in NY being that Katerina and Soren remained there due to Westely's abuse. The judge allowed the objection of the opposing counsel. That doesn't make alot of sense to me.
I actually did answer a question incorrectly as when asked if I worked I said the only job I had was working the night shift at Target. I forgot to mention the immigration consulting. I never mentioned taking the VA BAR THREE TIMES. The judge in the ruling said as far as residence "YOu had a job in NY"
I honestly did testify that we intended to come here for this summer only at this time. While the judge believed that he didn't seem to believe that we also had the plan of MOVING BACK HERE in a few years! Five at most were what we planned on remaining in NY for. And once it was clear to me that my oldest children wouldn't be allowed to spend time with my husband in my presence ever, so they wouldn't be able to come to our home in NY often, then it was clear to me that we should all come back to VA as with the network of support here I actually got to spend MORE TIME with the kids in BUFFALO when in VA than when in NY. While here I had help from family and friends. I couldn't WAIT to come home. The judge didn't want to hear it at all.
Westely basically LIED and acted like this was his investment property. He claimed he intended to sell it which is total Bull.
In any case, the real point at which the case was over was when on that cross examination of me I lost it.
At that point I realixed LATER that I totally had low blood sugar, was overtired from trying to concentrate so hard, and had absolutely no impulse control. The ADHD hyperness overcame me in the WORST possible way. People talk about not being able to sit still, and I am in a whirl of constant motion except when I sit to REALAX and them my mind is active and my hands often as well typing, or sewing or writing. I don't watch much TV as I have a hard time doing so. Its true I can't watch a movie without commenting on it unless I make a HUGE effort to do so. I can watch TV while doing other things like folding laundry etc...
Well when under cross examination, my ADHD non medicated self didn't fare all that well. I felt later on like the fact of being unmedicated was indeed the intention of cutting off my medical insurance. It took so long to find a Dr and get an appt and the irony was that my appt indeed was the day BEFORE on the 9th. SADLY I HAD A PRESCRIPTION ON THE 9th but no time to fill it as I had to pick up the girls on time from daycare.
So when the opposing counsel started questioning me "Is this your writing on the petition for protective order"
After he has spelled out his argument that none of my testimony was congruent with what was on the criminal complaint... that I hadn't listed what I told in the court on that criminal complaint... I then took the complaint he handed me and
My attorney and I had already been not allowed to discuss that incident as the judge ruled he only wanted to hear about what was on the petition. (That is the petition for the protective order which is what this hearing was for. The criminal complaint was what I filled out in the magistrates office when getting the initial temporary protective order.)
The fact that ALL THE WRITING AND TESTIMONY OF MINE WAS TRUE AS IN THE AGGREGATE WESTELY HAD ABUSED US ALL NUMEROUS TIMES WAS JUST NOT CONCEIVED OF BY THE JUDGE!
HE INSTEAD THOUGHT ME A LIAR!
So as I was reading, in anger that the incident with my daughter wasn't being discussed and being told by opposing counsel that it was not on the petition for the protective order (when I THOUGHT I HAD INDEED LISTED THAT AS MY # 1 CATALYST FOR LEAVING. I Thought it WAS on the petition for the protective order and my attorney DID NOT HAVE A COPY OF IT THERE AND NOR DID I AS I TRUSTED HE WOULD! I DON'T THINK HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT THAT AS WE DID HAVE THE RESPONDING OFFICER AND THE EVIDENCE OF THE PHOTO OF THE RAISED WELT IN THE SHAPE OF MY HUSBAND'S HAND SMACK CENTER OF MY DAUGHTER'S BELLY)
So at that point I believe the opposing counsel effectively just LIED to claim it wasn't on the petition and I was REALLY ANGRY. (I am not sure if he did lie or not. But I thought that my petition was in fact longer than most and he showed my attorney and the judge two pages. I think he may have just convieniently OMITTED a third. Now I had formerly had all my papers INTENTIONALLY all over the place so that I felt more secure about them REALLY I had them everywhere,knowing where I stashed them- at friend's, my safety deposit box, weird hiding places. When my nanny kept encouraging me to get my papers organized it in fact made me a bit mistrustful... but then I thought I was just being a little overly paranoid so I deceided I SHOULD get all my papers organized. I really HAD to when doing the INTERROGATORIES for the Child Support HEARING which was scheduled for Jan 26th.)
Now I know in organizing I had the petition for the protective order. But now I can't find it. It doesn't mean its not here in the mess that is still not filed. But I recall reading some things and thinking I don't need to save ALL OF THIS STUFF. There is just SO MUCH of it. I intentionally wanted to get rid of some of the descriptions of Westely's violence.
I may have not saved that thinking it not important as I have two attorney's who have it (and it is on file). I mean I never thought it would be considered necessary as I was going to testify.
I guess this explains why my Evidence grade was one of my lowest in law school!
I think I threw out that piece of evidence that I wish I had now to review. I'd like to know if I really didn't list the child abuse or if the opposing counsel effectively lied to block the evidence of the responding officer and the photo.
So when on that stand after his leading statement of somthing like "YOu could have written about those incidents you described today on the criminal complaint but you didn't", then getting the question posed to me
And then I heard the judge and I shut up, and I was thinking "The truth has to be heard, and if this proceeding is obviscating it I want no part of it"
And he wouldn't take it. I then pivoted and turned and took a few steps as if to walk off the stand- Which I ALMOST DID in total anger.
The judge then said something to the effect of "I want to note for the record the behavior of Mrs. Blake" and described me getting up and starting to walk off the stand."
The judge made some comment on how this case belongs in the domestic court. He gave us one hour to try to settle before he ruled. I took the time to go find the vending machine. I had only 75 cents and needed another quarter. The kind Security Guard I have chatted with every hearing spotted me $1.00 and said "keep the change you might need it." I was glad as I did. I grabbed an overpriced Snickers and hoped to not continue to feel faint. I really did feel lightheaded and realized I should have eaten long ago and perhaps my reactiveness would have been less!
As my big bro says "Stay in the Zone, don't Zone out"
He is a firm believer in the ZONE diet as he and another brother both observed they get low blood sugar and symptoms similar to ADHD only when they need to eat. I found that interesting as I have had myself tested for hypoglycimia (I think that's the right one- diabetes with low blood sugar) as I thought I had the symptoms at one time or another but I tested fine. I also had Soren tested once as he seemed to also have them. My two brothers apparently also don't show up as having that, but note how they feel and function and that they get those moments of mental acuity being foggy when needing to eat. He sent me a book on the ZONE diet I am looking forward to getting.
This time I was distraught and walked out and am lucky this in VA rather than NY as here people actually stop for even those who carelessly walk (or run as the case just as likely may have been ) into the street without paying any attention.
I really was so upset I just wasn't paying attention.
I met the attorney I had asked to prepare my divorce petition months ago. I think she was just as shocked as I was at the outcome. Had she or I thought this a remote possibility my divorce petition would have been filed already. I DID Tell her that was priority, however in working on the interrogatorys for the child support action which we had to do under a deadline, the petition for divorce had just not been done yet.
See that's my fiercly loyal and forgiving nature.
I hope she comes through with it as she said she will do on an EMERGENCY basis now by Tue or WED of this coming week.
I do think she is a very good attorney. I do think she is looking out for me.
She said " I REALLY NEED YOU TO BE MEDICATED AND ABLE TO BE CALM FOR THIS HEARING. YOU ARE STILL SOUNDING ANXIOUS, IF YOU NEED TO GET TO A DR IMMEDIATELY TO ADJUST LEVELS"
I do like that I have an attorney who is very direct and gives clear instructions on what to do and not do. I liked this attorney for her clarity and her familiarity with the law when I was in the midst of the Buffalo custody battle. I had one phone consultation with her for 45 minuted then and she was just so CLEAR about everything. She couldn't help me then, but still clarified WHY NY would retain jurisdiction in a manner no one else had done.
The good news is that I really do have such a substantial difference in my ability to get things done when medicated.
I actually have been having trouble sleeping, and when I take the medication it does not effect that. It in fact enables me to get things accomplished in less time, to completion, and then I am much more relaxed as well as more productive! I procrastinate less and am less obsessive about getting caught up in diversions that are really not priority. I am less impulsive.
What I love most of all that I recall being a reaction when I first started Adderall last year (that I didn't think about today until I had the same experience), is that I am again ENJOYING each moment with the girls when I sit and read with them without that feeling of having to rush so I can get the things done that need to be done.
I always read to each of them before naps and before bed. Thats about 15-45 minutes a day I read to EACH girl by herself. (Some of Raitlin's board books take only 5 minutes whereas the older girls read a bit to me, and then I to them so it takes a longer time.) I estimate that on average I read for one hour before nap, and then for one hour before bed time to the girls total.
It's so amazing the difference in how I FEEL ATTENTIVE And ENJOY EACH OF THOSE MOMENTS MORE FULLY PRESENT WHEN MEDICATED.
When not taking the Adderall my mind is thinking of the dozens of other things to be done for each of the other girls, and the house chores, or a number of other concerns WHILE going through the motions of reading, and holding the girls and hugging them goodnight. Its like I am THERE doing that all, but my MIND is elsewhere ALL THE TIME.
Its so hard to describe- but that is what it is like ALL THE TIME when I am not medicated. There is a disconnectedness that I think happens when one is so distracted.
I think that is the thing that is most wonderful about the treatment with medication. Westely had even commented on that when I first started it. He noted I was more affectionate physically with the girls. I hugged them and him more. (Although he didn't WANT to be hugged and would respond "Don't touch me" at any initiation- so I of course stopped attempting to!)
It is SO NICE to be medicated again! I feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders in that regard. A strange irony that I finally achieved this goal of caring for myself concurrant with the horriffic ruling leaving us without the protective order.
At least my house is now clean and organized! We have spent the past few days sorting toys and clothes and gathering up what is to be sent to Salvation Army. We put all the parts of toys away together and threw out broken ones.
WE also made paper mache. I discovered that wheat flour does not work as well for the paste as white flour.
That is something I have wanted to do with the girls for so long!
I love the fact that I can achieve goals I have had for a long time but never got around to before!
I hope the BAR EXAM is one of those that I now succeed at! In the next few days I should have a hearing (hopefully)
I called the school and told them "The girls are not coming in due to a health and safety concern"
I came on line to look up truancy laws actually.
Westely DID show up here when the girls and I were outside on FRI- with a video camera in hand. Our Brother in Law was holding the camera, and they were taking video of the fact that I had not had the girls in school.
OF course the fact that he stopped paying the car payments on our family vehical and that it was repossed by GM that very morning did in fact make it impossible for me to drive them in that AM as I really had intended on doing once I heard from my attorney that it was advisable to do so.
I knew however that without the protective order there would be NOTHING stopping Westely from picking them up from school and then taking them to HIS PLACE to claim they want to live there .
I am SURE he has a place here. He is around all the time. He shows up at every school function (so I have had to drop off the kids and leave ! Makes him look like the involved parent and me not.... as every time I PLANNED on attending he has been there unannounced!)
There is nothing to preclude him from picking up the girls from school. Except that I am not going to send them to school until I feel it is safe to do so. I consider him to be a dangerous threat to their health and safety. When I didn't get supervised visitation after the first PPO hearing I thought "At least visiting at school IS SUPERVISED VISITATION"
OH- one other bizarre thing. My petition for a protective order did indeed request supervised visitation. So if this judge was going by only that which was written and asked for, I don't understand why at this appeal he also ruled that there is not a threat to the kids or I would have requested supervised visiation and he has had visitation every other weekend.
YES he had that because at the first hearing I HADN'T GOTTEN THE PICTURES or did I have THE WITNESS of the OFFICER who I had ready to testify at this APPEAL as I WANTED SUPERVISED VISITATION DUE TO HIS DANGEROUS BEHAVIOUR.
So we are essentially in the fox hole at home as they say. I am not EMOTIONALLY doing that fox hole thing that many parents do with their kids though when separated or divorced. I know better than that. I am STILL RESOLVED NOT TO SAY A BAD THING TO THE KIDS ABOUT THEIR FATHER. HIS BEHAVIOR AND THE WAY HE TREATS THEM AND ME IS WHAT THEY CAN MAKE THEIR OWN JUDGEMENTS ON.
I am sure that actions speak louder than words! They do so for me, which is why I have been able to ignore his calls in which he says how much he loves me and how changed he is and to "let me know if you want to schedule a counseling appointment"
I have had enough of listening to his lies. Why would I want to subject any of us to any further abuse?
One wonderful thing is that I do have some marvelous supportive friends here who have stopped by! A few call and stop by regularly to check up on us.
The girls were really upset at the car being taken. They watched from the window as I got all our stuff out. Then I didn't see them at the window and wondered what they were up to. When I came in they had draggged their blankets down to the kitchen and were comforting each other all huddled together hugging. It was so sad and so very sweet at the same time. They did feel better when I framed it as "The car is being picked up and needs to be fixed."
I agree. No one should ever know they have a parent who is a totally heartless jerk until they are grown. I think we need to all be adults before we can handle that reality. To be functional adults we all need to believe both are parents love us and are wonderful. It's essential for healthy development! (Especially when very young)
Westley stopped paying the payments on the family car in September.
When he showed up on Friday with camera in hand he claimed it was to pick up the car as it was titled in his name and I was ordered use of it under the inital Protective Order for 2 years. The judge who ordered that KNEW it was titled in his name but didn't care as she ALSO knew he had another personal vehical as well as I have the VOLVO. She felt it REASONABLE and ignored the fact that it was titled in his name only considering it marital property and the family vehical I SHOULD continue to have use of. The protective order not being uphelp under the appeal meant he got the GMC DENALI back- but for the fact it was repossessed that very morning after the appeal!
So here we are, with my VOLVO at the shop as I sent it in when I picked up the Denali a few weeks ago. I have an awesome body shop and joke they are my new best friends. (As in my unmedicated state I did damage with hitting inanimate objects! )
I just paid $1300 a month ago to replace the running board on that Denali. I felt like I had the obligation to repair the damage my amazing nanny and I both did to it hitting the darn boulders I told Westley I didn't want demarking a path- as they are not in a lighted area and I KNEW I WOULD HIT THEM.
I felt like I should pay to repair that especially since the vehical wasn't owned by me! (IF it were mine I would have let it go as not being a priority!I just repaired the essentials on the VOLVO and won't repair any cosmetic damage until I can really afford to do so)
Then just this past Monday when leaving my attorney's office with the Denali, I HIT THE SIDE of her brick office building! I couldn't believe I did MORE DAMAGE to the very same running board that I crunched in half, as well as huge scrapes and dents on the side of the truck.
It was however SO NICE to not have to come home to someone berating me rather than empathizing with my challenges when driving with ADHD!
Thus another reason I was so relieved to finally get into a Doctor again for treatment!
That is such an amazing measurable tool which tells me how effective the ADDERALL is for me!
To bed now. I didn't find all the law on attendance, but I am not too concerned as I know a Dr note for an "Excused absense" is all I really need and that shouldn't be too hard to obtain. I will call the pediatrician in the morning.