Today was a day my husband and I talked about and waited for for a very long time. We lived through hell for many years feeling as though we were at the mercy of the family court system and a manipulative, vindictive woman.
Truth is that we were at their mercy but we managed to survive it even though at times it was hard.
When I first met my husband I knew that he had children. I was also a parent so it didn't bother me at all. He told me stories about his ex (who he never married) but I guess the truth about what kind of person she was didn't sink in. I guess I had to experience it for myself to really know.
My husband is a good man who has made some really stupid choices in life. Bad choice #1 was hooking up with her in the first place. Bad choice #2 was not using a condom (twice).
His ex is the kind of woman who uses children as a weapon. In her case she had a daughter already when they met. Learning about how that came about should have made him steer clear of her but he didn't. He paid for that for 18+ years. Today that ended.
Her first child was born of a one-night stand and she named two other men as the father until the truth came out.
There was no doubt in my husband's mind that his boys were really his but you still had to wonder knowing her past.
She never held a job and still doesn't, preferring instead to get what she can in public assistance. She's been playing the "I'm waiting for a disability hearing" for years although we are both pretty sure that there is nothing wrong with her.
While we were involved with the boys she always managed to get "free" stuff for them through various charities and anytime we bought stuff for them it always wound up being taken back and returned to the store. Very rarely did they get to keep anything we bought them.
While we struggled to survive she always had a home and visited the nail salon weekly.
The court system didn't care if he could live; they were only concerned about the children. If they really did care about the children they would have not allowed her to raise them.
She had both boys seeing a psychiatrist and had them medicated from the age of 5, often on heavy-duty dosages of psychotic drugs that kept them zombified on the couch. She liked it that because they were easier to deal with.
I'll never forgot how on a visit to our home the younger boy told us that mommy said she wanted Joey to just sit on the couch like an old man.
When my husband voiced concern over the medications and how the boy complained how they made him feel, she had him back in court and got a judgment saying he had to comply with giving the medication.
He had no say in their treatment and she always gave us their medication in an un-marked bottle. She wouldn't tell him what they were being treated for but complained that the older boy was violent. We never saw anything outside of normal boy behavior.
Before we met she had gotten him fired from jobs due to harassing him at work. He even became homeless after she left the then-toddler boys with him while she went off and partied. Trying to juggle a job and caring for two babies on his own was too much and since she had already secured Section 8 housing and other assistance he was unable to get it for them. He wound up in a homeless shelter with them. He had no choice but to agree to her taking back custody.
Once we got together we had regular visitation with the boys. She didn't like that we actually parented and would grill them after they left our home.
After years of her dragging him in and out of court trying to control our lives, my husband decided that he couldn't put any of us (the boys and me) through her harassment and control and he gave up seeing them.
He continued to pay child support. He secured a really good job but she called the job one too many times and they let him go. Without an income he fell behind on payments. She asked him for some money and when he didn't give it to her, she had him locked up.
During this time she started to harass me by phone. She even went so far as to call my children and my ex-husband. We lived like this for some time and I began to understand what a nightmare psycho this woman was. I just wanted her to stop but the courts were on her side.
She would go into court and manipulate the system. Being a woman she could play the victim and the court ate it up. It was crazy.
Once we stopped seeing the boys the harassment ended. As long as she got her money she left us alone. If there were gaps because of a change in my husband's job, she immediately called and tried to get him locked up again. We lived like this for years.
The stress of not knowing what was next put a strain on both of us.
For years we looked forward to the day that it would end.
Knowing that neither boy was college material we believed and never stopped believing that someday she wouldn't have a hold on us anymore.
Finally that day came. We had to borrow money for a lawyer but that was the only way that this was going to happen.
According to the courts today is the day that my husband's legal obligation to support his children is over. In our minds it never was about supporting his children. It was about her. She is out of our lives forever. Good riddance.