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"Livid" doesn't begin to describe my feelings since December 27th; when, after an additional day and half with her father for Christmas (Note: the ex never had any E-mail nor conversation with me about her staying any extra time with him; the holiday is a "with mom" holiday in odd years.  Again, he took advantage and despite my asking him loud, clear and polite on Christmas morning, in front of my parents and other relatives, when was going to deliver her home?  He never gave an answer. Never.  She left angry, and I watched her go wondering when the hell he was planning on bringing her back.)   He was *supposed* to deliver her back on Dec 26th, to me, by 11 AM.  It's written in the Agreement (which, if you didn't guess, he doesn't feel he need to follow. Ever.  Unless, of course, it's to his benefit to warp, re-interpret and rewrite the paperwork.)

Child was finally returned home to me with not only a brand new cell phone ('it came with a lot of rules, mommy...'), but a story that nearly made me vomit.

He hit her.

He hit her, in the face, with his hand so hard her head hit the car window and her mouth bled.

He hit my child. Bastard.

He screamed at her, "DO YOU WANT ME TO TURN THE CAR AROUND NOW??  DO YOU WANT ME TO TAKE YOU BACK TO YOUR MOMMY?"

She said she was begging him to bring her back, yes, turn the car around, please.  Instead, he pulled back onto my parent's road and continued driving away from their house.

Somewhere on the street my parent's live, the street on which I grew up, from the highway it's just 7/10 of a mile to the house, he pulled the car over - with just the two of them inside, and he hit my dear and angered child.

Thankful she was finally home but deeply disturbed about her story of Christmas Day in the car with her father, I started thinking: "I have to do something. His abuses have to brought to the light of day.  There is someone to help us. There is."

I told my father.  He told my lawyer, his former partner.  No one had anything they could offer to do.
It ate at my nerves like an acid bath.  When there was finally enough staff at work to support me being out a day, I called in sick and went to Family Court, January 3rd, and filed for an Order of Protection against the bastard who hit my child.  They adjourned my request so it would be addressed simultaneously on January 8th.  We were slated to sit with the same judge we saw in Nov 2006.  She handles custody and visitation issues.... I was hoping my petition would carry a lot of weight with her.


It's hard to swallow old ghosts of guilt and shame.  "I made this happen because I married him in the first place and he abused me....I left him, he never has accepted that. He's hurting her to hurt me.... it's my fault."  But the rational, healed part of yourself comes and pulls the old broken part forward into the present, and you stop reliving the terror.  This is harder than anything, living in the present.  At least the abuse was somewhat predictable.  Ironic, no?

Funny, but I never did that when he hit me or shoved me down the stair or locked me in the tiny cedar closed because I joked that *he* should put away his laundry and that I wasn't his mom....  No, I never called the cops, never filed a complaint or told anyone - who would believe me?  I married "Mr. Wonderful Good Guy."  NO one knew what a monster he was in private. No one except me, and eventually Child but she was four when I left... she recalls emotions but not words from those days.  Damn it.

I believed I deserved it.  I was a bad wife (for wanting sex "too much"; for talking "dirty" when were alone and for writing "dirty" love letters to my own husband; for asking to paint the living room another color than the one his mother chose); for hoping he'd safely recover from the throat cancer; for having friends that weren't only his; for being talented; for being funny, smart, witty, clever, and available; for getting pregant - twice - and being the only one between us that could breast feed and understand, innately, the baby I did have.)   Shame on me for being all those deplorable, embarassing things.  Beat me I'm so awful.

New Year's Eve came and went. Child and I healed and played quietly with our close friends.  We went to the village bonfire and started the year with joy and peace.

On January 3rd, at 5:30PM, a woman from the Dept of Social Services (aka Child Protective Services) showed up.  She was hoping to speak to Child (out on visitation w/her father); she spoke with me instead, about the petition I'd filed earlier that day.  Child was finally brought home, 30 minutes late.

Social Services tried to reach her again on Fri, Jan 4th, but we were out. 

10AM on Saturday, Jan 5th, "Robert" arrived and after introducing herself, Child bounded down the stair, plopped onto the sofa and said, "It's ok, Mom.  I can take it from here."  She did.  For about 10 minutes.

The court date on Jan 8th was not as smooth.