Untold Stories of women……. #1
On October 13, 2019, I wrote an article so raw and filled with pain that my editor asked me to tone it down. She said she could tell the topic brought me a lot of pain. It was the story of a friend. She had asked me to stand in court and help her fight for her kids. Without any hesitation nor even thinking about it twice I responded: “I WILL BE THERE.” I hope for my editors sake I have toned it down some.
A while back, I spoke to a good friend of mine who had been going through a court battle with her ex-husband regarding his relocation and desire to have full custody of the children. Ironically, her trial happened to be the same day as the closing remarks of a high profile case that made national news for the murder of an FSU professor, Dr. Dan Markel, who was allegedly killed for hire by the family of the mother, Wendi Adelson, in order to be able to relocate the children to a different city.
My friend ended up never needing me in court. After the first two hours, the attorneys realized it was better to settle. In essence, she won the battle. But as my friend was narrating what went on during her trial over the phone, I was completely taken over by tears, overwhelmed, and painfully saddened when I heard her describe how her ex-husband’s current partner got on the stand. It hit me hard. It truly felt like a physical punch in the gut. A woman would rather believe and stand by a man rather than help and stand next to another woman who actually needed help. This woman stood in court on Friday October 11, 2019 to help her now husband take away his children from their mother because he wanted a new life in a different city, with his new wife, and his children. This woman sat in court and described how she witnessed the exchanges of the kids in the parking lot of a grocery store. She said how the mother of the children would take her time parting ways with her babies, only 5 and 2 at the time. How the kids would get upset, but she thought the mother was making the situation worse. She also described the times during swimming lessons when the mother would stop by for a chance to see her girls; the girls would stop paying attention and wanted her mom to get in the water with them. She said the kids were being distracted by her mom. Furthermore, she described how the mother “badmouthed” her in the community by telling those who asked how her and the ex-husband met. You see, the husband was cheating on my friend while pregnant with their second child with none other than the woman who sat in that courtroom.
I had been witnessing some of the exchanges for my friend for a year. Every time, I left in tears. What I saw would haunt me for days, still does at times. I saw her babies cling to her mom not wanting to let go. I saw her ex husband just standing there as if the girls were putting on a show. He just stood there, arms crossed in his chest. He didn’t try to help console the babies. He didn’t even get close to them to try to get them in his arms slowly. But rather, he stood there taping his right foot and at arms length asked for her daughter to come. All while the current wife just sat on the passenger seat of the car. I was ready to testify in court and tell the judge what truly took place during those exchanges.
What I thought was intriguing, is that it never dawned to this woman that exchanging young children in the parking lot of a grocery store for the protection of the mother was troublesome, to say the least.
She also failed to understand, as a woman of no children of her own, the babies could not tell time, nor days of the week, and had absolutely no contact with their mom while they stayed with their dad. He made sure of that. Of course the girls got upset! They had no clue what was going on! It seemed absolutely logical for two young girls to get upset not knowing when they would see their mom again or even hear her voice.
But truly think about this for just a second and let it sink in. A woman helping a man take away the children from their mother, to limit, and drastically reduce the time with her own children. And let it be clear, we are not talking about a case of abuse from the mother. We are not talking about alcoholism, drugs, bad parenting, neglect, or the like. And even if we were, sadly enough the courts do not typically help the children in that situation. I have lived that battle myself with my own children.
A woman, an educated and professional woman rationalized why it is perfectly fine for her to help take away the children of another woman, to limit the time the children spend with their own mother, to pretend that she is a better role model to those children than the only person who has fought day and night for them, their own mother, all over a man.
Take a minute or two to reflect on that.
I ask why? I ask loudly as if I was screaming, but not screaming to incite fear or anger, but rather screaming in pain and filled with tears? The type of scream you hear and instantly you know someone needs your help so you turn to help. I ask, why?
Why is a woman so quick to believe what a man tells her about his past significant other and erase any rational thoughts, truths, and behaviors she knows about her?
Why do women turn their backs on other women?
Why do women betray, lie, hide, and even go to such extremes to try to take other women’s children away whether physically or emotionally, reduce the children’s contact with their mom, pretend they can just take over as a new mom, all over a man?
Why would any woman be attracted to a man that speaks ill of the mother of his own children? That blames her? And maybe more importantly, why do you, as a woman, justify his behavior as if it was ok?
Even more baffling is that these women don’t see how they too will be in the same position one day. How the behavior being displayed towards his now ex partner is the same behavior he will display when you, his current partner also becomes an ex. You are not different. He is showing you who he is ahead of time. This unwillingness to see the reality of a situation will lead many women down a path of having a relationship with an abusive man over and over in their lives.
In the book, Why does he do that? Lundy Bancroft shares, An abusive man is not a reliable source of information about his partner. He adds, abusive men tend to paint a very poor picture of their ex partner as a way to attract women that are so used to being abused.
Statistically a man will hurt, destroy financially, and even kill a woman at a higher rate than a woman will ever do to a man, yet some women keep placing these men first.
We need more women to stand up and question any man’s negative comments of his past partner. We need more women to ask those he so ill speaks about, their story. And more importantly, we need more women to walk away from someone who has such a dark past.
If you are one of those women that are living courageously standing next to the women in need I commend, admire, and genuinely thank you. If more of us did that, more women would take care of each other and each other’s children instead of wasting our time with another man and seeing children suffer unnecessarily.
If you are one of those women that rather stand next to a man, this is your chance to do better. Because in the words of Maya Angelou, when you know better, you do better. Be the shield for those women in need walking right next to you and stop standing beside a man who is no good for you.
To be continued ……