We live in a small town (max pop: ~10K) where everyone is either related to each other or certainly knows of and/or about each other. I used to love this....now? Not so much.
I'm not thrilled with my L but don't really have options either. When I can finally talk to him he does seem concerned and on my side but it's clear he is overworked and not dedicating the time I need him too. He told me from the beginning he would have a young law student handling a lot of my case but he would oversee everything. I was told to CC all emails to her, and I have.
My STBXWW is absolutely fantastic at making new friends and instantly likable by most people. She is not good at maintaining friendships as people seem to start distancing themselves once they get to know her or realize how manipulative she can be. I'm just speculating on why she doesn't seem to maintain these new friends, but it seems right to me. The one thing without a doubt is she is very manipulative and vindictive and she will do anything or use anyone to achieve what she wants.
I have suspected for sometime that my STBXWW has been keeping tabs on me and my plans and I've been surprised about some things she knew that I didn't think it was possible for her to know. I even remember being so paranoid at one point last year that I thought she had some kind of recording device in my home and even looked for it.
Well, a couple of months ago I ran into a big problem with my well and no longer had any water. Due to my very northern location I had to wait for the snow and frost to melt for this problem to be resolved. At the beginning, I thought it was best for my kids to stay with their Mom full time and that I would pick them up often until they could return home. There are more reasons why I HAD to do this but I don't want this to be to long, and I can tell it's going to be already. I was not happy doing this whatsoever and did not expect this to last more than 2 months, but it did....and that was at least double what I ever expected it could be! Also, I never could have anticipated how horrible my STBXWW would become during this time. She immediately began refusing me access to my kids by making up excuses that her and POSOM had plans with the kids or other lies (kids verified these lies to me and were very unhappy) to the point where I gave up trying and instead became sneaky about how I would see the kids, eg. picking them up from school during their lunch hour, talking to them on phone when they were at friends, etc. STBXWW made it as impossible as she could for us to talk on phone or over internet while kids were in her home. I complained about this every time via email to my L and documented everything. Surprisingly, STBXWW would have her L complain to my L about my behavior during these times I reported and usually would have a different story that would paint her in a good light with me as the evil monster - first! I was always surprised (and even somewhat impressed) that she was doing this and assumed it was her strategy to alienate the kids from me while covering her tracks for doing this.
2 weeks ago I finally got everything fixed and informed STBXWW that we could resume our current temp custody arrangement. Had we been following our schedule all along, the first weekend after this would have been hers with the kids but I emailed a request to her for the kids that wknd considering the fact that I hadn't had them for ~10 weeks. She denied my request. The next time I had the kids after that wknd, the kids informed me that Mom and POSOM had went away on a planned trip for the wknd and the kids were left in the care of babysitters the entire time! What a bitch?!! Instead of allowing me to have my kids she'd rather leave them with babysitters!! Again, I emailed a complaint to my L about this. I was informed by his asst. that L was gone away for the week on business.
Next week STBXWW and I and our respective L's have a meeting with the children's L to hear the findings of their research into our lives and what their recommendations will be to a judge should we proceed to trial. Apparently we will be given a chance to mediate afterwards in an attempt to avoid trial. So hearing that my L is gone for the week and no appt. was scheduled for us to discuss anything before this important meeting next week I was understandably disheartened. I decided to email all my concerns, complaints, and hopes and what I'd be willing to settle for minimum and what I'd offer for that regarding our children to my L in the hopes he would at least read that before this meeting and be somewhat prepared.
Needless to say, I've sent many emails of very personal information to my L. I never got one single response, until 2 days ago....
The first response was from L's asst. and there was no acknowledgement of any of my previous emails. Instead, this email claimed that the children's L was demanding proof that my well/water situation was resolved. I was astounded and very upset...but immediately drove to town and got the company I hired to write a letter for me and then took it to L's office. When I handed it personally to my L's asst. she questioned where the water quality test was...which I didn't have one. I explained that we're on the same well and nothing has changed with the water we'd been drinking from the previous 5 years and that only some parts (foot valve, Ventura, etc) had been replaced. This asst. then said that I NEED this water quality test done and alluded that unless I had it, I shouldn't have had the children come home yet. I got very upset and choked up as I stated this is finally my weekend with the kids and that I have running water in the home which is good for showering/baths and that I have a water cooler with bottled water for drinking so I didn't see what the problem was, and that testing could take a week or 2 more as we have to mail the sample away to the nearest testing facility. This asst...my L's asst....who is supposed to be on my side, then stated that she's not sure if that would suffice but she would email the children's L to ask for me. I immediately left as I was getting so upset and didn't want anyone seeing me cry.
Yesterday I spent the day feeling very sorry for myself and beyond frustrated. I couldn't stop thinking about all of this. Then it occurred to me....why would the children's L be interested in this? Their mandate is to find out what our home life is like, determine what the kids want, and then recommend to the courts where the kids should live and which parent if any should have custody. Why would they care about the quality of my water and if so, shouldn't they also be concerned about my STBXWW leaving for the entire wknd and leaving the kids in the care of the babysitter, amongst many other, even worse, incidents with my STBXWW and kids? Also, the children's L never asked me to send the kids to STBXWW's in the first place when the well went...that was my decision alone (and a preemptive one at that as I was sure my STBXWW would get CAS or someone involved otherwise). Finally, I remembered my DD6 telling me the first day she came home last week that Mom told her not to drink my water and that Daddy's water is bad and has germs and DD6 was very worried about it until I showed her the water cooler I had and how to use it and I assured her it's very safe (hell, the tap water is safe too...but I don't mind erring on the side of caution). So I emailed my L's asst. back and asked her to forward me this request she received from the children's L demanding proof about my water.
First thing this morning, I got a reply from my L's asst. It started off:
In light of (my L's name) absence this week, I took it upon myself to request proof of your well this week...
And then just a couple more sentences of her justifications but nothing of substance. It ended with an assurance that she would talk to my L about this when he is back.
I was floored by this! She outright lied to me in her first email claiming that the children's L was requesting this proof! I think she believed I would just let my STBXWW keep the children until I got positive test results back of my well water and never anticipated me demanding proof that the children's L actually did request this! When I did and she was basically cornered, she admitted via email that she actually requested it, not the children's L. She's supposed to be on MY side!!! I know this may seem paranoid but if true, this makes an awful lot of sense to me....I now fully believe that my L's asst. must be friends with my STBXWW and/or POSOM and she's been leaking EVERYTHING I've ever written to my L to them!!! Or...my STBXWW has been using her for info on me somehow or at the very least, directed her into doing this. As stated earlier, my STBXWW is known for using people to get her way or revenge! If this is true, what a breach of privacy and my trust?!! I have written so much about everything to them in hopes of getting my children and protecting their futures!! Even if this isn't true, what the hell was this all about? Is this not wrong at some level? I obviously will be talking to my L face to face about this next week and hope to get to the bottom of it but I need to know if my anger and feeling of betrayal is justified, and what I can expect of my L and how he should handle this and restore my faith.
Any opinions and suggestions or just plain ole comments are very welcome! This whole process is all new to me and I have no experience with L's, the court system, any of this. I'm sorry for the length of this but wanted to make sure I got across everything I felt was relevant.
One last thing, when I picked up the kids this afternoon from school because I refuse to give up another weekend, DD6 told me she was happy to be spending the weekend with me but also sad as OM is going to be very, very sad that she's coming here. I asked her if OM said this. She replied no, mommy told her this and that OM was crying that DD6 is leaving to spend the weekend with me and he's going to miss her so very much. I'm DISGUSTED! That bitch wants to make my DD6 feel guilty for coming home with me?! This, along with the fact that DD6 has also recently told me that Mom is encouraging her to call OM Dad and to tell him she loves him is making me think I need to get my kids away from their mother permanently, or at least until she gets some help. (Btw, not just these couple of things...there are many, many other things that make me believe their Mother being around them anymore is not healthy for them at all!).
Thanks for reading.