Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 26


I dropped Lily off at her music lesson with her dad from 5pm- 6pm. 

She really didn’t want to go but I told her she could call or text me to come get her if she wanted.   

I wasn’t keen on her having dinner with her dad given his recent behavior, but Mum and I hung around parked close to Claude’s car to make sure she was alright. We intended following them if need be.

At 6:09 she sent a message ‘Can you please come?’   
I was close to the music studio, but when I went in, they’d already left.  I sent a message where are u?’ She didn’t respond so I had no choice, I called Claude and explained that she’d messaged me.

He was very angry and he said she was fine and they were in the middle of having dinner; he would bring her home at 7pm. 

I asked to speak with her and she was very upset – I couldn’t understand much of what she was saying and I could hear him berating her in the background. 

He got back on the phone and was still telling me she was fine while I drove up and double parked. 

She didn’t look fine – I told him I was outside and I was going to park and come in.  They’d clearly not gone in yet and hadn’t started dinner at all.  As I moved back into the traffic to look for somewhere to park he sat facing her outside the cafe with his arms gesticulating agitatedly. She was huddled in front of him looking frightened.  

When I arrived he was still outside with her insisting she was fine and I said I’d like to speak with Lily herself since something had clearly happened for her to message me to come.

He went inside to order despite Lily’s protests that she wanted to leave.  I suspect this was so he could prove I had interrupted a leisurely dinner.  

When he was inside she was terribly upset saying he’d ‘gone mad at her’ for messaging me – she whispered urgently ‘let’s go, let’s just go’  ‘he’s watching us let’s go!’ I told her we had to tell him that she wanted to leave. 

Inside he became very angry, he insisted she stay, and he suggested I stay while she ate her pizza. I was happy to do that and I asked Lily if that would be OK, but she was really terribly upset and said ‘I just want to go home’.  I said to him: "Look something’s happened tonight, I’m not sure what, but she’s clearly upset and uncomfortable about it and she want's to come home".

He became extremely angry as I lifted her into my arms.  He gripped her left arm hard digging his fingers into her school jumper. He then moved in very close; his nose almost  touching mine.  

I don’t even know what he was saying to me I was just so freaked out looking at his fingers embedded in her school jumper. 
Everyone was watching and Lily was staring at him in shock, whimpering. 

I told him firmly to let go of her arm and to move back or I’d call the police.  He followed us outside and got back in my face pointing his finger at me and said ‘you’re a fucking psycho’. As I pulled my phone out he stalked off telling me I’d hear from his lawyers.

All the way to the car, Lily kept looking around and over her shoulder, with frantic whispers; ‘Is he following us? Is he watching us?’ 
The moment I got her into safely to the car and shut the door, her little fingers fumbling with her seat belt, she went to pieces.

Lily cried all the way home, still whispering between sobs, fears that maybe daddy would follow us. She was worried what he might do at his home. her terrors where coming at her from all directions. and I think now she’s worried that he might damage her toys; her fish.

She told me he’d been kicking people’s chairs away and yelling at her because she sent me a text.

He sent an angry email later summarizing events but heavily edited – especially the parts about her asking me to come and his gripping her arm like a vice to prevent her from leaving.

I called the local Police and made a report. I’d been in there just the day before asking about what help if any I could get.

They had asked over the phone if they could take a statement from Lily which they didn't end up doing when they arrived around 9:30pm. Damn I could've had her settled in bed with a mild sedative.

I got the impression, could be wrong though, that my having typed out the story didn't work in my favor. One of the male officers said he was a parent and he seemed the most skeptical. I told them the history and he asked if Claude had been diagnosed so I confirmed he'd been diagnosed with Severe Clinical Depression in  2013 and sectioned under the mental health act in 2014, during a severe manic episode. I explained he'd had two stays in a locked mental health unit. 

I told them that Claude had already 'accidentally' hurt Lily during a fight. She'd tried to lock herself in the bathroom and he'd chased her, forced the door and hurt her in the process.
But the officer just kept saying we can’t get in the middle of a family court matter. Leave it to the lawyers etc..  

Even with all that history, he seemed to think it was just a couple of cranky parents fighting over the kid. 
I mentioned a six o'clock news item I'd been listening to while we were waiting on Lily finishing guitar. I told them; "A woman was killed today, by her partner over child custody."  The officers response: " I think that was in another state..' 
Do they believe that makes me immune?!

I just don't understand how anyone expects to avoid another Luke Batty incident if no one will take the warning signs seriously until after something disastrous has happened.

I told them I am genuinely fearful for Lily's safety when she's with Claude because his condition has deteriorated to the point where he clearly has so little control and especially over his temper.  

I told them what I told our case worker, that I have genuine and justified concerns that he will lose control with her again and the outcome will be more serious than a hurt hand the next time.

Lily is quite fearful of being made to go to her father's in the coming weeks; she's afraid of  what he might do to her for sending me the text to come get her last night (and the one she sent the previous Thursday saying he was being mean).

I wish there was more I could do, but with his doctors and the police apparently waiting for one of us to be assaulted first (even though I came damned close last night) I don't know what else I can do. Child services?

Anyway the upshot of the police interview last night is that they would be willing to file a Non-Urgent AVO on Lily's behalf which would mean court appearances all round and I think she's been through enough, she's pretty traumatized after last night.

However, the Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy  representative is taking this very seriously and has reported it to the relative authorities under Mandatory Reporting guildlines for child protection. 

At least some are trying to prevent more disasters rather than prosecute after the fact.  

All of this, frightening as it is, is kind of timely as my Lawyer was in the process of drafting a letter to Claude's lawyers. 

We have told him until he is assessed and we are assured that his treatment is on track and his Dr is responsive to all of the warning signs, out of control behaviour, he wont have any unsupervised visits with Lily. 

I will have to watch over her like a hawk until we have court orders, but I've already been doing that in past weeks.  His only recourse is to comply and get serious help, or fight it out in court. With his medical history and previous assault charges, that would be an uphill battle.

And the more I deal with this new side of Claude the more I'm convinced, aside from Bi-Polar Disorder he also has  a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).  The more I read on that the more I can make sense in our history together.



5 comments:

  1. Really don't know what to say. You seem to be handling this new behaviour calmly and rationally, which is commendable. You're doing so well to be fair to all parties. I sincerely hope that things can calm down quickly, particularly Claude. Is he taking medication?? Who can know but him.

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    1. SC, so far I've had a whole day and a half without incident (touch wood)I feel blessed. and blessed also for yours and others support. the more I read about Covert Narcissists the more empowered and less confused I feel. Answers and strategies was what I needed right now.
      xx

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  2. I totally understand why you had a typed sheet. This has been a long and arduous road for you, but yes in this case it probably worked against you. Lawyers want typed sheets, police want to see distress. They were expecting emotion spilling all over the place not methodical documentation. Although I honestly don't believe it to be the truth unfortunately there is a view that some women use AVO's to manhandle the family law court wrt custody so the police tend to base their assessments on whether they "believe" the complainant is truly scared.

    If you had that officers name though I would put in a complaint. Pointing out the tragedy you mentioned, might have been, in a different state does not negate your point and the point was when they choose not to take action when faced with a dangerous situation they are enabling the abuser.

    Not surprised the Domestic Violence Support advocacy is taking it seriously. She will have seen a lot of this before and knows how dangerous this path is for all involved.

    Those court orders can't come soon enough. Lily deserves the security of knowing she doesn't need to deal with this any longer.

    Best Wishes and Highest Hopes
    Belinda

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    1. The Police Domestic Violence Liason Officer was a more empathetic - he was with me in court two years ago.
      So much of this has shocked the hell out of me, I"m probably presenting too well (especially after two brandies and when I'm more focused on and trying to be calm for Lily's sake.) But taking notes has been the recommendation of the mental health crisis team and his doctors from the beginning. I've also discovered now, taking notes is the best defense against a Narcissistic Personality, who has no qualms about lying through his or her teeth especially during family legal proceedings. Apart from that this blog and the notes that my posts come from, have maintained my sanity: His charm and cool compulsive manipulative lies would otherwise have been a total mind fc@k.

      I've been to the cafe where our scuffle broke out and they have CCTV intsalled. The owner said he'd look through the footage so I need to call him today.
      Also I let Lily record a message for her talking doctor on my old Digital recorder and the Police Liason thought that was great. I'll load it on the laptop and send that through. I cant bear to listen to it - myself; poor little thing.
      So even with all the awful stats of men killing and injuring their ex-partners and their own children, if the police wont do their job I will. I told them I was going to look at the footage and the officer said that is something we would do if we felt it needed investigating ; one problem with that - the footage is erased every two weeks.
      this has become a full time job.

      thanks for staying with me through this
      x

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  3. You're welcome,

    Don't get me wrong I think that notes are an absolute life line, personal and legal. Just knowing what I know I wouldn't have produced them to the police. Unfortunately presenting well is often seen as a lack of distress, when as we both know plastering a wall of coping over our distress is not actually a lack of distress.

    If there is an occasion for it to happen next time,I have every hope you don't have reason, tell them your little girl has been traumatised enough tonight and put her to bed. You can take her to a police station in the morning if it is really required. That hopefully will give you the freedom to feel you don't have to present well.

    Honestly to me that's the officer saying if we were interested enough we'd look so the fact that we haven't says we are not interested. I hope the resolution on the CCTV gives you something to work with so you can convince the officer that this really is serious.

    I might be a full time job right now but the freedom you are going to feel once it is all resolved will be worth every...single...second

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