We were so lost after this happened. We did not know what to do. We were waiting the City to tell us next steps, we were waiting on an emergency restraining order and we had school to deal with, but how? How could a kid go learn at school after witnessing this type of domestic violence? Impossible! Think about how many kids are exposed to domestic violence.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an act of domestic violence occurs every 15 seconds in the United States, with four women losing their lives daily. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. There are lot of kids involved in this. This is a pervasive issue in the world.
We wrestled for days over how to coerce my step daughter to go to school. We made a lot of mistakes along the way, we had to fight hard to protect our rights with the public school. We were VERY naive. Bottom line looking back is a school is a business and ultimately they want you child in school and in our case no matter what the cost. It mattered little that it was not in the best interest of the child. Worse yet no on involved had any experience in dealing with a trauma like ours.
This is what we knew for sure though, our kids mental wellbeing after this happened was our main concern. Shielding them as best we can from this point forward was our main concern. Thank goodness we had a therapist that we were able to jump right in with!!!!
4/17/15 Friday…. 3 days post
We had to go to meet the lawyers for restraining orders. We tried to get a play date with a friend and texted back and forth between her grandmother and her. We had the lawyers in the morning and went to the school that afternoon. Trying to get my stepdaughter back into school will call the school to discuss the next steps on Monday. We just found out that Ex-Wife and her friend Lolai were calling my husband’s mother to influence her against us. My husband’s mother was appalled.
4/18/15 Saturday – so tired. I hurt so much. I just want to sleep. Everything hurt, my neck felt like it was on fire. I was hoarse and my head hurt so bad.
I talked with Dr. Shannon for two hours about get my stepdaughter going to school.
My stepdaughter tells us that during the meeting with the school to discuss her returning when she was asked what she thinks of this and what she would prefer and she started to speak and she started to answer her principal at the time cut her off and aggressively told her that she has no voice and what she thinks does not matter it is not her choice. My husband then decided to stop the meeting and remove her from any further inappropriate interrogation. Today was the day that the ex-wife called Dr. Shannon and accused her of calling the CPS. She said that you are taking it too far. Shannon said she didn’t call. Aurelia then flipped on the custody no longer wanting to give it up.
I was still working; I can see my notes about the case number M199303DV. Along with Detective Flores and the Victim Compensation Program.
My stepdaughter has been going week on week off since I came into her life in 2009—half at her Dad’s half at her Mom’s. In July 2012, she asked to live at our house upon return from her trip to Portugal with her Mom and step Dad and was very upset about things happening at her Mom’s house; her Mom refused. We bring her to get a psychological assessment, and she gets diagnosed with dyslexia, adjustment anxiety disorder, and a therapist is highly recommended. We get a therapist to work with us to get her Mom to listen to what she wants; the therapist’s first recommendation is that her stepdad not discipline her.
The therapist suggested two weeks on two weeks off as a first step to getting her at our house. In November, her Mom started talking that she was going to get her a cat. We stop seeing the therapist. They go to Portugal the next summer 2013, and she comes home really upset again, wanting to live at our house. Her Mom refuses, and now her Mom gets her a cat by September, Jet lag. We go back to week on week off until Jan 2015 because she telling us she is scared of her step Dad still that he will lock her in the bathroom and shout at her.
We get her Mom to agree to her living with us after Christmas 2014, saying it is for her grades. Within a few weeks, her cat won’t sleep with her at her Mom’s when visiting, and her Mom won’t take the cat away from her little brother. So instead, she gets her another cat, and her Mom tells us she can do a better job with her school than we are doing, so we agree to give it a try and see where she does better. At the time of the incident, we were just a couple weeks into her being at her Mom’s, and the plan was she would be back with us for the next school year. When she was with us for the first ten weeks of the second semester, we asked her Mom if she wanted her every weekend if we had her during the week, and she said she only wanted every other weekend and Wednesdays for lunch.
The weekend of the attack, we were first meeting with Shannon because the big change back to her Mom’s made it more urgent, and her teachers at her last IEP said they felt she needed to have a therapist too. She told us about being very upset again about her dog dying, she told us a story about the puppeteer guy that was supposed to take care of her fish and dog. He told her he killed her fish, and when she called him a dog killer too, he told her that she killed her dog. Then we saw Shannon, who told us basically we have to get her to a house that she feels safe in, so we told her she was coming back home, but she wanted her cat, so we said we would get her cat.
Once her Mom found out we had the cat, she flipped out and demanded we take the cat back or else. So we brought the cat back. My stepdaughter cried so bad it was primal. We ended up on the phone with Dr. Shannon, and our littlest daughter saw her sister call her Mom and scream I HATE YOU!!!!!!! It terrorized her. The next day we needed her backpack, and her Mom was coming to drop it off. As we were getting stuff to go to the pool, her Mom showed up, and my husband started talking to her about the cat while I just stood on the side in the doorway of the garage trying to stay out of it.
As they were talking, she kept inching towards me once she was in arm’s length I started moving further into the garage, and my husband put his arm up and told her to back away from me. I was able to stay out of it until the Mom brought up the family dog because not only was my step daughter upset about the cat, she was upset about how her dog died.
The mom told me she didn’t put the dog down and said the dog was 14 years old. I said I was so mad I feel like hitting her, and she says, go ahead and hit me. She lunged towards me and grabbed me by the neck, and attacked me. She lunged at me, screaming, I destroyed her life. She slammed my head on the car so hard. Her hands were around my neck with her thumbs digging under my esophagus; we started sliding down the car. I could not stand or fight back.
She slammed my head against the concrete floor, and I blacked out. Next thing I knew, my husband was shouting at me to run get out fo the garage and call 911; once I got to my feet, I saw her jump on my husband attacking him to get to me, and she started chasing me saying you told me to fuck off. She was utterly out of her mind, almost foaming at the mouth. My husband was able to stop her again and told me to run and call 911. I ran to through the back yard into the house and somehow called 911. I heard doors banging still outside, and my husband shouting get out of here. He then came in and finished giving information to the 911. She left, and the police shortly showed up.
The First day that I was alone, and it was so hard. We reluctantly agreed to take my stepdaughter to school and try a class; Mrs. Nash talked dress code with her in the first ten minutes. I had a panic attack, a real one my real first one since it happened. I was alone. I did not know what to do, so I called friends.
I took my stepdaughter to Dr. Shannon for a two-hour session, which I initially thought was supposed to be one hour for her and one for us to help her, but it became two hours of Dr. Shannon trying to get her to agree to go to school. Finally, we talked, and I shared that we feel that what she needs is time with her family and get as much love as she can get and feel safe.
Most schools are not trained on #trauma. Most schools see an emotionally challenged kid as a kid with #ADD or #ADHD. I recommend that the emotional world of a child is explored first and foremost when learning is an issue. We can heal when in a stressful state and we certainly cannot learn new things when we are worried about our Dad hurting our Mom.
During all this we slowly started realizing I was not protected by the Domestic Violence in California. Ugh. Chances were that nothing major will change in her life and everything changed in ours. There are still parts of our lives not fully fused back together 5 years later. Domestic Violence hurts everyone.
#learningdisability #add #adhd #anxiety #depression #emotionalissues #family #violence #strangulation #domesticviolence #school #trauma #secondarytrauma