Girl's Night Out
Thomas and I weren't married yet. He and I had been living together for about seven months. Thomas had two children from his first marriage they were young, ages three and five. My two were slightly older about ten and twelve . The eldest a boy.
At this point we had been together for about two years. Thomas had left his wife about two months after she had given birth to their youngest daughter. I know what you're thinking, he must be a real cad because he left his wife and children so soon after the birth of their last child. And I don't blame you. I would think that too.
I had actually known Thomas for about seven years however, before he was married even. I had not known him well, but had close mutal friends who would describe Thomas' "special" wife and had known Thomas to have had issues in the marriage since the very beginning. Why he remain married and why he decided to have two children with this woman to this date I don't exactly understand, and I've done my research.
From the onset Thomas's ex-wife, Linda, had been difficult. She had not allowed Thomas to see the children except after he went to court to obtain visitation. She had tried to move the children across the country, twice. By now Linda had also launched a full on campaighn of false accusations against her ex-husband. Telling the court that he was a drunk, a drug addict, physically violent and a deadbeat dad was just the start.
Mind you, none of these accusations had panned out. No drug testing, no court ordered alcohol assessment, no forensic query into his finances and no police report or even interviews of past marital counselors could corroborate any of her stories. After years of litigation and literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth in attorney bills, the court ended up providing a plan for simple joint custody.
To give you some perspective on how I might have perceived this, I can tell you that I was married for 15 years, owned two businesses with my husband, three homes, had retirement and a bit in savings – and we hashed it out between the two of us in about six weeks and decided on 50-50 custody. And then we retreated to our separate corners to lick our wounds. No lawyers. No court.
But, that was too easy for Linda. And I know, I know-- I, as the second wife-- it is so cliché of me to blame Linda for the conflict. I would be suspect of a second wife who was laying blame on the first wife, as well. But, keep reading, and then we'll talk.
So Thomas's kids are over for the weekend. It is a Friday. I just had gone to dinner with a close girlfriend of mine and I was driving home thinking how lucky I was to have such a strong, smart woman in my life. You know, the kind woman who won't compete with you, is never jealous, has more interesting things to talk about and shopping or shoes and instead can discuss Jungian theory, astronomy, and historical events abroad… all on the the way to the outlet stores to do some shopping and buy new shoes. She is great.
So I'm driving home with all this in mind, happy as a clam with a pair of new boots and a matching slouch purse. I come home to find Thomas sitting alone at the kitchen table. His holding his head in his hands and is white as a ghost.
"What's wrong?" I ask. The grimace in his face says he's in pain.
"I couldn't call you." He says, "I couldn't bear to call you and tell you this. I don't even know how to say it now."
"Just tell me." I can already feel the pit of my stomach tightening as I try to brace myself for whatever is next.
"CPS just left our home. Linda is saying that I've been abusing the kids." He starts crying.
"You mean abusing, like hitting?" I ask, panicked.
"No. Not like that. Linda is saying that I have been sexually molesting both the kids, but it gets worse."
I can't imagine how it gets worse, but I say nothing and he continues.
"She is saying I have been molesting the children, that you have been molesting the children, and that your children have been molesting the kids as well. The accusations are against the entire family."
And there are no words to adequately describe the rage, the complete panic, loss of control and the incredible fear one feels when they and their family are falsely accused of sexual abuse.