Andrew's personal story
Friday, February 5, 2016
One in Three Campaign

We met in Newcastle through a mutual friend in June 2001, who came up from Victoria to stay at my place. We got on fine, partying a lot, having fun as new partners do, and seeing each other on the weekends we were able (her to Newcastle, or me to Melbourne). To me it was a fling, and I thought to her the same.

Out of the blue a few months later Caroline rang me from her mobile phone when she was in Gundagai with “I’ve quit work and am on my way up to live with you !!” To say I was in shock is an understatement, but I felt entrapped seeing that she had quit her job and was already halfway to Newcastle. I was obviously a “soft touch”. I was out surfing when she arrived with her old Hyundai hatchback and a few personal possessions. We got on ok but I was never very happy, and certainly never in love, but felt I had to be committed to what was. She made out that she was indispensable and insisted on going everywhere with me, even on work trips, and I look back now and see that it was slowly eroding my confidence and certainly my credibility at work (I was a senior manager with a large company on well over $100,000 p.a.).

Caroline was always an extremely jealous and needy person. Even if I looked at another woman, and I recall just a couple of examples:- after a company Melbourne Cup Day function at Newcastle Racecourse we moved on to the Beaches Hotel where a girl starts dancing with me (the place was packed and everyone was dancing with each other), Caroline comes over immediately and pushes the girl over and wants to start fighting her. The bouncers then evict Caroline from the hotel. Another time an ex BHP colleague and good friend Amber rings me one night, we start chatting, Caroline rips the mobile phone from me and starts screaming abuse and obscenities at Amber. These are just a few examples of many.

She made sure the important relationships in my life were extinguished. e.g. She didn’t get on with my best mate Greg’s wife Lisa and made sure to make it very obvious until Greg and I eventually lost contact. My own mother is another one she didn’t like, and I virtually had to end the relationship with her due to Caroline. She didn’t like this person, or that person, and I soon lost touch with people I had been close to.

I felt entrapped and isolated with this person, and it was around this time that I believe my spiral of depression began (I had never previously had any instances of depression) and it was then that she manipulated me into having a baby – hence our daughter was born in April 2004. She then used the birth to keep badgering me relentlessly to get married until I relented.

She clung like a leech, eroding my confidence and self esteem AND MONEY – an example: I remember she wasn’t working (she rarely worked, being far too precious for that) at all but was sending our poor little 12 month old baby to childcare at $68 a day for 2-3 days a week while she went out shopping and having coffees with friends) and by then my confidence was shattered and I was truly in a rut and feeling powerless to get out of it – SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE AND ALWAYS MANIPULATING!

When in 2006 some political stuff hit the fan at work that I would have just normally managed as part of the job, Caroline insisted I was depressed because of work, and made an appointment for me to see a doctor which she also insisted on attending. Unnecessary anti-depressants, psychologists, and continued badgering by her led to an unhappy and stressful parting of the ways with a company I had been a good and loyal servant to for 19 years.

We moved to the mid north coast, she convinced me her hobby business making baby clothes, which up until then had never made money, was the way to go and that I should join the business and put money into it. I knew it was bad business but I was in such a haze of depression with this overbearing woman that I finished up putting everything into it, including my $315,000 superannuation payout. By 2012 the business was bust. Manufacturing problems and her poor designs never got the business off the ground.

Amid all of this depression and failure, she convinced me to have another baby, so I agreed thinking it might improve our pointless relationship. She had a miscarriage, but continued to try and eventually our son was born in 2009.

It was around this time that she began assaulting me, while continually screaming in a narcissistic rage, “YOU DON’T LOVE ME !” “YOU DON’T LOVE ME !”. The assaults consisted of a vicious and violent fully swung open hand to my head, usually occurring when she was drunk, but sometimes sober. This happened on about 10 – 12 occasions within the 12 month period before she left with the children.

Caroline left in 2012 after she had made sure she had spent all of my money, and I was still glad to see her go but she of course took our two children and made sure I had no access to them (isn’t it the way that you stay with a women you don’t like and who assaults you, because you know that if you leave that you have little chance of having a relationship with, or even seeing, your children).

She made an appointment for me that week to see her doctor, which she insisted on attending with me – back on anti-depressants, psychiatrist, etc., even though there was nothing really wrong with me – just been in a miserable relationship for 11 years! She then used my “depressed state” as a means of keeping the children from me, and as a means for her to get what assets I had left. Two and a half years of Family Law Court and enormous legal bills later I have shared custody of our children. In the meantime during that 2 1/2 years Caroline had done things that, if I had done the same, I would have gone to jail for, and would still be in there – kidnapping our children / denigrating me to our children with an ongoing history of lying, deceit, and manipulation / stealing my car / break and enter into my house to steal my private and legal documents, the children’s toys, and anything else of value she hadn’t already taken / a history of stalking and hunting down myself and the children when we didn’t follow her commandments of the time we could spend together. All of her above offences were documented and proven, in addition to the 12 months of physical abuse I received from her.

Anyway after Final Court Orders where the judge grants me every request in my proposal regarding the children, I believe I can finally start my life again. I don’t count on the neglect of our children’s welfare due to Caroline’s continued self- absorption, or the children coming to me to do something on their behalf regarding concerns they have because they are too scared to go to their mother.

I email Caroline regarding these concerns but receive no response. This neglect of the children continues over time so I email her more forcefully, happy to tell her as it is after she imposed herself on my life uninvited all those years ago and then proceeded to ruin my life, career, and success with her debilitating negativity, banality, jealousy, neediness, and narcissism.

Sure enough in March 2015 the Police phone me with paperwork for me to pick up for an Application for Apprehended Domestic Violence Order instigated by Caroline. The AVO is in regards to my emails sent to her regarding my concerns (and the children’s) about Caroline’s neglect and also concerns about her new moronic boyfriend and his interaction with our children. What a joke – here she is, with a documented history of violence against me, a documented history of kidnapping our children, a history of lying, deceit, and manipulation, a documented history of stealing my car and break and enter into my house to steal my private and legal documents, the children’s toys, and anything else of value she hadn’t already taken, a history of stalking myself and the children when we didn’t follow her commandments of the time we could spend together – and here I am the defendant to her AVO Application for sending her a few frustrated emails trying to look after the best interests of our children.

Of course I defend against the AVO being placed on me, submit all the evidence of the above criminal actions committed by Caroline (she is referred to by the Court as the PINOP, Person In Need Of Protection, and while waiting for the case to begin she is located in the Victim’s Room – the poor thing) but when I get to Court the magistrate and the Police Prosecutor haven’t even bothered to look at my statement or evidence and after a day in court I have an interim AVO placed on me!

Meanwhile mine and the children’s concerns regarding Caroline’s neglect, and her new boyfriend, remain real concerns that can’t be addressed. And now Caroline goes around a small town using the AVO she obtained from a flawed and biased legal system to back up her vile and malicious lies about me, to the detriment of her children and her children’s friends, as someone not to have the care of their child. (i.e. some of the parents now don’t let their children have playovers or sleepovers when our children are in my care).

I lost everything I worked for during 25 years of university and then a well paid career, and I am a shadow of my former self, but I am proud that I fought so hard for the shared custody of my beloved children – that she can never take away. My only advice is to document everything and never give up. Thanks for letting me tell my story.

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
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