I have recently been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from physical abuse during the marriage and my ex literally trying to kill me (no joke he served time for it). I have sole custody of our twins granted in the 50B (which he violated when they were 18 months old) and also via a Supplimental Order entered after the year end at the time of Divorce. I allowed his lawyer to enter a plea reducing his felony charges from first degree burglery, second degree kidnapping, and assault on a female with intent to do bodily harm to allow him a lesser sentance and save him from 30 yrs in prison. (MY MISTAKE) I thought I’d be better served if he were out and paying child support. I assumed $28K of marital debt and did not push for alimony even though I was entitled to it. Since then, I have endured 12 years of drunken phone calls, demands, harassment, threats, invoked fear, many sleepless nights (waiting on him to break in on me again), and recently had to be hospitalized for the PTSD as well as major depression. In retrospect, his actions have cost me more than an emotional breakdown, but I’ve lost jobs because of my lack of ability to cope and be a single parent to our twins, and he has robbed our children of any sort of a normal paternal relationship.
I have refrained from filing a long overdue modification of child support for fear of stirring up a ‘hornets nest’ and motivating him to attack me yet again. The most recent activity in our disfunctional story is that one of our sons was recently suspended from school for drinking alcohol at a football game at age 15. When I diciplined him for his behaviour he ran away, was missing for 24 hours then showed up at the ex’s. Now the ex is encouraging the minor child to stay with him with lavish gifts and false promises. He is harboring the minor’s resentment towards me and has filed for custody and a modification of the support that he can’t even pay (he’s only made two of the monthly payments this year).
The ex is a clearly documented alcoholic, a convicted felon, and a menace to society (he abused his third wife too and is now going through a divorce). I feel guilty for not persuing his felonies against me so that she, my boys or others may have been protected from him.
With medication and counseling, I am gettin better. I’m getting relief from the belief that it was my fault for being a bad judge of character and that I was to blame (according to the years of verbal torture from him). I’m getting to the point that I want him to suffer as much has he has caused me to. Can I now sue him for punitive damages for ruining my life based on my newfound diagnosis?