My question involves "no contact" orders in the State of: West Virginia
My case is extensive... I'm young 24, she's 20, we're married ( 1 1/2 years ), with a 5 week old baby. I'm not here to say I'm always innocent in our arguments, as it takes two to tango - 50/50, but please read on, you'll find there is an incredible discrepancy that I need all the research and advice in the world to help save us.
Our recent background:
I married a beautiful girl who had a lot of issues. I don't hold these against her anymore though I did for the longest time, as I practically destroyed myself trying to help her - for this, I've had extensive therapy.
- She was an exotic dancer when I met her, she was 18, I was 22. We hit it off very well... wonderful relationship, despite being in a bad environment in general.
- She was raped when she was 13 by an Uncle.. it's a traumatic thing for her still.
- She grew up in an environment where drugs were common, ran away from home at 16/17ish.
- Early in our relationship, I helped her identify some of her "issues" and helped her get into therapy and endless lines of doctors. She was eventually diagnosed bi-polar type 1 with a slight bit of multi-personality.
- We made it out of the strip club environment, though drugs followed her into our marriage, namely a severe heroine addiction which took the life out of us for a long while as we had to relocate, change our lives very dramatically twice to get her away from it. She almost died at the hospital more times than I can count during the withdraw period.
- She was successful after 6 months of insane efforts and rehabilitation and has never gone back to abusing drugs since. I will forever be proud of her for being so strong to stay clean - that was almost a year ago at this point.
- She's become fully dependent on me in life for the meantime, as I maintained the job and stability for her when we had nobody for hundreds of miles but ourselves
- I helped re-kindle her relationship with her family.. and I can honestly say, we all have our problems... but I love them more than anything, her father often admits to me that he loves me like a son. I've never felt like I belonged so well - being married to her is the best thing I've known, despite how dramatic some of our life has been so far.
- I'm a computer programmer and have been since I was about 15.. just an intern then, but was one of those lucky ones that established an amazing career a little earlier than average.
- I'm happy to be drug and alcohol free, I believe in a healthy mind and body as my family has severe mental backgrounds, mostly bi-polar and suicide. I TOO am bi-polar and have had the advantage of knowing most my life - mine is for the most part an advantage to me, with the occasional down time.
- I have some issues that I've supressed for the last two years while spending most of my life in this time as her "hero" so to speak, but I never saw it that way, that's just what our family likes to put in my head. All I know is for some reason I fell in love with her... and I've never been ashamed to admit it. I think maybe I killed the "essence of myself" saving her.. though In many ways, she gave me reason to breathe as I had lost everything previous to meeting her... Mother attempted suicide many times, parents divorced, I lost my girlfriend of 7 years, I was abusing alcohol, I dropped out of college, etc...etc...
- In a bad argument while she was pregnant, I smacked her face and got a first offense domestic battery when she called the cops on me for it....
We got into an argument about 10 days ago. It was a LONG one... our therapist had suggest taking a walk when arguments get too long. So this time, she took the walk while I attended our baby. I locked the door as she left.
She went CRAZY... raging and throwing her body at the door, absolutely insane - psychotic is more accurate. I don't believe she was really aware of who she was anymore... it was like a relapse episode. I called one of her most supportive family members and she heard the crazy screaming and figured it wouldn't be long before the cops would come.
I realized I didn't want this to escalate any further, and the last thing we needed was officers involved. Our life is hard enough with all we've been through in the last couple years. After about 20 mins she seemed to be quieting a bit.. I told the family member I'd attempt to calm her down and allow her in the house and hung up the phone. I called out that I had our baby in my arms, so come in peacefully, we didn't have to talk.. just that she could come in. She understood and said she could handle that.
She came in.. I avoided her path. She was frantic, crying, breathing heavy.. it didn't make any sense. I remained calm but cautious.
She soon started flailing her arms at me, pushing me back into a corner of our home while I had the baby in my arms. She would push at my shoulders, slap my arms.. attempting to get into my pockets for my cell phone or car keys.
I became nervous but still calm enough to speak "listen, you are being dangerous, you need to calm down.. I have our baby here." She began screaming and became more aggressive. I became trapped in a corner. Our apartment only has one exit.. and I'm stuck in a narrow hallway with her flailing at me... I became worried I was going to trip or bump our newborn's head into a wall while I avoided contact.
It became too much, I stopped one of her advances by grabbing one of her arms that was flailing at me and twisted her arm back defensively and submissively... not to break anything or tear anything.. just a controlling grab that could slow down the immediate barrage of danger as I had no safe exit.
She was erratic.. I still was quite calm, but adrenaline was starting... I told her again "THIS IS TOO DANGEROUS.. I HAVE OUR DAUGHTER IN ONE ARM.. AND MY UNCONTROLABLE WIFE IN ANOTHER... YOU HAVE TO CALM DOWN"
She agreed, after about 10 seconds or so I let go and avoided her path.
I'm still far away from our only exit... she begins breaking items in our home. I'm not even sure everything she broke... but I made my way towards the living room to figure out what the heck.. and next thing I know, a desktop pc and 20 inch LCD monitor is flung off a desk AT ME with my daughter still in my arms.
This was my limit... the computer is our lifeline right now.. freelancing on that computer is how I've been paying the bills and diapers and formula and all our needs for almost 2 months as I was laid off right before our baby was born :-(
She knew the importance...
Secondly.. I was also at this point thinking that that's it.. I'm not getting out of here safely - she just threw something large at me and the baby.. she's not even herself.. she's in a full on rage and has no concept of what she's doing.
I secure our daughter in a swing quickly.. and take a few steps to grab my wife in a bear hug. She struggles me all the way out the door... "don't hurt me, don't hurt me.. please don't throw my down the stairs.. I'm so sorry.. I didn't mean it.. etc..".. ( our front porch area has some steps )
Suprisingly.. I'm pretty darn calm.. adrenaline pumping, but not crazy or anything. I explain to her "I'm not going to hurt you, I'm not going to throw you.. you just have to go". Towards the end of our struggle towards the front door, my grip on her tightens and I slightly cross face her to get through the narrow hallway and put her on the outside of the front door and LOCK IT.
She immediately starts ragining about pounding at the door again, but soon stops. I call my mother immediately and vent ( very upset, but calm ) what had just occurred.
She suggest I call the cops... I decline the advice in favor of I don't think my wife's mental stability is up to par... none of this made sense, I didn't want cops involved, I wanted mediation or her to seek some help.. something was very wrong. I believed we would be able to work through it. I consoled my baby during this time, as she had began crying. She just needed to be in daddy's arms and she stopped crying pretty fast while I talked to my mother.
Though.. next thing I know, a knock at the door. I call out through the door believing it's my wife: "I HAVE OUR BABY IN OUR ARMS...".
"It's the police".
Me: "Oh GOOD!".
I believe they would be able to rationally sort this out, I welcomed them in immediately.
FIVE officers were at the door! They asked a bit about the situation... I told them to the best of my ability. I remained as calm as possible, but slightly nervous as anybody would be. I showed them the broken items.. explained what had occurred.. who I had called.. etc..
One steps outside for a moment to get a statement from my wife. Next thing I know.. I'm under arrest for domestic battery 2nd offense. I tell them surely this can't be right.. I just told you something is psychotically wrong with my wife down there. They say it doesn't matter.. they found redness on her neck.. and that's an automatic "guy goes to jail". She would be given custody immediately.
I understand that is the process.. and told them I would not give them any issues complying. I believed this would be sorted out from here, it just might be a night in jail getting it all worked out.
They allow me to hold my daughter for a bit... and then pass her off to my wife who was in tears outside while all the neighbors were around. One neighbor actually hugged me - a very nice old man from across the street we'd become friends with, I believe he's a retired professor of some sort.
I go through the process.. officers are very kind, they said I seem like a pretty nice guy - gave me a few privileges to not be cuffed at the station and use my cell phone freely while I awaited to see the magistrate. Other prisoners didn't have it so well...
I finally see the magistrate.. and she was really nice, UNTIL she read "domestic battery 2ND OFFENSE!?". At this point she starts really flipping her lid... telling me she's sick of seeing these cases, calling me an unfit person, a danger to my wife and child, said she hopes that I don't get out on and set my bail to $25,000 to make it extra difficult!!!! She said, just incase I do get out.. she's adding a "no contact with the victim" clause, no "visitation to my address". Potential Jail term is 60 days to 1 year.
I'm in tears... shocked... tried to explain to her the situation, she said she didn't want to hear anything out of me. I'm soo confused at this point.
So.. I get booked, transported to a few counties away and locked up in the county jail there. The jail delayed medical examination for my request for my bi-polar medication... I had to put in additional requests throughout the week, and in the end, the only thing that happened was I had to express to a gaurd that I was soo depressed and feeling so anxious that I needed to see somebody right away.. that I finally got to see a "counsellor", who turned out to not be a counseller, but rather a volunteer who does this during the week and strips on the weekends.... who told me NOT to check any boxes for any medical issues unless it was the "suicidal" box.
I never did get any medical attention.. and quiting my bi-polar medication cold-turkey like that has been known to cause seizures in patients... I was worried as I felt the effects hit me after about 2 days.. thankfully no seizures, but it was not cool, I'm sincerely pissed at the jail and the state at this point.
Throughout the week, I'm making every call possible to make bail... my wife made attempts to visit me, but the jail stopped them because of the no contact clause. She also organized for me to see my daughter by allowing a family member to drive my daughter out.. but the jail denied that due to lack of birth certificate availability at the time...
I finally get bailed out. My life was ripped from me... my wife lost the apartment as she had no way to pay our rent. Moved in with her family. I moved in with mine. I'm living with a therapist as well... and here we are.
Just DAYS before the incident, my wife was diagnosed with severe post partom depression and the doctors asked to commit her for 3 days as she had expressed to them "thoughts to harm those around her", and "suicidal thoughts". They never did commit her.. she seemed to come up with an excuse to come home.. next thing you know... I'm in jail.
When I finally read the police report.. as I had never saw it until I was bailed out a week later... it said NOTHING incriminating about my wife. The police excluded any indication that items were broken in our home, despite me showing them... showed nothing about what I said... nothing at all about my concern for my wife's mental stability.. that I was worried she relapsed on drugs.. or post partom.. or the hospital wanted to commit her just a few days earlier.. that she had started new medication 2 days prior.. THE WHOLE REPORT WAS MISLEADING and written in a way to make me look like some kind of crazy psycho. I don't have the paper near me right now, but here is the rough of what it said ( I can post the exact report tomorrow possibly ):
The wife stated there was an argument, her husband locked her out when she went to take a walk to cool off, he let her back in, he had the baby in his arms, there was a struggle, he pinned her to the ground, he chased her, he choked her, he threw her down the stairs and locked her outside. At this time the wife called 911.
We arrived, and found redness around the wifes neck. We placed the husband under arrest.
I'm not even joking.. the amount of details left out of this are ridiculous. Important details that would clearly show I'm not so guilty of domestic battery as I'm probably guilty of "DEFENSIVE BATTERY" - a term should be coined.
The No Contact Order
My wife depends on me.. my baby depends on me. She needs significant help with hospitals, vehicle support, everything you can imagine... she's been through so much, and I don't believe this is her fault either. I believe she wasn't her in those moments.. she had some kind of pyschotic episode and I really don't know if she remembers it very well based on the police report?!
My concern is... what the heck can be done to remove the no contact order?! I feel so helpless.. we just lost our home, our stability, a lot of money, and each other in an instant because the police failed to listen. They didn't have to "trust me", they just had to "listen to what I was saying".
Now I fear for my wife.. I know she loves me to death.. her family is doing the best they can to support her from what I've heard, but they said she's walked around crying for weeks that she misses me and everything we had worked so hard for.... I myself have walked around crying for weeks too...
This isn't right. I lost a job over this.. but luckily was hired full time the day I got out of jail.. it was amazing luck. I'm building back my finances for now and living with a therapist and also seeking more external therapy that isn't a "conflict of interest"... going to any free class on anger and relationships just for the simple fact that I don't feel I'm completely innocent.. I allowed our argument to escalate by opening that door.. I couldn't be wise enough to take better actions.. I'm depressed and dealing with other issues too...
I wish I could at least CALL my wife to lend advice on how to go find some therapy to help her cope and to let her know I love her and I'm going to fight this to keep our family. But I can't do any of that... every day that passes.. we lose something else because I can't go to my old address anymore.. so many bills are being lost in the mail.. it's one thing after another.. we've lost our whole life in an instant because I was the only stability.
I want everybody to know... me and her are AMAZING together.. this was an insane and psychotic thing that happened.. but the day before people were complimenting us on how they had never seen us so in love at a barbque.
- How do I get our life back?
- Are there legal ways to make contact?
- Are there ways to DROP the no contact order?
- How can I pursue this in court.. without making my wife out to be a crazed maniac, because SHE's NOT.. she's SICK.
I fear for our near future. I fear the court wants us to be pitted against each other to help build their case :-(
Please, offer any advice. I have nothing but honesty to offer - surely honesty should lead to justice for my family?