But that's what abuse does to you. It breaks you down until you feel so small and insignificant that you begin believing what your abuser tells you. I endured a 9.5 year relationship that became abusive within the first few months and has been over for nearly 5 years now. I've mostly keep my little secret to myself, tucked far away in a dark place that I don't visit often, day by day slowly trying to erase the memories.
My abuser has now found a way to seek "revenge" upon me, he says. In February this year, he and I got into a "tug of war" with our 11 year old daughter. He fled the scene with her. When the cops that I summoned found them, he told them that I physically choked my daughter. She, who understandably was upset and confused and under undue pressure from her father (not to mention, suffers from severe anxiety and was likely having a panic attack), told the police she felt like she couldn't breathe and may have been choked. I was then arrested, put in a cop car for the first time in my life, and spent 5 days (holiday weekend) in jail. During that time, my abuser was able to get temporary custody of our three children.
Those of you who know me, know that I would never and have never hurt my children. I've always been an "attachment parenting" follower, always striving to use redirection and gentle discipline. I was previously a preschool teacher and was working towards my teaching degree. I love children. Especially my own! To be accused of such a horrific act is not only absurd- it's unwarranted.
Over the past four months I have been fighting with every piece of me, to get my children back. I hired a criminal attorney and because I've got a clean background, my criminal charges are over with. But now, I'm forced to hire a family attorney to fight for any contact. I've already spent over $30,000 and I'm another $15,000 in arrears, with more to be incurred. Unfortunately, with the lies, manipulation, cleverness, and endless financial resources for counsel, my abuser has the "upper hand". Combined with the mistake I made that day by getting sucked into his game and putting my hands on my daughter at all, I feel I have little choice but to maintain using the counsel I have retained.
I've got all my ducks in a row. Criminal case resolved, CPS investigation closed with no findings of abuse or neglect, completed DV assessment that recommends no DV treatment for me, letters of character, letters of recommendation from previous teaching jobs, sports coaches of my children's writing statements in not only my defense but sharing the behavior they've witnessed of my abuser. Even the local YMCA CFO has testified that they have banned him from events/practices after he became violent with me at a practice in front of dozens of adults and children.
Now, I must humbly ask for your help. I desperately need a miracle, a blessing, a loan, a business referral, or side work to hire for. I hate being in this situation. I hate airing any dirty laundry. I hate the shame and embarrassment I feel for having to share my mistakes that day with the world. I hate knowing the judgements I will undoubtably receive when people see this. I still stand here.
I won't let my abuser continue this pattern of behavior. I won't let my abuser hurt me anymore. I won't let my abuser abuse our children. I will no longer be silent. My abuser has been arrested and jailed on several occasions for domestic violence assault where I'm the victim. There have been dozens of more calls to police from me and other concerned citizens. My abuser may be a fun dad. But he's not mentally and emotionally stable, healthy, or safe. He has an extensive criminal past and I don't care who knows anymore!
My goal is to first pay the $15,000 I'm behind on to my attorney- Anthony Zorich at McKinley Irvin in Tacoma. They cannot maintain me as a client unless that's paid by the end of the month. My next goal, is to pay ahead so I don't find myself in this situation again. I'm blessed to live in a nice home and have nice things- all of which are being sold and I'm currently looking to move my family to a smaller home. I'm working full time as a small business owner and thank god that has been financially good to me. It's allowed me to maintain my home and office expenses, especially now that I no longer receive child support. I've taken out loans and borrowed from family.
So friends, today I ask you to join me in fighting for TRUTH. Fighting for every woman who's ever stood up to her abuser and stopped them. If you can spare anything, I would greatly appreciate it. I'll accept a loan, too. I work in insurance offering employee benefits (medical, supplemental)- maybe you have a business referral? Maybe you need yard work done or your home cleaned? Maybe you have ideas. Please reach out. I'm open to anything. Thank you for the consideration.
- Karena Kolibas
- Kimberly Cassidy
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