A Plea for Justice
To Whom it May Concern,
Initially very strong willed and independent, I moved to TX in August of 1987, to continue and complete my college education. I was employed, going to college and had sufficient funding to care for my personal not require his financial assistance to live. He claimed that he wanted to move out of his mother’s needs. I befriended my future husband who then moved in with me on Dec 4th of the same year. At that time I did home and asked if he could store his possessions in my apartment. He also asked if I would let him stay with me, in my home, while he was off from work. At that time he had no car, no insurance and no education past high school. However, in an effort to do a friend a favor I consented to his request and let him move his things into my apartment.
The stress of emotional and physical abuse started almost immediately. He and his family declared that I was wasting my time striving for a higher education. They believed that college was a useless endeavor. My now ex husband was also not satisfied with the living arrangements when he returned home from work. He demanded that he be able to do what ever he wanted to do in my apartment, including drinking, drugs, pornography and sex with me. When I refused he would beat me. He would tell me that it was my fault that he had to hurt me and that my life with him would get better as we went along. He also claimed that the accommodations were too small and wanted to move to a larger apartment. My willingness to put up with his physical abuse of me was a poor choice. But it was this poor choice, to move into a larger apartment with him, that set me up to be financially dependent upon him to meet my now two bedroom apartment living expenses.
My future with him was riddled with episodes of domestic violence including physical, financial and emotional abuse. While he was home from his work offshore, he would chase me around the apartment and poke metal objects into my body until I was screaming. But now I was caught up in a relationship with him. There was no way I could see my life without him. He had me convinced that he was the only man that I would ever have in my life. He promised to always take care of me. He would always tell me that if I listened to him, my life would get better. In December of 1990, I graduated college and we were married. We moved to Houston, TX. for employment reasons. His job offshore converted to an on land position. Against his wishes, I became employed at the UT Health Science Center in Houston. He physically assaulted me over this decision and often came to my place of employment demanding my paycheck. But he always promised that my life would get better.
In September of 1994, I had my first child. Four months after the delivery I required a major operation. My ex then insisted that I remain home with the baby and then forced me to give up my career as a Lab Associate to home-school our son. Now, completely dependant on him, I believed there was no way out from the abuse I suffered. He beat me up physically and psychologically demoralized me on a regular basis. I was isolated, he prevented me from having a nurturing relationship with my children, our neighbors or even my family. He would overload me with responsibilities by his misappropriation of household funds. He would haphazardly remove funds that were supposed to be used to pay bills. I had to clean up constantly after the financial messes he created for us. By the time our third child was ready to be delivered he was through with me. I had to catch a cab alone to go to the hospital and delivered my baby with only the hospital staff to assist me. He was withholding all affection from me. Later I learned it was at this time that he was committing adultery, against me and our marriage vows, on a regular basis.
The police eventually found me alone and battered sitting in front of an emergency clinic. I told them what had happened. I refused however, to consent to his arrest and removal from our family home. I was afraid of what he would do to me. After he was arrested on charges of criminal domestic violence, he got a high priced lawyer to support his actions for breaking into our marital home against a no contact order. Once there, he took our children, stole all of my business equipment, my personal possessions and every scrap of paperwork that would lead me to a better life or incriminate him. He stole money from my bank accounts and also removed all of the money from our joint bank accounts, leaving me penniless. He then went about lying to my doctors telling them that I was suffering from mental illness. Eventually he had my medical recordshat he falsified, allege that I was incompetent and incapable of taking care of my children. I have had several psychological evaluations over the last 3 years and there is no professional basis for my ex’s accusations. I have been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress disorder) and Major Depressive Disorder, but neither one of these professional diagnoses are the same as the disorders my ex labeled me. My ex-husband is not a licenced psychologist nor a licenced psychiatrist but he has been able to label me with disorders that I do not have. The judge has accepted his incorrect, unprofessional psychological evaluation as fact.
My evidence had to be submitted 30 days prior to the trial in order to be admissible. I was not able to get a lawyer until 5 days before the divorce proceedings. Due to the lateness of receiving counsel, I could not submit my evidence to the court as required to be admissible as evidence. This was at a complete disregard of my life and my relationship with my children. I have been abandoned, homeless and indigent now for 3 years. My right to half of the 27 year marital estate was nullified by the judge’s ruling toward my ex-husband’s behalf. With no evidence to support me admissible in court, he received all of our estate, and sole rights to our children.
At this stage in my life, I need access to ½ of the marital estate to which I have been denied. The divorce was initiated as soon as he made bail. I was served on January 8th, 2013 and the decree was signed on August 19th, 2015. It has been more than difficult for me these last 3 years. Living daily in this constant stressful state of being homeless, indigent and oppressed by a wrongful enforcement of separation from my minor children. These living conditions have greatly exacerbated the condition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD) for which I now suffer. This was the diagnosis of two independent psychiatric reviews of my mental condition. After the many years of violence and emotional abuse I have suffered at the hands of my ex husband, I continue to seek funds for counseling for PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder.
I am responsible for removing my personal belongs from the marital home within 30 days of the signing of the decree, but I have no home to take them to and no means for storage. I am depleted of funding for attorneys fees and there are some parts of the decree that I need to have enforced and others that I must have changed if I am to move forward with my life. I require a stable home environment to heal from my diagnoses of PTSD and Major Depression. I need access to continued counseling and health care. I deserve and require a stable income and the ability to maintain my car, property, and health insurance including a suitable retirement plan. I require access to my children. We need each other as a healthy family unity, which will also require counseling. I must have attention paid to my medical conditions and present gastrointestinal problems that have been diagnosed as being a result of the continued enormous amount of stress I have been under. In addition to ½ the marital estate and access to my children and health-care, I request that restitution to be paid for the continued abuse and the disadvantaged position that has been forced upon me.
Lisa Ann Gephart