Psych Evals AKA Another Form of Torture

I had my psychological evaluation (psych eval) a few weeks after our second court date.  The judge had ordered them to all be completed by a month before our third court date.  I thought that after mine was done, the children’s would follow quickly.  Again,  I was wrong.

I was very nervous about my psych eval.  The woman doing them said that she worked on the domestic violence council in our town.  I was very suspicious when she said she’d never heard of Lundy Bancroft.  She said that they followed the Duluth Model and as I never heard of that, I looked it up.

According to The Duluth Model, a community that follows it, “Has taken the blame off the victim and placed the accountability for abuse on the offender.”

When I read that, I had hope that this psych evaluator would see what was happening and the children and I would finally be believed.  I spent two grueling hours with the evaluator.  I left there with the feeling that she didn’t believe me, she thought I was crazy, and that I was going to lose my kids.

Honestly, I don’t remember much of anything about the actual interview.  I just remember feeling more and more deflated as the minutes ticked by.  I was passive and I did not stand up for myself.   The only thing I definitely remember about that two hours was telling her that I spent a great deal of time praying for God to help me be a better wife, a better mother so that Bubba would just not be mad at me all the time.  The evaluator responded, “Maybe you were praying for the wrong thing.  Maybe you should’ve prayed for God to make you a better Hope.”

Well, yes, wasn’t that pretty much what I’d just said?  I simply agreed with her that I had prayed incorrectly all those years.

I remember leaving the evaluation and telling Maria and Arcadia that I was sure I was going to lose my kids because of how she’d acted.  I felt the sanest of my life and I left there doubting the abuse – wondering if I was making it all up in my own head, wondering if I really was crazy.

I was even more terrified of what the kids would be put through.  I waited and waited and waited for Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to call about their evaluations.  The GAL was going to pick them up individually and take them to the pscyh evaluator then bring them back.  The deadline to have all the evaluations done came and went and still the GAL never contacted me.  Our third court date was fast approaching and the children still hadn’t had their psych evaluations done!

Finally, nine days before court was scheduled, the children were taken for their psych evals.  Serenity was first.  She came back in about an hour, slammed into the house, didn’t say a word to me, walked back to her room, slammed her door, and stayed there for the rest of the day.  Liam was second.  He was back in about 45 minutes and he wasn’t happy either.  He wasn’t as upset as Serenity was but I could tell that it didn’t go well for him either.  Shane was gone about 45 minutes too and came back with no problems.  I was so thankful he didn’t come back as visibly shaken as Serenity and Liam had been.

I spoke to the older two after Shane went to bed.  That woman made Serenity cry in public!  She questioned Serenity so ruthlessly that she actually broke down and sobbed in the fast food restaurant they met in.  Serenity said the woman did the same thing that the GAL always did – told her that she had to maintain a relationship with her father simply because he is her father.  Serenity was so upset that she tried to tell the evaluator what her father had done to her and the evaluator just excused his behavior because Serenity was obviously a rebellious teen.  (So much for following the Duluth model of NOT blaming the victim.)

Liam reported the same thing.  He was not believed and all of Bubba’s actions were completely excused.

Now I had to wait for my next meeting with her.  She’d told me that she’d speak to me then Bubba, then the children, then speak with Bubba and me once again.  A few days later I got a phone call from her.  I expected her to want to make an appointment with me to meet again.  No, she just had a few questions.  One of them being about the time I was going to kill my children and myself.

I truly wish she could’ve seen my face because I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  I asked her what she meant because I’d never thought of harming myself or my children.  All I ever did was try to protect them.  I vehemently denied the allegation because that never happened.  She told me that sometimes we can be so depressed and distraught that we may not remember something like that happening.  I told her that I was 100% sure I’d never wanted to harm my children or myself.

I asked her why she would even ask me this and she said that a former friend of mine told her that I had wanted to kill myself and my children quite a few years ago.  I was shocked because I had nothing but a superficial Facebook friendship with that woman for the past five years!

My first question was, if this former friend had been so concerned about me, why wasn’t anything done?  Why wasn’t Bubba informed about this incident (she told me that this friend hadn’t even shared this information with him until a few months after it happened) immediately and why was I still allowed to care for my children every day while Bubba worked insanely long hours?  It made no sense.

After that phone call, I knew I was sunk.  I was convinced that I would go to court at the beginning of the week and lose my children.

I started preparing for what I would do if Bubba got full custody.

I started planning to go back to him.



  1. NG

    Oh dear. So sorry to read this. Shame on the ‘professional’ for not believing you and supporting you. Often it’s ‘the experts’ who are least helpful.

    • She, just like everyone else we encountered, bought Bubba’s story hook, line, and sinker.

      It stinks but it is reality. These “professionals” really have no clue how to spot an abuser – especially one as stealthy as Bubba.


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