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NASAH - Violence - Divorce - Antidepressants

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Hi all,


Some of you might recall that one year after my NASAH (7 weeks in hospital from 2 June 2015) I had to flee my home with my daughter (she was nearly 6 at the time) following ongoing and finally very frightening domestic violence against us both. We were homeless and penniless and travelling in a car without brakes but at least we were free of the violence and threats. After my return from hospital I felt progressively that my husband was trying to drive me towards a second stroke with the pressure and fear he made us live in.


What has happened since defies all logic and humanity. I have had to change lawyer four times imperilled by their incompetence and dishonesty and conniving with the enemy lawyer and the judge. Every penny of my security, has gone into legal fees and basic survival costs since fleeing in July 2016. My daughter (she has just turned 8 is now, ordered by a judge to spend one weekend out of two with her father and half the school vacation. She is alone with him and he does not admit his past violence, on the contrary ,he is full of scorn and denial, and he is starting again, My daughter is not allowed (indeed she is too frightened to talk to me on the phone or on her return) to talk about what happens when she is with him and she is  the even too frightened to tell me everything when she returns home to me..


Progressively he is making it impossible for us to communicate when she is with him (she has her own mobile phone), cutting her off, lying to her, frightening her, manipulating her, using her fear which she thinks he doesn't see to control her (and to control me), her fear is palpable on the phone, sometime she runs away and whispers mummy i have to go i'm afraid and hangs up. He records our conversations and forces her to speak only on hands free.


I was at least granted my request by the court to have a psychiatric enquiry carried out in a last resort hope that this professional would be perhaps the only one to see through my husband's facade, most narcissists are able to convince anyone of anything and he is a very gifted manipulator.

This is just the tip of the iceberg unfortunately.


I've had four car accidents since January none of which were my fault and the last one was very serious as it happened at high speed on the motoway when someone ran into the back of my daughter and me (wrecking our new car) and pushing us into the car in front (whiplash again, the fourth in 10 years I think). After two months at the garage the car is finally back on the road.


I am living on disability, have lost 40 pc of my income and have no help from my husband for my daughter. I'm afraid to even open the post box because I know that soon we will be so in debt that we risk becoming homeless.


The one and only wonderful person who tried everything to help us died in the night of July 17th, an old soldier, for whom I did a translation about the liberation of Paris in 1944.


We are prisoners in this country. Everybody says French justice NEVER finds for the foreign parent, NEVER. All foreigners are treated like illegal migrants we are unequal before the law.  Here they would rather the violent French parent keep custody of the child.


I'm now out of of funds completely to fight back legally, I did take a loan with v high interest rates but I can't get more because noone will insure bankloans for people who have had serious health issues hence banks and financial institutions refuse to lend. 


My husband is still sitting in our equally and jointly bought flat (normally anyone with any morals would have moved out so his wife and child could move back in and be safe till the sale went through), he is insisting on a very high sale price so the flat wont sell, so he can stay in it longer, for years maybe, so he can bankrupt me completely by eating up the little capital I have in that flat (we still have 16 years payments to make on that mortgage to the bank).


He has managed to make people believe that I am paranoid, manipulative and overprotective as a result of brain damage amongst other things, family, friends, all the violence happened behind closed doors, there are never spectators to these fights (which actually were most of the time provoked by me preventing him abusing my daughter psychologically or physically).


My psychiatrist insists on me taking antidepressants saying that I am in the grip of a major depression (which for me is organic, if our problems could be  resolved then I'd be fine again). It is true that I would like to have the courage to walk under a train or just swallow everything I can get my hands on, because the pain and fear and guilt of being forced to hand over my daughter AGAINST her will to her father following the court order (and everyone here is terrified of judges, nobody ever contradicts them or even interrupts them to properly defend their clients in court)  and knowing she is AFRAID of him, is so great, that I don"t know how to continue living. The Embassy can not help. The Irish Embassy in Paris. We are prisoners in this country (the court placed my daughter on the "wanted" list in order to prevent me taking her to the UK or Ireland to safety temporarily). They basically put my mental health in question and let him off the hook.


So much weight has gone that I have become anorexic and sleep is getting harder despite zopiclone and benzos


Maybe I should take the antidepressants which I was prescribed but I'm afraid of them, some cause haemorrhages (I did take them on two occasions in June but had massive migraines lasting nearly 48 hours immediately afterwards) (and I was taking antidepressants  before the stroke)


My headaches are coming back now, not every day, but they are very strong, in the same place as the first thunderclap one and on a pain scale of ten I'd say 6 to 8 variable, and I'm scared. Feeling has not returned still on my left side from forehead to toes nor under my bottom lip since the botched salivary gland biopsy, I'm tired all the time, no strength, emotionally in pieces, suffocating stress.


I don't know what to do. My little one is suffering, losing the last precious years of her childhood in anxiety that she should never have had to go through, god nows what this will do to her when she's a teen and an adult).


If asked now, I would say to any French woman  in a domestic violence situation, that she is better off staying at home, taking the risks, taking the battery, living with the violence (maybe dealing with it outside a legal framework!) than leaving home and fleeing because if she leaves the courts will award partial custody to the father and she will no longer be present under the same roof to protect her children.


What do you think about the antidepressants, are they risky, am I getting these headaches because another NASAH is brewing?


Is it the anxiety? It's not BP, my BP is 11 over 6 and I have a very slow pulse.


Am I running a big risk here for another stroke?


Any advice on any aspect of this would be very welcome, I'm surely not the only stroke victim to have had divorce and violence to deal with ?


Thanks, all the best,


Sammy Anne



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Hi Sammy Anne, your headaches will be worse because the stress you are under xxx


Why would you want to kill yourself, you know your daughter would be given to her father permanently so although your anxiety would go, your daughters would be through the roof xxx


Right drink plenty of water and relax whenever possible xxx


I have no medical training at all but speak with your Dr about any risks with antidepressants in the meantime just be with your daughter and have some fun together give her some happy memories of her childhood xxx


Hope things improve for you xxx 

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  • Skippy changed the title to NASAH - Violence - Divorce - Antidepressants

Hi Sammy Anne,


I'm so sorry that you are still going through this nightmare situation, my heart goes out to you.  


Somehow, you need to concentrate on your own health and the effect all this is having on you - your daughter needs you to be as well as possible and it maybe that the antidepressants will help you cope with everything a little easier?  There are several of us that have had bleeds on the brain that I am aware of who are taking antidepressants and I doubt that we would have been prescribed them if they were not safe. Discuss your concerns with your GP if in doubt.


I'm not sure how long this ruling has been in place, but if your daughter is genuinely afraid I assume it may well affect her schoolwork? If that were the case, can you not speak with her school who could perhaps have someone there who your daughter could confide in and trust with any issues that cause her anxiety.  Surely they have a duty of care for their pupils.


Despite all that you have on your plate, you display much courage, strength and love.  We all need a helping hand at times and I just wondered if you have been in contact with any organisations for domestic violence who maybe able to give you the support you deserve.


Wishing you all the best,,




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Hi Sammy Anne.


I am so sad to learn of your continued troubles.


First thing - look at the literature that comes with the drugs you have been prescribed.  Look at what they treat.  The look at what they don't treat.  Then look at their known side effects.  Do they relate to what you are feeling.  Before you take them get a second opinion from another doctor, and make sure they are aware of your SAH, your current feelings, headaches and any other medication you are on etc, so they can take all of your situation and symptoms and tablet interactions into account.  They have to be aware of everything to give them a chance to make the right decision.  However, if you are aware yourself of what the drugs can and can't do, at least you can give the doctor in question the right facts in relation to your situation , headaches and SAH fears.


Of course, you need to do this when you are not so upset, so that the correct diagnosis can be made.


You seem to be lacking some 'on hand' support and, if you can, it will be important for you to find some either through family, friends, or counselling group that you can trust implicitly.  Have you no UK routes you can exploit to your advantage?


You cannot give up on your daughter, she needs you now more than ever, and it is important for her ongoing development that she has the love, support and ongoing strength of her mother, you, to ensure she grows up into healthy, well balanced individual.


Stress is often associated with risks of SAH but no-one can say for certain because you can't measure stress - it is different in every individual - but to be less stressed than you are now has to be of benefit to your general all round health, in my opinion .  You must stay in touch with your doctors and, with no disrespect to your psychiatrist, - check with your doctors that your tablets are ok to take before you do so. We can't tell you because we are not doctors - or even medical professionals - so take proper advice.


Take care Sammy Anne, we are here for you to let off steam when you need it.


Good luck.



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Thank you so much Jess, Kempse and Macca for being there and for your support and advice. I'm so tired I just can't think but it helps when other people like you come up with new ideas or confirm ideas of mine which I have doubted, so thanks again. My daughter is away, I can do nothing, everyone here is afraid of judges, won't say boo to a goose, my head hurts, I miss her, I just feel so tired.


You know what it's like when one thing goes belly up ... so does everything else and for the last five years I'd say, life has been an dreadful uphill struggle with no light at the end of the tunnel. I have noone I trust to leave my daughter if anyone were to happen to me to so have no fear my intentions are just to get better and win the battle, but it's hard with this head ache and tiredness all the to think straight, to remember things which I'd rather not remember in order to prepare the next stage and just generally take care of my health - the French Security Agency said when I was in hospital the Baclofen was safe, no recorded incidents etc ... my eye!


Now everyone is putting their prescription in the bin. Hence my fear that a Psy hasn't the pharmacological clinical knowledge that he needs when prescribing antideps to a stroke patient. And yes there is no support. My family is a dysfunctiojnal one and the few elements in it that seemed sane have changed sides and done their best to damage my case.


The fun happy memories of childhood ... that's why I stayed so long, thinking things would change, get better and that we'd gain time till she was ten when she'd be stronger and more able to face a divorce but her father left me no choice when he started threatening to burn and electrocute her .... the next morning we fled days short of her  sixth birthday.

It has been suggested that I follow an EMDR therapy, which is great but unavailable and I really think my daughter needs emotional support and psy help more than me.

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Sammy Anne - if your daughter needs help then find her some.


Even so, the very best support for her is a strong and stable Mum, upon whom she knows she can rely.


So, you have to be there for her come what may. That's not too much for a daughter to expect of her Mum.  Make sure you are proactive in finding some hands on support for yourself too!


Stay strong - it will be worth it in the long run.


Good luck.



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