I have to tell you the story of my life so that you can understand my current situation.
My mother was fifteen when I was born. Shortly after that my dad broke up with her. My mom told me later that my dad was abusive towards both of us, but I cannot remember anything about that.
We then went to live with my grandmother, who told me lots of stories and always smelt warm and lovely. My mom had a nice boyfriend who always played with me and took me to the park.
Then my grandmother died in an accident. My mom and her boyfriend started to argue (I was four at the time) and she tried to kill herself twice. She was already drinking heavily and was declared an unfit mother.
I then had to live with my dad and his wife (between my parents I have lived in about 15 countries over the past 17 years). They are both alcoholics and unpleasant people at the best of times. My dad used to beat me whenever I spoke about my mom. His wife did stuff to me and when I tried to complain to my dad, he accused me of making up stories and trying to take his wife away from him – when all I wanted was for her to leave me alone.
My dad told me if I complained about her or him, welfare workers will take their time and investigate everything before taking me away, and that while they do their investigation, he would make my life hell.
I moved back in with my mom when I was 11, and even as a child I was shocked at the state she was in. She is anorexic and depressed and self-mutilates. She never sleeps – instead she would wake up, drink too much, and pass out, only to wake up and start drinking again. She tells me just about every day that she wants to kill herself. I have spent the past six years talking her out of it almost daily and I am tired.
It got to a point where I started drinking with her, because if I did not she would blame me for who she is and tell me that I am looking down on her.
I want to leave my marriage and my children for the sake of my own sanity.
I have never been maternal, and I feel that if I stay in a marriage that is smothering me with obligations and expectations, I will go mad.
I have thought about this for a long time and done much soul-searching, and this is the right decision for me and them.
How do I get my husband to allow me access to the children when I leave him?