The Penquis Law Project is a small, public-interest family law practice. The Law Project assists low income individuals, primarily victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to become safe, self-sufficient community members through access to free civil legal assistance.
I am a former client of the Penquis Law Project; I am a single mom who works and goes to school full-time. We have been safe for about 4 years. I was in an abusive relationship. I accept responsibility of my son and I own up to the fact that I chose to have a child with his father. Looking back now, I don’t understand why I stayed as long as I did. The only conclusion I can come to is that I wanted the “family” for my son. Or, the imaginary family we had.
My son’s father decided that lying about his employment to be a drug dealer would be easier than getting a job. He would leave the house early every morning and “go to work.” I would stay home and watch my son and his children from previous relationships. He told me that he was roofing, and since I knew the “employer” who owned a roofing company, I believed him. I was unaware of his actions until the day he had been arrested. When he went to prison, I thought about visits. My son was only two and really didn’t understand what was going on. But as he got older, he started to ask questions. I kept him distant for that time, and then his dad got released. I tried to allow the relationship to rebuild. But his father didn’t change. He was still hanging around the same people. Even on house arrest he was still breaking the rules.
One night in 2014 while my son was with his father, the police rolled in and took him back to jail again. My son watched this. Saw it with his own eyes. That was the last straw. I had to make sure that it would never happen again. That is when I contacted Penquis Law Project. I met with the most wonderful woman. Her name was Misty Allen. Because of her, I now have sole custody of my son. I get to make the rules. And it has been such a relief.