Hello, my name is Bridgette, and I am a 25 (almost 26) year old single mother of 2 beautiful little girls. I became pregnant at the age of 16 and had my first daughter at 17, as a consequence of poor decisions on my part. By God's grace, He used this situation to save me from myself and redirect me from a path of destruction I was heading for. A few years later, I met a man I thought was a great Godly guy who would be wonderful for me and for my daughter. Unfortunately, I soon found out he was not the man he portrayed himself to be. He began abusing me and my kids, and became extremely scary and manipulative. By the time I saw his true colors, I became pregnant with my second daughter, who is now 2.5 years old. I gave him ultimatums to get help and change for the better if he was going to be in mine and the kids lives. He turned on the tears and made promises that he never kept. He has a slew of mental health issues, a very poor job history of being fired for anger and lashing out and abuse, and a history of drugs and alcohol addiction. Almost a year ago, I had the final straw when he shoved me down While I was holding our daughter, then attempting to hit me and take my phone and keys so I could not call for help. After this incident, I told him he could visit with my daughter in a public place with others present, because I felt that wass safest for her, since he's shown so many times that he can't control himself and his anger. This enraged him more, and he refused. Finally, after months, he filed for paternity and custody in May of this year. I am in the middle of this custody dispute, desperate to protect my daughter and ensure her best interest and stability, and I am scared to death. In order to hire legal representation, I had to take out 2 loans for a total of $5500. This has already been completely drained from my trust account with the attorney, and I am now also in debt to him $5000 in excess of the loan amount. I am working all that I can, and have also received help from family, but they are unable to help anymore. My attorney is warning he may have to withdraw from my case if I can not pay the balance owed him. I don't know what else to do, so I have found this website in hopes of finding some help. I am not a begger, and I feel horribly ashamed for even asking anyone for help for this matter, but I am completely desperate and must continue to fight for my daughter's well being. The thought of her being in unsupervised custody with someone who has physically and verbally abused us, plus been investigated for child molestation, absolutely terrifies me. I am praying that God will open doors and bless and protect my daughter in this difficult matter, and I am praying for any generosity to come our way. If you have any questions or need verification of anything, I am more than happy to provide it. Thank you so much.