Today I have went blank on what to blog about. I usually have all kinds of things floating around in my noggin to be opinionated about, but not today. Today I am focused on one thing. Sadness.
This past weekend, my oldest child, turned 16. And NO, the sadness does not generate from the fact he is aging me …Though now that I think about it…..
Eight years ago, I signed custody over to my sons father, out of fear, due to threats from my sons father and his attorney. Unfortunately I have been known to be too gullible at times. This was one of those times. His attorney took advantage of the fact I myself could not afford an attorney. I had decided to not worry about that, and go in and plead my case with the judge. Sure I did not have a place to live, a job, a vehicle, because the ex had taken it all. ( everything was in his name) But I was a good mother. At least I had that going for me.
This attorney, his attorney, took me into an enclosed area, and shared some information with me. He said today we are prepared to bring light to a few things…Even though I believe he knew those few things were lies, he was willing to do whatever it took to win this case for HIS client.
He began to tell me what those things were. One was that I was a physically abusive person. Another was, I was bipolar, and the last was true, and what he had made me fear the most from, I had an affair. I would try and sugar coat that fact, and say that we were not in fact married, divorced previously, and what relationship we did have was a living nightmare,but that does not justify my actions. I was in fact living with this man, therefore, I should have left long before this affair ever had taken place.
The attorney went on to explain to me that no judge in his right mind would allow a mother with no home, transportation, job, that was physically abusive, mentally unstable, and slept around, to gain full custody, the best I would get would be a few hours every other week, and there was a slight possibility it would be every week, yet supervised.
I can not even put into words the way that made me feel. I was so terrified of only seeing my child every other week. Sure I had made poor choices. Sure I was not perfect. But no way did I, did my son, deserve to spend such minimal time together, and that minimal time be supervised at the local McDonalds.
The attorney then advised that I take a deal. The deal being my sons father with full custody and me every weekend visitation, with normal visitation on holidays, summer ,etc. At that time, with fear in my mind, and also the knowledge that my son was wanting to live with his father, I caved. I allowed this person to trick me into signing these papers. I knew the only reason he wanted custody of our son was because he did not want to be responsible to pay child support. Everything was fine with me keeping custody, until I threatened him with it. My son wanted to live with his father because he stated that his dad had no one else. I had my other children, but his dad was alone. I would bet my life on it that his father had a little something to do with that.
Less than a year later my sons father was being investigated for child abuse against his then, girlfriends child. Because of this incident, a temporary custody plan had to be enforced. Instead of me, the paternal grandmother was chosen, by the father. Within a few weeks of this decision, she had filed for custody.
I was so surprised by this. I thought, not again. I finally had my son in my reach, because once his father was found guilty of this action he was being accused of, then my son could return home to me. I had a place to live, by this time, and income, so things were better. Still not perfect, but better.
No way was I going to be railroaded this time, so I went and spoke to an attorney.
Sadly, I put all my faith in this man and I knew that there was no way a court of law would give my son to his grandmother, when I was capable of caring for him………………..
In court that day, both sides said their arguments, and we went home. I checked my mail every day waiting for the letter from my attorney. Checked my phone every few minutes, waiting for the call from my attorney. It seemed as though it took forever. I knew any day I was going to get the ”go ahead” to pick my son up. Why was it taking so long? Then the letter came.
Not only was I denied custody, I lost my visitation. I no longer got to have my son every weekend now, but every first and third Saturday from 8am to 8pm..( no over night visits) A few hours on his birthday, a few hours on Christmas, and a few hours on Mothers Day. I asked to Appeal this, and the attorney said he would appeal it for $7000 on top of the $2500 that he had charged me to do the case to begin with. But warned me that the only way another judge will trump this judges order is if he can not hear the transcripts. So I needed $7000 more to take a chance that the tapes were messed up and a Montgomery judge could not hear what was being said on the tapes, and I could get another day in court……..$7000 that had to be paid up front, and I still owed $2000 of the $2500.
The reasoning behind this decision was based on what my sons father had threatened me with a year prior to this. I was unstable, I suffered with mental disease, I could not afford to care for son, I was abusive, etc. Sadly none of these facts had to be proven to this judge. It was a hear say case, and her say won. The only thing that was ever stated in any of those papers that was true was I had an affair. I had never been diagnosed with bipolar, though I have suffered with depression from time to time, it is far from being bipolar. Only once was I abusive to my sons father and I recall throwing a jar toward ( didn’t strike) him out of anger. That was the only thing abusive that I done in the whole 10 years of our relationship. There were occasions where he would hold me down to keep me from leaving the house, to avoid an argument, and I am sure I may have hurt him then, but it was not intentional. No one enjoys being held against their will. And yes, the abuse was suppose to have happened toward him, not my son. Though the grandmother did make one accusation that I grabbed my sons arm too hard once when I was getting on to him for something.
So for eight long years I have had minimal time with my now grown child. On his birthday he had a game to march in, ( he plays sax) therefore I could not get him for our schedule 3 hour birthday visitation. I have missed out on our visitation times on more than one occasion because of his extra curricular activity. I would not HAVE to, because my visitation is court ordered and trumps any kind of practice or game, concert, exhibition, competition, yet I choose to not take that from my son. I know those things are important to him. Too bad his paternal family can not see the things that are important. Or do they, and just do not care. Selfishness seems to be the way of our world.
So Sadness has consumed me for the past few days. I am in a complete funk. I try not to let these people steal the happy that has taken me so long to gain back after they destroyed my life,but at times, it is harder than others. It consumes me. I just want to wake up one morning and my son be in his bed, in my home, his home, with the rest of his family…..