Sunday, May 13, 2007

To my Mother

I wish you could visit me here today. It's Mother's day, and all day I've been wondering if you felt appreciated by me. I wish you could see my house, and my little boy: the grandson you never met. You used to be so good at diminishing my problems; wow, do I need that now.

It's been rough lately. I've been "served" with papers- Bruce, your grandson's father, is filing for full custody and child support payments. (It's the only time he ever served me anything.) (And he, by the way, never paid me a dime of child support.)

I've spent hours, energy and money seeking legal counsel. My efforts paid off, and I have retained the best lawyer I could find. (I'm no fool- I'm fully aware that said lawyer represents Big Daddy- the loving, protective father I never had.) Your life, Mother, was so different from mine, yet the fathers of our children did their damnedest to ruin things for both of us.

I tried to learn from your experience; I never married, determined not to let any man do to me what had been done to you. I allowed the father, Bruce, to see our son when he asked. I tried hard to keep the peace, but his controlling, often angry behavior caused me to watch carefully.

He finally went overboard last December to the point where I had to involve the police. I stopped allowing visitation. I had all legal rights- the courts had never been involved, and I had always given up my right to child support payments just so my child wouldn't have to adhere to a standard visitation schedule, which allows ample time with the non-custodial parent.

Well, Bruce's threats have come to fruition, and he's indeed "hauling me into court." I now face the monumental task of proving that I have been the child's sole caretaker all his life, and that I've excelled at it. This is such a ridiculous waste of time and effort. I'm already working full time at my demanding job and single parenting; now I'm also a full time advocate for myself and my son, having to move mountains to prove the obvious.

My lawyer has asked me to contact my family and support network. Sadly, such people are missing. Once I became a single parent, my former friends slipped away. I had no time to seek new friends; even other mothers tend to stick with other married mothers.

So, my work in putting together my case will be hampered by the very problem that has plagued me since my son was born. I have nobody to step forward and say, "This woman has done everything humanly possible to raise her son well despite the obstacle of social isolation. Her son is happy, especially now that the father is out of the picture and he feels free to be himself in the absence of the father's criticism. Custody should remain with the mother, and visitation should either be disallowed, or allowed with supervision only, to protect the child from further harm."

I know you'd do it if you could. I know that if you were alive, you'd move heaven and earth to ease my burden. You'd probably hop on the next flight, and stay with me to keep my house in order and my child fed while I take care of the overwhelming task in front of me (during my free hours away from work). Never before have I faced such a devastating problem, but I certainly can imagine the way you'd offer youself to assist in any way.

You'd have undoubtedly taken my mind off all this at times, also. I often think of the laughing fits we used to have regularly. Every once in a while, I have one of those laughing fits with your grandson. It must be some kind of genetic humor wavelength thing, because it's never happened to me with anyone else.

So, Happy Mother's Day. I miss you more than ever.

20 comments:

kystorms said...

Dear Betty

I have just finsihed reading your post, and I am so sad. I was seaching for Blog posts about child support, that is how I found you. I am so sorry to read that you face this, I went through 18 years of hell due to my ex, and the effect on my life has been huge. You are lucky you never married him, it would have been ten times worse, take it from me.
But, I really wanted to tell you that even though you dont know me, nor I you; that your mom is looking down on you and is so full of pride, she is proud of how well you are doing at raising a child. It is not an easy job, let alone when you are alone. I too have raised my children alone, family far removed and friends nonexistent.I know there is nothing I can do for you,except pray for your situation, and I will do that.
Happy Mothers Day Betty, from a friend.

Eva J. Mah said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Mothers are truly unsung heroes of society.

simply me said...

Oh Betty - I am so sorry that you are going through this. I was a single mother for a long time and in many ways still am. My son is my reason for breathing and just doing what I do.
As a social worker, I have gone to family court on several occasions due to custody issues and I can tell you with some certainty that even mothers who are drug addicts, alcoholics have a hard time losing there children. A judge does not take away children from their mothers that easily. Bruce is a Bully - stand strong because the truth of who you are will come shining through. Your little boy is where he should be and that is where he will stay.
Praying for you.

Betty said...

Dear Kystorms,

You bring up a good point- it could be worse. I could've married him, and the court case would be vastly more complicated.

Thank you for your support!

Hugs,
Betty

Betty said...

Dear Eva,

Thank you also. Every kind word helps.

Hugs,
Betty

Betty said...

Dear Maria,

Thank you for the reassurance that I will not lose custody. I am worried enough just about the man getting visitation! He is harmful to my son and the child does not want to see him.

Your support mean a great deal.

Hugs,
Betty

Desiree said...

Oh Betty that was so sad and so touching! I really am sorry you are going through this! You don't deserve this at all! I'm praying for you! When you go in the courtroom you wont be alone, remember that! God will stand right there beside you and hold you up if need be. What's more all of us blogger friends will be there in spirit sending out positive vibrations, which are saying, "This woman is wonderful mother and she provides her son with all of the love, nurturing and teaching a child could ask for!" Now if we could just find a way to legalize that positive energy and present it to the judge!

Betty said...

Thank you, Desiree! You wouldn't believe how much it means to me to have the support of bloggers like you. I so appreciate your positive energy and prayers!

Hugs,
Betty

simply me said...

Betty - I came back to visit again because I was in a rush to get to work and wanted to sit and read your blog again. It made me cry...your mom is with you. May she give you the strength you need at this time. Too often in life we are confronted with issues that make us wonder how we will get through it, but in reading your blog, I see a strong and loving mother who is a survivor. Do not despair, he does not have a chance.I know for one mother, getting a psychologist to write a letter of future damage for a child if allowed contact with their sociopath father helped.
Keep writing - you are not without friends.

Kacey said...

I'm so sorry! I would come help you if I could, but the judge might not like it that you met me online. Make sure that your little guy knows that you never bad mouth his daddy in front of him. I would start brain washing him by saying things like,---"Golly, I love spending time with you" or "We sure have fun together, don't we?" Or talk about fun things yhou anticipate in the future with him --- never mentioning Bruce in or out of the picture. Your boy will picture these things as a duet, not a trio. Keep up the good fight!
(My Mother's Day post is very different from yours. I'm sad that your experience is different.

Betty said...

Dear Kacey,

Your advice is excellent. I like the idea of just focusing on the positive with the two of us, and not even mentioning Bruce in any way. I've been already avoiding talking about Bruce, but it's even better to deliberately talk strongly and positively about the two of us. Thank you so much!

Hugs,
Betty

Betty said...

Dear Maria,

Thank you for the idea about having a child psychologist write a letter about future damage. That ammunition is better than anything else I can think of. And thanks again for your strong support!

Hugs,
Betty

Melissa said...

Betty,

Please find a divorcee group in your area and make some friends with other divorced paretns. Seek them out at work or school and get advice. Find a support network to be there for you.
My mother raised three children alone and it was hell on her. She is my idol and I know that everything she did was for me, as your own child does. This will be a tough battle; you will win but this is your life test. Find resources; ask people and a friend will come, one that will listen and advise. If you would like an e-mail buddy, fee free to talk with me, Melissa

Betty said...

Thank you, Melissa. I will search for a support group here, but I've never heard of any. I appreciate your generous offer of email support!

Hugs,
Betty

Lisa said...

Dear Betty,

This post broke my heart, in more ways than one.

Your mom is with you, don't ever doubt that. My mom is gone 22 years, but I know that she's looked down on me and soothed me at the times when I needed her. Now is the time to tap into your faith. You need to be positive.

I know personally how you feel, because Bruce is a bully and he probably always gets his way with you and those around you. So you're frightened that he'll get his way once again...not so. Maria knows what she's talking about; they do NOT just take children from their mothers because the dad says so! The law is very familiar with these sociopaths. I thought my ex was invincible, too, until he was arrested for threatening me. The funny thing was that it proved to him that he wasn't invincible at all. It was just an illusion. And that's the way it is with Bruce, too. What he presents to the world is an illusion, it's in his head. Don't let what's not real torture you.

If I could, I would go right down to the courthouse and be there for you. I really would.

Take good care,
Lisa

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

I wish I lived on Long Island, because I really believe that you'd go to the courthouse with me. I have such great blogging friends! And I am very grateful for that.

Hugs,
Betty

simply me said...

We have to empower ourselves any way we can...be strong. You have many prayers going your way. I had a grandmother of one of my students today calling because she has raised her little grandson, fed him , clothed him and gone to all his school meetings - I have never seen his dad (her son) - he wants to move with his girlfriend to PA and take the little boy. The grandmother is a wonderful woman who loves this boy more that a biological mother. I told her to go fight - she went to family court today.
Its not an easy road but one that has to be taken.

Betty said...

Dear Maria,

I am so sorry to hear about the grandmother, and the good news is that you told her to fight, and she is. If I trusted the courts to do the right thing, we could all breathe easier.

Thank you for your prayers and continuing support!

Hugs,
Betty

JC Skinner said...

No doubt the Mommy Mafia will all be hear with their mawkish words of support, but I gotta tell ya, it's wrong to deprive a child of their father, unless the man is a monster.
You're in the wrong. What's needed here is communication between you and Bruce, for your child's sake. If the pair of you are incapable of setting your differences aside for the benefit of your child, neither of you should have custody.
Children aren't possessions.

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