When No One Will Help:'(

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2007
When No One Will Help:'(
8
Mon, 11-12-2007 - 11:25am

I have a step son who is 6 yrs old. During my husband's divorce 3 1/2 yrs ago, the parenting plan was set up so both he and his ex-wife would spend equal time with their son. The schedule is as follows: My husband is to have his son Mon., Tues., Fri., Sat., Sun, with his ex having their son Weds., Thurs, one week. The next week they are to switch...his ex having their son on Mon., Tues., Fri., Sat., Sun, and my husband having their son Weds and Thurs. this is the schedule they have followed since the divorce and up until their son started kindergarten this past August. (We would actually end up having their son more than half the time simply because she wouldn't get him on her days as she was suppose to.) Now, their son has to have a permanent address for things like determining what school district he is in etc...And of course my husband's ex was listed as "residential" soley for this purpose. (They do have equal/shared custody however, and they both have equal say in his medical, education,religion, in and out of school activities, etc.) When their son started kindergarten, he was placed in a school that is 45 minutes away from us and so the above schedule was of course impossible to continue to follow. So my husband thought it would be best if we kept their son Friday afternoons through Monday mornings and he would drop his son off at school every Monday morning. His ex would get their son Monday afternoons after school and keep him until Friday afternoons when we would pick him back up. This was working out good because my husband and I were still able to spend time with is son every week and also was able to be part of his schooling. However, his ex changed their son's school and now he is going to a school that is 1hr and 20

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2006
Mon, 11-12-2007 - 2:44pm

OMG I would get a lawyer a private investigator anything and everything to get him and the sister out of there. I'm in tears about this and I don't even know them. Tell the school about it Maybe if they called DCS something would get done or at least maybe he could see the school councler for some help. I feel so bad for these kids. Please keep us posted on what's going on with them.

Jen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2007
Mon, 11-12-2007 - 5:55pm
I'm in tears too! Actually, my husband and I stayed in close contact with the teacher at JJ's first school. I told her a lot, but not all that goes on. Actually she and I still email each other, even thugh JJ hasn't been in that school for about three weeks now. She is so very sweet. I tried to tell JJ's new teacher, at his new school. I sent her an email and told her our concerns and tried to explain to her that JJ doesn't have ADHD, he just has alot going on his little life. I asked her to please keep us informed of anything we could do to help JJ in "school work" and to please keep us informed of his absences, tardy's etc.. She must think I'm lying, crazy or something because I sent the email to her last Tuesday and I still haven't had a response. :'( I'm thinking about writing the Judge that gave shared custody back to her. Can I get into trouble for writing the Judge? I don't plan on being hateful, just stating the facts and ask her some questions regarding the court sessions we were in, I think thins were handled unfairly at that time...her family shouldn't have been allowed to recant their testimony, and she was brought in to court from the Blount County jail and was wearing her "stripes" that day in court, how much more proof did the Judge need?! I also thought about writing the attorney that was provided by the state on the kids behalf, she some how miraculously lost ALL her notes from when my husband's ex's family members had testified against her. I find it funny that I sat and watched the attorney take notes as they were giving testimony against her, then once her family wanted to recant their testimony, the attorney made the comment, "I sure wish I would have wriiten all that they had previously said down." Could I get into trouble writing these people and telling them thank you for all thier help and then fill them in on what these poor kids are still having to go through just since last April when she got the kids back? I'm hurt and my hurt is turning into anger, because no one will help these kids! I just don't understand our system, I wish there was something I could do to change it. Instead of us having to prove she has done all these things, she should have to prove to the Judge that she didn't do these things! During court, they wouldn't even go get the police report from where she had been arrested and I know the police department did a drug test at the time of arrest because we were told the arresting officer made the comment "she's whacked out of her mind on drugs", so why wouldn't they get the police report and drug tests results for us so we could use it in court? I feel there was something going on there and I want to get to the bottom of it, but don't know how unless I write to the attorney and Judge and tell them how I feel. I just don't want to get into any trouble for writing the letters.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2006
Tue, 11-13-2007 - 8:09am

I'm not sure if you would get in trouble for writing to the judge. The lawyer on the other hand as long as your nice and not like threatening her or anything I don't see a problem with it. It may actually help another child in the future.

I hope this doesn't sound rude or like I'm in invading your privacy but I just don't understand why they didn't give you and your DH custody. I mean if she is living from place to place and calling the cops all the time and no steady income. It just doesn't make since. If she just wants to party all the time y doesn't she just give you guys the poor little guy? What is you offered to put him in a school local to you and she could get him on the weekends? Then at least he could go to school and eat healthy and just plain ol be happy for a good part of his life.

I just feel so horribly bad for him and his sister. I was eating dinner last night with my family and I kept looking at my 6 year old DD and thinking " I so glad to be able to be with her every single day of her life. And to know that she is ok".

Please just don't give up on helping him. To many kids are lost in this world because people give up on helping them.

Are you able to call him while he is at his mothers? I would keep as much contact with him as possible. Some states allow children at a certain age to choose who they want to live with. I wonder if this is true in you state and if so what is the age? Just something else to think about.

Well I hope maybe some of this is of help to you. Feel free to ask me ?'s, vent, babble what ever you need to help you through this. I'm here for you as I'm sure the others on this board will help if they can.

Bless you and him
Jen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2007
Tue, 11-13-2007 - 10:20am

I think I will write to them. Maybe I will write to the attorney first and see what happens and then I will write to the Judge who handled the court case in April. It's worth a shot, right? I have no intentions of making threats to either of them, I just want to refresh their memory about the case and then explain to them that because of their lack of help and their decision to give her back the shared custody that this is what the child has had to endure since then. (and at that point give details of all that has taken place just since last April). I would also like to ask them why they didn't allow us to talk in the court room and why they didn't look into things as they should have during that time, like the police records, etc. I think I'll go for it! Wish me luck and pray to God for him to give me the knowledge, the wisdom, to give me the right words to put in these letters that might just get their attention. I've prayed a lot about the whole situation and it seems the more I pray, the more things just go wrong...There is a song I used to listen to all the time, it's a christian song, but it helped me through a lot at one time many years ago. I was looking in a drawer the other day for something and ran across a folder which contained all the poems I have written etc. I had forgotten all about these and began to look through them. While looking through the folder I found a piece of paper where I had written down the words to that song I once loved so much. Again, I began to cry! The words touched my soul so deeply and it goes right along with what I'm facing right now! I would like to share the words to the song with you as this is what I meditate on several times through out the day and afterward, pray to God to "move" in this situation! The song is by FFH.
"LORD MOVE, OR MOVE ME"
I CAN'T FIND THE WORDS TO PRAY, I'M A LITTLE DOWN TODAY
CAN YOU HELP ME, CAN YOU HOLD ME
I FEEL A MILLION MILES AWAY AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY
CAN YOU HEAR ME ANYWAY
WHAT I NEED IS FOR YOU TO REACH OUT YOUR HAND
YOU HAVE TAUGHT ME, NO MATTER WHAT, YOU'D UNDERSTAND
LORD MOVE IN THE WAY, THAT I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
CAUSE THERE'S A MOUNTAIN IN THE WAY AND A LOCK ON THE DOOR
I'M DRIFTING AWAY, WAVES ARE CRASHING ON THE SHORE
SO LORD MOVE, OR MOVE ME
I'VE LOOKED EVERYWHERE TO FIND, A SIMPLE PIECE OF MIND
BUT I CAN'T FIND NOTHING, ON MY OWN
SO I GOTTA LEAVE MYSELF BEHIND, TAKE UP THIS CROSS OF MINE
GIVE AWAY EVERYTHING, I HOLD ON TO
LORD I KNOW THE ONLY WAY IS THROUGH THIS,
BUT LORD I KNOW, I NEED YOU TO HELP ME DO THIS
OUT OF THIS PLACE OF COMPLACENCY
TO A PLACE OF FELLOWSHIP WITH THEE
CAUSE I AM WEAK, BUT LORD YOU ARE SO STRONG
AND YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN WAY TOO LONG, IT'S BEEN WAY TOO LONG
SO LORD MOVE IN THE WAY, THAT I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
CAUSE THERE'S A MOUNTAIN IN TE WAY, AND A LOCK ON THE DOOR
I'M DRIFTING AWAY, WAVES ARE CRASHING ON THE SHORE
SO LORD MOVE, OR MOVE ME


I know it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't give full custody to my husband, that's why we are so baffled and my husband has given up! He says, "if her going to jail for burgulary of vehicles, her being on crack, her saling all the kids stuff to buy the crack (there was 3 pgs listing all that she had stolen from family members, including her daughter and their son and had pawned), if the testimony given by her own family members, her sitting in court in stripes because she was brought from the jail to even be able to attend the court hearing, if none of these things got the Judges attention, I just don't know what will, I give up!" Again, I state to you that I feel the case was handled unfairly. She was given an attorney by the state, we couldn't afford an attorney at the time and so we weren't even allowed or given the oppurtunity to speak in the court room. She had sat in the court room and told lies about us and we weren't even able to speak to defend ourselves, the Judge just took her word for it and scolded us! (One of the things she had lied about was...she told the court that my husband wasn't letting her talk to their son on the phone and that she was calling every day to speak to him, she said that my husband wouldn't let her see their son when she would try to come to our house for one of her supervised visits, she also said that "I" was repeatedly telling her son that she was a crack wh**e. None of this was true. The truth was...she would call maybe once a week to talk to their son and my husband would ALWAYS let him talk to her, but when she was through talking to him she would tell him to put daddy on the phone and then she would fuss with my husband, my husband would say, "are you finished talking to JJ?" She would say, "yes". He would then say, well I'm not going to sit here and let you talk to me like that, I don't have to listen to it and he would then hang up on her. Also, he would let her come visit with their son any time she wanted, but she only averaged coming once a week, on Sundays. She would call my husband and tell him that HE needed to bring JJ to her, (an hr and 20 mins away from us). My husband would tell her no, she was the one that got herself in this mess, she was the one who had supervised visits, she would have to be the one to drive to our house to visit with him. One Saturday she had called my husband and told him she would be at our house at 12:30 to visit with their son. She calls at 12:30 and says she's going to eat lunch and then will head our way, she should be here around 2:30. She then calls my husband at 4:30 and tells him she is on her way. She then calls back at 5:30 and says that actually she wouldn't be able to be at our house for a couple more hours. At this point my husband tells her that she has had all day to come visit, she has jerked us around all day and we have plans for the evening. We were going to grill out and I had rented a movie for our family time. He explained this to her and explained that she would be intruding on our family night. She told him that it would be ok, she would still come and we could just act like she wasn't here and carry on with what ever we were planning to do. My husband told her absolutely not, she would be intruding on our time we had planned as a family. She got angry and told my husband that he wasn't working with her on the visits and that she was going to tell the Judge! But anyway, we weren't given the oppurtunity to explain our side in that court room! Oh, yes, I NEVER said anything bad about her to their son, I would NEVER do such a thing! He had just turned 5 yrs old, if people would use their common sense, what would be my gratification of saying something so horrible to him about his mom, he doesn't even know what a crack wh**e is! Actually my husband and I had told him as soon as his mom got put into jail, that his mommy was sick and needed time to get better and that's why he was going to be staying with us for a while and not going to mommy's for a little while. He was satisfied with what we had told him and we didn't need to explain anything any further. He doesn't even know his mommy was ever in jail! Last August when some things had happened, my husband called her and pleaded with her to let him have JJ. He told her to let him have him duing the weekdays so we could get him to school, help him with his work, etc and that she could have him every weekend. He told her to do the right thing and tothink of JJ, not herself. He quickly ran down the list of things she had been putting JJ through and asked her if she truly beleived JJ should be with her and not here with us. Her response was..."I'm the best mom that you know! Everything is going fine here, I take care of my kids and you know it!" She is in serious denial! My husband then brought up the fact that her husband didn't even have custody of his "own" son that the grandmother had full custody. He said to her, "He's not even allowed the priveledge of raising his own son, do you really think it's fair that he should be allowed to be around and help raise JJ?" Her response was, "Absolutely!" As I believe I said before...I have a friend that is good friends with someone who works at the Department of Children's Service and she had spoke with her about this situation and the person told her that there probably wasn't enough to take the child out of that home, but there should be enough to cause them to do an investigation. So knowing he probably will still end up being with her and NOTHING will be done to help him, should I still send in my information to DCS or should I just hang on to it for awhie, what would you do. You know once DCS contacts her, she is going to be livid and hard telling what she'll do to me! I'm scared of her, though I would NEVER admit this to her in a million years, because she would use it to intimedate me! I'm not scared of her size or physically, I'm scared of her whacked mind and violence! What if she burns our house down with all of us in it, she has threatened my husband before with this! She has held a knife to my husband in the past, he had to stand outside the door, holding it closed for dear life for two hours straight once, just so she couldn't stab him! she's crazy and I'm scared! It would be worth the risk if I knew I would be getting my husband's son out of that mess, but if DCS wont do anything, I fear it's just going to cause a big stink for NOTHING! I wish we could change the way our system handles things! I have two daughter's from a previous marriage and I couldn't imagine having to send them off to their dads knowing this type things were going on, I would probably end up in jail over and over agian from refusing him his time with them, I absolutely wouldn't send them to his house and would fight him if he tried to take them from me! I just can't imagine how my husband feels having to send his son over there knowing what he has to go through! My heart breaks for him and his son. I love them both very much, they are my family and NO ONE messes with or hurts my family and I just want to do something to put an end to all their hurt!! I am a determined person and don't feel I will give up, though sometimes I feel I can't go on!I wish I had the money for a private investigater, I know it wouldn't take long to get the goods on her, but we just don't have the money. I've told my husband to get him into counseling, we have him every Friday and could take him to counseling each Friday afternoon. My husband wont respond to this for some reason, I just don't know why. I've told him it would not only do his son some good to get counseling, but it would help us when the time comes, you know, having a professional on the witness stand on our behalf. I contacted JJ's pediatrician over this matter by letter and that was 4 weeks ago and he still hasn't acknowledged me! I was hoping that he would turn it in to DCS, I thought by law a doctor had to turn in any suspicions of neglect or abuse?! Again, I emailed JJ's new teacher last Tues., I've yet to hear from her as well. Do people think I'm crazy or that I'm lying or something?! Why would I make up so much horrible stuff if it weren't so? How I would I know so many details, times and dates if it weren't so?! Shoot, for that matter, all a person would have to do is get the many police reports to see I'm not lying! Could I get a copy of all the police reports, I mean I'm nobody, I'm not an attorney or anyone big, I don't know if I could personally get copies of all her and her husband's arrests. And if I could, I wonder how much it would cost me, as I don't have a lot of money to work with here. Maybe I should look into that! My husband has told me that he feels God is punishing him for divorcing her because God doesn't like divorce. He said this is why he and his son is going through all this, he thinks he's cursed them! I just wanted to cry, but I held it together and told him that God doesn't punish us, he gives us the freedom to make our own choices and when we make "BAD" choices, we sometimes have to deal with the consequences. I told him that "OUR" bad choice was marrying our ex's in the first place, we knew we weren't suppose to be with them, but we did it anyway and now we suffer the consequence of that poor decision. I explained to my husband that he's right, God doesn't like divorce, but God also wouldn't want him to stay in a violent relationship with her either! I told him it wasn't God that was doing all this, it was Satan and we can't give in to it, we can't let Satan deceive us into thinking God is doing this to him and his son! He asked me why it was that the more he prayed, the more bad stuff happens and the more she just gets away with it?! I didn't have answer, except that she isn't really getting away with it, she will have to face her judgement and punishment before God when she dies. But of course that doesn't make things better, we just want it to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Her daughter has been living with her grandma since last March. When her mom went to jail and Tori was staying here with us a couple of nights, her mom called from jail and talked to Tori. She was trying to get Tori to call everyone they knew of to ask for the money to bail her out. Tori refused her mother and told her she didn't want her to get out of jail, she wanted her to stay in there and get close to god! Tori then tells her mom, I don't want to live with you anymore, I wont live like that ever again mom! Tori has stayed with her grandma ever since! That was part of the deal during court...if Tori would keep her mouth shut about all her mom has done, her mom promised her she would let her live with her grandma in exchange. Tori did do this to save her own butt, but forgetting about her brother! I was angry for a very long time at Tori, but realize she is a child too and saw her way out of that mess and took it, I would have probably done the same if I were her age! Things arent much better for Tori at her grandmas. We email each other every day and she tells me things that go on there too. She says yes grandma buys me everything, feeds me and takes care of me, but she gives me no freedom. She wont even allow friends to come over. She is always putting me down telling me I will never amount to anything and will be nothing when I grow up. (Just so you know Tori is a straight A student, very intellegent, sweet, kind etc) Her grandmother constantly puts her down and Tori says that she is constantly being told she has the devil in her. She said once recently she had asked her grandma if she could go to a halloween party and her grandma slaps her hand on her forehead and starts screaming for Jesus to put his hand on her and get the evil out of her. Tori has also told me that her grandma is constantly threatening to kick her out of her house and recently threw Tori against the wall and it her in the face. (Wonder where Tori's mom gets it from?!?!) Tori really has no where to go! There's nothing we can do to help Tori as she is not my husbands biological daughter! Ok, I could go on and on because I have sooo much inside me, but I will stop for now. Thank you for listening to me ramble on and if you happen to think of anything else that might help, please do share with me!!:)


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2006
Tue, 11-13-2007 - 12:28pm

I totally understand the money issue involved in this. We don't have a lot of money either and my husband is being brought up on false assault charges right now and if it weren't for my mom I don't know what we would do.

It sounds to me like this women was brought up in a home of violence and crazy people so there probly isn't alot of hope for her. Maybe Tori thought that your husband would be able to save JJ and that her only hope was to save herself.

Have you tried to research online the laws in your state for this kinda thing? Sometimes if you can let it be known that you know the law and that there is deff something wrong then people are usually more willing to listen to you. I don't understand why the teacher hasn't emailed you back unless she doesn't want to get in the middle of it.

Some people may be viewing it as ex wife vs new wife You know what I mean? If he's not in any immediate physical danger that you know of maybe you should keep collecting info and records about all this and when you have a good amount then try and go to DCS. Take pictures of his clothing if it's unsuitable when he comes to you from her house and that kinda thing.

I understand you are scared of her and I wouldn't let her know it either. Make sure you document any threats that she makes at you or any one in the family.

HTH
Jen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2007
Thu, 11-15-2007 - 1:31am

Hi there, I read your post a couple of days ago and it really breaks my heart reading about what all these poor children have had to go through.


Sue the Ho
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2007
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 8:59am

Sorry I'm just now able to get back to you on your last email, but you gave me a GREAT idea!!! I took your advice and have been on the computer doing research on the law and "recanting" of testimonies, etc...You were right, I needed some back bone before contacting that attorney that recommended the kids go back to be with their mom during our hearings last March-May! I've pasted the email that I sent to the attorney yesterday, so that you can read it. I know it's not very professional, but I think I got my point across and let her know how I felt about how she and the Judge handled the case!!I didn't think she would respond to my email, because it was a bit hateful and accusing of her! However, I'm very happy to tell you that she did in fact respond to my email, in fact I got a response within 2 hrs of sending her the email! She wrote back telling me that my husband and I need to immediately file a petition on the grounds of dependency and neglect. She stated that it would be her that the courts would reinstate to this case and as far as she is concerned, based on the facts in my email, she feels there is just cause for emergency removal of my husband's son from his mother's household!!! I was sooooo excited after reading her response, I couldn't stop screaming with joy and couldn't even catch my breath!!! I was screaming so loudly, my daughters came running to find me to see what was the matter with me. I told them that we might be getting JJ full time and then they started screaming just like I was!!lol It was such a joyful moment, but that joy was shattered within minutes of me calling and telling my husband what I had done and what the attorney had told us to do. As I told you before, my husband has lost ALL faith in "our system", he doesnt' trust any of them anymore!!! Especially not that attorney, because she had let us down last time!!! My husband was of course proud of me doing the research and saying what I did in the email to the attorney, he was also happy to hear what her response was to me. But, he just kept saying, "I don't trust her! Look what she did to us last time! She told us we didn't need an attorney, we were going to win the case easily, she told us that she would recommend to the Judge that his son's mother should have to prove herself for 6-9 months or longer before she could even get regular visitations with their son. And in the end, she let us down. She allowed my husband's ex-wife's mother to recant her testimony, then told us she wished she would have wriiten everything down so she wouldn't be able to recant, but in fact I watched her write it all down, her notes just mysteriously disappeared during that last hearing! She was the one who kept telling my husband and I we didn't need an attorney, during the last hearing when she recommended the kids be given back to their mother, she then looked at my husband and I and said, "Now you need an attorney!" But it was too late, the hearing was over!!! My husband said we can't file a emergency petition right now because it costs $86 to file and we really don't have the $86, we are broke!!! :'( We have no one we could even borrow from. He also said the only way he would go through this again would be with an attorney by our side, he doesn't trust the other attorney to do the right thing considering what she did the last time to us! We of course can't afford an attorney. I found an attorney that advertises he takes payment plans, but my husband says, "we don't have the extra money to make payments to anyone!" I feel it in my heart that we don't need an attorney!! I've been praying so hard over this for God to help us get his son out of that mess, it was after my last prayer that it fell on my heart to go through with sending the email to the attorney!!! I told God to PUSH me down the path I need to take in this matter. I told God to lead me to someone who will help! I asked God to show me what I should do because I had NO CLUE! I told God to touch the hearts of everyone I contact regarding this matter, touch their hearts so they will believe me, so they will want tohelp! I feel God led me to send that email!! I feel God sent YOU to me to help me in this. If it wasn't for you suggesting I look up on the laws, I would have had NO back bone in my email to the attorney!!! :) You helped me to get the attorney's attention, THANK YOU!!! Now I just have to try and convince my husband we don't need an attorney, that we should just dive in head first and give this attorney another chance to correct her mistakes she made the last time around!! Of course even if I convince my husband to do this, there's still the $86 issue. I'm hurt and devasted about this, we're finnally getting attention and this attorney is willing to help and the only thing standing in our way of saving my husband's son is $86!! I find this hard to believe!! Why is it always something?! I'mso scared that if we don't act now, after me contacting the attorney, we may lose our chance at this, I'm terified!!! Well, read the email I sent to her and give me your input. Thank you so much for being here for me, I'll never forget this!!! Pray for me and my husband to somehow get a hold of $86 to follow through, pray hard!!! I look forward to hearing back from you!!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2006
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 9:55am

Good for you I'm so glad you sent that email and that it is all starting to fall into place. Do you have to pay the fee up front? What about asking for help from your church? Or maybe like a yard sale, you could clean out your house and sell stuff to try and get the money. I wish I was rich and could sent it to you, but I'm having to barrow from family for my husbands lawyer.

I am just so happy that you are making progress. I'm so glad that my past experiences are helping someone else. Keep doing research and see what all you can come up with that will help you.

Keep my posted,
Jen

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