Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

Fighting my fear….am i doomed for a life of this terror

The nightmares have started again…. I was sure that dream was gone forever… I haven’t  had it about 10 years…. It took me almost 10 years to get the last of that demon out of my sub-conscience. I was sure that I would never feel that fear again… Sat. Night, the dream demon visited me in my sleep, as he did last Sat… In anticipation for the Sunday to follow… And this morning, Sunday morning, while brushing my hair, I saw that old fear in the eyes that stared back at me from the mirror. Fear.. Terror! My stomach lurched when I recognized the terror in my eyes.  How could I go there again on Sunday? I knew what would happen. I knew “he” would come into to the restaurant where I work and I knew what would happen… How could I go and face that again? I picked up the phone… What could I say? What lie could I use to get me the day off? What about next week.. The week after? How many weeks could I call out from work and not get fired? How long could I keep this job when I had to face this terror every Sunday?

It was asking these questions that made me realize I had to go today. This day would decide my future… I would ether face this fear head on or I’d run away screaming and allow this demon to destroy my life… Yet again!

My logical Brain argued with my fear… I’m 42 years old… I have built a new life for myself.. I’m not that young scared girl any more….But my fear countered my arguments with memories that are much harder to argue with….

I was 18, he was 30 when we got married. He had rescued me from possibly living on the streets just a few short months before. He gave me a place to stay when my step father and mother kicked me out….before my 18th birthday. He was my Knight… Bla bla….The age difference didn’t mean a thing to me, then… I felt that I was much more mature than most 18 year olds. (Don’t all 18 year olds feel that way?) But in truth, I was just a child… Emotionally, I was in no way ready for any type of marital relationship…And I was too emotionally immature to recognize the warning signs that were flashing above this man’s head.

In truth, the brain washing had already begun, even before the wedding. I had turned in my notice at work, at the job that I loved, because “my man” wanted to take care of me…..It made me feel important and protected. With the job, I also gave up my friends. I didn’t see anyone, because it was important to spend time with my new husband….and my new home….He wanted so much to be “everything” for me… To take care of me, forever.” I thought it was wonderful and never dreamed of what the future could hold for me when I was cut off from the rest of the outside world…

The other thing that I thought was so wonderful was his desire for children. He let it be known from the very beginning that he could hardly wait for me to have his child.. The first couple of months after our wedding, he told me this so often that many times I felt a twinge of guilt that I wasn’t already pregnant… That guilt didn’t last long, as he got his wish very early. R was born one month before our first wedding anniversary. Never in my life at this time would I have imagined what would come next! I was happier with life than I had ever been! I had a husband who “wanted to take care of me for always” and the most “beautiful” baby in the world! I felt that my life was complete at 19 years old!

I dedicated my whole life to my beautiful baby girl. She became my world. I found it so much fun and so rewarding that nothing could seem mundane or distasteful about taking care of a baby. I didn’t notice the lack of sleep… I woke up with a smile every time my baby woke up. Changing diapers even felt special to me… Tickling her little tummy and playing “this little piggy” with those cubby little toes. If R was awake, I was with her. Every thing else in my life took second place to my daughter. I believed that was the way it was supposed to be and I really couldn’t have done it any other way.

I did what I could to take care of our home, when ever the baby was asleep. But if it was messy… So be it. I didn’t notice. I started buying sandwich meat and t.v. Dinners instead of cooking elaborate meals that I had cooked before R was born. It is a balancing act to take care of a new born and still make time for one’s husband. One that I never learned. And my husband felt it. I think that his initial reaction was totally normal. He felt left out and alone and he told me so. In truth, I mostly just waved away his feelings. I figured when R got older she wouldn’t need me as much and he wouldn’t feel this way any longer.

That’s how the fights started…. As simple little arguments that I didn’t think were important. I did try to balance my time better. I didn’t give up any  of the time I spent playing with my baby or taking care of her the way I felt I should.. But I spent less time resting when she was sleeping. Trying to fit in more time for the things that he complained about. I cleaned the house more.. I cooked meals again. The more I did the more he found that I wasn’t doing. I began to feel the pressure of lack of rest and lack of time for myself. And the arguments became more intense, as I found voice to argue back. I began to see my perfect little world start to crumble around me but I still had no idea how far this would go.

I don’t remember what the argument was about the first time my “hero” showed his true colors… Maybe there were dishes still unwashed in the sink… Or he didn’t have clean socks… Who knows how it started… The only thing I remember is that we were having a yelling match with each other and suddenly his eyes took on a new look… I swear, they seem to change colors… I had never seen a look like that in anyone’s eyes before.. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew it scared me more than I had ever been in my life.

My reaction to this fear was to not let it show. So I took a step closer to him and yelled back at him with all my might. “Never let them see your fear!” I had heard that somewhere and was sure it applied here. That’s when I learned my first lesson on challenging my husband. I learned it on the floor. I didn’t see it coming. I barely had time to feel it. For a second, I wondered how I came to be laying on the floor… But only for a second, as then the burn set in on my face that now had a bright red hand print across it. And he was like a wild tiger, pouncing on my chest. His hands around my throat would leave finger size bruises that would serve as a reminder to me for weeks to come.

I began to fall into the darkness of unconsciousness before he released his hold on me. As quick as he had turned into this mad man, he seemed to change again… He sat on the floor next to my crumpled body and while I struggled to breath again, he talked calmly to me about his childhood. I couldn’t understand his words… It was like he was speaking another language to me for several minutes…

When I did regain my ability to breath normally, I couldn’t understand what had happened. Did anything happen? Did I have some sort of psychotic episode and imagined it all? There he was, just talking as if nothing had happened. While my face still felt the burn of his first hit and my throat would not let me speak. I was afraid to try to move. I didn’t know how he would react if I tried to move away from him, even though every fiber of my being was screaming at me to get away from this man…

As I fought back the sobs that were building inside me, he continued to tell me a story of his childhood as if nothing had happened. Then when his story was finished, he proclaimed that he was tired, kissed my throbbing cheek and left me on the floor and went to bed. When I heard the bedroom door close, I allowed the tears to flow, I laid on the floor in fetal position until I had sobbed myself to sleep. That strangely enough, was the first night that R slept through the night.

What woke me up was the noise of my husband in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. When he realized I was awake, he spoke of how tired I must be… “To sleep so late”. (Even though it was still quite early.) And told me how he was going to try to help me more with cooking and cleaning, because I was looking so worn from taking care of the baby. The whole thing could have easily been some kind of scene from a sweet romantic movie… Except for the bruises on my face and neck. It all had a strange dream like quality to it. I almost felt as if I was coming off of a drunk night or something.

Before he went to work, he apologized for the fight. He claimed that he could barely remember what happened but it wouldn’t happen again. Remembering what he said now is impossible, but I remember how I felt. Before he was finished, I felt sorry for him. I had pushed him into that violent moment, it was all my fault. It wouldn’t happen again.. I was so sure of that.

But the only thing that didn’t happen again was he never again left a bruise on my face. His “out of control” rage always seemed the same, when it came. It seemed as if he was not in control of himself and he always seem to “forget” after wards… But he never again put any bruises on me that could not be hidden. Some how I never realized how calculated his rage was…

Each out burst was worse than the last. The after wards was always the same.. He always did some grand gesture to show his undieing “Love” for me.. And bought me gifts and apologized and told me how he didn’t remember his outburst and couldn’t imagine what was happening. He eventually began adding promises to find help for himself. And he always found subtle ways of turning it around on me and I always fell for all of it.I always believed him when he said it would never happen again…  I always felt that it was my own fault. After all, it was only me that he ever became violent with. The fact that he never drank or did drugs also in my mind proved that it had to be my fault… I’m not sure how this came to be my logic… but it is what I thought. If he had done drugs, or drank than I could blame that. I couldn’t find anything to blame. I didn’t know that he was the blame, that thought never accured to me. As I look back on myself then, I wonder who this young woman was.. I wonder why she couldn’t see reality that slapped her in the face! I still do not understand how I could excuse his violent out burst or the torture that he put me through. I alone was allowed to see that side of him, and yet I still fell for the act that he put on around other people. Around our child.

As R became older and less dependant on her mother for everything in her world, I watched her form a close bond with her father. He was so good with her. He would sit on the floor with her and play with her for as long as she wanted. He seemed to have unending patience for her. He was so gentle and happy with her. He took such pleasure in watching her learn new things, things that he taught her… She learned his schedule and would always become excited as time approached for him to come home from work. She was never exposed to anything but love and happiness. He was two people… One was loving and kind and patient… And the other person didn’t come out until R was safely asleep at night. I began to dread R’s bedtime because I knew I wasn’t safe if she was asleep.

There was never a warning to tell me ahead of time when he would go off. He would be a perfect gentleman full of smiles and kisses and soft touches… Then he would make a check on R to see if she was sleeping and come back and just snap on me. Suddenly he’d be abolishing me for some slight indiscretion I had done or he had perceived that I had done during the day. It always ended the same.. With me crumbled on the floor with bruises on my arms or legs or chest..Or knots on the back of my head where he slammed my head against a table… Sometimes leaving me with bruised or broken ribs.. (He even broke both my little toes once. Amazing how I still couldn’t see how calculated his punishments were. He purposely chose things like my little toes, because I could still function without anyone knowing how broken and bruised I was…but I still believed him when he said he didn’t have control over his actions.) His all time favorite thing to do was choking me. His hands around my neck, his thumbs pressing into my throat, cutting of my ability to breath until I would see the blackness start to envelope me, only then would he let go… And he always told me then that he didn’t have to stop.. I couldn’t stop him.. He only stopped because he wanted to. But if I ever tried to leave him, he wouldn’t stop until I was dead. And I believed him. I still believe that he meant it. That he would have gladly killed me if he could have… Years later… When I did leave him, he tried to do just that and if he hadn’t been stopped by other people, I still firmly believe he would have killed me that day.

But I didn’t leave him, for five long years after the torture began. How I lived through some of the things he did to “punish” me, I do not know to this day. Some of his torture was so horrible and so elaborate that I know now that he must have planned them out well in advance. Some of it was so horrible that I still to this day can not bring my self to say it out loud… Or write it as the case may be… But I began to believe that I had indeed married Satan himself and nothing short of death could save me from him.

By the end of that marriage, he had almost total control over me and my every movement or thought, even when he wasn’t around. Except for one thing. There was only one aspect of my life that he could not control, one part of my personality that refused to bend to his will. My motherhood! My children were always put first in my mind. I did what ever I saw as best for them even if that was against his wishes. OH, yes, it made me live in constant fear of what punishment I would receive, but I still took care of my daughters in what ever way I thought was right.

 My refusal to allow him to change me as a mother was indeed what saved me from death by his hands, I believe….The only reason I ever had that was strong enough to get me to run from him was the love of my children and my desire to protect them.

But even after I exscaped the physical punishments of this man…Even when he was no longer in my life, he still had control over me for so many many years…. I had nightmares every night in the beginning in which he would excape from the prison he was in and find me and slowly torture and kill me.

The dreams so vivid that would leave me shaking for most of the next day in my waking hours…. Even after I moved to another state, I watched for him every where. If I saw a man with his hair color, or his height and basic build I would have a panic attack. I do mean I would totally freak! This went on for several years… Slowly, the dreams came less often and I learned not to panic when I saw someone who couldn’t posibly be him who just happened to be about the same height. Even though I had a set back when the year came that I knew he would be eligible for parolle.

but now! after 19 years, I thought I had beat this! I thought this man was finally out of my head and no longer had control over me. Sadly I was wrong! About a month ago, while working I learned that this man, who I haven’t even seen in 19 years can still send me into uncontrolled terror. When a man came into the resteraunt where I work, as a costomer. This man for what ever reason, caught my eye imediatly. And I cringed and held my breath and felt again like that small 19 year old girl lying on the floor wondering what had happened. This man looked exactly like what I would expect my ex husband to look after 19 years.

Now imagine this.. I have no real knowledge that this man is indeed my ex husband… no rational reason to believe that he was and that he had somehow found me and came into my work with his wife and child in tow?! But I couldn’t think rationally! Logic had nothing to do with how I reacted! I spent the rest of the time that he was there in hiding from him. That was just the beginning. As it turned out, this man, his wife and young son came in every Sunday after. Each time my fear grew stronger and I spent more energy hiding from his sight. Two Saterdays ago, the night mare came back. Two Sat. nights in a row I’ve had that same night mare that I used to have when I first left my ex husband. Sunday morning I would be sick with fear….

Which brings us to this most resent Sunday… When someone I know saw this man, who had no idea of my thoughts or fears. A friend of mine was the answer without even knowing the question. He knew the man. When I saw them talking, I managed to get my friend by himself and asked him how he knew him. Come to find out that he worked with him, years ago and his name was not the name of my ex! Glory of Glories! This man is not my ex husband and I no longer have to fear Sundays at work.

But the truth is I have a much larger problem! This only brought out that problem into the light of day. I am a 42 year old woman who now knows how to take care of herself. I know now that I don’t need a “man” to take care of me! I now know that I did not then, nor do I ever deserve to be abused by anyone in anyway! I know all this and yet, I can not beat this fear! How can I win over this demon of the past when I can’t even face someone who looks like him???

If by some wild stretch of the imagination, this man did seek me out after all these years and seek revenge on me… I do believe that I could find a way to defend myself against him… If I was not frozen in fear! But as I see by my reaction to a slight posibility that I might have to face him, that I would indeed be Frozen with Fear!

As I see it, there is no need for him to ever seek revenge as he still controls me without any sort of contact what  so ever! How do I beat this control? How can I get this demon out of my head?

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November 7, 2006 Posted by | past, today | 9 Comments

All I have of my daughter… Memories…..

As I said in previous post, this year, birth months have been particularly hard on me. With R’s birthday rapidly approaching, I find my memories of her penetrating my every waking and sleeping moment. The bitter sweet memories of the child I had and lost seem to be somehow tangible. As if I could reach out and hold her in my arms again. Sometimes, like last night, I do reach out in my sleep for her, only to find the motions of my physical body wakes me from my sleep and R is no longer there, reaching for Mommy.

So this morning, I would like to write some of those memories of the brief time that I had this wonderful child in my life. She is no longer a child, I know, 23.. Wow, it’s hard to comprehend that my daughter is going to be 23 years old this very month. While I am forever locked in her childhood, because she was so violently ripped out of my embrace and I was never allowed to see her grow into womanhood.

Even though I did get to see her once as a teen, my dreams are always of that five year old girl who I so long to hold again and make it all better. I wonder how this will play out when (I no longer allow myself to say if, it is when) I do finally get to meet her as an adult. Will the five year old girl grow up in my dreams? How will this happen, when I never got to see the process of that growth? Maybe my dreams will just suddenly change from five to adult.

But as for now, my memories are all I have. My memories of that beautiful baby growing so quickly into such a beautiful child, inside and out. I was always amazed, with both of my girls, how quickly their personalities seem to start forming. When they were just babies, they started showing their own unique personality that grew with their physical and mental growth.

Even as a tiny baby, when R was first learning to focus on objects other than mommy, showed signs of amazement of the world around her. That “amazement” never went away, it only grew into a wonderment for all the beauty she saw in almost everything and everyone. Seeing the world a new, through her eyes, helped me see beauty that I had forgotten.  With nature, R saw beauty to be equal in a fresh new rose bloom as she did with a weed that had popped up through the cracks in the sidewalk. All of God’s earth was beautiful in her eyes. “Look mommy, pretty!” was a statement I heard from her many times a day.

It was no different for her with the people and animals she saw ether. I had a hard time teaching that child about the danger of stray animals and strange people, because all she saw was the beauty of life. On any of our outings, when a stranger would stop to talk to her, as people often do to young children, R would stare at them intently, drinking in every nuance of their physical appearance and their mannerisms. No matter what they appeared like to others, to R they were “pretty” just because they were alive.

When someone said, “My aren’t you just the prettiest little girl.”

She would reply, ” No,You pretty.” and some would engage her in a mock debate over who was the prettiest. She’d always win, as most adults are busy with life and can’t out argue a toddler. LOL

 R also had some of my personality traits, that she took and happily bent to suit her own personal beliefs. She had my sensitivity. She would just as easily cry for the poor spider that was stepped on as she did the stray dog that got ran over by a car. She got her feelings hurt easily as well, like me. That was unfortunate because of the way she saw the world. If someone dared to disagree with her about the weed being “pretty” she would be heart broken that they couldn’t see it’s beauty.

She was only four years old the first time she ever saw a homeless person. We were grocery shopping and he was laying on a broken down box in front of the store, sleeping. She asked me why he was sleeping there, why didn’t he go home to sleep?

I told her, in the best way I could explain to a four year old, that he didn’t have a home. She cried. I cried. We cried all the way through the grocery store. I let her pick out a few things to give to him to eat in the store and along with the pre made sandwiches, which was something she loved so naturally she picked them, she chose some candy bars and a teddy bear. She said the teddy bear would help him feel safer.

She often, even as a baby, would try to mock me in motherhood. Even before her little sister was born, R seemed to be the “older” sister. She would love on her dolls and toys and feed her toy cars when “they were hungry” and teach them things that I had taught her. Like the alphabet song. Even though she had trouble with the proununciation, I would catch her teaching her stuffed animals and correcting them if “they missed a part” with so much patience. That patience was not reserved for her imaginary friends. When her sister came into her life, she showed the same patience with her. She never lost her temper with her baby sister, never. It was amazing to me how they never seemed to disagree at all. Maybe because they were so young, or maybe because it wasn’t in R’s nature to disagree. She couldn’t stand to see other’s hurt.

R was not, however, a good child to learn from in the sence that she was the first and I had no clue how to teach her some things. When her little sister was born, it was like I was still a first time mother. Because most of what R had to learn in the early days of childhood, she learned almost on her own, with little help from me.

Not that I didn’t want to help her, she just didn’t need that much help. As in winging her from the bottle. When the time came that I thought she was ready, apparently, she thought so too. I put away all her bottles and she never cried for one, she would just gladly except her sippy cup. I didn’t know that you could wing them slowly by only allowing a bottle at bed time for a while. And R never complained about it at all. Never had trouble going to sleep. It really was just that easy.

Or potty training, Just before I lost my girls, I was struggling with ‘Tish to potty train, because I had learned nothing about it from R.

When R became able to follow me, that is exactly what she did. She followed me. I no longer had to put her in her crib while I went to the bathroom because she followed me. I learned quickly that going to the bathroom alone was a luxury not afforded to mothers. I didn’t care. I loved it. I loved spending every minute with R. Sometimes at night when she was sleeping, I was very lonely without her.

So from the very beginning of her life, I always gave her names of objects and events. These names evolved as she learned more understanding of words. “Whea we go?” she’d always ask when I started somewhere, “Mommy’s got to go potty.” I’d answer. Evenually, I purchased a potty chair, R had just started walking at the time. I put it on display in the bathroom, right across from “mommy’s potty” I did this, knowing that she was too young to potty train, but it was my introduction to her. And I talked about it. I talked about someday she’d wear pretty big girl panties and use the potty instead of using a diaper.

To my amazement, shortly after I began the “talking” phase and without actually showing her the “pretty big girl panties” of which I spoke. One day when she was “helping” me fold laundry. (which really means she was grabbing my folder laundry and wadding it up. ha.) She picked up a pair of my underwear and said, “pretty panties. I wear!” Oh man, I can remember that as if it were yesterday. I can see her in my mind, her face all full of exitement.

I think I explained to her that she would have to use the potty to wear panties… What exactly I said or she said after that is a little fuzzy. But it ended with me pulling out her “pretty big girl panties” that I had already bought and put away and she never wore diapers again, except at bed time. And truly, she had very few accidents. Most of those few accidents were my fault. Because she would cry if I tried to put a diaper on her when we went out and I would always give in to her. Then I sometimes couldn’t find a bathroom in time, when she “nee to go potty”

 I know that all parents tend to exagerate how smart their child is. But honestly, I don’t have to exagerate about R. She was that Amazing. Of course, this my memories of her, and it’s bound to be a little bias. Of course, she did, like all children must, struggle at times to learn new things. Sometimes she stumbled and might even fall, but she always, as they say; “Got right back up” and kept trying at whatever her task of learning was until she had it down pat. She was so eager to learn new things. And when she did learn them, she never forgot. She would hang on to her new knowledge tight, even as she forge ahead to find a new knowledge to gain.

Oh how my heart aches for her now. I didn’t see that in her when we reunited while she was a teen. Did being ripped away from her mother rob her of her desire to learn or her love for beauty…Or perhaps, I wasn’t with her long enough to see those traits. Are they still there? Does she still see beauty in a weed? Does she still feel compation for a stranger? Does she still know how much I love her?! I want to know that more than any thing else. My sweet R. I love you still! I ache for you to be in my life. My heart, my soul cries for the loss that we both had to endure.

August 6, 2006 Posted by | past, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

For the love of Terry David

I have been putting this post off. I wasn’t sure why, after all I posted the hardest part. Making my story public about how I lost my girls was a giant step for me. I so feared that other’s wouldn’t understand my story. They just wouldn’t get it. I feared that people would say, “oh, she had to be wrong because CPS doesn’t do stuff like that.” Even after I found others who had similar things happen to them, I was still afraid of being judged wrongly. But I sucked it up and told my story. The whole unvarnished truth that was my horror story.

So why was I hesitant to post the story of my son? I decided that I would have to have the answer to that question before I could actually get past this hesitation. And so that’s what I’ve been doing, analyzing how I felt about telling my son’s story. Finally, it came to me. It was like the end. Just like the when I gave him up for adoption, telling the story for anyone who cares to see, it was like the end.

So knowing what was my cause for hesitation, I was able to work through it. So here is how this feels, writing this is like going back to that time and reliving it again. The last time I ever was a mother. That’s how it always felt. It was the end. Of course, it wasn’t really the end, I lived. (Although, at times I did not know how I lived, but I did.)

And telling this story doesn’t have to be the end here. I still have much to say. I still have much to work out in my life. So today, I will tell the world about Terry David, my baby son.

 Once I contacted the lawyer, from a phone book ad, I went to his office once. I am sure that I did that. It seems more like a dream. A lot of stuff I really don’t remember very clearly and yet other stuff, minor things, I remember perfectly. It is a jumbled up mess in my head.

I know that the lawyer gave me the name and phone no to a Obgyn and I started going to him for my medical needs. The ad in the phone book for the lawyer said the adoptive parents would pay for medical expenses and some living expenses. So I assumed, without asking that I had to go to this Dr and could not choose my own Dr. Although, as far as I remember, I never really had a complaint about the chosen Dr. He doesn’t stand out in my memory much except at the end.

I know that after he examined me he said he thought the due date that my first Dr had given me was close enough to keep. So My due date was valentines day. I thought about that and thought it was cool. I really wanted my baby to be born on Valentine’s Day. He’d be a true love child then. I thought. (Now, I hate valentine’s day. I do my best not to celebrate it. My DH always buys me something for that day, but I never buy him anything and I usually spend a lot of time hiding by myself to cry.)

I never received in living expense moneys. I didn’t ask about it, cause I really felt like if I did receive any money personally, it would be like selling my baby. But this meant I had to work full time for my whole pregnancy.

This was hard, because I was sick the whole time. The “morning” sickness never stopped. Even through my last month, I threw up everyday, sometimes several times a day. I wanted my baby to be healthy, I didn’t want to do anything to hurt him, so I ate what I could and found the only thing I could hold down was raw fruits and veggies. So that’s what I ate during my pregnancy. Nothing cooked, nothing processed, and absolutely no meat. I couldn’t stand it at all. Even the smell of meat cooking was too much. Which was bad since I worked in a restaurant.

I also cried. I cried all the time. I cried myself to sleep at night. If anyone said anything about my pregnancy, I cried. If I saw a mother with her children, I cried. If I saw a little lost dog on the street, I cried. It was the worst time of my life. People I worked with learned to pretend that I wasn’t as big as a house and were very careful what they said to me, or around me. But of course, you know there’s nothing like a pregnant woman to get strangers to ask personal questions of someone they didn’t know. The managers tried their best to assign me to jobs that would keep me from having direct contact with the costumers. (As I look back on that now, I realize that the people I worked with were really good to me. They really tried hard to help me and protect me. I don’t think I saw that then.)

So my due date was Feb. 14. I was scheduled to go in for birth by c-section on Feb. 15. The last time I went for a Dr’s appointment they did test to see if the baby was fully developed and determined that he was and the date of feb. 15th was confirmed.

On feb. 12, I went to work like any other day. I remember my back was bothering me occasionally while I was at work and my legs kept cramping. But I didn’t think much about it. I worked my shift and walked the three blocks from work to home. By the time I reached home, I was in serious pain. And I knew I was in labor. So this is it, I thought. I didn’t want my son to be born after valentine’s day and I guess he didn’t want to wait ether.

So he was born on feb. 12. I called my Dr and told him I was having labor pains. They were still not on a schedule, but since we already knew that the baby was ready and because I was having a c-section, the Dr said to go to the hospital and check in. He was there by the time I got checked in. They took me straight to the delivery room and gave me a spinal thing. (I’m sorry, I’ve tried every possible way I can think of and my spell checker refuses to give me the correct spelling of that word.) Anyway, I wanted to be awake for the birth of my son. It was the first time I was awake for birth.

When he was born, the nurse held him up for just a second for me to see. He wasn’t crying. But I was. Then she whisked him away to clean him and do the test or what ever they do. I started feeling that my lungs were collapsing. My chest hurt so bad that I felt like I was getting no air at all. I heard someone say something about hyperventilating and blood pressure and then someone leaned next to my ear and told me they were going to put something in my i.v. To help calm me. He said I may start to feel sleepy. That was ok, he said. I nodded my head, I thought I was dying. I couldn’t feel any air getting to my lungs. Then I felt a warmth in my arm that spread through my body and I ether went to sleep or passed out. It didn’t feel like falling asleep, it was like, I hear everything and feel all this pain and  think I’m dying and then suddenly I wake up in recovery.

When I woke up enough to sit up and take a drink of water, which was only a couple of hours, I was moved to a private room. But those couple of hours to me felt like an instant. Once I got to my room I told the nurse I wanted to see my son. But she said I needed to be more stable before they brought the baby in. Maybe that was the truth, I don’t know now. All I do know was I felt like I was ok physically and I wanted to see my son. I was aching so bad to hold him.

They didn’t mention bringing him to me until the next day. When the nurse asked me if I would like to see my son now I almost jumped out of bed. Yes! Yes!

But she didn’t come back with him. Instead the lawyer and another woman came in with the papers for me to sign. The lawyer didn’t say anything. This woman that I didn’t know started trying to act like she was my friend or something. She said it would be better for me to get this out of the way before I said good bye to the baby. And some other stuff. If we went over what the papers said, I don’t remember it. If I read any of it, I really don’t remember reading it. I just signed where she told me too. I was bawling like crazy. I could barely see. She reached out and patted my shoulder and I do remember flinching away from her. And then they were gone and there was another woman and the nurse with my son.

The nurse placed my son in my arms. I couldn’t stop crying. I sat up on the side of my bed so I could turn my back on the new woman who did not leave when the nurse left. I, to this day, do not have a clue who that woman was. I was crying so hard by then that my ears were stopped up. So when I turned my back on the woman, she came to that side of the bed and sat down right in front of me and started talking. I couldn’t hear her, I couldn’t say anything. I just hugged my baby to me and cried. I wanted to tell this woman to leave, I wanted to scream it. But I didn’t. I wanted to talk to my son. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him and I didn’t want to do this but I didn’t have a choice. I wanted to tell him that I would always always love him. But I didn’t want anyone else to hear. It was supposed to be a private moment for me and my son, but here was this woman who I didn’t know. I wanted also to tell him the name I chose for him. I didn’t tell anyone for many many years the name I gave to my son. The name he would never use, would never know. Terry David, my son, I still love you just as much as I did that day! The one and only day that I held you in my arms.

After that I was released from the hospital. Only a few hours after I held my son. One day after I had surgery and the Dr that I had went to during all this, wrote on my release papers that I should visit the county hospital on such and such date for a check up as he would not be able to see me again. I guess once they had my baby the adoptive parents felt no need to pay any future medical bills. I didn’t go to county, I didn’t go anywhere to be checked. I figured I couldn’t kill myself, but if I got a bad infection or something and died from it, then I’d be out of this pain.

Shortly after the birth of my son, the DA dropped the charges against my babies father. He never even went to court. Just like they had dropped the charges against me, they said it was due to lack of evidence. Of course there was lack of evidence! The charges against Terry’s father were totally trumped up by Cps to get my daughters away from me!

But as it happens in city jail. It took almost a week for them to release T.H. After the charges were dropped. We knew the day he was going to get out. Before that day came, I called my Dad and begged him to let me move to Tenn and stay with them for a while. I couldn’t stay there any more and I couldn’t be there when T.H. Got out of jail. He had encouraged me to sign the papers giving up my rights to parent my daughters and he was the one who first said I should hire a lawyer to put our baby up for adoption. I couldn’t face him ever again. So I left him and my life long home of Texas before he got out of jail. I moved to Tenn and began my new life. A life in which I wasn’t a mother. A life behind a mask of anger, depression and shame. I became a totally different person. I never again cried in front of anyone. I cried for my children only in the dark, alone.

There is one thing that I’ve only just figured out, which became clear to me once I started writing this blog. That is that during all that time, I have blamed myself first because I didn’t fight for my kids. I knew that I was lied to and not told anything about my rights but I didn’t think any of that mattered in the end because I signed those papers. Now, I know that I was in no emotional position to make any life decisions during any of that time. I was such an emotional wreck that I couldn’t even make simple everyday decisions. I was as close to a total break down as anyone could be without standing naked in the street screaming. I remember one time I was in a store to buy milk and stood in front of the cooler and started crying because there were too many different types of milk and I didn’t know which one to buy. This was the woman who signed the papers that took my precious babies out of my life. Looking back on that time, remembering all of it, it’s like I can see myself, but it’s like not me. It was this woman who was living in my body. She was so lost. It was like being in a totally dark room, with no windows or doors and trying to find your way out. So lost and trapped. How could anyone have looked at that woman and not known how messed up she was? How could anyone have not known that she shouldn’t have been allowed to make any life decisions?

July 6, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, past | 5 Comments

When Satan goes to court…..

Warning! Some of this post is very graphic! And very sickning!

Just as I thought it would, my pregnancy with my third and last child was not the fu fu skip through the daisies time, as my first two pregnancies were. It was so hard. I was sick with morning sickness, or stress or both the whole time. I worked anywhere from 45 to 50 hours a week. And I tried, really tried hard, not to get attached to the growing life inside me. (This was an impossible task, but I tried so hard.) And that was for the most part, all I did.

There were a couple of note worthy life events that did happen during my pregnancy. First being that shortly after I signed relinquish papers, the charges against me were dropped. That had never been discussed between myself and the social worker. I never expected the charges to be dropped. I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t really care. The reason on the papers I was given? 

Insufficient Evidence. !!

 I actually had to go to court for that. When given the summons to appear, it did not say that the charges were being dropped. It just said it was an order to appear… So I was surprised when the DA stood up and babbled something about the state wishing to drop the charge. And that was over. Another part of my life with my daughters was gone. I know that doesn’t make much sense but each little thing that was resolved, seem to be pushing me more toward loosing that self that had two daughters. It was if life itself was taking away all evidence that I ever had any children.

The second life event was my Dad retired and as they had been planing for years, he and R moved from Texas to Tenn. Even though I knew that had been the plan all along, it was just further truth to me that I was truly alone. I had no family left close to me.

A major event that happened during the early part of my pregnancy was J’s case came up. I was summoned as a witness for the prosecution but at the last minute J’s lawyer made a plea bargain with the D.A. And the hearing turned into a sentencing hearing. I don’t remember what they actually called the charge that J plead guilty to, but what it boiled down to was ten counts of inappropriate touching of a minor. I was no longer needed as a witness but was invited to sit and watch the proceedings. The first thing I wondered was where did they get the number 10? Did J count the times he went into our daughter’s room while I was working and violate that poor baby?!

The second thing that struck me was how much like the T.V. Court shows it really was like. I didn’t think real court would be anything like T.V. Court. Even though, the D.A and J’s lawyer had struck a deal and J was told that if he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges he would get a certain sentence, the judge still had the right to over rule the deal that was made. Hence the sentencing hearing.

First the judge informed J of his rights and asked if he understood his rights and asked if he had decided on his own to change his plea from not guilty to guilty without any coarsen. Bla Bla…. Lots of legal terms. Then the defense attorney and the D.A both made opening statements. Who knew what they said… It was all full of words that I didn’t have a clue of the meaning. Then the defense called the one and only witness. J.

The judge reminded J that he had been previously sworn in and he was required by law to tell the truth. (I swear, it was just like T.V. Court with the same words.)

It was so hard for me to sit there in silence and listen to the lies that came out of that man’s mouth, under oath, about what he had and (had not) done to our daughter. First, J’s lawyer established with some well asked questions that J was mentally ill. Apparently he had been evaluated while in jail and was found to be Severe psychotic / something something personality disorder. I don’t remember but it was several different mental illnesses that they said he had.

Then believe it or not, his lawyer brought up ten different dates. I swear, where did they come up with this stuff?! Anyway, he asked J if he had “inappropriately touched one, R.A.C. On these ten dates. J said yes. His lawyer asked him if he knew why he did this. J sat right there and said, no no, I don’t know. It’s like it wasn’t me… But I never did anything more than touch her and I was really only playing with her, but she misunderstood so I stopped.

I felt dizzy thinking about that statement. (of course these aren’t the exact words, I can’t remember the exact words but the meaning behind them was the same.) He said she misunderstood his intentions so he stopped?! Ten separate times!!!???? (still wondering at this time how they decided it was exactly ten times?) But the point was he did it again and again! And everyone there knew he was lying! Everyone knew he didn’t stop at touching! I remember imagining myself jumping up and screaming Liar! Liar! But I sat there, in tears and churning upset stomach and dizzy and watched the lies.

Then the D.A. Got to question J. OMG, he had a chart! It was a large pencil drawing of a baby without any clothes on. I couldn’t believe this. At this time I was so glad that this was only a sentencing hearing and that I wouldn’t have to be subject to being a witness for the court. The D.A asked J by pointing with a pointer at different parts of the pencil baby, “On the said dates, did you touch R here? Here?”  Supposedly it was established through this point and tell display that J had touched R on or around her nipples. !Liar Liar!, screams the crazy woman as they drag her from the court room. Was what I could see the headlines to be.

Then the judge sentenced J to ten years in prison. I guess that is where, or why the ten different accounts of “touching”. A year for each account. I talked to the D.A. after and he told me that J would probably get out on parole in 5 years. Five lousy years for destroying the life of a four year old! I don’t know when he got out. I put as much distance emotionally and physically as possible between myself and him during the next few years. I don’t have a clue what happened to him, or where he might be now. But I still have night mares about him occasionally. Still after 18 years.

June 28, 2006 Posted by | past | 6 Comments

How to tear apart a family….

The day came to sign the papers. Someone from CPS picked me up, so I wouldn’t have to take the city bus. They were OH, so helpful.

I was told I would get to see Little R and L that day to say good bye. I was told that I should try hard not to cry in front of them. Not to let them know I was sad and to tell them that I couldn’t take care of them, so I was going to let some nice people take them and love them and they would have a new family to love. This was supposed to make it easier on them to adapt to their new family.

I was also promised that everything in their power would be done to make sure the girls were not separated. That they were sure that they could find them a great adoptive family that would accept both girls. This was a very important issue to me. They only had each other left now, they had to be allowed to stay together. Oh yes, promises were made!

 (I had no idea for years how they lied right then and there to my face. I didn’t know that the girls had already been separated in foster care, even though they did get to visit each other. Nor did I know that both sets of foster parents had already been told they could adopt each of my girls very soon! Nor did I know, that while it was suggested that the girls be allowed to have contact after adoption, it was not required and L’s new parents would severe her contact from her older sister shortly after the adoptions were finalized. I had no idea of any of this until I heard it from R’s adopted mother years later, when R was a teenager.)

I was taken into this room at the offices. I can’t remember much about it, except it was all one color. I can’t remember the color, but I remember it was all one color, the carpet, and the walls, same color. So strange. It contained a couple of straight back chairs and off to the side was some toys laying on the floor. Maybe the toys were blocks or something like that, I’m not sure.

I sat there in that room by myself for what seemed to be hours. I don’t really know how long it was. When the door opened, A woman entered with my girls on each side of her. Ruby hesitated for a second, as though she might not be sure it was me, then pulled her hand away from the woman and ran to my waiting arms. She started crying and so did I.

L was still standing in the doorway holding on to the woman’s hand. R looked back at her and said,” Look, Tishie, Mommy.”

I had to go get L. She came to me when I went to her and put out my arms. She hugged me and then she with drew and sat on the floor playing with the toys there. R and I sat on the floor with her. R sitting almost on top of me. But L was not the same little girl she had been when I last saw her.

 I couldn’t believe the change in her in such a short time. She wasn’t the happy, laughing baby any more. She didn’t even talk to R. And she had always jibbered at R before. I picked her up and sat her in my lap. She didn’t try to get down, but she didn’t acknowledge that she was even aware of my presence, or R’s presence. She didn’t smile, she didn’t cry, she had almost no emotion expression at all.

 So I talked to her and R and tried to pretend that she could understand. I told them first and for most that I loved them both more than they could ever know and that I would always always love them. R says, “we love you, mommy.” Tears again. Then Ruby said “go home now?” My heart was breaking. I had trouble just continuing any sort of communication, much less telling my precious babies the they would never come home with me again.

I’m not sure how I told them. I know I didn’t tell them that I wanted to give them to a new family as the social worker suggested I do. I know I did tell them that it was breaking my heart to let them go, even though I was told not to tell them that. And I told them that I would always love them and always miss them and would always always be somewhere that they could find me. I told them that one day when they were old enough to decide for themselves and if they wanted to they could find me and I’d love them still. That was of course, the last thing I was allowed to say before a social worker burst in to the room and said it was time to go. That created a scene that I will forever remember. R grabbed me around the neck and began screaming. Not using any words, just straight out hysterical screaming! That seem to startle L out of her non emotion state and she grabbed me and started crying.

So there it was, I was bawling, L was bawling, R was screaming bloody murder and the social worker lady was flapping her arms around like some big clumsy flightless bird trying to take flight, yelling for help. And help she got. Several people came in and ruthlessly pulled my baby girls away from me. They took the girls out kicking and screaming while a couple of them stood in front of me with stern looks. How could any human see this scene and not be touched by it at all? I ask you? But none of it seemed to have an effect on these people at all.

After I had calmed down to quiet tears, they took me to another room to sign the papers. They told me again the same things about how I was saving them from being moved around from home to home. How, by signing these papers, I was doing the ultimate deed of Love. How I should be proud of having such unselfish love for my children to think of them first….

(When I first started exploring other, first mother’s blogs and discovered that the words they used on me were the same that were used on many many unwed pregnant girls I was shocked! I guess that kind of coercion works in many different situations.)

The only thing that I could think of for the days, weeks to follow, was at least there was nothing else I could loose. I had lost the most important people in my life. My daughters and no one could ever hurt me more than that. And yes, even though the pain was always, always horrible, I did, at that time buy into the “I did what was best for my babies” theory.

There were times, many times that I wished for death. I wasn’t sure how I could be still alive and hurt that bad any way. I even thought about taking my own life. What stopped me? I had made a promise to my girls that I would be waiting for them always. I couldn’t break that promise. So I would just say it again, at least no one could ever hurt me again because there was nothing left. That was what I thought, until I found yet one more thing I had to loose.

________________________________________________

During all this, I had been very physically sick. I chalked this sickness up to the stress and depression. Because I had been eating very little during the last month or more and because when I did eat, I usually threw it up, I had lost a lot of weight. And I was already a small person before all this.

 I remember in August. around R’s birthday which was terrible for me I suddenly relized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had had a period. But at first, I didn’t think about it more than a minute or two, because one time I had heard, or saw on t.v. that if you loose weight down to a point you would stop having periods.

but evenually, I had to go to a dr. Yes, it was confirmed in late August that I was pregnant. After another appointment, (I couldn’t remember when my last period was) so I had to be tested to determine my due date, which was said by the dr to be Feb 14. This pregnancy I knew would not be a happy one, like the two before. I couldn’t think of anything worse at this time than to be pregnant. I was sure that CPS would be knocking on my door the day I brought my baby home to take it away. When I told T and Mrs. H about it, they agreed that CPs would never let me keep the baby and the best thing I could do would be to hire a lawyer and do a private adoption.

All I could think of was I couldn’t live through having another child taken away from me. I decided the only way to defend myself against these people was to do as Mrs. H suggested. I asked her to find a lawyer for me. She picked a name out of the phone book and my hell continued. ……..

June 26, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, my angels, past | 5 Comments

A Time to die, and die again…..

This will be the hardest post for me yet. It's all been leading to this…

If I can get through this…. Maybe just maybe …. I don't know… I'm not sure what I hope to accomplish by writing all this down, any more. I first thought that it would help me heal… I'm not sure that healing is possible any more. Then, as I posted each time, I thought, maybe someone else will stumble on this and be helped by it…. Do I really think that I can help anyone? And a new thought has crept it's way into my brain. What if, somehow, someday, one of my daughters were to stumble on to this site… I have no idea what they were told about me…. Even though I have reunited once with R years ago. I didn't know that it was "reunion" then. I never heard of that term before. I just knew that I got to see my daughter. I got to talk to her. I got to hug her and tell her I loved her and then it was all gone. Maybe she was too young at the time? Maybe she was told things… I wanted to tell her my story then, but I didn't know how to tell her. She didn't ask me anything. I always thought I should wait for her to ask… But this is another subject, for another post… Now I am stalling. I know this… I am not sure why I need to write all of this, nor why I am doing it so publicly. I just know that I need to do this and so…..

For reasons that will reveal themselves later.. Time line is kind of important. So I have been diligently counting on my fingers, adding and subtracting each event in relation to the age of Little R or L. The time line is only accountable to me by the relationship to their ages. Somehow, I thought the time was much longer that everything had happened. I always thought in my mind that everything happened over a long period of time, but in following the time line so carefully, I've discovered that it all happened rather quickly. In some ways, it seems that all of this happened last year or last month. In other ways it seemed it happened a life time ago, in someone else's life. But the time from when I took my two little girls and ran away from their abusive father to the time I lost my girls seems to have been years. But it wasn't. I am surprised, it didn't take long at all for my life to be totally destroyed.

So, Little R was still four years old, L was almost two when they came home to live with me again. We hadn't been separated very long at all. And I had called them every day and visited them on my days off. But it seemed as though we had been apart for a life time. Not just to me, to them also. They clinged to me and would not let me out of their site. Following me to the bathroom, where they stood in the doorway watching me intently so I wouldn't slip out the tiny 4 inch window. The three of us shared a bedroom and I had to lay in bed with them until they were both sound asleep. But I didn't mind… I had suffered separation anxiety just as they had. (I had taken a leave of absence from work so that I could stay off work as long as I needed.)

Soon after R and L had come home, T's mother told us that the apartment next door to her was open for rent. (She lived in one side of a duplex) This seemed like a great hand of fate for us. We moved into that apartment so that when I did get ready to go back to work, T's mother could baby sit the girls. This move also seemed to help the girls. I would sit on the porch with T's mom and the girls would play close to me. Each day they were able to get a tiny bit further away from me as long as I didn't get up from my seat. (Of course, Little R's movements dictated what L would do. She followed her big sister's cue.) As Little R became a little braver, so did L. Very soon, the girls were playing in the yard while I stayed on the porch.

As the girls became braver, T and I became closer. Eventually, the girls were ok with me sitting in a chair close to their bed until they fell asleep and I moved into T's bed with him. I know that seems out of place, but I really don't remember when I became romantically involved with T. It is something that happened and I'm not sure when or how it came to be.

As time passed and the girls, at least little R, became more confident, I slowly began preparing them for my return to work. At first, I went into the house while T's mom stayed outside with the girls while they played. Then I would go to the store, assuring them I'd be back quickly and they'd be safe with Mrs. H. It was a gradual process that seemed to take a lot longer than it really did. But eventually, I was able to return to work for a few hours a day. I was still only working a very few hours a day when Hell came to my life. Oh sure, I thought I had already been through hell and that I was making a come back… But I was wrong… Oh so wrong…

It was summer time.  It was hot, I remember that so clearly. The day was dry and oh so hot. (by my time line calculations it must have been June.) I was sitting on the porch watching Little R teach her baby sister how to build a doll house out of dirt and sticks. Toys were scattered all over the yard, but they were playing with dirt and sticks and their favorite baby dolls of course. Little R with her imagination had decided the dolls needed a pool and had instructed L on how to dig it out. I was laughing at them both because R was trying to teach L to dig in only one spot to make the "pool" deep enough, but L would babble something in baby talk and then proceed to fill the freshly dug hole with the loose dirt that R had taken out. Amazingly enough, Little R was being Oh so patient with her little sister. "no no, tishie, this way" She would say and show her again and again. I don't know what L was saying but her hand movements and expressions seem to be saying, "Oh, yeah, I get it now" And then she'd throw more dirt in the hole. ( I have often remembered that time, recalling it over and over so that I will never forget it. My girls playing together….)

That's when a car pulled up in front of the house. I immediately stood up and was off the porch and in front of the girls. I had an immediate sense of dread. For one thing, this was a really nice car. It was so out of place in this neighborhood. But there was something else, that I couldn't put my finger on. I just knew that my stomach was churning with a deep fear and protectiveness for my girls.

Two women got out of that car. I remember the car was dark. Black? Maybe it was a dark blue, but it was dark. Another darkness to my life. The two women identified themselves as CPS social workers. For a second, only a second, I thought they were finally going to help me get Little R into some sort of council. But they started rapid firing questions at me. I didn't know what was going on. They asked me how often I left the girls alone with T. "Never." which I had not. Not because I didn't trust him, but because I didn't want to leave Little R alone with any man after what she had been through. I didn't think it would be good for her at that time. "Who, then, baby sat while I was working" I pointed to Mrs. H, T's mom and said "she does, but I'm never gone more than three or four hours at a time." 

"Why didn't I have Ruby in therapy?" was their next line of questions. And I told them that I was trying to get her some help but they were not helping me… And there were more questions, most of them made no sense at all. Then they took Little R into the house and talked to her alone. Then one of the women made a phone call and they stood around staring at us all while we waited for what I didn't know. T was at work when all this started. But he arrived home, just as a police car pulled up in front of our house. They asked him if he was T.H. And he said yes and they proceeded to search him and put cuffs on him and put him in the police car. Without even saying why!

Then in front of me, in the house, they took Little R and L and the police and the social women proceeded to take off all the girls clothing. I was hysterical by this time, trying to get them to leave my babies alone. The girls were terrified. They were in tears begging for me to make them stop. The amazing thing was, that while both the girls were… Dirty, from playing in the dirt, there was a bruise or a scratch on them. They didn't even have the normal scratches or bumps that children get from normal child's play. Nothing!

After the girls were dressed again, one of the social workers took them to another room and the other social worker told me that there had been a report that T was abusing the girls. I told them they were crazy. That I never let him be by himself with my girls and I would know if he ever tried to hurt them, which he hadn't. That seemed to be a confession to them. They told me to talk to the girls and make it ok for them to go with them. To make it easier on them because they were going to take them temporarily while the investigation was ongoing and I needed to make the girls not afraid.

I hugged my girls and told them I loved them so much  and never forget I loved them and I would be with them again soon. Then they took my babies and drove away with them. Then they arrested me! The charge? Failure to report Child abuse! I was in jail for three days! Three days before they allowed me to call my Dad. He bonded me out on the same day I called him.

I went home, to my empty apartment. The truth is, I would have went to my dad's that time, but he lived in another county and the judge wouldn't give me permission to stay with Dad before my case came up. It didn't really mater to me, though. I just went home and went to bed and didn't get up… I was so sick, with depression and fear… I don't remember how long I stayed in bed. I didn't eat… Except when Mrs. H would bring over something and force me to eat a few bites or feed me water, which I would have to run to the bathroom and throw up most of the time. How long did that go on? I can't remember. I know eventually rent time came and I had no money so I moved in with Mrs. H, T's mother. He was still in jail, on child abuse charges, waiting for a court date because we had no money to get him out.

I did go back to working, full time now, there was no reason for me not to work full time. I walked several miles to the jail downtown once a week to visit T. And I waited. There was nothing else I could do. "They" had all the power, as far as I could see and I had no resources. Time stopped. I did what I had to do. I worked, I helped Mrs. H with the housework. I ate food when she forced me too. I was sick all the time. And so tired. I wanted nothing more than to just lay down and die. But I was so sure that "they" would see what a terrible mistake they had made and return my girls to me any day now. So I waited.

________________________________________________

I called "my social worker" constantly. Badgering her about "the investigation" and when I could have my girls back. Or at least when I could see them. Couldn't I even see my babies?! The answers were always pretty much the same. It would not be good for the girls to visit me at this time, it would only confuse them when we had to be separated again. The "investigation" was on going and they had no information to give me at this time. I heard that statement so many times it was burned into my brain like a cattle brand.

The other thing that they said over and over, was there was a high possibility that I would never again get my girls back and they could be stuck in foster care for their entire child hood. They were preparing  me so to speak. I know that now. Then I was just terrified. I had seen the movies with the poor kids that were thrown from one bad foster care home to another. Or the kids that lived in Children's homes under horrible conditions. Not my girls! All I could do was pray that God would keep my girls out of that horrible life.

Maybe a month went by, maybe less and I guess they decided I was ready. The social work came to my house one day and said she needed to "talk" to me. This all seems so fussy now. The memory has a dream like quality to it. I can't remember the whole conversation but the jest of it was, this woman said that Little R had told them about the "abuse" and I would never be allowed to have my girls back again. They would, of course, seek the court to severe my parental rights, but the court system was so over clogged and full that this might take years. Meanwhile my girls would have to live in a children's home or foster care if it could be found for them. And they were getting older and by the time the courts caught up to them, they'd be too old to be able to find an adoptable home for them. They would probably have to be separated, and no one wants that.. And they'd live in group homes or foster homes until they turned 18. Never being able to have a stable home life again… The one sentence I remember the woman saying verbatim, was… "If you are selfish, you will cause them to have that life, but you can be sure, no mater what you will never get your girls back."

I remember the pain. OH the pain. My chest really hurt. I felt sure my heart would stop beating. The pain was physical. I also got sick and had to run to the bathroom at one point to throw up.

Sign relinquish papers, giving up my rights to parent my girls and they would find them a home together where they would be loved and taken care of. That's what was told to me that day. I asked about their father, would his rights be terminated? They couldn't possibly ever let him see them after what he did. No No, his rights had already been terminated by the courts. It didn't occur to me to ask how that was done so quickly when she had just said the courts were backed up by years. When I couldn't talk any more because I was crying too hard, when I couldn't catch my breath and my chest hurt so bad that I was doubled over, the woman put her hand on my shoulder, I think her touch burned my skin, and told me to think about it. And she left. She could have stabbed me in the heart and walked away smiling, it would have been the same.

____________________________________________

Mrs. H was dead set against my signing the papers. Not because she thought I should or could fight for my children. She agreed with the social worker in that once the government gets involved, you pretty much can't fight them. She didn't want me to sign the papers until T went to court, because she figured they would use that as an admission of guilt.

So I went to visit T on that Sunday. I told him everything that had happened. I told him my fears. He pretty much said the same thing as his mother about the girls. I couldn't fight them. They were the government, they would lie, cheat and do what ever it took to win and I would loose. I also told T what the lady had said about Little R's age. She was almost five years old, almost too old to be adoptable. I didn't want her to be shuffled from one place to another, each place being worse than before…. T told me to sign the papers. He didn't care if they used it against him. He didn't want me to have to worry about Little R that way.

And thus the decision was made…. I decided to give my children a chance to have a good life. I decided to make a deal with the devil and give him my very heart, in exchange, my daughters would have a "good" life. It was over that day… The days that followed were just paperwork of sorts. They meant nothing… The day my heart died was on the day I decided. I didn't know then that I still had a little more to live for. I didn't know then that I still had more to loose. I didn't know that there could be more pain…. But there was…..more pain to come…..

June 26, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, life, my angels, past | 3 Comments

The woman in the picture window…..

(When someone new learns that my husband, B, is my second husband, most people hold to the "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy. Being divorced and remarried is not that uncommon today. But occasionally, I will run across someone who just thinks they have to know more. "So why did you and your first husband divorce?" They ask. I respond, "because I was married to Satan."

That gives them the general idea of what might have happened and gets them to drop the subject. One thing  curious people don't want to hear about is someone else's pain.)

As I write these accounts of my own past, I find myself wondering who this person was. I remember all these things happening to me. I remember the choices I made. I know that was me, but it doesn't feel like it was me. It's as if I was looking at this young woman's life through a picture window and watching it all happen. Watching it all unfold. Of course, I, the now me, knows how it will turn out. I know what that young woman will do next and what will happen because of the choices she will make. I stand outside that window watching and screaming at her to do it differently. Why? Why does she keep doing the same things every time I see these events? Why couldn't she see what was going to happen?! I can look back on it all now and see clearly how the choices I made were my downfall. But I don't remember why I made those choices. I don't remember for instance, what was going through my head when I had my Dad bring my girls to me, instead of going to Dad's house to live there.

At first.. Remember, I thought it wasn't safe for me to be there. But when J was arrested and held without bond… At that time I had no real tie (romantically) to T. Except that I thought he was my savior. My rescuer from the dark. My job… Was pathetic at best. And the apartment we lived in was …. Geez… It was small and falling down. It was cheep. So why did I choose to not go live with my Dad and at least have a safe haven for me and my girls until I could figure out what to do with my life. I don't have a clue! As I said, I feel disconnected from the person I was then. I don't understand her at all. I don't understand the choices that she kept making over and over that always turned out to be wrong! And yet, she kept doing it over and over until she lost everything! EVERYTHING!

The choice that I am speaking of is to slowly cut myself off from the people who could have helped me. My family. I know, I had good reason to perhaps be mistrusting of some of my family, with my past. But I should have been able to see past that. I should have seen how my family would have helped me if I had just let them. If not my Dad, then my sister … Someone… Anyone… Would have been better than … The strangers that I chose to put my faith and my life into their hands…

But I can't change that woman's mind. I stand here looking into the window of her soul and I can't make her see what she did wrong. I can only watch it unfold… Knowing how it will turn out… Knowing that she had not suffered the worst yet, but surely will because I know how it ends.. I know the loss that I suffered for her choices! I can't change it, and I have nothing left to save by learning from those mistakes. Everything was lost. I now can see the mistakes. I can now say I learned from them, but to what avail? What good does knowledge do when there is nothing left to save?

June 25, 2006 Posted by | if only, life, past | 1 Comment

looking into my past pt 6: Hiding from Satan

Starting from where I last left off. I had just had my second child. Another perfectly beautiful baby girl. We, J, little R, L and I were living with my dad and step mother. And once again, I thought I had the perfect life. J was not abusing me in any way. Even though we were living in Dad's Mobile home, which was behind his house in the back yard. Completely separated from the house, it offered us some privacy. Because we had this privacy and J was not taking advantage of it by hitting me, I thought finally he had decided to keep his promises. It never occurred to me that J knew we were still close enough that we didn't really have "that much" privacy and he also knew that if my Dad ever caught him hitting me, he'd be in for major trouble. I went around singing my "tra la la" song of the "perfect life" I was surely the happiest mother in the world. My children were the best babies in the world. R was from the beginning, so smart and so easy to teach new things to. She practically taught herself. "tra la la"

Eventually we moved away from my parents. We first moved into a house that belonged to J's boss. He was security there and the house was next door to the plant. So we lived there, rent free, as a bonus of his work. And so he would be readily available any time. Although he was never called into work on his time off, so I think his boss only let us live in the house because I was my Dad's daughter. Dad was very well liked by the owner of the metal company that he and now J worked for. But nepotism only goes so far. And so one day J came home from work early and said he'd been fired. I never did know why he got fired from that job. I didn't ask, because the fighting had already started again and I was afraid. Again.

So, of course, we had to move. This time we moved to another city. Putting 20 miles or so between us and my Dad. That doesn't seem like much, but I still did not drive, so yes it was far, really far for me. I guess L was close to or about a year old when J decided that I would have to go back to work. Considering my skills, none and my education, none, I couldn't get a decent paying job. And nether could J. So we both worked at the same fast food place, on different shifts so that we never needed to hire a babysitter. I hated leaving my sweet babies to go to work each day; but I thought at least I didn't have to leave them with strangers. How wrong can one person be in a lifetime?!

This life went on for the next year. I had my head stuck somewhere in the sand of at least my children have both parents and are not hurt like I am being hurt syndrome. Until one day, my own little four year old daughter, little R jerked my head out of that sand. The conversation she and I had as I remember it:

Little R: "Mommie, I don't like daddy to tickle me."

Me: Daddy tickles you? Why don't you like it? Where does he tickle you?

Little R: "Down there, it hurts."

I went ballistic! I couldn't believe what my daughter was standing there telling me! How could I have been so blind?! I started crying, Little R tried to comfort me. This tiny little four year old was hurting so bad, was trying to comfort her mother. No NO! This is wrong. And I told her that. I told her she didn't have to take care of me, I was going to take care of her and Daddy would never ever hurt her again. I grabbed her up and took her to her's and L's bedroom. Then I put her down and went back to the livingroom. Then I started randomly picking up stuff and shoving it under my arms to leave with. It took me a while to calm down enough to realize I had to have a plan. I didn't have a plan. I didn't know how to make a plan. I picked up the phone over and over again but couldn't figure out who to call.

I was so crazed that I couldn't figure out anything. For some reason the only person's phone number I could remember was a friend from work. I had told him a little about J and how he treated me, because I had to tell someone and he was the only one I thought was far enough from the situation to be objective. He had told me many times that if I ever needed his help to call. So I did. I told him I had to leave. I had to take my girls and hide. I couldn't go anywhere that J might look and I had to do it NOW! He was there in ten minutes. I took a few clothes for the girls and maybe two changes of clothes for myself. That was all I took. I was too afraid that J might come home early and catch me.

After I got to T's mother's house, where T was living at the time. I called the police and reported everything. After many hard examinations and interrogations of my little four year old daughter and myself. And a week of we are still formulating a report mam. There was finally a warrant took out on J. But they couldn't find him. He had stopped going to work the next day after my disappearance and it was found that he had moved, leaving most of our belongings at the house that we had been renting.

I did manage to calm down enough to call my dad some time during the first week. But I told him it was too dangerous for me to go there because I was sure J would look there. J had promised me many times that if I ever tried to leave him, he would kill me in such a way that no one would ever be able to prove it was him. He often told me ways he could do just that, proving to me he had given this much thought. I believed him. I was terrified. When the police couldn't find him, my fear increased. For a while, I sent the girls to live with my Dad. I hoped that soon J would be found and arrested and I could bring them back home.

I got a new job at another restaurant. And T and I rented a garage apartment right next door to my new job. I was so afraid of being alone. It was, at the time, very innocent. T was there to protect me. He even walked with me, the 10-15 steps to work and back each day. But he was also, there, for me. He listened to me when I had to talk, he held me when I cried for hours. He was there, when no one else had been. He listened to me. He didn't try to tell me what I should do, or should have done, or did wrong. He just listen and right then, that is what I needed.

Weeks turned into a month and the police had still not found J. I called them frequently to see if they had and I got the feeling that they weren't even really looking. There are so many people out there, mam… A needle in a hay stack….. If he gets stopped for a traffic violation, then we'll have him…..could be anywhere…. Bla Bla.

Meanwhile, I was trying to get someone to help me get counseling for Little R. She was only four years old after all. And I surely didn't know how to help her through this pain or to even help her understand why she was in pain. But I worked at a minimum wage job. I couldn't afford to go to a private child psychologist. I had to have help. What I got from the welfare department and Social Services or what ever they were, was the Big Run Around.

OH, you need to go to this office. You need to fill out these papers… Oh, no you are in the wrong place, you need to go…..You'll have to go through this agency… There's a waiting list…. Bla bla bla…. I was at my wits end trying to find just one person who could even tell me where to go for help.

As time went by, I started to think that maybe J had left town completely. I told the police they should check his mother's home, maybe he went there. They said they checked and he wasn't there. I don't know what "we've checked" meant. Did they send someone out to the house, which was in another state. Or did they call his mother on the phone and ask, "is your son, J there?" J's mother responding, "why no, of course not… Oh sure I will turn him  in to the police if he comes here…. Sure….."

Ether way, I started to think that J would not come after me after almost three months had past. So I told T that he didn't have to walk me to work, next door, any more. One week later, I was right outside the big picture glass windows of work when J popped out of the bushes behind me, and knocked me to the ground. While he was choking me with one hand pressed firmly down on my throat, he began beating me in the face with his other fist.

How long did this continue before several men from inside the restaurant  and T from our apartment,  ran to my rescue, I don't know.. A minute, maybe only seconds… But for me it was forever. Everything was going black. I was struggling to be free, struggling to pull his hand from my throat. Struggling to breath.

It took 4 men to pull him off of me. And J was not a large man. In fact, he was rather small for a man. But he was so enraged that it took all four of those men to not only pull him off of me, but to hold him down until the police arrived, 45 minutes after someone had dialed 911 when J first jumped out of the bushes. The woman that called 911 was my manager. She knew the whole story. She knew that there was a warrant for J and she knew that I had an order of protection against him. And she told the police all this on the phone. 45 minutes! I would have been dead by that time!

The other strange thing about the polices late arrival was they brought someone from Child protective Serves with them. They knew that my girls had been staying with their grandparents for their safety until J was caught. Why did they wait, in an emergency situation for someone from Cps to arrive to come with them? I never thought about that then. Only later, when it was all over. Did they already have a plan even back then? I still don't know. All I knew for sure at that time was I was alive and J had been caught and was taken to jail.

Amazingly enough, and much to the judge's credit, J was determined to be a flight risk and no bail was set. My babies came home! I finally felt they and I were safe. A lot worse for the wear but happy none the less; I brought Little R and L home to stay……….

June 25, 2006 Posted by | past | 1 Comment

the making of evil

A little bit about J, my first husband.

Not that I think J deserves an excuses for what he did to me and my beautiful babies. But to be fair, he was a very very sick man and I believe that his childhood had a lot to do with his illness.

J told me one day that he was adopted. This was before we were married and it was said as a "as a matter of fact" statement. We were discussing family and family traits. It didn't seem to be an important issue to him at the time he told me, just a fact of his life.

At the time, I knew nothing about adoption. In fact, I had never really thought about it at all. When J told me, I thought oh that's nice. For some reason his mother could not raise him, so this woman, V adopted him and raised him as her own child. But I found out that wasn't really the way it happened. Now, there are holes in the story of course, since J told me what his adopted mother told him as a child. The story as he told it to me, seemed to be some sort of Steven King movie. I was shocked and repelled that this sort of thing could possibly happen in this great country of America. At the same time, I realized that many things could happen if it involved someone with enough money and political influence. (at the time, I thought I would like to have that kind of power, to change things for the better. Of course, I know that would be just as wrong. You should never use power or influence to change something that goes against someone else's rights, or hurts someone.)

Here is the story that V told her adopted son as a child. The important thing to see from this story is not how terrible she was to use her power and money to get what she wanted, but that she told this story to a small child! Imagine what damage that did to his emotional well being!

V was married to a man who worked very closely with several elected officials in the town they lived. He was friends with many of the political leaders in the small town. Although, with the money they had, they were probably only upper middle class, the town they lived in was very tiny and very poor, so V and her husband were considered rich. They were probably the riches family in the town. V was enjoying the good life of respect and yes, envy from her neighbors. She loved that if she suggested something at a town meeting people would immediately agree that it was a wonderful idea, even if they had publicly opposed it before. There was only one thing missing. She had failed to have a child. Somehow, she felt that she was incomplete as a woman unless she was a mother. And that was very bad for her image.

So she decided that she would adopt a child. She never went to a doctor to try to find out why she did not conceive. (Maybe at the time there wasn't that much knowledge on the subject.)

Her husband did not want a child though and told her that. He was quite happy that she had never conceived. But that was of no consequence to V. She told him that she knew about his affairs, which she had suspected about him but until that time was not sure, and if he didn't go along with her on this adoption thing she would go public. So husband and wife made a deal. He would go along with the adoption of a child as long as it took, then he and V would divorce and he would give her a one time, large settlement in exchange for her silence of his indiscretions.

V chose J because he looked very much like people in her own family. Red hair, very light skin, blue eyes. The problem was, he was a toddler, living with his mother at the time. His mother was a single mother of questionable reputation. She was very poor and worked two jobs most of the time just to keep herself and her son in a small house in a bad neighborhood.

It took a lot of money and all of V's influence to get J removed from his mother. But by the time he was three years old, she had succeeded in getting the mother's rights to her child taken away and had adopted J as her own.

J had no real memory of his real mother or anything that happened before he became V's son. But he told me that she told him many times through his childhood that it would have been better if she could have adopted him as a baby. Because then she would have not had to tell him that he was adopted. But since he was a child when the adoption went through it was a good thing that he knew the truth. So that he could know how she saved him from a horrible life living with that poor white trash of a mother, who should have been forced to have an abortion when she became pregnant and made to have an operation so that she'd never have a child.

So I can look at this and know why J was so messed up in the head. Can you imagine having your mother tell you this story as a child?! Can you imagine what kind of effect it would have on you if your "mother" continually told you that you were born to trash and you'd better appreciate her for saving you!?

But even so, I can not forgive him for what he did to my precious baby. I know that he was a sick sick man, but he knew right from wrong! He knew what he was feeling was wrong and he did not seek help, he acted on those wrong feelings and destroyed an  child's life! His own child! No, I can not forgive him for that! But also, I can not forgive V for creating that sick mind. And I can't forgive myself for not knowing that this man would hurt my children. I can't forgive myself for thinking that the only pain he would ever inflict would be towards me. I should have took my sweet sweet baby R and ran as fast and as far as I could away from J the first time he ever hit me. But I didn't. And now I will pay for the rest of my life for that. But worse, my sweet daughter will pay for it. The damage he did to her will haunt her and shape her for ever. How could it not?!

June 24, 2006 Posted by | past, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

looking into my past pt 5c: Still looking for that perfect life

Continued…

When I got married, I broke the silence between my dad and myself and called him. I wanted him to give me away and he did. This brought him and R back into my life, if only by phone most of the time. In fact, now that I was an adult, married woman, I found I got along well with R and called her almost on a daily basis.

In the very beginning of my marriage to J, I defined our roles. I was the one who chose to let J be… traditional head of the household husband and I would be…"just the wife". I wouldn't make a move in life without asking J, first if it was ok. He, being older and some what "traditional" anyway, took the role I gave him very well. Most things I asked him about he "let" me do as they were tiny things that really didn't matter in the skeem of things. But when the manager at work again approached me about my posible promotion, J sat his foot down. He didn't think his wife should make more money than he did. Yes, he really said that. This was the first time I argued with J on anything. I really wanted this promotion. I let being his wife define me, but my work was the one place where I felt I was my own person. I wanted to move forward with that. J was shocked that I didn't just say "yes, dear" and became very angry. We had our first fight and it was a screaming match that lasted hours. and ended with J making me call work and tell them that I quit. I was crushed. but I did it, because in the end, I thought, "He's my husband, I have to do as he says" I also had the fear that he would kick me out of his life if I didn't do as he wanted.

As it turned out, I would have not been a good canidate for management at that time. Because I was pregnant. Because I had never been very regular, I didn't suspect anything until I was already 3 months along. I started having morning sickness even before I realized what was going on. I thought I had the flu at first. Then suddenly one day I was cleaning out the bathroom cabnets and thought… hmmm haven't used any of this stuff in a while. It struck me like a slap on the forehead. Oh wow! How cool! I was going to have a baby. I was so excited. So was J. He was all puffed up like a peacock proud that he had got me pregnant.

Other than the morning sickness, which lasted well into my 6th month. I felt great during this pregnancy. I felt more alive and more human than I had ever. It didn't matter to me that J was walking around acting like he had created this miracle all by himself. I knew that now I was special. I was a mother, I had someone who I could lavish all my love on and I knew the baby would not reject me. I finally felt like I was really someone. I barely allowed J to share in any thing to do with my pregnancy. Sometimes he would come up and put his hand on my belly and try to feel the baby kick, but I never invited him to.

We argued constantly. We only had his pay to live on and while it was enough for the two of us, it wasn't enough for the baby. I knew that paying the hospital bill alone would be next to imposible but I refused to go to county. I pushed him to find a better paying job, or get a second job. I found that I wanted more time to myself, to spend with my unborn baby anyway. I pushed him to get another job for the money, but more than that, I wanted him out of the house more.

I began to realize that I didn't love J. I never had loved him, but I had fool myself into thinking that I had. But now, I had a hard time even pretending to him that I loved him. Of course, it didn't matter. I was married and I wasn't going to leave him, even if there wasn't a baby involved. I wasn't going to fail at marriage like I failed at every other relationship in my life. That was that. And of course, there was  a baby. I couldn't think of leaving my husband when I had a baby who would need a father.

Our daughter, R. A. was born in August of 1983, one month before J's and my first anniversary. We named her after my step mother and J's mother. She was so beautiful and perfect! I had a terrible time with her delivery. In fact in the end they did an emergency C-section because my labor wasn't progressing and Little R's heart rate went into distress. But none of that mattered after she was born. She was healthy and oh so perfect!  And I was absolutely the happiest I had ever been in my life. I loved this tiny little girl more than anyone I had ever loved in my life.  I would have done anything for her; I would have died for her! I had never known such a wonderous love before.

J, however, seemed to become angry. He was loosing control over me. What he said or did didn't matter to me any more. My life was my child. The bond between myself and little R only proved to grow in strenghth as she grew older. I no longer needed J to make decisions for me. And this was something that J could not abide. Our arguements became more intense and more often. We would have screaming matches about the tiniest of things. The things that we said to each other were horrible. Until one day, J called me a slut. Out of no where, he just said it. He was right in my face, so close that I could feel his hot breath when he said that word and I lost it. I screamed and slapped him. I've never forgotten that I was the first one to turn the fights physical. It haunted me for years. I had done this, I had made J hit me, it was all my fault.

And hit me he did. He hit me so hard that I was knocked to the floor. There on the floor I crumbled into a ball and cried and J left the house, for hours.

When he came home, he appoligized so profusely. He begged me to forgive him and promised he'd never lay a hand on me again. He cried. Of course I forgave him, I had been the first one to hit him after all. We made all the wonderful promises. We'd talk more, we'd not scream at each other, or call names and never, never would we hit each other again.  …. Bla Bla Bla all the right words.

The new found pact to be closer lasted a week. One week! Then we were off again. I can't remember what started that first fight a week later. It was probably something really stupid. But it was just as bad as it had always been, and worse. Because when it was at it's worst, J shoved me to the floor and sat on me. He told me he was tired of my disrespect and he would have some respect from me if it killed me. Suddenly, I believed him.

After that J became more violent very quickly. He would never hit me in the face, where the bruises might show. But he would twist my arms, hit my chest so hard that it knocked the breath out of me and grab me by my hair and slam my head against the floor or furniture. Always, always after wards he would buy me gifts and appoligize with tears and make promises never to do it again.

At some point, I knew that the promises meant nothing. But I wouldn't give up on this marriage. He never did anything in front of Little R. So I thought she was uneffected by it all and she needed a daddy. So that's how I lived. I would stay with J as long as he never hurt Little R in any way. Meanwhile, I was loosing myself again. I began to really try to keep J happy, no matter what that meant. But it was an imposible task. There was always something that I did, or didn't do that angered him.

Much to my amazement, when Little R was about 2 and a half I found myself pregnant again. I was amazed because J and I rarely had sex any more. I avoided him as much as I could as the bed room had become another place that he proved his dominance over me. Of course, I was never allowed to say no to him when he wanted sex. If I did, he'd just hold me down and do it anyway. In fact he seemed to enjoy it all the more that way. So our second child was not conceived in love, or even lust, but in anger and pain.

But none of that mattered when I first started to feel the little flutter feeling of the baby. All the feelings that I had when I was pregnant with little R came back. I was happy again. Another life, coming into this world through me. And I felt wonderful. As with the first pregnancy, I felt healthier during my second pregnancy than I did any other time.

Meanwhile, J had lost his job and we moved in with my Dad and R of all things. The "Never" had come to an end. My dad got a job for J at his work and we didn't fight while we lived with them. So I was happy. Little R was happy. And the baby inside me seemed exstremely happy. I was sure that this baby was also a girl. And I was right.

Latisha Rae was born in November of 1986. Another perfect and beautiful baby girl. Little R was such a great big sister. She was never jeoulos of her baby sister. She wanted to be with L always. She wanted to help take care of her. She was like a tiny little mother. I loved them both so much I felt I would just die of happiness. I was sure that I now had the perfect life. Nothing could possibly go wrong. ….. Until, of course, it did….

Ok, another stopping point here. MY mirror of the past is revealing so much now. I am almost finished with this reflection of my past and I can feel the pressure as I get closer to what changed me forever. I may finish this today, or I may have to take a couple of days off before I can face the next part.

June 23, 2006 Posted by | life, past | Leave a comment