Tuesday, April 8, 2014


June 5th or 6th, 2010....

Finally he is letting me out of the house! Ok, Us... About two days after being choked, slapped, spit on and more, I was Allowed to leave the apartment we "Shared." Mimi seemed un-phased by the whole situation. I can honestly say that she was a happy baby. I did my best to appear Normal... 

That morning while getting dressed, I got up the courage to look in the mirror for the first time since he had hit me in the face, several times... I had a beautiful purple and blue eye that was starting to turn black. This is the time I wished I would had paid attention to my mother during her make up sessions she Tried to have with me. I packed on as much of that Mess as I could. But it just wasn't working... I smiled because even though I was in pain, I felt silly putting on make up. I don't ware it. 

He called "What's taking you so long?" "What? You worried you didn't put on enough to cover your eye?" He then said before he even saw me... "LOOK at You, you missed a spot!" I braced myself for another blow but all he did was walk away laughing... 

When we entered the library that Bright, Sunny day, I didn't realize how noticeable it was... I walked up the counter to ask about a book I was interested in or something and I remember the woman's face when she looked at me... She began to smile but that smile was quickly replaced with concern and worry. Fear for me is what I saw in her eyes. She saw my abuser and baby behind me and quickly went to look for what I had requested... 

I'll never forget that day or the others. But this one sticks out to me the most because for Years I was so tough on my own mother and her experiences with domestic violence. I would call her weak and a coward because of her lack of willingness to leave or get help... But when I saw how that woman looked at me, with my child, and my black eye that I had Failed at hiding, I had to ask myself... "Is this what my own mother went through?" "Did she feel the same shame and guilt that I am feeling?" "Was she worried about Me just as I am about my own daughter, Her grand daughter?" 

That is when I grew up and stopped hating my mother... That is when I stopped blaming her because I now knew what it was like to fear for your own life and that of your childs. I now knew what it was like to be under the control of a man who was hell bent on beating you for not doing as he had told you. And I am now learning the reasons as to why she didn't reach out for help like most might have told her...

To my mother, if you ever read this... I am so sorry for being so hard on you. The only way for me to make things right is for me to stay away from my own abuser and to protect your grand daughter, go to college and graduate, and to have a career so that I can give her a good life. I stay in this fight to get us back home to you because your grand daughter was ripped from you. You have been there for the past four years despite our rocky relationship and for that, I could never deny you your grand baby. She loves you mom... I really am sorry for judging you.. 


November 3, 2013 is a day I will never forget. My sister went to pick up my daughter from her father that day. The pick up point was a few blocks away and I trusted my sister to pick her niece up without any issue. Just as I knew my sister, who was/is 18 at the time, brought her niece back to me unharmed and happy.

That night my sister, and daughter and I walked home from a friends home a few blocks away. My boyfriend arrived a few moments later. Things seemed fine until I began bathing my daughter... I had noticed that she had a noticeable purple and blue bruse on the right of her bottom. I didn't panic because I knew Mimi would feel scared or began to feel pressure, so I causally asked her what happened...

Mimi said "Daddy hit me on my butt and put me in the shower and put me in bed." I said ok and then changed the subject to what she wanted for dinner and the new toy I had just bought her. As I continued to wash bathe her and talk to her, I was dying inside. How could he hit her so hard to the point that she turned PURPLE AND BLUE?! What did she do that was That bad?! She is just a child, not an adult out to harm you!

I didn't bother to call him. I didn't take her to the hospital or call the police. I was Terrified of being blamed for something I could never do to my baby. So instead, I took pictures of the area and wrote a statement to keep on hand. I didn't report it to CPS until about two weeks later. Again, I was afraid. Knowing that the courts had it in for me already and a CPS worker altered documents to suit her personal feelings towards me, I didn't trust that I would not lose my daughter...

I explained what happened to the CPS worker and social worker. After both women spoke with my abuser, they both stated that he denied doing such a thing. All I could do was cry. What if the daycare would have seen the mark on my daughter and assumed I caused it??? My daughter would have been ripped from me and traumatized because of this. I tried so many times to warn my lawyers and the courts that this would happen. They didn't listen. They never listen... How many more years do I have to sit back praying that my child doesn't come home hurt by her father. This is not the same as playing at the playground and getting a scrape or bruse. This was deliberate and he and his girlfriend knew that this took place in their home...

But, if I bring this into court, as usual I will be accused of trying to keep her away from her father. I feel as though I can't win... God please get us back home to Chicago, Il....

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


At first glance, many will say that I seem angry and hard to approach. I always tell them that if I carried those very same thoughts about people my whole life, I wouldn't have made the mistakes I've made that have led me to some of the most amazing people I've met in life...

I'm "Helena", mother to an amazing little girl named "Mimi." Mimi was born in the state of Florida where I met "Him." During my pregnancy I had experienced domestic violence. I stayed because I was afraid of losing my daughter. My ex had made threats on all of our lives and I didn't feel as if the police would believe me if I had made the decision to seek help should I had left him because of my staying. Once my ex was picked up on probation violation, I had left for Chicago, IL. 

Back home in Chicago, my daughter and I began to develop a relationship with our family. With the new and unexpected support from family, I began setting realistic goals and seeking resources during those times when I would need them. My ex, her father called and convinced me to come to New York State to "start over." He made promises to never abuse me again and even stated that he would seek help before we were to marry. I had no idea he had been laid off from his job or was planning to began a whole new life while I took on the role as being a new single mother. 

The last time he hit me I knew it was life or death. June 5th 2010 was the longest day ever... The blows to my temples and head were swift but hard. And that's not even the half of it. I did what any desperate woman would do and prayed to God. I told God that I didn't want a way out of the situation but a way Through the situation. I prayed for safety, for emotional stability, and for him to stay gone long enough so that when the time came, I would be able to leave without taking another beating. 

I left about three weeks later. From that point on it was shelters, court dates and trying to find some sort of income before I sought higher education. Over time it seemed as if things would be ok until He began calling and verbally abusing me over the phone. I tried to reason with him but it never worked because he wanted what he wanted. The threats came to take Mimi away but I kept pushing on. I was determined to get situated. He violated the protection order October 25th of 2011 with the help of his girlfriend. Everything that I had worked for and was working towards seemed would pushed back because I had to go into hiding, again.

Sometime in March or April of 2012 I had had enough. I was afraid of him finding us again and knew that the harassment from him would began once the visitation started. I packed up what little we had and left the state of New York and returned to Chicago, Il. Fortunately for Mimi and I, my mother and sisters and even my mothers boyfriend support us emotionally still. I found a job and Mimi had an amazing daycare that she enjoyed and that I had approved of. I would even volunteer there on my days of or before work. 

In May of 2012 I was told that I had to return to New York or lose custody to my abuser and his mother. I could stay in Chicago but my daughter that I had raised alone would be separated from me and I from her. This is what Goshen Family Court was/is willing to do based upon their "expertise" regarding situations like mine, domestic violence. I really wish they could be on this end...

Upon my return to NYS, I had found and lost jobs, had been denied childcare and housing, and entered an unexpected battle to keep my child with me all due to the poor representation from my lawyers, the unwillingness to allow me as a domestic violence victim have a voice in court, and the assumption that I was the typical single black mother who was incapable of raising her child due to "mental illness." I had a rough childhood and the CPS worker, SV twisted and falsified information to suit her unethical intentions instead of providing the help that Child Welfare/CPS/ACS claims to want to provide.

Of course there is more to each section of this piece. If you have made it this far I sincerely thank you for doing so because now I am finally going to help you to understand the point of this and what it is that I am fighting for.

For the past four years I have lived here with my daughter. I have raised her as a single mother sacrificing every single day to provide for her. My daughters father has avoided accountability due to my lack of understanding of this new situation, not knowing what I could ask for or what to fight for in court, and the courts refusal to hold him accountable as well.

My wish is to return back to Chicago,IL so that I can have the opportunity to attend Columbia College. Columbia College of Chicago has an amazing four year bachelors program in sign language. I first learned sign language in the sixth grade and absolutely loved it! I went to the Everest institute for Medical Assisting and graduated a B honor. I feel that combining my love for the field of medicine and my passion for helping others communicate through American Sign Language would not only allow me to work my dream job but to also provide an amazing life for my beautiful daughter. 

Upon returning to Chicago, IL, not only would I have the opportunity to obtain a degree that is very very rare to find in other states, but I would also be able to afford to provide for my daughter and not have to struggle as much. My family have stated several times that they would provide any support they could and would be grateful to have the time back that was stolen from them. Even though my family lives in Chicago, IL, they have Always maintained contacted with my daughter.

I want nothing more than to be able to wake up and know that I have a stable home for my daughter, a career knowing that I Worked very hard for, income determined by education and Not by welfares requirements... My daughter deserves a life that I more than know I am capable of giving her once we are allowed to return to Chicago, IL.

If if fact, I am not allowed to return to Chicago, IL, not only would Goshen Family Court be denying my daughter a quality life. But they would also be denying me, as her mother, my right as an American Citizen to seek higher education to provide a better life for my daughter, obtain a job that would provide us income that would allow us to be independent of the Welfare system,  Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Saturday, March 29, 2014


So apparently it's my fault that he doesn't call our child. It's my fault that I have sole legal custody of our child. It's my fault that she only sees Him twice a month. It's my fault that I pushed to protect my child from a man who helped to create her but has also made threats to kill her. Such a BAD mother I am, all of this crap is my fault....
Let me explain something to you men who have abused the mothers of your children and to the courts who support you. We are Not your baby mamas so please stop referring to us as such! Our corrupt family court system may fall for your crap but for those of us who have matured and wised up, I'm telling you that the Game you call yourself playing is officially OVER. The relationship with the mother of your child does determine how that child is brought up. You should show some respect towards the woman bending over backwards to raise your child Alone! Meanwhile, you pay no child support what so ever! If we put you on child support, we are gold diggers. If we don't put you on child support, we are bad mothers letting you off the hook?!
Good single mothers just can't catch a break....
For those of us who have survived being in an abusive relationship with you, this transitioning process has Not been full of food stamps and free rent because we supposedly refuse to work. So please, stop telling everyone that your "baby mama" is doing nothing but the bare minimum to raise your child, especially when we have to take You to COURT to pay for even the smallest thing for your child. Once we have gotten up the courage to leave you, we deal with so much scrutiny it's sad. If we would have stayed with you, people tell us that we were stupid and didn't care for our children. But because some of us have realized that we are worth so much more and our children come first, we are told that we are at fault for not having a father in our children's lives... What gives?
We as single mothers do not get rewarded or a bigger paycheck for raising our children. Do you want to know what We get?? We get told how we have destroyed black men. We as single mothers get blamed whenever one single mother decides to kill her kids, keep the child away from the father unjustly, abuses her kids, etc. We as single mothers receive no freaking respect half of the time. And when you add the father of your child constantly Blaming you for His BS that he brought on Himself, it doesn't help.
There are single mothers like myself who work two and three jobs just to provide for the One child that we have. There are single mothers like myself who have sat across from those of you who have blacked our eyes, damaged our backs and more, yet we keep standing strong!! Yes, we cry in court because it hurts and we don't always have support! What the hell did you think was going to happen?! Are we supposed to stop being mothers that love our babies just because our judicial system says you have rights that you don't deserve?!
You abusive ex's of ours should really reconsider how you talk to us, our families, and stop lying in court! This is not a game to some of us survivors of domestic violence. We work hard and love our babies even harder! We do Not deserve to have to live life under your control judicially or otherwise. Lay off!!

Friday, March 28, 2014


Bill Montgomery, County Attorney, Maricopa County

Please reconsider bringing charges of child abuse/neglect against Shanesha Taylor. As a single mother myself, I can see the pain and fear in this woman eyes. I honestly her actions were that of a desperate mother who had no other options and no support. The only way to re-solve this issue is to provide Shanesha Taylor with child care and adequate housing, not jail. Jailing Shanesha Taylor would only defeat the purpose of keeping the children stable in every aspect. 
M. Knox.
Newburgh NY

Drop the Child Abuse Charges Against Shanesha Taylor

Sunday, March 23, 2014

An Open Letter to Shanesha Taylor of Arizona

Dear Shanesha Taylor,

I recently came across a news report stating that you are responsible for leaving your children alone, in a vehicle, for about forty five minutes while you went on an interview. While I do not condone what it is that you did, I can relate because I made the mistake of leaving my daughter alone as well.

Like you, I am a single mother who knows what it's like to be homeless and have to deal with the frustration of not having reliable childcare. Back in May of 2012, I was forced to return back to NYS or lose custody of my daughter to my abuser and his family and possibly the foster care system.

I reluctantly came back only to end up homeless like yourself. I had no real support and no reliable to watch my daughter. I felt the same way you were feeling leading up to the days before you lost your children. Tired and just wanting to give your babies a better life. Desperation.

A woman a few doors down that resided in the same shelter as myself offered to watch my daughter. She called and as I stood there speaking to her over the phone I thought to myself  "My little one is asleep, I should take her." "No, I need to let her sleep. I'll leave the cartoons on with the volume low, secure her and lock the door. I won't be gone long." I leaned over and kissed my sleeping daughter. I was gone for maybe 15 minutes or so Shanesha. When I returned she was still asleep in the same exact spot and position.

My family court judge had already ordered CPS into the picture because the CPS worker came up with her own version of what happened in MY childhood. I had no choice but to try my best to comply. But then when they found out that my daughter was alone for a few minutes, they flipped.

Shanesha, the reason I am writing this letter to you is because I honestly do not believe you deliberately left your children alone to harm them or hurt them. I believe that in that moment, like myself, you struggled with the decision to leave them alone or not. But due to the lack of help available and offered, you left them alone out of desperation to land the job and hopefully provide a better life for them. Maybe you thought the interview wouldn't last that long and that you'd be be back in time before anyone had noticed. It saddens me that they have made the decision to take your children away from you and file charges against you.

I feel that instead of automatically taking your children away and jailing you, they should have sat you down and spoke with you to find out why you left the children alone. Then, they should have offered you a referral or something towards childcare until you got on your feet. And who's to say that you aren't seeking higher education? Maybe that could have helped your situation as well. If it were me, and I'm sure so many others who feel your pain, we would have tried to help you and your family before assuming the worst.

I believe that what you really need is a strong support system and people who are able to help you. I believe you need people who are going to do more than treat you like the typical single mother. I just want you to know that I can relate to your situation and ask of you to be strong for your babies. Please do not give up hope on ever seeing them again. It's ok to cry and even scream if you need to. But once that's over and you have gotten the hurt out of your system, for the time being, hug yourself. I know you probably think I'm nuts for saying that but you need to start doing this Now.

Hug yourself now because there are going to be court dates ahead and they may get to you. I know this from personal experience. Out of four years in court, only two people accompanied me to court. I had to learn to be prepared for the unexpected flood of emotions and frustration. You Will get through this and I believe that you will get your children back in your arms where they belong.

Whenever you feel like giving up, whenever you feel like your words and cries are falling on deaf ears, just remember that you are not alone. There are people out there that are going to feel your pain because you represent what they have had to endure and they will either pray or rise up and fight for you...

Your Sista


It's unclear if an Arizona mom got the job she was interviewing for, but after a witness found her children, ages 2 years and 6 months in a hot car outside, she now faces child abuse charges.

Scottsdale police said a witness heard a crying child inside a Dodge Durango parked in an office complex parking lot at 9700 N. 91st St. in Scottsdale about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The woman reported to police the two young children were inside the vehicle parked directly in the sun, with the engine off, the doors closed and each of the four windows were just slightly open.
The mother, Shanesha Taylor, 35, returned to the vehicle about 45 minutes later and told the officer she had just finished a job interview and did not have anyone to watch her children.
"She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job. Obviously not getting the job. So it's just a sad situation," said Scottsdale Police Sergeant Mark Clark. 
She was arrested and booked into jail for child abuse.
Her children are now in CPS custody.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved
 Many will argue that this woman made a horrible decision by leaving her children unattended for 45 minutes, in hot weather while she attended a job interview. Many will say that those children are in a better place and that this woman probably didn't care about her children anyways. Many will label her as just another single black mother who shouldn't be raising kids, alone especially. But, what if  this woman is in fact a good mother but had no real help. Maybe she made a few mistakes with budgeting money or a past relationship, but now she is getting back on track. 
I don't know Shanesha Taylor or have any connection to this case. All I know is that I have been right where she's at, desperate to give your child/children a better life. And just by looking at this woman's mugshot, I can feel her pain and frustration over what happened. What if this woman is not the abusive mother that CPS may now label her as? What if she did reach out to every agency in her area but was denied?

For anyone who has ever dealt with Child Welfare/CPS/ACS, we know that this woman is in for a long battle. We know that they are not going to care about how much she cries that she loves her children because They feel that They know what's in the best interest of our children. Her children. The help for this family is going to come too little to late. 

So, to the State of Arizona, I ask you. What are you going to do? What are we as women who continue to be vilified by family court and the child welfare system going to do? This should not be just another woman who happened to "fall through the cracks." 

PD: AZ mom leaves 2 young kids in hot car during job interview - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

PD: AZ mom leaves 2 young kids in hot car during job interview - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

This does not look like a woman who would intentionally harm her children. She's homeless and doesn't have anyone to watch her children.

My questions are:

Is she in a shelter? If so, does this shelter offer childcare?

If this shelter doesn't have childcare then why not?

Why is it that the government can fund shelters for women and children but not affordable childcare for women looking for work?


The social worker assigned to my case told me that she wants to began the process of closing my case before the next court date in June or July of this year. I just sat there and looked at her. Was I supposed to jump up and thank God or something? Was I supposed to be happy and appreciative? I just felt and still feel numb.There is still going to be a long drawn out debate, an attack on my character by the DA on my case, and they are most likely going to drag me through more of their BS evaluations.

Why would I be happy about having false reports submitted in court against me by the welfare system? I don't know anyone in their right mind who would be. I made a honest mistake that I beat myself up over all of the time. My daughter was only alone for at least 10 or 15 minutes while I went into the other clients room to see if she would watch my daughter. The Department of Social Services in Orange County NY refused to approve me for child care. I didn't want to take her out of bed that early in the morning. If I could turn back the hands of time I would have done so. These people claim to want to help women but they don't.

Had I been allowed to remain in Chicago, where I had a Solid support system from my family and was employed with a full time job, I would have not gone through half of what I have gone through for the past two years. But because my ex and his family are here, my right to live and raise Mimi no longer exists. I feel so lost at times and have no hope that these people are going to let me leave this state With Mimi. I have raised her alone since the day she was born. We have such a bond and love for each other as mother and daughter. I can't imagine life without her.

Moving back to Chicago,Il would mean that Mimi would see her cousins, go to one of the wonderful schools in the Chicago area and have amazing opportunities. This city is so rich in history and culture. Every time I think of home/Chicago, I can literally feel the sand from the beach beneath my feet.I remember the joy from by daughter during her very first visit at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, she loved it! I can see the iconic view that so many have captured and the pride I feel having been born and raised there. Mimi loved her daycare there and seeing my mother, her grandmother. I swear I can't win when Mimi and my mom team up on me, lol.

I am on a mission and I need your help... I am on a mission to get my daughter and I back home to Chicago, IL. If there is any information or reliable resources that anyone can provide, I ask that you contact me through this blog. Contact information will be posted Soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Random Thoughts...

I am in this state of reflection once again... 

As I sit here and watch my daughter play my mind drifts back to four years ago when I had her. I was twenty-four years old and swore that I would have everything together and my degree completed. I swore that I would be healed from the wounds caused by her father and the feelings of resentment towards my family for not being there. I have come very far but not in ways that I myself saw it happening. But the funny thing is that I don't see this as a bad thing.

I smile because I know what I have endured and overcome. I remember having to work three jobs at one point and had no idea as to how I was going to get sleep or who was going to watch baby girl. I remember being exhausted and frustrated. I have no family here in NYS. To say that I was homesick is an understatement, lol. I was more than ready to pack our bags and leave everything here behind. But over the years I've managed to hang in there. 

If only my judge know how strong I was and how much I've had to endure. How can a society have so much biased against single mothers? We have so much on our plates.

 There isn't a day that goes by in my life or the life of other single mothers that's ever routine. I remember just having pulled a double shift and having to rush baby girl to the ER because she had a fever. We'd wait and eventually be seen by the doctor only to be told that the cold had to run it's course. I did as advised and went home tired with no sleep having to prepare for the next shift...

I held baby girl those nights though. I never got upset or blamed her for being here. I just held her and fell asleep at peace. I had something good in my life. This little person who loved and who still loves me was counting on ME to provide for her. She didn't know that there were times that I had ran out of milk and would wash our clothing on my hands instead of at the laundromat mat. The formula was about the same price of laundry for that week. There were plenty of times that I've had to go without my needs being met but I didn't care. I was more concerned about her and getting more than the usual four hours of sleep,lol. She was worth it, still is. 

Four years ago I came here with plans and goals and now things have completely changed. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I don't have a clue as to what lies ahead. All I know is that my daughter is my world and the sky is the limit. Whatever comes my way, I have to stay strong and stay the course. If I give up, what will I be teaching my daughter? If I sit back and follow what others may want me to do, what example am I setting for my daughter? 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dear Family Court, NYS/Goshen NY

June 5th, 2010....

"Oh, you like it Rough?!, I'll show you rough." At this point he flings the baby onto the bed as I run towards the room the room door that leads to the kitchen. Cornered... He's got this stone cold look in his eye and not even blinking, and then it begins...

"Please, I can't breathe!" (The wall, really?! Breathe and try to relax. He'll let go.) Backed up against the wall with his hand around my throat is the position I found myself in. He's staring at me quietly but firmly saying "Shut up. Stop acting like you can't breath, like I'm hurting you." At this point I reach for his throat and try to grab him. I reach for his throat and he doesn't flinch, just stares at me and then throws me towards the floor. I get up and try to catch my footing but then I feel his hand at the back of my head and pushed into the wall, the wall cracks due to me being pushed into it.

"M, what the hell. You said things would change." Get to the door! Get to the door! Oh God, I can't leave baby girl here alone with him. Maybe if I'm near the door and try to open it for help someone will call the police. I stand up and there is a slap and then he spits in my face. I spit back and then he spits several more times in my face. I began to cry. At this point I'm beside the front door and standing face to face to him. "I want my baby! We need to leave, just let us leave!" I try to move past him to get to baby girl who is screaming her lungs out. He stands there blocking my efforts to get to baby girl. "You ain't going no where with my baby! You are Crazy and all I have to do is tell the courts that and you won't see her!"

Frantically, I began moving towards him. He blocks my path and I started to swing my fists. I was tired! All I wanted to do was get to baby girl and escape to the nearest sight of anyone for help. LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT! I didn't see it coming. As I had charged forward towards the room to get baby girl, I swung at Him and that's all I can recall. The next thing I Knew I was reaching for the door knob and then being dragged by the shreads of my shirt, by my neck. He began dragging me like a rag doll into the room. I was choking and couldn't breathe. I was too sore to try to stand up. He dragged me into the room and locked the door behind him.

I tried to move but he stood over me knee knocking me in the head with his knees every time I tried to move. I looked over at baby girl who was still crying. He then laid on top of me and began apologizing. "I'm sorry I'm sorry, please don't call the police. If you do you'll take me away from baby girl." "Please, I'm so sorry. You don't know how to be quiet and you make me do things like this."

At this point I knew he wasn't going to let me leave, and not with baby girl. So I what I had seen done so many times through out my child hood. I sat up and I held him. "It's ok." "It's my fault." "If only I had did what you said and just agreed with you." "Don't worry baby, I love you." "We are a family and I'll never break this family up by calling the police on you like last time." He seemed to calm down but still kept us all in the one room.

That night I had never been so afraid in my life until that very moment. I kept baby girl very near me and fed him lies to keep him calm. I began thinking of a place to go but there was none. I kept thinking of family to call but family was home in Chicago. They had no clue about what was going on. How could I tel them that I had went to a whole other state to try to work things out with a man who had beaten me while pregnant and so on. I felt horrible for leaving the short time before because of baby girl. "You don't want her to grow up having issues like you because you left me now do you?" "She is not going to like that you kept me away from her if you leave me." "No one will like or respect a single mother either." "All I have to do is tell the courts that you have mental health issues and you'll never see baby girl again. I'll put your ass on child support too!"

These are the things that kept me with him. The fear of not being believed or being protected. No one ever believed the women I knew who were being abused so why would they believe me. There were so many thoughts running through my mind regarding safety, lawyers, and getting back home to Chicago, Il which seemed impossible. This still seems impossible...

On June 4th 2010 I left our family back home in Chicago, Il thinking I had made the right decision. HE had promised to change and we'd go to couples counseling before we got married later that year. I promised to be more patient with him finding a job and more understanding. We both made promises to each other and like always I had set high personal goals for myself to give baby girl a good life regardless if we stayed together or not. What I didn't know is what lied ahead once I arrived to NY.

A few days before I left Chicago for NY, I remember watching an episode of the Tyra Banks Show on tv. Her guest had survived domestic violence and were sharing their stories. At the end of the show she urged women to seek help if they were being abused...

I arrived to NY on June 4th 2010 at 4:32 pm and that following day, June 5th 2010 I had five blows to the head, a concussion, dislocated jaw, and was spitting up blood due to being choked by my daughters father, all by 4:32pm that evening...

I now see that the warning was through Tyra Banks herself. All I know is that in the back of my mind I knew coming to NY was going to be a mistake and this complete stranger on tv was talking about the very thing that was about to happen to me, again...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Last Nap I I Ever Took.... October 25, 2011 5:32PM

16 hours of NO sleep, man was I glad to be going home. But first I had to pick up baby girl from the daycare. And the walk from Water St to Lander and Gidney began, and yes, it was cold that morning...

"Great, four flights of steps after being up all night!" Let my journey to the bed began.

( I laughed to myself, I was tired but felt good. We survived Orange Counties, NY horrible shelter system. HE had contacted me two weeks prior to my overnight shift but I prayed and went on with life. I was the usual "Why won't you drop the restraining order?!" "You won't let me see my baby!" "They don't have to know that you brought her to me, you need to stop playing victim!" And then some. I hung up the phone that night and attended to the angry drivers trying to get through the check point of the facility.)

I was/ still am a NYS licensed security guard and did my job well. I had good full time job and our 2BR place and was working on buying our first car. I even had a pink car seat for baby girl. Things seemed to be looking up...

As soon as I open the door, our very shy three month old kitten has destroyed the new rolls of Scottie Tissue I just bought along with his mommy. But all I could do was laugh. Baby girl and I ate that morning and at some point we went to sleep... I never took naps, I'm just not someone that sleeps during the day.

"MK." There is a Knock... Knock... Knock... Knock... "MK its A**, open the door." I immediately grabbed touched baby girl, thank God she was still asleep. I grabbed my cell and dialed 911 but didn't hit send yet, HE had found me, She was here. "AM, what are you doing here!?" "Is he with you!?" "Why would you do this? Do you have any clue as to what he's done to my daughter and I?" My heart was racing and now my hands shake as I type this...

I didn't open the door until I peaked through. HE sent his girlfriend to serve me papers. She dropped the papers and that's when I ran after her.. "AM you told him where I live, I know he is with you!?" "Help!" "Somebody please HELP!!!""" Heart racing, I exit the building only to see Him and his girlfriend. She ran into the left passenger side and He stood there with headphones about ten feet away from me... My mouth dropped and I said in Disbelief "M!?' "You aren't supposed to be here!" "Oh God, Somebody please HELP!" "My abuser just found me and he's not supposed to be at my home, PLEASE HELP!!!"

By that point they had driven off and no one, I mean no one paid attention to my cries for help. The girls in my building had ran upstairs to check on baby girl and pulled me into the building. They held my hand while I spoke to the police as calmly as possible over the phone. The dispatcher was very sweet and patient. I told them what happened... Why the hell did I take that damn nap?...

It took about 20 minutes for the Newburgh Police to come. A tall white male came and asked a few questions. He told me to come to the station when I had found the protection order. I looked at with disbelief in my eyes but I was too afraid to confront him for his lack of empathy or understanding that I needed to get to the station to file the report right then and there. He left and I immediately called my sitter and told her what happened. She drove us down there and waited with me in the police station.

When we got there, I called Safe Homes of Orange County. I was on the phone for six hours with their intake person before I got out of Newburgh. While on the phone with the young woman for the Domestic Violence shelter, I went to the counter of the police station. I explained to the officers what had just happened and the one officer stated "There is nothing we can do. And I don't believe you." The 'nothing we can do' part was expected. It's Newburgh PD, I didn't expect much from this bunch on this shift but I really lost hope when the other officer stated "I don't believe that your daughters father violated the protection order." I walked away. The officer might as well had hit me right along with baby girls father. I literally felt Sick.

I sat down. There was so much going on around me. Another white officer, female this time, approached me and asked me what was going on. I told her as calmly as one could given the situation and she said "Go home and compose yourself and then come back to us with the protection order." I said to her "Officer I don't know if my abuser is still in the area. He was in a vehicle and knows this area and I am afraid he might still be out there. He used to beat me." "Is there any way you can print a copy out?, an officer did it for me once before." Again she told me to go home and compose myself. I left the police station crying and got as far as Key Bank on Broadway. I called to check on baby girl and she was fine. I called others who I did domestic violence outreach with and then just sat there.

I sat in front of that bank and cried. I literally could not move. The last time I was that afraid was June 5, of 2010... I vowed to never to give him that much power and control over my emotions. But I had failed. I had failed as a mother, I felt, because I knew what I had to do. I had hoped that the police would be helpful. This is what they are supposed to be trained in, right? To serve and protect. No, to disregard and neglect. To falsely accuse me of falsely accusing Him of doing something I Knew he did.

I had a 1000 foot stay away order of protection because of His temper, his beatings, his mental and emotional abuse. "If you Ever leave me I will kill me, you And the Baby!!!" March 24, 2010 is the day he yelled this... I had had it. I had to play the game though. I had watched my mother and how she would calm my step dad after he had beaten her to avoid another beating.She never taught me how to put on make up or how to cook, but she unknowingly taught me how to survive an abusive relationship and how to buy more time. I love you mommy...

But you see, my mother stayed for over 13 years... By the time she broke that cycle, I had seen too much. All I kept saying to myself over the years was "My mother is weak!" "She allowed him to beat her and as a result of that bad S** happened to us!" June 5, 2010, 4:32 pm is the Last time I called my mother weak....

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Living Short Lived...

I remember packing the last of our suit cases into the trunk of the car and heading to the Poughkeepsie train station to board the Amtrak train to Chicago, IL. My daughter was unaware as to what was going on. She stood there as I loaded our luggage onto the train and off we went, Home. I had had enough. I was terrified of baby girls father. I was terrified of Him violating the protection order again. I was terrified of him finding out where I lived if I moved to another apartment. I was tired of living in fear and losing everything time and time again. In June of 2010 I promised God that if he got me out of that house, out of that city away from Him that I would never go back.

Around June 23, 2010 I held our infant daughter in my arms. I remember looking down at the ground below and thinking "If he beats me again and happens to lock me in the home, how am I going to escape?" I then looked up at the sheet that was used as a curtain. I figured that if I had the time to I could tie baby girl closely to me and fall out of the window back first or something. All I knew is that I didn't want baby girl seeing her mommy being abused the way I saw my mother being abused. My mother waited so long to leave and I didn't want that to be me. I didn't want to be abusing baby girl because of what her dad did to me either.

All of this came rushing back to me spring of 2012. I hoped and prayed that the law would be on my side. I prayed that the judges and workers would understand the level of fear I had of my abuser and concern I had for my daughter. The last thing baby girl needed was instability. I stayed at my mothers home for a few days and then went into the local shelters before I finally got stable in the Womens Primo Shelter on the westside of Chicago, IL. Even though I had my biases against womens shelters, I can honestly say that this one was the best out of all of them.

During our time back home in Chicago, we Lived. And I actually slept a full eight hours at one point. I began working and volunteering at baby girls daycare and man did she have some good times there. I smile at the memory of her running around while her teacher wet the children And parents as we walked by. It was hot that day and at that point I didn't care that her hair was freshly done yet wet from playing in the sprinkler. I didn't care that I had just bathed her only to have her wet and dirty. Baby girl was happy and we were working towards moving into our own place within that month or two.

I knew the court date was on its way and the goal was to get a lawyer so that I we could continue to live in Chicago. There was no involvement from Him and when there was communication it was more like "I am her father, I am not going to support her. You need to just take care of her and let me see her." A list of demands and threats that I reported and still nothing happened. I was sure that the courts had enough experience and would put baby girls stability above anything else just as I had worked to.

I'll never forget that day. May 12, 2012 is when we did the conference call to NY for the court date. "MK, you need the courts permission and that of her fathers to move out of state. What you did was kidnapping and you must return the child to NY state or lose custody to Him/his mother as well." I tried to explain and was shutdown by this judge. I tried to tell her what happened and why I left and figure out how can one kidnap their own child. There was no answer. There was no understanding. There was no advocate. Just demands and threats to separate baby girl and I if I didn't return.

Once I got off of the phone I screamed and yelled. I cried like a baby and felt so got damn hopeless. How could this happen? How does this happen? Why is this allowed to happen? Did they not see through His lies? And why should one who has been abused have to ask their abuser for permission to move? No one ever bothered to explain this to me. I had to educate myself. But on that day, I had to get out the pain and hurt in my soul. My mother came to get her grand daughter along with her aunts and I was taken to speak to a professional. I told them the facts of the situation and told them how I was feeling...

For two days I was monitored and then let go. This was voluntary. I knew baby girl didn't need to be around me while I was sad and crying most of the day. My mother was amazing and even came to visit me. She said to me "Those people aren't taking my grand baby because you are good mom!" For years my mother and I didn't speak but I can honestly say she stepped up. She stood up for me, her daughter and for that I'm no longer mad at her. Baby girl needed to be kept happy and my mom did that and then some.

I left the hospital two days later and when I saw baby girl she looked so freaking happy. Baby girl was was happy as if nothing had happened. This is when I realized yet again that I had to find that strength that got us home to Chicago. I had to pull that strength and keep it despite the pain I felt inside. What the judge told me had to be pushed in the back of my mind because baby girl didn't need to take on what I was going through. I knew the option I was given by the courts and I knew what had to be done. And I knew that as painful as it was going to be, we had to return to NY.

Chicago is Home and there was a little time to spend with family and baby girl before our journey back here to NY. I remember taking baby girl to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the first time. My goodness, we had a blast! Baby girl laughed and giggled like crazy! And let me tell you she was a trooper during her first face painting. Baby girl and I walked around as if there wasn't a care in the world... I didn't have much money but we still had fun...

"Too Calm to Be Frustrated, for Now"

I can honestly say that today I'm way to calm to be frustrated, for now anyways. It seems like the closer I get to the next court date and my case "closing" the more agitated I become with meeting with the social worker twice a month. Not that there was a point that I Wasn't agitated that she's court mandated to come, it's just that all of this still makes no since to me. 

The social worker came to do a "home visit" this past Friday and as usual I asked her a bunch of questions that she Never has the answer to. Lol, I laugh because of the memory of her eyes rolling in the back of her head for the one hundredth time telling me "MK, I know you have concerns about the bruising left on your daughter from her father, but there is nothing we can do."  I'm thinking "Are you F****** kidding me?!" And then I say calmly,  " What the hell do you mean 'there is noting you can do', you are a SOCIAL WORKER. 

And then she'll say "Well MK, if it happens again report it and document it. Keep a file on what goes on and things like that." I told myself that it wasn't her fault. Hell, she's just doing her job right? We all have to make money doing Something right? At that point I'm sitting in front of this woman crying while I proudly look at the new clothing I just bought my daughter. With tears flowing and this woman looking at me like I'm a complete nut job I'm thinking, "Damn, they had a good sale today. Baby girl is going to look so freaking quite. And it has Sparklies!" 

And that's it!  That's all it took, me, looking at a purple, sparklie sweater that I bought baby girl to snap me out of my five minute crying spell before I told this woman what I really thought about her job and that little black book that she carries around. That black book annoys the hell out of me. It represents Him, those judges, my nice but not to useful lawyers, those damn CPS workers who falsely accused me of neglecting my daughter and them taking away my right to move back home to Chicago, IL with my baby girl to be with her family. A family that has met her, spent time with her, spoils her and can't wait to see her. 

When will be be able to go back home? When will baby girl get the live back that was taken from her due to Him and the lies these social workers have told to keep me here? Is it ever really about the child in family court or is more about control?