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?