Sunday, March 11, 2012
My Worst Fears: I'm Broke
I felt completely alone. I had no extra money and no credit cards. I had not talked to my family in over four years. If I did nothing my son would be taken to Canada, who knows how much of my retirement would go to the man who inflicted years of financial suffering, furniture, and me paying an incredible amount of child support. Everything would be taken by my abuser and his family. It amazes me that a very religious family, leaders in the religious community in fact, quoting the Bible constantly, could literally try and destroy another human being who is also the mother of their grandchildren. The depths of disregard for the health and wellbeing of a 6 year old boy still utterly astounds me. The sad thing I’m learning by telling my story is that I’m not alone. Far from it. And our stories are eerily similar.
[A side note: My abuser had cut off from his own family. That is how he operated: completely cut off from anyone that disagreed or challenged him in anyway. He could not handle criticism; in fact he would not tolerate it. It was amazing how he could simply cut people out of his life and would expect me to do the same.]
I called my brother. He didn't answer so I left a message: "I know we haven't spoken in some time so you understand that this is an emergency. Please call me back, please." Then I called Kassie my best friend from childhood, the one who had let me borrow clothes before seeing Peter, and asked if she had any contact with my brother. She said she had talked with my brother's wife on Facebook and would try to get in touch with him. She left him an urgent message. She could not believe what was happening to me. Peter's family was a perfect family.
So now things were becoming very clear, this storm was too perfect to not have been planned. He had insisted I cut off from my family so I had no resources there and could not turn to them, he had spent down our account and left me with nothing. He had made it so difficult to maintain friendships I didn't have anyone who I could turn to financially. He, on the other hand, suddenly had the full support of a brother working in Canadian politics making an excellent salary, parents and a younger brother who suddenly appeared to help out in town.
I continued to walk around the mall. My friend Kassie stayed on the phone with me as I aimlessly walked the mall; she was worried. The mall was closing, it was time to go home….alone. When I walked through the door I was fearful of being alone, for my safety. I felt a wave of nausea sweep over me, and another. I didn't know if I could bear the burden of this pain, injustice and helplessness. I did not know if my mind could handle it.
I called Susan the godmother, who was keeping my son. I was sobbing, I wanted to hold my baby, my little 6 year old. She was immediately "on my side." She saw what was going on and had been seeing it for a while. For the next year she and her husband were some of the few people who did see the truth.
Somehow I finally slept and woke up full of panic and anxiety. Anyone who knows me knows I don't go down easily. I started in again; I was not going to lose my son! I got a hold of the first recommended attorney, but it didn't seem a good fit so I called the other, the former county domestic violence prosecutor. It took her another day before she got back to me, but it was an immediate fit and she was available. I told her I was working on getting some money together.
My brother called me back the next day. After about 5 minutes, he was willing to help me in any way possible. That man and his wife, without knowing much at all, welcomed me back and were willing to do anything to help! UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. He contacted our dad and he called me. Within days my dad had sent me money. It was almost Friday....
at 9:08 PM