by Erica Thompson
(goldsboro nc usa)
Me and my Daughter
I lost custody of my daughter when she was just 2. my ex wanted a divorce so i moved out and into an appt w/ my daughter. i was so stressed financially i asked him to take care of her until i could get back on my feet. i went only 2 months without seeing her as i told my ex i was going to visit a friend from out of state to get time to sort out my mind. while i was out of state in washington(state)my ex's mother kept trying to talk me into staying and had a such a sweet voice as she told me to do what i had to do.
he (my ex) called me and told me i could not have her back that he was filing for custody. i then had a nervous breakdown, shaking uncontrollably, crying for two days nonstop, and on the third day overdosed on melatonin and tylenol3 the next day a friend found me passed out on the floor. everytime i woke up i would cry, my heart was racing, headaches, face swollen. when i got to the hospital they made me drink charcoal and i threw up for 3 days. a psychiatrist had me admitted against my will to a mental hospital in spokane washingington. i was there for two weeks. when my ex told me he was taking my daughter from her he knowingly and intentionally did that to hurt me. I was an amazing mother and my world revolved around her. he was always gone out and i wanted nothing more than to stay home with her, even when i was at work i thought of my daughter. mckayla cried because for me because my ex mother in law would tell her things that would make her cry for me.
mommy's not here but she's on the phone... or memaw's here i'll be your mommy shug. or mommy's sick right now she cant talk. for 7 years after i came back home her biggest fear was that she would never see me again. she would scream if i was out of the same room or would cry when i had to leave her with my mom. most kids cry for their mom but this was a different kind of cry. my ex knew he was hurting her by doing this and he still did it.
I should have never left but i didnt leave because of her i left because of him. when i got back home i went to court and the judge asked me if i wanted to contest the lawyers terms. ... keep in mind. i had NO money for an atty, no car, a part time job at mcdonalds and no one in my family came with me i was alone. I told the judge "at the time" I had no choice i had nothing to offer her and i knew love would not put food in her mouth. my ex had a live in girlfriend and his mother was his daycare. he had an atty and his parents so it was pretty intimidating. I was treated for depression for 4 years following me loosing custody and it made me
a much stronger person. my daughter is now 15 and i have gone above and beyond the call of duty at being the mother i am suppose to be.
I am in every part of her life and her step mother cant stand it. i have to answer to her step mother all the time. when mckayla gets in trouble they call me to set her straight, even her father admits that she listens to me and looks up to me more than she does him. (although she does love him she dont see him much because he is a truck driver) I have asked her many times in the past two years does she want me to get an atty to file for custody and when she was small her prayers were that i would find a good husband so she can come live with me, now she tells me she dont want to come live with me because she dont want to cause conflict. each time she mentioned it to her step mother her step mother discourages it and tells her that i dont know how to be a full time mother and that she wont be happy with me.
I dont know how to break down that wall with her step mother and i am afraid i wont get her if she tells the judge she wants to keep things the same. I have lost so much time with her words can not express that pain that i have gone through not having her in my life full time. and what i dont get is i did NOTHING wrong. i didnt do drugs, i never abused her, i just simply didnt have the money to hire an atty and I was afraid of raising her alone. I wanted her safe. but i needed her in my life to teach her, to protect her, to give her advice, to give her things i never had. for the past 5 years i have been able to provide this for her.
I have since remarried and we have been together for 8 years in a stable home. she gets upset sometimes not because she is torn between me and her father. this has become a battle between me and her stepmother. I know her stepmother has no rights and my circumstances have changed, I try to keep peace but this woman is making it very difficult for me. she only informs me of certain things about mckayla then blames mckayla for not telling me. i bought mckayla a dress for her social dance in 8th grade and because mckayla decided she wanted another dress, rather than telling her no she already had a dress, her step mother takes her shopping and i didnt know mckayla didnt wear the dress i bought her until i saw the pictures of her in a differnt dress. of course her step mother thought it was funny because she claims to have told mckayla to call me and tell me yet, when she gets in trouble at school or acts up she makes mckayla call me in her presents. mckayla dont see that she is manipulating she only sees that she buys her stuff.