As some of you know, I am on the tail end of things in a legal kidnapping conspiracy. Recently, I returned from a cross country, round-trip bus ride,
staying a month with my best friend - my sister in spirit if not flesh - as she, her husband and I dealt with me having to be in court in the next
city over. (Thank goodness for understanding landlords - we owe back rent to make this possible.)
My sister and her...life partner? and her ex-husband (who all live together with my daughter) are presently my daughter's guardians. When MY life
partner and I went homeless in 2007, we sent our daughter to stay with my sister until we were stable. It took a while, but we finally knew we could
care for her and asked for her back. The guardians objected and we started a battle that left us, quite poor and three thousand miles away, against
their money and proximity.
We filed to dissolve the guardianship six times in three years, with money to get there in person the biggest issue on the first two attempts,
"improper document filing protocol" on the next three (suddenly the book was very important), and had just been granted our third telephone hearing
when my sister announced, by way of email, that she was filing to dissolve our parental rights on the grounds of "abandonment."
Anyway, I recently returned having arrived with the intent to fight for my rights. What I thought was a one time court appearance turned out to be a
three court event. The first to establish dates for a "negotiation session" and (if that failed) the final judgment, so all the while I was there, I
was living at the behest of my friends - who, like me, are professionals unemployed. They were doing better than me. My best friend had just run out
of unemployment and her husband was still on it.
So on that final date, one month after the first, when I arrived I was stressed to the max, my heart rent asunder as I watched my sister and my
daughter - who turned eight in January - sitting outside the courtroom. "My" attorney arrived and with my friend urging me to fight, began to show
concern for "getting as much out of them in concession." My friend kept up with the advice, and he kept trying to steer me to think about giving in
being my best option.
At one point my friend got into a discussion with my brother, I think, and "my" attorney yanked me aside and began with, "I've seen what's in there.
You're going to lose." From that point on he kept pushing the get something or else you get nothing tack. At some point, something snapped. I lost
hope and all I wanted to do was get this harpy out of my life.
"Fine! I'll give up!" I hissed. "Will that make you happy!?!"
"Well what about the concessions?"
Since we had already drawn up a list of what we wanted - xbox and camera, report cards, video and pictures - I said, "Give them that list."
"They won't give you all that." (Geez, I cry in anguish to myself, does it have to be complicated?)
"Fine. Whatever they want. Just get it over with!"
And then, though we had been sitting a good while outside the courtroom through all this, minutes later we were called in.
I forced myself to walk through the doors and sit at the end of the table. I was numb and yet in hell at the same time. My eyes passed along and
suddenly I found them meeting my sister's. Such a weird energy was exchanged and I closed my eyes.
The judge was announced with instructions to stay seated. I did not open my eyes. The judge asked about who was present and my husband, home to work
to ensure money for the landlord, was there via phone. Then she asked "my" attorney my position and he rattled off basically that I was giving up my
rights, and the judge asked me if that was about right. Though in the transcript the word, "Sure," might sound...cheerful, even, it held such anguish
The judge then asked about concession, and he rattled off a list which included things we should have been getting all along but hadn't: pictures,
report cards, if she happens to be in the area she can visits if she wants to - but just me. (Her Father was a separate case - and he fought via the
phone...and earned an appeal.)
The judge asked me if that was ok. I said, Yes," between gritted teeth. "My" attorney then asked if I could be excused, the judge said yes, and I
wasted no time getting out, past my brother, my father-in-law, my sister's ex-husband, and my daughter. Out the door that led outside to the parking
My best friend, bless her, stayed and witnessed my partner's part of the proceedings. I lit a cig and wandered the parking lot, and contemplated
running out in front of a fast moving car.
If it wasn't for the fact that I have work to do on this planet (see my sig), I strongly believe that would have been my choice.
Anyway, below is the text of the letter I sent to my friend with the innocent protected, and explanations of things that the recipients understand but
you might not in curly braces.:
CAST of Characters:
TED - Brother
BECKY - Sister
ERICH - Sister's partner
GARY - Sister's ex-husband
MARC - Paternal Grandfather
(MC) - My Child.
Dear Ted and Becky and Erich and Gary and Marc and [My Daughter, My only Child, now eight and a quarterish - here called (MC)]]
I have no idea where to begin this. So I will write a section to each of you
I am at a loss - you seem to think it is your job to crap on everything I bring to the table. You are so vested in the idea that [Her Father] is a
horrible father, even to the point of harassing [Best friend of Her Father] - you try to make it out that just because [Best friend of Her Father]
didn't witness every moment, he has no clue how we were parenting (MC). You state that "kids say things to please adults" - without also admitting
that kids only say such things when pressed - they don't volunteer such things. That (MC), without any prompting, asked [Her father] why she couldn't
just come home with us in Scranton - and then, when I came up, turned to me and begged for us [in tears, no less] to take her home with us shows that
at that time, she still remembered our love. But you (and everyone else, I guess) just can't justify ripping (MC) from our arms if you thought there
was any time she actually wanted to come home.
You also say that because this feeling "didn't stick" that it was fake - but given enough time and brainwashing, any feelings a child might have can
be erased. You suggest that [Her Father's Niece]'s praise for our parenting was "unimpressive" - because she didn't happen to use the term "often,"
or "frequently," or "a couple of times a week." WTF? You just don't see how far from rational you are on this matter.
You hold up a template of "perfect dad" and anyone who falls short of this is unfit for parenting - you will not acknowledge that parenting is a
learning experience, and mistakes will be made. You will not accept Human imperfection (how irrational is THAT???). You reason that one or two
mistakes equals someone who beats their child and endangers them. Again, you are so far from rational in your views it astonishes me.
You say *I* am trying to scapegoat. No. I know Linda and I have seen the ugliness and envy she holds. And if you all got the idea that [Her father]
and I were not doing a very good job of raising our daughter, then you were lied to. No "scapegoat" here. You use [Her father] as the scapegoat to
justify what Becky did.
Well, at this point, I have no brother. Please make no further efforts to contact me.
It is clear that all of you have focused (MC)'s memories into a few negative incidents - erasing the 99.999999999% of the time she had with us that
was happy, full of laughter, lots of learning, exploring, love and hugs. You fed her the idea that her daddy is a bad daddy, you did not keep her
aware that she would come home, you brainwashed her.
You knew the "abandonment" regulation and ensured we did NOT know it. (So ethical, that.) I thought you sent that $49 back to me out of
consideration for me. Out of some ethical sense. But it was so that you could claim we sent no support.
And speaking of ethical - how you must be patting yourselves on the back for having that travesty of justice in the courtroom be in your favor. That
was in no way a fair trial. The report was biased (no matter how much "conflict of interest" was supposed to have been avoided) - many details that
we brought forth were not mentioned, and it was very much in error on others. NO effort to interview [(MC)'s Paternal Grandmother] was made (though
she has been included on all guardianship papers), no efforts were made to interview any others with first hand knowledge either. [Her Father] had no
chance to testify though the judge said [in court, moments before] he would have the chance (the judge was not interested in OUR side - how ethical is
THAT? Justice? Heh. Don't you feel proud to have screwed your sister through your connections, avoiding actual justice), and I was pushed over the
edge into temporary insanity by "my" attorney.
On top of that, the moment we filed to bring (MC) home, ETHICALLY, the question of abandonment was off the table. You and Erich are rather pathetic
and I am concerned to have my daughter raised by ones of such dubious ethics. In fact, my daughter is dead. The loving, compassionate,
understanding, caring, giving child that left me is gone. You killed her. In her place is an Imelda wannabe, stuck up, spoiled plastic Disney
Consumer Doll. Good job, Beck.
As for our video, maybe you should watch with some degree of a sense of humor. All of those pieces made (MC) laugh - especially the poopie scene.
[The "poopie" scene was (MC) proudly showing off her accomplishment in the commode, with [Her Father]'s "awe" and encouragement to flush - at age 3
3/4ish.] We watched it a number of times at her request and we all laughed and laughed. If there were issues of Lili unclothed, we were teaching her
that the Human body is nothing to be ashamed of. If you are raising her with such a stigma I am all the more concerned. These were home movies.
They had meaning to (MC) and we included ones she liked. YOUR reaction is irrelevant.
You WANT there to be a problem with [Her Father] and me - to justify your underhanded, two-faced stealing of my child.
I have no sister. Please make no further efforts to contact me.
I was told that you told (MC) that "Mommy made the right choice." [Mommy went temporarily insane from stress and emotional anguish being used by
"her" attorney to break her hope and have her give up her parental rights "voluntarily."] No. Mommy made an insane choice. You and Becky did nothing
to retain (MC)'s ties with us - in fact you actively discouraged her from doing so by keeping her so focused on a few moments that were unhappy with
her father (what? three hands raised and a few times he raised his voice), never asking, I'm sure, about the many, many times she was happy, thereby
building a sense in her that her father was always mean. Brainwashing a child is pretty easy, huh?
You're a weasley sort, you know that? You're so sure you know what our family life was like from 3,000 miles away, based on lies of an envious
step-mother and a hen-pecked husband.
Your snide comment about not telling her "all the time" she would go home to us "any day now" was ridiculous. You knew that was not what was in
order. Gentle reminders now and then was what was in order. We asked for Becky's help and were screwed by the two of you.
I have no interest in you whatsoever. Please make no efforts to contact me.
I have no email for you at present. I have little to say to you, really, except that you have no clue.
You lied to me. Three times, you lied. You have been lying since. Whereas once you complimented both [Her Father] and me for our parenting, you now
claim there was some problem - but what exactly was that problem? What lies have you been telling to justify your position?
I despise you. Please make no further efforts to contact me.
In the report it was said that you said that Daddy and Mommy "made mistakes" and that we "would never change." What mistakes did we make (other than
sending you to live with Auntie Becky)? How would you like to see us change?
I am willing to bet you don't have answers to those questions and that this is merely what you have been told, brainwashed into believing. You have
no specifics - because there are none - and just parrot the things you have been told.
Someday, my sweet Buddha, you will see how you were manipulated, how you were made to believe there were problems but no specifics were given, how
Auntie Becky envied me and took you from me. On that day, I will hold my arms open and welcome you home.
My friend's advice is to NOT send it. To send my daughter a vapid, uninformative thing. The above sits so well and her suggestion sits so poorly
with me, I though I would get more opinions.
Anyone on ATS have helpful thoughts?
edit on 4/20/2011 by Amaterasu because: Add cast of characters