Finally, the verdict came in from the judge, a judge who normally gave joint custody. He awarded me full custody of my girls. He saw through the lies and deceit. Someone finally understood what I went through with this man. He also ordered him to pay all legal fees and court costs. He did award him every other weekend visitation and Wednesday visits, which I thought was fair. I finally got the weekends to enjoy my children too. However, he did not raise the child support of $500 per month for the two girls. It was barely enough, maybe he thought it would be raised later? I didn’t care, the trial was over, I had my children, I could finally breath easy and I was ecstatic! Now maybe I could settle down and get down to living a normal life again.
The first Visitation Friday came and I thought since everything was settled we didn’t need the church steps tonight. Boy, was I wrong? The scene returned in full force. He was furious, agitated, absolutely in a state of rage. He pulled at the children while calling me every name in the book in the middle of the street. This time, however, I stopped it. No, this was not going to happen again, I didn’t trust his mood or want the girls to go with him in this state. I told the girls to go inside. They were crying and upset but they did go inside. I told him to go home and when he could calm down, he could come and pick up the girls for visitation. He turned around and sped off. I didn’t hear from him the rest of the night—or the weekend.
I tried calling his house to see if he was coming many times that night and all weekend, but he never picked up his phone. It just rang and rang. I figured he was ignoring me. Fine, it’s his problem. Him being childish is only hurting himself, but I hated trying to explain this behavior to my children. Why their father was not coming to see them. I had no answers.
Monday, I called his office and his secretary answered. I asked to speak to him. She informed that he had left for California Friday night and was planning to be gone for several weeks. Then it hit me! He had planned to kidnap my children. Planned to take them away from me last Friday night and I had thwarted his plans.
Neither I nor the children saw him for about six months after that. That doesn’t mean to say we didn’t have our issues. He fought the courts about the fees, he tried to appeal the judgment but failed. He had his parents try for custody of the children but failed. So my life was in constant turmoil. But all this time, Teddy Bear was there to calm me down and act as my sounding board when I was upset. He was my rock when I needed a shoulder to cry on. He was my best friend. I’d been working in the railyard now for over a year and was doing fairly well and felt stable enough to start looking for houses. I wanted a more stable environment for the kids and one that they felt more like home.
I found a little house in Maryland, it was only five miles from their fathers if he decided to ever see them again, so he couldn’t complain about that. It was 168 years old and it was affordable for me. I put in an offer and it was accepted. But as fortune smiled on me so did misfortune. The day I signed for the house, I got laid off from work.