Category Archives: Teddy Bear

Ch. 13 – The Verdict

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.

 

 

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Ch 12. Not Exactly Kramer vs. Kramer

Custody battles I’ve heard can be civil, I’ve heard.  Even Kramer vs. Kramer was more civil than mine.

One day I come home, and my babysitter tells me she has to quit, family matters have come up that are preventing her from sitting for me. Now I have to find another sitter that can come to watch the children early in the morning and get them on the bus for school and be there when they come home. I have to be at work too early and don’t get home in time for the bus in the afternoon.  So my search begins. I interview a dozen different women, finally, the “perfect” girl comes and sits down in my living room.  I interview her and she answers all the questions “perfectly”.  I am delighted.  She seemed just the right person for the job and I hire her.

However, within a couple of weeks she tells me that she lost my check and if I could pay her in cash, she needs to pay her rent, she’ll bring back the other check when she finds it.  I don’t want her missing her rent, so I give her cash, but I make her sign a piece of paper for it.  I did that at least.  Then I notice that all my food in the cabinets is missing on a daily basis.  This is odd.

I confront her at the end of the week and ask her what’s going on and if she could please pick up the house because it’s messier when I get home than when I left it. She just frowns at me.  My cabinets are becoming bare, my house is a mess.

Then my daughter at two years old is outside playing one weekend and casually calls my neighbor a “bitch”.  I am in shock!  I don’t use profanity, ever!  I run to my little girl and tell her this is not a word we use, and tell her to go over to the neighbor and apologize.  As I’m talking to my neighbor I learn some other distressing news.  My neighbor has seen pictures of me naked.

What!  I haven’t taken pictures of me naked! The only pictures I ever had of me naked were the ones my ex took of me when we were married.  How did she see them?  Evidently, my babysitter had them, she had them from my husband.My ex hired her to be my babysitter, he knew what I would ask her, her told her how to answer my questions, he knew I would hire her.  She also invited my neighbor into my house to show her how bad of a mother I was to have no food in the house and how bad of housekeeper I was. I began to tremble. I wondered about the check, I called the bank and found out she had cashed the check.

I called Teddy Bear and we discussed what I should do. I called the police and asked if there was anything I could do, even if I was the one that was stupid enough to give her the money twice.  They said it had been fraud on her part and I could have her arrested. I decided that was exactly what I was going to do. I was adamant about it. I filed the report.  They went to arrest her on her wedding day but was too late, so we got her the day she got back from her honeymoon.  Her husband offered to make good the amount of money she frauded me out of, but I knew I had to have a conviction if for no other reason it was the principle of the matter.  I had to have it legal, I had to do this! We went to court, the judge asked me why I didn’t settle out of court and I gave her this same reason. The babysitter was found guilty of fraud and I got my paltry $125 back.  You may ask why this is important.  Custody trials have witnesses. Some are called as volunteers and some are subpoenaed, in other words, you have to pay to have them come and testify on your behalf.

My ex subpoenaed 10 witnesses against me, I had 10 volunteer witnesses on my behalf. He paid $100 per witness to tell terrible and horrible things against me. I had 10 wonderful friends support me. The only thing was because this girl that came up to the witness stand who said all these terrible and horrible things had committed fraud against me and had been legally guilty by a judge; the judge upon hearing this impeached her as a witness.  In other words, she was NO witness against me, her word was false and misleading.  No one was to believe anything she said.

The other thing about subpoenaed witnesses, sometimes they don’t really benefit your case. Although you might want them to say mean and terrible things, like how emotionally unstable the wife is or how terrible she may dress in those jeans and flannel shirts.  Those witnesses always seem to be more logical than the ex wants them to be.

“Yes, she may be emotional, but emotions are good when raising children, you have to be sensitive to their needs and feelings”, the psychologist says.  “She’s a good mother that knows their needs and know what’s best for the welfare of her children”

He even subpoenaed the man from work that I had dated and asked about my work habits about my clothing.  “Yes, she has to dress that way to keep warm, it’s typical work attire for the work she does.  She’s a diligent chemist and good, and as the secretary of the union, we depend on her to keep the welders safe when working in confined spaces.  We would go on strike if she weren’t there.” Little did the ex, realize this same man had volunteered to witness on my behalf as well.

The trial lasted all afternoon, it was tiring and emotional. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.  My lawyer had done an excellent job and was very positive about the results. He had asked for his fees and court costs as well so I would not have any out of pocket expenses.  Now I had to wait for the judge’s decision.  I said I was willing for joint custody.  The judge was known to give joint custody.  I wanted to be fair.

 

Ch. 11 – Teddy Bear Series

My divorce was finally final that spring, I had been married exactly 11 years. The divorce was final on my 11th anniversary. Custody, however, was not determined during these proceedings. It was yet to be. I had been naive when the ex had moved me out of the home, and I had agreed to share the family lawyer for the divorce. I was so naive.  I was also ignorant of my ex’s income. I had kept the finances while we were married, but found out during the tax audit that he was making a six-figure income.  I had believed he only made $30,000 per year.  I had made all of our clothing, the children’s and stayed home to scrimp and save.  He took everything but did give me $500 per month in child support for the girls.  Needless to say, I desperately looked for another lawyer for my custody hearing. I couldn’t afford one, so went to family court to find one that would take my case and found just the right one. We had a battle on our hands.

Teddy Bear continued to visit me and cheer me up when times seemed their darkest.  He even introduced me to his brother thinking that if I couldn’t date him, maybe I would be interested in Jimmy.  But as much as I appreciated the idea, and thought it was a little funny. No, that wasn’t an option either.  Jimmy was sweet and Teddy Bear and he would come over for coffee and keep me company on the weekends when the kids were gone. We’d talk about things and work. We’d talk about me seeing other people.  I had started seeing the secretary of the union at work, but it wasn’t really that serious.  I did have a date Saturday night and that was going to be interesting, I thought.  It was going to be a party.  I hadn’t been to a party in a long time.

Teddy Bear looked curiously at me and said “party?”  I said, “yes, he invited me to a party, he asked me if I liked to party, and I said I like to go to parties.  So I’m going.”  Teddy Bear got this grin on his face.

That Saturday night I learned why he had that shit eating grin on his face.  I just got my first education on what “kind of party” it was.  I went to the guy’s house and there they all were, sitting in the living room passing around a joint and then passed me one.  I said, “No, thank you, I don’t do drugs, I’ve never smoked a joint”.  He said, “I thought, you liked to party?” Well, not this kind.  I am getting an education and culture shock is setting in.

I left the party early, ran a stop light, realizing what I did, I pulled over to contain myself and a cop immediately pulled in behind me.  I was so upset.  I was crying and rolled down my window to him as I fumbled for my license.  Apologizing like a crazy woman.  He said, “What’s wrong?”  I told him, “I just got my divorce, went to a party where they were doing things I’ve never done before, I’m not doing those things, I don’t have my children with me, I’m just very upset.  I know what I did.  I will be very careful driving the rest of the way home. I’m sorry.”  He just looks at me and smiles gently as he hands me back my license, “Do you need me to help you home?  I’m not going to give you a ticket, and it’s late, you need to be more careful.  I’ll help you if you want.”  I look at him with tears in my eyes, no one except Teddy Bear has offered to help. “Thank you, it’s not far, I’ll be careful, I promise, I’ll compose myself for a moment and go”

My entry into another life has started with more tears.

Ch. 10 – Series Teddy Bear

Turning Points

In every person’s life there comes a time, a crisis in their life that becomes a turning point that tests their soul, their heart, and character.  At this turning point, you have to decide whether you will give in and let the challenges and evil defeat you or—rise above all of the darkness and fight, succeed.  You don’t know how, you don’t know how long it’s going to take, but you know without a doubt that no one will stop you. You know that you can do it.  You know you HAVE to, too much is at stake.

What you don’t know at this turning point is how it affects you for the rest of your life and at the moment you don’t care. Survival is the only thing that matters, you don’t care if you start building walls one brick at a time around your heart.  You don’t care if you stop trusting people.  You don’t care if others think you’re a bitch. You have a job to do, that is to live, that is to be a good mother, that is to raise them the best you can, that is to provide for them the best you can.  That day was my turning point.

Teddy Bear knew it too, he saw the change in me over the weeks and winter, I concentrated on my job, I concentrated on my finances, little as they were. I moved out of that apartment, and got a little duplex, it is more like a home to my girls.  I feel we are improving our life now, I have a babysitter that comes to the house while I am at work to watch the girls after school.  We are attending the small church down the street. I want the girls to have all the experiences they can, that includes religion and bible school.

Teddy Bear keeps in touch with me on a regular, discrete basis and lets me know when the ex is on a rampage. He tells me when to watch out for the ex’s strange behavior, but I don’t need that warning.  The ex came to pick up the children this Friday at the new place in a fury.  I guess he didn’t like me leaving the apartment, out of his control.  I don’t know. But he literally dragged the kids in the middle of the street and started yelling obscenities and calling me all kinds of names.  I can’t let this happen,  the children were crying and frantic, he grabbed them anyway and took off.   This cannot continue!  I’ve got to stop it.

Teddy Bear came over tonight, he knows Friday nights are my worse nights because of the visitation.  I’m really upset tonight, more so than usual. I tell him the scenario that just happened.  He takes me out to dinner and we discuss my options.  His name for the ex is DickHead, I call him Ricardo Cabeza because I don’t want the kids repeating Teddy Bear’s name, but it fits the jerk.  So anyway, Ricardo, I’ve got a plan now to deal with your temper and tantrums. YOU will NOT put my children through this again!

My weekend passes quickly, but I make a phone call to Ricardo.  He is to drop the children off at the church on Sunday now, not at my house and from now on all visitation pickups will be made on the church steps.  I talked to the pastor about this and he is willing to be my witness when the children’s father drops off and picks up the kids. No more scenes.

I work long hours. I need to be at work at 5 in the morning.  I finally got a job in a railyard.  I am the only woman working with 500 men. I am the chemist that analyzes the contents that are contained in rail tank cars. It’s a physically demanding job.  I have to climb on top of the rail cars to obtain samples, I have to go out in below freezing weather to obtain samples from water lines to obtain water samples, my hands freeze and bleed. I have to wear a hard hat, but they don’t provide a lab coat, so my clothes are always getting destroyed by the acid in all these rail cars. You see these rail cars come from a munitions plant and contain the acid used to make ammunition.  I have to make sure that the rail car is cleaned thoroughly so that the welders can go into the confined space and repair the cars. I am not only the only woman but the only chemist and the only thing keeping this rail cleaning facility in compliance with DOD and DOT. I have to wear jeans, flannel shirts, and layers.  It’s so cold this winter.

My first day there was eye opening, a rail car came in and since the workers had not been used to having a chemist on site, they proceeded as usual.  They poured water in the railcar without inspecting the contents first. What a disaster. And what an initiation for me!  Suddenly a big red cloud erupted from the railcar.  The workers ran for their lives and it was determined to evacuate the plant, except for two people. My boss and me.  I was supposed to determine how to dispose of the disastrous contaminated water.  If I could not get things contained we were going to have to evacuate the nearby town. My first real job, my first challenge of a working career. It took most of the evening, but I did it. I discovered the correct kind of neutralization steps I needed to take so it wouldn’t destroy the whole plant’s pipelines, I found the place to haul away the acidic water and the correct kind of tractor trailers that wouldn’t be harmed in the procedure.  I discovered my strength. I discovered I can do this! I can overcome adversity. This was one of many I know, but my confidence in myself had started to build.

 

 

 

Ch. 9 – Series Teddy Bear

The bubble bursts- again

“Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could I be so stupid again!”, I say to myself when Teddy Bear confesses his betrayal, his whole deception. I can’t believe it at first.  I’m in shock, but the conversation he repeats that I had with Bill is exactly how what I said. NO ONE heard that conversation.  I was so ashamed I’d dated a married man.  I was stupid then too. He had lied to me too.  God, I just can’t believe how naive I am. I always believed to trust someone until they give me a reason not to, but now a third time this year? I’ve got to change this, I’ve got to stop this. I wanted to badly to believe Teddy Bear’s intentions were true, his heart was true, I was really falling for him.  I gave myself to him, for God’s sake.  Oh, what have I done?!

He keeps talking, telling me things, I can barely pay attention, I’m so heartbroken, angry, mostly at myself for being stupid, and trying to figure out what to do next.  He keeps telling me to move the furniture around.  He tells me if I see a car following me not to come straight home, what? He keeps telling me to turn on the radio when I’m on the phone. He keeps telling me he loves me.

I see the pain in his eyes, when he looks at me, he wants to hold me but I’m just feeling numb right now, cold all over like the arctic wind has chilled me to the bone.  Such a contrast from earlier this morning, when I didn’t want to be out of his arms.  He was watching me sleep, I could tell, but I just stayed snuggled next to his warm, loving body.

He tells me the reason that my ex, the dickhead, has done all this is to take away the kids. To make me suffer, so that I will never see them again. He wants me to be seen in the worse possible light, to be seen as the worse mother in the world.

GAWD… Now this! How can I possibly continue to see him, if the dickhead knew that I was romantically involved with this shady character he would certainly take my children away from me. I have to tell Teddy Bear, it’s over.  It’s barely begun, but I now know, the battle has become evident to me now. It’s clear what I need to do. I have to fight with my last breath. I have to be strong, I have to be courageous more than I thought I would have to be. This isn’t going to be easy. I just got a job, it doesn’t pay much. But the ex doesn’t know my stubbornness.  He never saw me assertive before, I will be his worst nightmare.

I’m calming down, anger is smoldering beneath the surface, but not aimed at Teddy Bear. Mostly at myself and the ex. I have to be grateful that Teddy Bear confessed.  I know the stakes, I know the enemy, I know what I must do.

“Teddy Bear,” I say after a long silence, ” I can’t see you anymore, you know that,, right? You know he’ll use our relationship against me in court.  You know for sure that because of who and what you are  if we continue, I will lose my children. I can’t let that happen.  I care deeply about you.  I’m not mad at you. It hurts me that you betrayed me, but you have now let me know everything I need to know to prepare for the battle of a lifetime and this one I can’t lose.”  So right then and there, my life, my heart and my attitude changed.  I saw the hurt in his eyes when I said this.

“I understand, sweetheart,” Teddy Bear replies. As he turns to leave, I take him by the arm and look up at him with tears in my eyes. “I trusted you and for some reason I still do.  I don’t want you out of my life forever.” He pulls me into a warm embrace, “You’ll never be without me around, I’ll always be here for you, and you’ll always be protected.I really do love you, whether you believe it or not.” and we stand there holding each other tightly in silence with only two broken hearts beating next to each other.

 

Ch. 8 – Series Teddy Bear

Confessions

“Oh my God, I love this woman,” I think as I lay next to her in the twilight of the morning. Our evening together was amazing. I am here with the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life and she’s here with me. Naked in bed with me. She is sleeping peacefully and I love watching her sleep.  I love seeing her long dark hair spread across the pillow and over her shoulders, some covering part of her face, I gently sweep away. She softly sighs in her sleep. She seems content and happy. She is holding on tight to me, her arm resting across my chest.

Her pale skin, ivory-white against my Sicilian olive skin like a delicate blossom against the darkness and my conscience speaks to me.  I continue to watch my angel sleep, I memorize every curve of her body against the sheets which emphasizes her hour-glass figure. Even though she had lost weight in the previous months from being so ill, my girl had curves — wonderful curves. I love to put my hands on her waist and feel that little indent between her hips and chest.  And her breasts, oh don’t get me started. Those lovely orbs, so sweet. “Oh God, I’ve fucked up so badly, she’ll be so hurt and angry.  She’ll never want to see me again.”

I feel her stir and her hands start to roam over my chest. She tilts her head up to me and smiles that sweet smile that melts my heart. “Good morning,” she says low with the raspiness of new awakening.  She asks me if I’d like a cup of coffee as she rises before me unashamed of her body as she reaches for her robe, she looks over her shoulder to see my answer. I agree and she tells me not to get out of bed, she goes to the kitchen leaving me there, feeling a combination of in love, satisfied, happy and guilty as hell.

Soon, she returns with not just a cup of coffee for the both of us, but a tray of bacon, eggs and toast.  She’s served me breakfast in bed.  She seems so happy. I know this is cutting into her grocery budget and I tell her she shouldn’t have done this, but she just tells me not to worry.  Another nail, was just hammered in to my guilty heart.  She’s so giving, trusting and loving and I have deceived her all this time.

After we eat while propped up against the wall in bed, I set aside the tray and prepare myself. I need to warn her as well. I will tell her everything.

“Tender Touch, I need to tell you something,” I start and she looks at me with those trusting eyes. How do I start?  “OK, let me tell you some things that you need to do to protect yourself from her husband.” She frowns, this is not what she was expecting to hear this morning.  She was trying to forget him for a while. “First, let’s move your bedroom around, let’s move the bed away from the windows”.  She looks at me puzzled.”What’s this got to do with my husband?”, she asks. “He’s has you under surveillance. He has someone recording all your conversations and has a wire tap on your phone.” She sits up straighter and moves to sit across from me in bed, cross-legged, not next to me anymore.”What do you mean and how would you know?”, she asks. Her face has turned pale, her bottom lip begins to tremble and there is fear in her eyes. I take both of her hands gently and hold them. “Because the person that he hired was me.” looking her straight in the eyes.

Silence. For long moments she doesn’t say a word. She just looks at me incredulously. “No, you’re just kidding me, right?”, she asks timidly.  She doesn’t believe me? I start from the beginning, the first contact with her husband, how I sold him some pills, I thought were for him, how I knew when to contact her that first day we had coffee.  And my organizational affiliations.  She still doubts me, it’s beyond her comprehension. This isn’t her world. I show her the scars from my life, the knife wounds, the gun shot wounds, the reasons I don’t have any identifying marks on my body. She just listens, she doesn’t get mad, she listens and stares at me, then says “Prove it, I still don’t believe you. I don’t believe you would ever do this to me, you’re too good. You have always been there when I need you.” I then tell her the conversations I had overheard with the married man that she had dated that short time, I repeat those conversations that were from her apartment phone.  I tell her the conversations almost verbatim.  I was especially interested in these conversations because I was jealous, I wanted her.

Still no screaming, only tears begin to gather in her eyes. I see the truth has finally dealt the painful blow I did not want to give her.  She rose and left the room, she went to the kitchen, leaning over the kitchen counter and next to that phone, she’s crying. I walk in behind her and try to hold her. She moves away from me.

“Please, understand, sweetheart, I may have been hired by him to do this, but it backfired on him.”  She looks at me, eyes wet with tears, biting her lip and her arms wrapped tightly around herself in protection.  “It backfired on him because I fell in love with you, I love you, I love you more and more every day. I had to come clean with you because I love you, I want you safe, I want you to be mine. Please understand”

She hurriedly walks around me and sits at the dining table head in hands. She’s so quiet.”I trusted you.  I was really naive, wasn’t I?  I’m really stupid, aren’t I? To think I thought you actually cared for me because of me, not because someone PAID you to be with me, paid you to watch me? Why?”, she says crying, voice trembling and her heart breaking with each word spoken.

Ch. 7 – Series Teddy Bear

He’s here! I can hardly wait for this, I am really liking this man.  We’ve been seeing each other for several months now, just platonically, but just seeing him makes my heart skip a beat. He’s so handsome, he really is a Teddy Bear, I feel so safe with him.  It seems like I can just talk about everything with him and he understands.

He’s taking me down the canal, this canal used to bring trade from the Atlantic ocean to the Chesapeake bay, now it’s used mostly by the yachts going into the bay.  And there are some lovely yachts today, it makes a beautiful sight to see those white  large boats with sails in the winds gliding silently through the canal.

We park a little bit from where he has chosen to have the picnic and it’s muddy.  The man literally sweeps me off my feet, can you believe it! I think I weigh too much and it’s a little embarrassing, but to him, he thinks I’m small.  I’m sure I blushed.  No one has ever picked me up before. We go to the grassy spot and spread out the blanket, after the pleasant picnic the talking becomes hugging, the hugging becomes kissing, I am falling for this man.  He holds me so securely, so warmly, I snuggle into his arms, just enjoying this feeling. It’s been so long that someone has made me feel loved and worthy of this love. I know tears are in my eyes, but thank goodness, he doesn’t see them; my head is lying on his chest listening to the steady rhythm of his strong heart.

It’s beginning to get late and the sun is starting to settle low on the horizon. The clouds are turning pinks and purples and it’s beautiful. I don’t want this moment to end. It’s been so hard lately. I don’t want to go back to reality. He knew exactly what I needed today. But it’s getting chilly and we need to get home.

I don’t want him to leave, my heart needs his tonight. I invite him into the apartment. I’m scared. We sit on the sofa talking. We kiss and embrace. My body is trembling. I’ve never been with another man other than my husband and I was a virgin when we got married. This is frightening, yet I don’t want him to leave tonight. He doesn’t want to leave either. He looks longingly into my eyes, he sees the indecision and asks me if he should stay or leave. I take his hand and lead him to my room.

We sit down on my bed, which is really only the mattress from the van, now being used on the floor of my apartment bedroom. Not much, but he sits down and holding my hand leads me down to sit next to him.  I tell him my fears, my worries, my indecisions about what this is leading to. He listens, he is quiet. He gently kisses my forehead and hugs me tightly. We sit there for the longest time in silence. Darkness falls on my bedroom. The apartment is dark. We hear the neighbors over me.  They are actively making love. They are not very quiet about it.  Teddy Bear looks at me and smiles, I laugh.  “Yes, I hear that every night, they must newly wed.  It not exactly what I need to hear every night right now at this time in my life.”  And we both laugh it breaks up the uneasiness between us and we fall back on the bed and this time we give the neighbors something to hear this night.