Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I started my job at St. Mary's Hospital February 2, 2008. On February 22nd ish, I got the call that we had an offer on our house. I immediately called Brian and we meet with our realtor to discuss the offer, and counter the offer. Finally, after a few days of bickering, we finally settled on an amount that would work for all of us. It was final. The closing was set for Good Friday. March 28.
I had to tell my new job, that I was quitting. Since I hadn't even been there over a month, I didn't need to give a 2 week notice. I explained to them that we were going to pull the house off the market at the end of February since we had no bites. But, all that changed and now I need to quit my job and start packing. I also had to tell T and the boys. Although they knew it might happen, it's the fact that now I was having to explain to them that I was now moving. This wasn't going to be easy to do.

I was scheduled to have the kids for spring break so with the closing falling right as the boys were about to start spring break worked out well. Except for Cody, he wasn't able to make spring break that year due to football. It was the first time that he wasn't able to be with me on a visitation. It was sad. He was sad. He knew that we would be spending it in Alabama, moving into our new house.
The plan was to pick up the boys on Sunday night at 6pm.
(6pm because it was T's Easter, but my spring break) Anyhow after picking up the boys I drove back to Kankakee where we would stay the night in a hotel. We had dinner at IHOP, and after went back to the hotel to let the boys swim. They were very excited about the move, and the trip to Alabama. .
Brian still had to go into work for the last time on that Monday but would be home before noon so we could hit the road. It had been a crazy weekend. Actually, It had been a crazy month. With all the packing and running around I was exhausted, but was looking forward to finally moving in the new house.

Brandon, and Dalton road with Brian in the big u-haul truck. While Austin, Brian's mom and I followed behind in his truck. My car was attached to the u-haul. The moment had finally arrived, we were on our way to a new beginning. After almost 10 hours of driving, we finally arrived at my grandma's house. Brian and his mom were staying there that night, and the boy's and I were going to stay down at my mom and dads. Then wake up the next morning and drive the hour to our new house. Prior to us arriving, we made arrangements with the previous owner to let us start moving our things in before the closing. He was happy to oblige. So our realtor meet us with the key, and the unloading started. My parents and my brother came to help. The boys didn't stop for one minute. They quickly picked out where their stuff was going, and what room they wanted.

They helped put their bikes in the shed, along with their football, basketballs and skateboards. They didn't hesitate to lend a hand. Austin even helped put beds together that day. Our closing wasn't until 4 that afternoon so we had all day to get the truck unpacked and boxes where they needed to be. After everything was unpacked we went to McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat before heading over to the closing. After it was all over, we had officially moved into our new house. Our first night in our new home. I was happy to have then with me too. This was a big deal for them But a bittersweet on as well for all of us. We knew what this meant.

The next day, we just unpacked and tried to get a few things organized around the house. The boys were in and out all day. Looking for their things, and playing outside from time to time. I wasn't to familiar with the neighborhood just yet, so I didn't want them to wonder off to far. Even though, I know the neighborhood was harmless, I was just being cautious. So I just asked them to stay in the yard where I could see them.

We didn't want their spring break to go unnoticed, so we took the boys fishing for a while during the evenings. They loved to go fishing. We took them to a local lake near our house. Going there even now, reminds me of the boys. I will say, to myself, “oh Brandon sat here.” Or “I got a picture of Austin other there.” and “Dalton caught that blue gill right over there.”

Taking them back to Illinois was hard. The last 4 minutes of that day was hard. Brandon was sitting in the front seat and the twins in the back. I reached my hand to the back seat and held their hands. I told them that I loved them and would miss them. I also told them that I would call, but we know how that I would never get thru. The last song I sang with the kids in the car that April evening will always be in my memory too. When I hear it, I will always think of them.
As we got out of the car, the tears started ..from all of us. The boys and I hugged and cried. Then Cody came out and wanted to know why we were all crying. Brandon told Cody “because we are not going to see mom for 3 months.” That broke my heart. It was such a hard time. I felt awful. I kissed them and hugged them one more time, then I had to let them go. I told them I would see them in June.

Then I left. As soon as I pulled out of the site, I called my sister, crying my eyes out. Telling her how hard that moment was. I told her “what have I done, what did I do?” I felt horrible, sad and like I have made a huge mistake.

After I got off the phone with my sister. I wasn't heading back to Alabama so soon. I had to be at court on Wednesday morning. So I got a hotel room in Dundee. I should have stayed in Kankakee, but I didn't want to drive back and forth. I was going to ask T if he would be nice and let me see the kids after school since I was going to be in town for the next 3 days. But why bother, he would just say NO.
I couldn't bear him telling me no again.

After I realized what I was facing with the next court hearing, I decided that I better hire and attorney. So Tuesday evening, around 4 I met with a local attorney in Elgin, who was, thankfully, willing to take my case in such short notice. I gave her a retainer fee of $700 and she was going to meet me the next day at the courthouse. She, like the other attorney's made promises, and said this will be easy. I told her that I just moved to Alabama, and I was unemployed at the moment. I also told her that I had been in town since Sunday, and I could have seen my kids, but knew that if I asked him, he would just say no.
Like all attorney's that I talked too, they just say “he's being a jerk.” Something I already knew!
But I told her that I was use to being told no, especially if it wasn't my “schedule court ordered time.”
Of course, she said, “well since you have moved away, and you have been here for 3 days, he could have made an exception.” Again, something I knew, something she knew, but something he wasn't willing to do.

After I met her at the courthouse, she talked to the other attorney a few times, then had it continued for another date for her to look over more paperwork and gather information. Which was fine with me. The more information she has the better. However, she did say that I would have to start paying the original amount of child support from when I was working my full time job. Well, financially I knew that I wouldn't be able to pay $800 a month. I told her “I don't have a job yet, how am I suppose to to pay that?” She said “just pay what you can.” So I did what she advised me to do.

After I returned back in Alabama, I immediately started looking for a job. I had already put several applications in at both hospitals and Dr.'s offices. I would call the hospital every week asking if they had looked at my application yet. Then one day I just said look, I need a job can you just interview me?
They agreed. But I didn't get that job. Maybe I was to forceful?
But it didn't take long before I landed a job at the other hospital in town. I was hired part time, for $9.10 hr. That wasn't going to be enough to cover $800 a month child support. But, I paid what I could and NEVER neglected to send T a money order bi-weekly.
As soon as I got hired, I called my attorney and told her that I have a job. I told her what I was making and that it was only part time. She asked me to send her a copy of my pay stub and verification of the job, so I did. I told her that as soon as a full time position came available I would bid for that position. But I didn't know how long that was going to take. I thought if I could get another part time job, that would make a full time job. So I kept looking and sending out resumes. I got nothing.
So I just stuck with what I had, it was a job, I was making money and I was able to pay some of the child support that was owed.

I was receiving so much pressure from my attorney to find a full time job. I would tell her I am doing the best I can. I also sent her places where I was sending my resume to so she knew that I was trying. That way, if I didn't have a full time job by the next court date, at least I will have something to show that I was making an effort and not sitting on my tail. But I never found another job.
My attorney would keep me updated as much as possible. She wasn't very nice to me most of the time. I don't know what happen to her from when I first met her. But I am sure it had to do with T's attorney.
She finally started telling me that I was pretty much screwed. She started scaring me, telling me that the other attorney was going to ask for jail time now since I have not been paying child support. The full amount of child support. I again, explained t her that I was trying my best to find a full time job so that I can start paying it again, but for now I was only able to pay what I could. She told me that's not going to be good enough. She asked me to put $1000.00 towards the money that I owed. I didn't have $1000.00 cash that I could I put it on my Visa. At that time my Visa had $2500 on it. All from her fees. Now I just added $1000.00 more. She told me that if I didn't do it before the next court date, I would be handcuffed and hauled off to jail. Then I would have to post bond etc. I was terrified. I didn't want to be arrested and sent to jail. Even with paying the $1000.00 she said that is still not a guarantee that it would keep me out of jail. So then what's the sense?

I believe that at this time, she was working against me and not for me. Then she started sending me proposals and responses from the other “party.” By this time I was at my wits end. I hired her to protect my rights and my best interests. As well as my kids. She told me that the other party is not agreeing to let the kids spend 6 weeks in Alabama. That's just to long to be away from their dad. “WHAT, are you kidding me?” Stating “it wasn't in the best interest of the kids to be away from their father for that long.” What, and like it was OK for him to hide the kids from me on visitation time was OK?

I was floored. I told her absolutely not, I want my kids for the summer. She said your not going to get what you are asking for. I didn't understand why either. So I finally agreed to just leave the summer visitation the way it was. 2 weeks in June, 1 week in July and 2 weeks in August. I would still have to be responsible for the transportation to and from, which was fine, I didn't ask for him to help. I knew he wouldn't so I didn't bother. I asked for New Years Eve and Day, and was denied. Nothing was working, each time he kept saying no to all my requests. What happen to all the research I did online, the other schedules that I saw for non-custodial parents, those were real schedules for real people.

Then she started telling me that since I now owed over $15, 000 in child support, the other party is willing to drop what you owe if you relinquish your rights? I sent her an email back telling her that it will be a cold day in hell before I would do something like that. She said that it isn't uncommon for that to happen, especially since it was so high. But I told her no. I was not going to do that.
She said fine, but I don't think this is over just yet. She told me time and time again, that I had no chance on getting more time with the kids, and that I needed to just agree or that they will make it very difficult for me. “What do you mean by that?” I asked her, she just said, “he seems to have a lot of money to throw around, and they are willing to fight until the bitter end, apparently they don't want you to be around, if you know what I mean?” “Basically they just want you gone1” I couldn't believe what I hearing from my own attorney.

I had a lot on my mind. A lot on my plate. I felt my life was being threatened if I didn't just agree to their proposals. I felt that if I didn't agree, that they would continue to make my life a living hell. I feared for my kids too. What was this going to do to them? What have the been told? What have they heard? My mind was racing in so many directions. I knew that I couldn't give up the rights to my kids. Even if the rights I did have didn't mean squat, they were still mine, and I had the rights to them for the holidays and summer. That was mine, and he was trying to play mind games with me now....I was sick.
I saw my son Brandon cry as we said good-bye after spring break. He was sad because it was going to be 3 months before we would see each other again. I was picturing him crying when he is being told that you won't see your mom now until your 18. The emotions ran over me like a freight train. I had so much heaviness on my shoulders, and I was drowning, I couldn't breathe. I was hanging by a noose, it just wasn't tight enough yet.

While I was separated from the boys from April to June, I would email them and check to see if they were on myspace. When I did see they were online, I started to chat with them. But, I could tell that they were being monitored. I had plenty of years experience with that, so I knew by what they were saying they were being watched. Someone was hovering over their shoulder.
One day on my way home from work, I called Cody's cell phone. He was so excited to talk to me, but warned that he would get in so much trouble if he got caught talking to me. So I didn't stay on the line long, I didn't want him to get in trouble for me calling. How sad is that though, your son telling you that he will get in trouble if he is caught talking to me. Was this going to be what it's like for the rest of my life? Is this “fear” my kids have to deal with going to be with them each time they talk to me? I made a note in my journal about that short conversation with my son. I also emailed my attorney and told her what he said. She didn't seem to think it was anything new. She just said, in legal jargon, that “I told you that they will make your life difficult.” My response to her was, “my life or my childrens life?” She never responded.

I had also sent T and my attorney the July summer schedule. But T and his attorney seemed to have issues with that too. This was my scheduled time, and he was even trying to interfere with that now too. It was also my 4th of July, so I was trying to combine my 2 weeks with my 4th of July holiday.
I would get an email from my attorney, stating that the summer visitation schedule will be discussed at the next court date.

On June 20, 2008 I was a nervous wreck. I brought my mom with me for support. But she didn't seem to make things any easier. It was hard for her to understand too. I never saw the judge that day. For 4 hours I sat outside the courtroom while the attorney's hashed out all the details. After it was all said an done. I was ordered to pay $1252.50 a month in child support which included the arrears. Let's do the math here. I was working part time, for $9.10 an hour. I was working about 24 to 30 ours a week, being part time. I don't need to do the math for you, you can see how this just doesn't work.
I brought my stubs to show that I was only making $9.10 and I was only working p/t. I also brought my notebook from all the places that I was sending resumes too. Which included, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart and Target. Just to name a few. But I got no bites. How in the world would a judge order me to pay that much money when financially I wasn't bringing that much home. Brian was covering all the other expenses, mortgage, car payments, etc. I could do could I do it?
The noose was getting tighter....

I didn't get hauled away that day either in handcuffs. His attorney tried to charge me with contempt because I wasn't paying child support, but I had all the money order receipts showing that I was paying something. The judge said that I didn't neglect it , and that I made an effort so he didn't find me in contempt that day. Which I was thankful for. However, I was ordered to pay $1000.00 to his attorney for his time to prepare the contempt motion....which had to be paid by October 1, 2008.


I want to make something really clear here, I didn't have a problem paying child support. I had a problem with the amount I was being ordered to pay.

We finally agreed to the summer schedule. I wanted to pick up the kids that day from their house at 6 pm that way I could just drive to Kankakee, stay the night and leave the next morning. But T, once again said no. All of a sudden they had “plans” the next day. Supposedly, Dalton was going to be involved in a reenactment at some park and he had been looking forward to it. So I asked where it was so I could do and watch. They didn't know what time he would be doing this, and didn't know exactly where it was. All they would give me was the town it was in. Oh, and that it was like 2 hours away.
“Give me a break!”

They were allowing me to pick them up at 6 that night, but I had to have them back by 9pm. It had been 3 months since I saw my kids, and he was allowing me 3 hours. Whatever! I was done. So I agreed and picked them up that evening and took them back at 9pm. When I picked the kids up, they were so excited to see me. I was so good to see them, hear them, smell them. I was happy to have this time with them, even if it was 3 hours. The boys however, thought that this was it. They thought I was picking them up to head to Alabama. But I told them that I had to bring them back tonight at 9pm because Dalton is in a reenactment tomorrow. When I mentioned that to the boys, they are seemed shocked and surprised about the whole event. Dalton said to me “I didn't know about it.” I said you didn't know that you were going to be participating in a reenactment tomorrow? He said “no!”
“We knew that one was happening, but dad said it just depended on what your schedule was for summer visitation.” I was so mad. I wasn't happy and I immediately called my attorney when I got back to the hotel. She said she would take a note of it and mention it to his attorney, but I know she didn't. I was over and she didn't care.

So I let the boys swim for a while and then we went to McDonald's to eat. We had such a good time during dinner. We laughed so hard we had tears. It was the last time I would share a moment like that with my oldest son Cody. He wasn't going with us on this trip, he was staying behind because of football camp. Which was his decision and I understood. If he missed camp, he wouldn't be able to participate in the first game. Well, that's what the email from T said anyway. But this was the 2nd time that Cody was going to miss out on a trip to Alabama with me.

I took the boys back home by 9 o'clock on the dot. God forbid I be late. I promised them that I would pick them up at 6pm the next night and then we would be heading to Alabama. I told Dalton to have fun at his reenactment. See you tomorrow!

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