The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Posts tagged “decisions

Sharing the Truth

I had a conversation with my mother in law last night. I had cut them out some time ago because I figured Morgan would have poisoned them against me. Now, I am just sharing the reality and truth of their daughter. It is for them to decide.

Chris
Dawn,

I will be more than happy to send you copies of the actual custody documents. The interesting fact about the sections about her abusive behavior towards Rose and Dave is that they come directly from the Hoke County and Cumberland County DSS Records. Three judges in two states decided that the burden of proof was met and she is an unfit mother.

I understand that you support your daughter. That is commendable. Especially when she is a deceptive, unfaithful, thieving child abuser. Congrats on that, by the way.

The kids are doing wonderfully. They love school and are enjoying themselves. I have been trying to get Morgan to actual discuss visitation with me for the last two months, but she prefers to concern herself with making sure the Army makes me provide her with support. If you want some of this documentation, let me know. I have pages and pages of it.

You and Dave are welcome to continue maintaining contact with Rose and Dave. They are amazing children and have the right to know their grandparents, even if their mother chooses not to be in their lives.

Chris
Attached:
Filed_Order_for_Temp_Custody.pdf
Filed Ex Parte Custody Pick Up Order .pdf

Dawn 
I have desperately tried to find you without asking Morgan. This note from you is a blessing. I could ramble for hours but I’ll touch on the main things. I am sooooo glad the kids are good! I think of them OFTEN. I’m also broken hearted about everything going on and all the broken relationships. I really do love you and feel so bad we never welcomed you home properly and met you when you got back to hug you tight. I am conflicted about what to believe as I hear only pieces. I so rarely talk to Morgan as we had words and it is so hard to know what to say anymore.

Dawn
We decided to only help her with the custody piece of the divorce. We will not pay for that. But we feel she deserved a fair chance with custody as she seems to love the kids so very much. We don’t need to see any papers.

Chris
Read the papers and you’ll see the truth, Dawn. I learned these things in open court. The way she has treated our children when I wasn’t around.
She always gave me likely stories, saying that she was being harassed. Well, this stuff is directly from the Department of Social Services records. I have attempted to get her to come to a visitation agreement with me on multiple occasions. She loves to claim that I yell at her and say bad things to her. I will be happy to share with you every conversation I have had with her since May. The only way I will talk to her his through text.

Dawn
She has told Dave a lot of disturbing things, Chris. How do we know what to believe? What should I do? If you send the papers I will look at them. But she says her family lied and she had no $ for a good lawyer.
In my heart I assure you that We want what is best for Rosie and Davey.

Chris 
Funny how almost everyone in her family in Alabama has heard her cuss at our children, call them names, tell them that she wished they’d never been born. She took our children to live with another state with her mother and her boyfriend. She obviously was a failure at displaying good morals for our children. She is her mother’s daughter, Dawn. She lies about everything and she will lie about anything to get what she wants.

Dawn 
One sec….my dog needs a chill pill! Thunderstorm brb

Chris 
In the last two months, she has spent more time trying to get money out of me than she has tried to actually see our children. In June, she filed a false report with DSS against me. The social worker herself asked if Morgan had ever had a mental evaluation and said that she thought she needed one.

Chris 
19 Sep 12
Me (0749): I’m taking them to school this morning if you would like to call. Dave said he’ll talk.

Me (0845): Too late

M (0909): Sorry just got the message

Me: Rose’s IEP has made it so she has an in class tutor/behavior monitor. Her teacher says that it is working out quite well and she should be able to stay. They haven’t scheduled another IEP meeting yet, I’ll let you know when they do.

Me: Have you taken a look at your schedule to see when you will be able to make time for them?

M: Chris, i told you to email me suggestions.

Me: And I told you to look up their calendar and yours and make the time. I told you any weekend you want as long as I have notice and we don’t have prior engagements already planned.

Me: It’s not my job to rearrange your schedule so our children can see you.

M: You also said youd email me suggestions.

M: Chris, im trying to sleep trying to sleep before my alarm goes off and i go to work.

Me: I told you that my long term suggestions were you get them for Thanksgiving so I get to spend the first half of their Christmas break with them.

Me: Whatever, dear. Sleep well. Try not to be too proactive at making an attempt to see them. You haven’t gone out of your way to make an attempt since June anyway.

M: That is a fucking LIE and you know it! i have messages and witnesses to PROVE i was tjere for a week in JULY begging to see them and you told me NO!

Me: My mistake, July. That was still two months ago and I have tried to talk to you about visitation since then anyway.

M: you’re a liar! You started talking abt visitation on sept 7 after i got a new lawyer. Now im doing exactly what he said and not agreeing to anything with you!

Me: And you’d also made a bogus DSS report, most likely at your mother’s behest, knowing full well that the lies you tell about me in regards to our children are just that. Or do I need to send you your own emails where you say that I am a great father and our children love me?

Me: Fine. Your lawyer’s advice will look great in court when you show up and haven’t made any attempt To see them in 3 months.

M: Chris, shut up now, im sick of your stupidity.

M: Chris, go get bent

Me: I have messages from before that if you recall. About setting up the visitation hearing in August and you said it just didn’t fit into your budget and schedule.

Me: So, believe whatever lies you choose to make up, but your own failures to even attempt being in their lives makes you look like mother of the year. Have a great day.

M: No, i asked for time to save up money because my last trip cost me over a grand and you told me im a liar and unreasonable. Now stop texting me.

Chris
Was looking through my emails and found this little chestnut. She likes to claim that I am a bad father. She likes to claim I am abusive towards our children. Read this one carefully. She definitely contradicts her own more recent statements.

Sent: Friday, February 3, 2012 7:36 PM
Subject:

Sorry, I was in Wal*Mart getting prescriptions for Ro and myself filled and my cell died. I only just got home, because I went and hung out with some friends, they had a cook out and me and the kids were invited.

I read your e-mail. I’m going to talk it over with my lawyer and see what she feels is best. This appears to be an agreement we can come to, but I would like a guarantee that if we go this route, you will sign the papers no questions, no issues. Because if she agrees to pull up the paperwork like this for us both to sign, I want us to be able to both sign the papers without arguing. As of right now, I honestly will have to take her advice. This is a reasonable compromise and I thank you for agreeing to what I had originally been aiming at.

Chris, I refuse to deny you access to your children. I know what that’s like first hand and I know you know what it’s like first hand, also. You’ve always loved our children and I’ve had no questions about that. You’ve always been a good father, too and I flat refuse to engage in any more arguments with you. Our children love and adore and miss you, Chris and I will not deny them their father nor will I deny their father them.

So, let me have the weekend and then when I call my lawyer for my appointment next week, I’ll tell her and fwd the email you sent to me and ask for her advice. It would be cheaper and easier and faster for a no faults divorce. The divorce hasn’t been our stumbling point, the custody issue has been. If she feels this is fair, then I will have her draw the papers up and I will sign them.

I do thank you, however, for messaging me. I appreciate it very much. I’ll get back to you after I speak to her. All I ask, now, is that when you call, you and I only speak of the children and their activities and nothing heavier than that.

Morgan

Lord, may my today be better than my yesterday, and my tomorrow better than my today … Amen
………………………….

Did you catch that? If not, let me replay that for you;

Chris, I refuse to deny you access to your children. I know what that’s like first hand and I know you know what it’s like first hand, also. You’ve always loved our children and I’ve had no questions about that. You’ve always been a good father, too and I flat refuse to engage in any more arguments with you. Our children love and adore and miss you, Chris and I will not deny them their father nor will I deny their father them.

Her latest claims about me are that I am abusive to our children, that I am using them against her. Hmm, sounds more like tactics she herself has employed.

Dawn 
I am not qualified to determine that but if she wants visitation and really wants the children then I hope she is open to that. Remember too, nobody taught her how to be a good parent.
Let me catch up…one sec

Chris 
July 16, 2012

Me: If you are willing, and can be reasonable, I would like to discuss custody and visitation prior to our mediation appointment on Friday. If you aren’t, then I will just see you at the appointment. I will hear what you have to say and then decide whether or not we should just go to trial. I do not wish to deny our children their right to have contact and spend time with you. It all depends on you.

Morgan: I would like to keep my kids from now until this saturday and then again for my aug 1-5 visitation as was prearranged

Me: And just so you know up front, if you are still pushing for shared custody, then we will not be able to come to an agreement.

Me: They are OUR children, Morgan. They aren’t your possessions.

Me: I think until you decide you are done filing false reports against me, they are safer with me. You are already willing to hurt them through me.

Morgan: Then we go to court. Cause youre full of bs. All youre doing is using them against me and this proves it.

Me: No Morgan, I am protecting them from you. I will be willing to discuss shared custody when you are willing to get counseling and parenting education classes.

Me: You are known for harming Rose and Dave physically, mentally and emotionally. Especially when I am not around. I cannot make up the stack of DSS reports against you. You and I both know they are there, and so do 3 judges in 2 states. I will be willing to discuss shared custody when you have been receiving counseling for at least 6 months, have taken parent education classes (especially regarding children with autism) and preferably you actually hold a steady job. I have spoken with several people in your area with less education and qualifications who have been able to find work in the time that you have been down there.

Morgan: Now youre harrassing me again. Keep it up and ill have you arressted.

Me: This is a reasonable standard, and still allows for shared custody of Rose and Dave to be discussed. As I said, it is up to you, but you seem hell bent on trying, so we will just wait until the judge orders a visitation schedule and we go to trial in 3-6 months for final custody.

Dawn
Sigh…it is so upsetting! I hope so much that things can turn around with this situation. How are you holding up?

Chris 
Funny how when I point out the truth to her, she resorts to “you’re harassing me”
I’m fine. I had some dark times, but Rose and Dave have cured that. The three of us are learning each day how to move forward in our new, unwanted broken family.

Chris 
First day of school

Dawn 
You have faced a lot. And every day I pray for all of you. Do you think think they’ll be okay? Do they need anything? Great pic!

Chris 
The fair last Saturday.

Dawn 
They look so big. I hope they remember me. I’m the worst step grandma ever…you look the same!

Chris
The three of us are in family counseling, helping us come to turns with our changed family dynamic. We didn’t create these events, she made the decisions to be unfaithful, to kidnap them to another state, to claim that I abuse her, etc. Yes, I know the crap she is claiming. Dawn, I have been in the Army for 10 years now. Had any of the crap she claims been true, I would have been thrown out, done jail time and been denied ever spending time with Rose and Dave.

Dawn 
I thought that too…many times. Chris…parts of me still can’t believe some of the stories. But Dave seems to be siding with Morgan and he is so upset with you. It tears me up.

Chris 

Tell him to read the facts. Send me an email address and I will send the custody documents directly.

Dawn 
Counseling is SO necessary and kudos for doing that!!!! He is so beautiful.

Chris 
I linked them in the first message I sent, but I suppose they didn’t appear.

Dawn 
I am on my Itouch and don’t see them. Here is my e-mail. {email}

Chris 
You must have blocked me. I sent it to that address earlier and it said unable to send.

Dawn 
I don’t know how to block??

Chris 
The princess is happy, beautiful and excelling in school.

Dawn 
Try work…but I’ll see them no sooner than Monday. {work email}

Chris
That first message I sent to you, I sent to Dave as well.

Dawn 
I like seeing her smile! She can be so serious…

Chris 
If he chooses to, he can read the facts in black and white, signed by a judge.
She has had a rough year.
I tried marital counseling with her after she told me about the first guy. We went through our pastor. She apparently failed to tell him that she was in love with that scum bag she is with now.

Dawn 
He is a very fair man. I think he is more hurt than anything. As for Rosie I was upset that M was refusing to acknowledge Rosie’s autism type issues. I always worry about her.

Chris 
She has been diagnosed with a mild form of asperger’s. It effects her speech, cognitive reasoning and emotion control.
She is learning to control her outbursts.
I chose to cut contact with you guys because I didn’t think that either of you would believe me.

Dawn
I have heard of that. As for this new guy, I don’t know anything about this new guy. After our argument over it all I don’t ask any questions or talk on the phone.

Chris 
I didn’t expect the support that I have gotten from her family in Alabama.

Dawn
I am sooo glad you reached out to me. I believe in my heart that the truth will come out.

Chris
I’ll send you the documents again. You can read them and decide for yourselves.

Dawn 
And I do care for you even if we’ve only met a few times. Shocker about her family! Thanks Chris. I will prayerfully consider too the best way to be involved in the kids’ lives too.

Chris
I want Rose and Dave to have a relationship with you guys. Hell, I want their mother to stop acting like a petulant child and actually discuss a visitation schedule with me.

Dawn
Amen to that.
I can’t wait to enlarge these pics to update mine.

Chris
She thinks that this lawyer Dave is paying for is the end all, be all. Unfortunately for her, the facts are stacked against her, Dawn.
In the last few months, she has displayed more concern with getting money out of me than seeing our children.
Any decent mother would have dropped everything and came knocking on my door asking to spend time with our children.

Dawn 
Like I said, if we help her get a fair shot and she loses then so be it. Dave and I were talking the other day.

Chris
Our own children have told me on multiple occasions in front of others that yes, they miss her, but they do not want to live with her.

Dawn
We suggested she move back to NC to be closer. She has no money to travel. It needs to be about a relationship with the kids and healing and

Chris
I scheduled a visitation hearing last week just to get a judge ordered schedule in place and her and her lawyer decided they just want to wait until the trial. You can read it in the first text message I sent.
Amazing how quickly that $8,500 tax return was blown without me ever seeing a dime and her wasting it on a vehicle that isn’t even reliable.

Dawn
Lawyers…necessary but a pain in the butt. My bro dropped mega bucks on lawyers during his custody battle because of a crazy ex. It’s sad to them, it’s about the $

Chris
That’s all it’s about for her too.

Dawn
What?? I had no idea she kept your tax return.

Chris
All of it. At first, I told her to take it. And then I told her that since I was the only one who actually earned anything and she was leaving me without a place to live, I wanted half. She agreed to this. Now she claims that she made no such agreement. Good thing I have the emails to share in court.

Dawn
It was a tough decision to pay for the lawyer. It wasn’t cheap but God will sort this out. I’m so sorry you are facing this upon your return.
How did you two meet anyway? You seem so different.

Chris 
I’m sure it was and I commend you guys for supporting her with only her side of things being told. I honestly didn’t expect anything less.

Dawn
You probably noticed it took a while before we did it.
I couldn’t get past my anger toward her.

Chris
We were young and dumb, Dawn. I should have listened to my father when he told me, “Son, the last thing I am going to say on it is this, I’d she’ll cheat with you, she’ll cheat on you.”
if*

Dawn
So true…
I feel like I don’t even know her. You know, I don’t consider myself stupid, but my first husband was a cheater and I was clueless.

Chris
I was too, until her behavior patterns started changing so much.

Dawn
I guess I’m too trusting. I never know what to believe that comes out of her mouth. I like to find the good in people. Then I’m betrayed…and crushed.

Dawn
I hope you learn from it all and move forward and find an awesome woman…who loves your kids like her own.

Chris 
Well, I was betrayed and crushed as well. And then I changed my point of view. She is now my enemy, and I have 10 years of experience defeating my enemy. I will do everything necessary to protect these children from further abuse. I am over her betrayal of me, but I refuse to let her harm our children any further.

Dawn
papa bear…

Chris
Some of their traits are definitely learned behavior from their mother. Rose, when she is upset or she is in trouble, cries and says, “It’s all my fault.”
Dawn, the only place I can think of her getting this phrase is from her mother.

Dawn
Oh no…but I’m not surprised. Davey always seemed to be happy. How’s he handling it?

Chris
He tells me he misses her and would like to see her, but he doesn’t want to live with her.
Sunday, while on our way to church, we passed the turn off to go to our old house and he asked me, “Daddy, when Mommy stops being rude, can we live in our old house together again?”

Dawn
I’m still in shock that you reached out to me. I spent hours just a few days ago searching your name. Know what I learned?

Chris
That you can’t find me?

Dawn 
That you have lost numerous friends too young. I could only find condolences you wrote on funeral sites.
Did he say that? He is a hoot.
I should let you go. Before I do… Please be honest with me. I know some things are private but please don’t lie. Gotta go. Love you much. Hugs to the kids.

Chris
I’m not lying. Check your work email and read the facts.

Dawn
I will and thank you.

Chris 
Good night, Dawn

Dawn
Good night back…

Chris 
From Sunday…

Today has been an interesting day for questions and comments from my dear son, David. He has caught me off guard a few times today with the things he has come up with.

While on our way to church, we were passing the turn off for our old house. Dave, from the backseat suddenly spoke up. “Daddy, I miss our old house. When mommy stops being rude, can we live there together again?” Well, I was speechless for about 30 seconds, trying to come up with a politic way of answering his innocent question. Finally I told him, “No baby, we won’t be living together again. Choices have been made that makes that impossible. You will still spend time with mommy and I, we just won’t do it together anymore.” Normally, when answering these questions, I feel a certain level of disgust and ire towards their mother. Today when he asked, I didn’t feel that. I just felt confidence in what I was saying and love for these two amazing gifts from God.

So, we continued on our way to church. The service was a good one and the kids had fun. Rose was in the mood to be held and wanted kisses. I definitely won’t refuse her those. When they released the children to go to children’s church, my buddy and I patrolled the parking lot.

After church, the three of us continued our Sunday ritual by visiting McDonald’s. We had our lunch and then I let the kids play for half an hour. While they were playing in the play place, Dave struck up a conversation with a little blond girl. (Yep, he loves blondes.) They were talking about their families. The little girl telling Dave about her siblings and that her Daddy had just come home two days ago (I’m guessing e was deployed.). Dave pointed at Rosie and said that was her sister, he pointed out our car in the parking lot and then he said, “My daddy’s in the Army and my mommy is in trouble.” Kids definitely say some of the darnedest things.

I haven’t brought this up with him. I think he believed he was having a private conversation. I was, in fact, eavesdropping, because I was listening to him and Rose for any issues. It made me pause and think. Apparently my son is highly observant. He definitely knows there are issues between his parents. I’m saddened that Rose and Dave have to be effected by their Mother’s poor decisions and my legal responses to them. They deserve to grow up in a happy home. I am doing my best each day to ensure that they have that here with me. It’s not always easy, but nothing that is rewarding ever is.

As I was writing this, Dave came over to me to ask me what I was doing and then just threw his arms around my neck and gave me a kiss. I love these little wild people. I am going to continue to fight for what is best for them everyday. I’ve recently tried to engage their mother in discussion as to visitation again. She keeps giving me excuses that her vehicle is inoperable, she doesn’t have the money to make the trip and her work schedule isn’t very flexible. Call me crazy, but that sounds like exactly what they are, excuses. I am a full time, active duty soldier in one of the most operationally active units in the military and I have still managed to put Rose and Dave first. I make the time, My unit having the understanding that the army is no longer my first priority and that it will always come second to Rose and Dave. They can do what they have to, but I won’t budge on this principle.

Anyway, it is time to get some house cleaning done. The kids have tomorrow off from school. I sure wish I could take tomorrow off from work and spend it with them. Yesterday, we went to the fair and had a blast. We hung out with our roommate and one of my closest friends. They had so much fun and we rode almost every ride. We were there for about 4 hours, running around seeing the sights and riding the rides. We have some pretty epic weekends. I’ll post a few photos of our fun. Take it easy, dear reader.

Thanking God for everyday that I spend with these two amazing little angels.

Chris 
This is just one day in our lives.

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Challenges in Life & Parenting

Yesterday I had a meeting with Rose’s teacher, principal, EC director, speech teacher and some other people. Apparently, M either forgot to mention a few things to the school in Alabama when it came to Rose’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or she lied by omission. The latter seems more inline with her character. As it stands, I am in a holding pattern, waiting to see what happens next. Based off of Rose’s original NC IEP, she needs to be in a self contained classroom with one on one attention everyday. Unfortunately, her current school doesn’t have any self contained classrooms, which means she would have to move schools again. Under the AL IEP, she is in a regular classroom with speech therapy on a daily basis. This would allow for her to remain in the school that she is in and continue mission. After explaining some flaws in the school staff’s understanding of the situation, they informed me that they had to go back to the drawing board and figure out where to go next. I had pretty much been told that I would need to get Rose enrolled in a different school that had a self contained classroom by the end of the week so she could start there on Monday.

 

The problem with this new school is that it is based off of my address. Which means, I would either have to take her to school every day and pick her up, or she could be picked up and dropped off by a special transportation bus. Both of these options would require me to be in a job that was more flexible to the fact that I am a single father with a child in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), who needs my attention first thing in the morning and in the early afternoon. Kat, my babysitter, wouldn’t be able to be in two places at once, picking her son and David up at the current school, and then either picking Rose up from school or meeting the bus at our home. The dilemma is as much fun as putting my phallus in a meat grinder. My unit isn’t exactly flexible in regards to a soldier’s family. I am trying to find the best option for my children and still be able to perform duties for the Army. My only issue is that when push comes to shove, my kids come first, career be damned. If it comes to the point that I have to be discharged due to my parental status, then I am going to move on without any regrets. Honestly, I have spent too damned long giving the Army everything I have and all that I am, to just be expected to concern myself more with it than with my family.

 

So, as I said, I am on stand-by. The EC Coordinator had to go back to the drawing board and see what to do in this situation. The IEPs from the two states are completely different. They tend to have to go by the most recent one established, which would be the AL one. Honestly, I hope that is the case and Rose can remain in the school that she is in. She improves all around educationally, verbally and inter-personally every day that she is there. When she was in an EC class, she picked up a lot of bad habits and traits from other students who seemed to be worse on the spectrum than she was. Until she had started going to her last school in NC, she never threw tantrums that involved her banging her head on the floor, arguing with her parents or teachers, or any of the serious negative behavior that she displays.

 

Monday, I had to conduct some corrective actions with her in regards to her behavior at school. Kat told me that Ms. M, Rose’s teacher, had told Rose to get in the lunch line. Rose decided she wanted to be belligerent and contradictory and screamed NO at her teacher and then proceeded she was going to “Snatch you up and smack you.” Yeah, she didn’t get that phrase from me. I don’t really spank anymore. I give time outs and lost privileges. Rose definitely works better on a obedience versus reward system. Basically, she is learning about consequences. “If you continue with X, then you will lose Y (time, television, toys, dessert, etc).” I pretty much learned that method from the lovely old United States Army. I’ve had to give the same type of punitive measures to soldiers who couldn’t act like adults and remove their heads from their asses.

 

Each day is a learning lesson for my children and I. Each day we get a step closer to getting to where we need to be. Time will tell how successful we are in regards to that.

 

The new job I wrote about last month has kind of gone by the wayside. Division has decided that it didn’t want to release anyone to go perform duties there. You can imagine how displeased with this turn of events I was. I honestly needed that job, simply based on the freedom of movement and ability to spend more time with my children. Today I plan on asking for an exception to policy on this decision. Otherwise, I need to decide whether or not staying in the Army is really what is best for my children. Yeah, I’m back to that old dilemma, which I had thought I had solved some time ago. Now, with changing circumstances, I am back to deciding whether or not I charlie mike or I ask for a hardship discharge. I don’t want to just let go of my decade long career, but it seems to be contrary to what is best for Rose and Dave. Hmm, I don’t know, I’m not sure at this point. I need someone who understands how the Army operates to be my sounding board and give me advice on where to go next. I have people I can talk to, of course, but most of them are civilians with no military experience and I really don’t feel like extending the conversation by having to backtrack just to explain Army procedures and such.

 

“Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.”