A Bad Mother?

Sometimes I hear people talking about how bad of a mom I am. The choices I have made do not reflect well on myself. That much is true. I was young, but I was a mom and I should have known better.
I met a man in September 2005. I had been talking with him off and on for a month before I went with him to his home state to spend the weekend. I left my kids with their dad on the assumption he would be bringing me home sometime Labor day. I guess I should have planned a head, and brought enough cash with me for the Greyhound, because when it was time for me to go home, he claimed he didn't have enough cash and would need to me stay another 2 weeks. So, having no job and no children to take up my time, I spent most of that week site seeing and missing my babies.
When the two weeks were up, I had resolved to stay in his home state. The kids would love it there. I had found a job paying 3 times what I would make if I stayed in my hometown. I found a nice apartment that was 5 bedrooms, and only $200 more than what I was paying at home for my 2 bedroom. It included all utilities and I was quite excited about it.
He had taken me out on the town to see his friends and visit with his family. They were accepting me, and he kept saying that I was the one. He loved me. I guess at the time, I loved him too. I managed to keep in touch regularly with my ex and my mom. They were taking turns watching the kids so neither would miss work. Though I didn't understand how he couldn't do it. After all, when I had been home he was only working through the week, and was only getting the kids 2 days a month. I on the other hand had been working 1 full time job, going to GED classes, and was trying for a part time job as well as watching the kids and tending to their every need when I was at home.
When the time came for the kids to move, I had been up there for 3 weeks. I managed to get my first pay check. I got the apartment. I had everything lined up to move all of my things and would be coming back with my own vehicle. However, he wanted to move in with me and the kids.
Having resolved that he was great with his own child, I decided that the extra income as well as helping hands would be a great asset to the house. I loved his daughter as my own, and had spent many hours coloring, reading, and watching television with her. She was really starting to grow on me. I felt like if I could love her, he would surly do the same with mine.
So, we made the move. The kids settled in nicely, things had a good rhythm. I was in charge of the house as I was at home. He took care of the yard, kids, and dishes after I cooked. He would bath the kids if I was working on homework with his child. We found time to lounge together at the end of every day in front of the tv before I left for work, or he went to bed which ever came first. Things were going nicely.
Then...Christmas happened. I wanted to come to my families for Christmas. I had never missed a year, and wanted to keep up that tradition. His family celebrated the weekend before so it was not that big a deal, but he was not wanting to make the 14+ hour round trip. His ex-wife who had joint custody, did not want him to take her with us to my family. He wanted to be with his daughter, and I was truly understanding, but this was my family. I was used to seeing them daily and hand not seen them in months.
The argument quickly turned into a fit of rage on his end. He ended up grabbing the cell phone I was holding and in the struggle of trying to hang on to it while he tried to jerk it away, I was hit in the head with either his fist or the cell phone. He left quickly. Leaving his daughter there with me. I called the police. I had never been hit before. I didn't think I could handle his anger. I called his mom as soon as they said they were on the way. I wanted his daughter to go with his mom and she soon was on her way to get the little girl.
I sat and cried worrying about what I was going to say to people. I had to face my family, and would need to be on the road in 6 hours to make in time. My head was pounding and I was furious about being treated worse than an animal. I hadn't threatened him, I had simply told him I was going to need to make the call down and let them know he was not coming, but I was. The police arrived and took my statement. Advising me to not let him back into the house that night. They also wanted me to go the police station first chance I had and file a complaint there.
His mom showed up to get his daughter. She was telling me how upset he was. That he didn't mean for it to happen. She said she was only going to say it one time, but I should never have moved for him. And she hoped I hadn't lied about the opportunities being better here, because she liked me. She also told me to let her son go on with his life and I with mine because things only get worse with him.
Of course, he called me. He begged me to let him come back to the house. I told him I was tired. I had to drive the next morning with the kids, and could not afford to have a wreck mentally I was too exhausted to argue with him. I left the door unlocked and soon he was in the bed with me.
We had agreed I would return after New Year's from my visit. As soon as I got to my Grandmothers the phone started ringing he wanted to know what I was doing and who all was there. He didn't stop calling even after I left and went to my mothers, and then to my fathers. In the end, he called again to my mom's and begged me to come home to him that night. He said he found a counselor and we would start counseling with his pastor the next day, but that was the only opening they had. Again, I gave in and drove back to our "home", leaving my mom and grandmother in tears. They saw what I hadn't.
By the time we were supposedly scheduled for counseling, he had talked me into believing that this was just an accident. He didn't mean to hurt me. It had been my fault for fighting back to keep my phone. I had bent my head at the wrong time, and he was really sorry it happened. Needless to say I continue to stay even when he didn't take the counseling.
New Year's eve was my wake up call. We had decided to get a computer at the end of the year sale from a local store. We had all three children, and were trying to hurry through the rain. He took the oldest two and I was left with the baby. I climbed in the back of the car, and was undoing the seat belt. My little one was screaming for all he was worth. I went to take him out of the seat hoping that the seat was the issue, when I sat him forward, his arm slid through my hand and it popped. A God awful pop I had never before heard in my life. He cried much more severally. I looked around to try and find him, my daughter, and his. They were no where in sight. I figured they had gone in the store.
I head in after them. Finding him already chatting away with a salesman. I pulled him to side (screaming baby and all) and whispered that we needed to leave and now. I told him that something was wrong and my son needed to go to the hospital. He said I was being the "overactive" parent, and that things were fine. He was just hot and mad from the car seat. I grabbed the hands of the other two children and started for my car. I got them in and buckled when he finally returned to the car. I asked for directions to the nearest hospital. I could get their from the house, but this was newer part of town I had only been to a couple of times.
He asked me to take him, his daughter, and mine back to the house and drop them off. He didn't want them to be in the hospital forever. I do not know what made me stand up to him and keep driving until I found the signs for the hospital, but I did.
I took him and all three inside with me, even after his begging. The nurses put us in a room where they hand cameras, and a nurses station on each side of the locking doors in the hall. They brought balloons for the girls, and I sat holding my son and crying. The X-Ray tech took the pictures telling me about some kind of elbow that pops and can be painful but is often found in babies. I told her, I had the mother's feeling this was not the case.
After a few rounds of x-rays, and less talking from the nurses, I was called to a room off the other side of the nurses station. I was told to give my son to a nurse before I was allowed in the room. I was then questioned for 3 hours before I was allowed to call my mother. The detective took the phone and began to tell my mom both my sons arms were broken, and there looked to be stress fractures in his left leg. There were signs of trauma inside of his brain as well as bruising in his hair line that was not noticeable unless you were looking through the black hair for bruises.
He had told me nothing. Both he and his partner watched as I lost everything I had ever eaten in my life in the corner trash can. I felt my whole body tense up and my brain began running a hundred miles an hour.
I had left my son with this man and his parents. I had to leave him the week before with a temporary day care because of an over lay in working times, and his parents were out of town and couldn't watch them. I began to wonder if his parents had been the ones to do this.
I was then told I could leave the room, but I was not allowed back with my daughter or his and I was not allowed to talk with him. After they walked him past me and into the room I was given my son. I saw them walking my daughter and his to X-Ray. I heard them screaming as the doctor came into examine them. I was not allowed to hear what the findings were with his daughter and was not told what if any with mine. I was simply told he was going to be taking his daughter and his parents were to get him. I was taking mine two and going to the apartment. My mother was called again and asked to come to us to take all of us home, but the detective said he would be able to crack the case quicker, if I could allow him back into the home and did not change the routine. He said to tell him I was sending the kids with my mother so they could go to a better hospital. That I wanted to have some time with him and that we couldn't have that time if I were tending to the needs of my son.
I didn't think he had done it, but did think if I was going to get to the bottom of things I needed to trust the detective. After all, police people are on the side of citizens, specifically when we have done nothing wrong. My mother arrived in the morning. She took the children and stopped at the police station to ok that they could leave. She spoke with the same detective who told me he would do all he could to make sure I was back with them quickly, and the person responsible would be put in jail. I was brought the station for questioning (along with him) that afternoon. I was told after 4.5 hours of waiting to come into a small room. I was then shown files that had been kept over years times. He had 45 counts of domestic disturbances. He had been arrested for smacking his daughters behind when she was only 7 months and leaving a bruise the size of his hand, other counts of driving after someone, stalking, ect. ect. ect. It was like looking into a glass of water and noticing the glass was cracked. No one told me anything about it. His friends who had children and knew I did too. His parents who would surly want babies to be protected. No one said a word.
Finally I was able to leave. He was too. The detective once again said how important it was I not say anything to him. To act like all was ok. This went on for 4 more days. They would ask him to come in or stop by his work. He would come back to the house mad and ready to **** on something. I would stand back and make comments like "I don't understand why they think it was you", or "what do they think you did"? Knowing what it was and why they thought it. I had almost convinced myself it was him as well. The more I was looking back, the more I saw. He made comments regularly that my son looked like his dad and it was a shame. He said he hated the "baby stage" because they couldn't talk. It all was adding up, though I never would have anyone could hurt a 6 month old child. By that 4th day, they had arrested him.
I called my mom as soon as they police had picked him up. He "resisted arrest" and was taken to jail with broken ribs, nose, arm, and a couple of toes. He also had to have surgery to fix his testicles which will never work and make any babies again. (Thanks for the heads up Detective. He called and let me know there were some things he needed to say to me. He also let me know they would be coming to arrest him in exactly 5 minutes after he had walked in our door. Best 5 minutes of the whole relationship.)
My mother refused to come back and get me. She had driven my car and my step dad theirs. She had the kids, he had the stuff. The deal was, they came back for me when it was all said and done. She claimed they didn't have the time or the money to come get me. She said the kids were taking everything they had. I called my dad. He said his car would never make the drive. I called aunts, cousins, uncles, and even my ex husband. They left me. Alone, with no car, no way to get to work, $5.00 (I had given it all to my mom for expenses that week it took to arrest him). I had to wait 2 weeks for my check and it turned out to be $25 after taxes. The bus ticket home was nearly $200.
I found myself stuck. I began to "host parties" as a way of making money. I would make enough to get a cab to store and buy a few pieces cans of food, or pay my phone bill so I could still talk with my kids, but never enough to do it all at one time. I had many "friends" who would come and bring gifts of alcohol or cigarets. Often they would leave a few dollars along with that.
Finally I met an ex-Amish man. It had been nearly 2.5 months since I had last seen my kids. My mother had changed her number after I payed the phone bill. A week later I had gotten the papers in the mail she filed for custody the day after she took my children back into the state. She had told family to stop answering my calls, and was even telling some I died (this I heard from my cousin when he finally answered the phone after 3 days of calling sun up to sun down). The Amish man took me to his apartment about 1.5 closer to my moms. He gave me food, shelter, and a car to drive myself to work at the local bar where he got me a job. I stayed with him the two weeks it took to get up the money to get a bus ticket. I thanked him for everything, and left everything I had to him aside from pictures, and journals, and a few clothes. I owed him my life.
The bus ride was scary. I was alone and at only 19 I was not very used to being that way. I was offered drugs, rapped in a bathroom, and then finally able to call my dad and tell him to pick me up the next morning. He was not happy but said he would be there.
I came home a whole new person. I person full of hate, and a person who thought things were going to be magically different. My mother's custody was supposed to end with only an appearance in front of the court (according to my first lawyer). She only had medically custody. Giving her the right to take the kids to the doctor. However, as soon as I petition to have my children come home, she petitioned for joint custody. The court found in her favor after a 2.5 year battle. The judge ruled that the time it took for me to get back to my hometown had been abandonment. Because of the fact I moved my children to another state to live with the man it was neglect. I should have had a day time job and put the children into a full time daycare, no matter if they had ever been or not, if I trusted them or not, or if I could afford it or not. He did not rule that I was guilty of abuse. By the time the judge made the ruling, we had all seen the copies of "his" case from outta state. I had read it many times over. The signs I should have been looking for, the things I see now, but didn't then, it all made sense because he was keeping me drugged. I was being given small doses of tranquillizers in my food and drink from the minute he met me. It was something he admitted to from the first page of his confession. He also admitted if I had let him take his daughter and mine back to the house that night, he would have killed them both and waited for me and my son to come in before killing us and then himself. He also stated he will find me. Something I face daily. I made a stupid choice. I was a horrible mom. I didn't do what I should have, and I pay for it even today. 7 years later, I am still watching my back. I still have to ask for permission to see my children. I can only visit at my mothers house and with her in the room. Only 1-2 times a week, and sometimes not for months on end. I have to watch everything I say or do. I have to be careful and not open my windows in the summer. I have to make sure my car is locked every time I am in or out of it. I had to get my license to carry a concealed.
I have to face the fear, that one day, it may very well come down to his life, or the life of my family or myself. I have to hide everything I do, every address, and phone I have has to be in someone else name. I have to be careful. I am not only the survivor of domestic abuse, my son and daughter are survivors because of my gut instinct to make him go to the hospital. They are survivors because I was stupid enough to put them in that same house. We are all survivors of a story, they may never know if I can keep them sheltered enough.
POMomma POMomma
26-30, F
1 Response Nov 26, 2012

Wow. What a story. It seems your family was awfully hard on you. Especially since it came to light that you'd been drugged by the b*stard since day one. I hope your kids are able to heal and don't grow up to perpetuate the cycle of abuse. I am sad for you and your children and I hope one day things are better.

Thank you. I do as well. I strive to make sure they know they are loved and try to head off any anger issues pushing them to use it in a more constructive way. Playing ball, or running. Something that wont lead to that. They also see a therapist monthly just for the things they are hearing from other people in town. Thank you for the best wishes.