A lot of people don’t know much about this part of my story…so I figured I would share it. Hopefully this may help someone. Recently, I was granted full custody of my son after fighting four years in the court system with his father. Recently meaning within the last two weeks. When I say I cried, that would be an understatement. The journey to fight for what’s right for my son was not easy and to be honest the fight was never about him. My ex-husband wanted to find a way to control my life and what better way than try to make my life miserable. A year ago, I decided that I needed a change and I wanted to relocate to the DC area. I tried selling my house but with it being the holiday months I didn’t get many interested buyers. I ended up finding renters and began packing to start anew. I had no clue that I needed permission to leave with my son. When I left my hometown to make my “family” work no one questioned me, except for family and friends. “Why the hell would you uproot yourself to give that man a try?” many would say. He had me on a one year trial like a fucking free subscription and it was back to the shenanigans. I thought that after getting a divorce that my life I envisioned for me would begin, but boy was I wrong. Just like men complain about women and them using the children against them, this also goes for some women. I was fed up and needed my freedom, and in my case I was required to fight. Between child support court, divorce court, and family court I was mentally drained. He played the system just like he played me. I rarely received any money from him for child support and if I did it was enforced by the judge. I was denied the relocation and my fresh start last year. Three days before I was to move to our new place, I received a notice in the mail stating I couldn’t go anywhere. With tenants moving in, no place to move my belongings, a moving truck and place set up, I had to stay in Pennsylvania. In less than 72 hours I had to find a place for my son and I to live. I lived in a 3,500 square foot home with a shit ton of stuff that I ended up either giving it away or selling it. I was lucky enough to have a friend that new a landlord with a studio available. Money lost and more money spent. What are you willing to give up for the life you truly want?
A year later I ended up in that same exact court. In front of the same exact judge that denied me my previous relocation. I was always fair as my son’s relationship with his father was important to me. I know the importance of maintaining that relationship but what if it was toxic? My son’s father was not living his life right, did not provide or contribute to his son’s life, but some how convinced the courts that my son had a better support system in Pennsylvania. The support we had, I created it. Our family at the YMCA, my girlfriends, and fellow mothers have all played a role in supporting my son and I. Needless to say neither him or his family had anything to do with it. I am the person that continuously initiates contact. Not one family member contacts me during the holidays or birthdays to even spend time with him. Yet, I have the title of the bitter baby mother. I did my research and realized the past had repeated itself. My ex-husband’s father took him from his mother in Haiti. Instead of fighting, she left to build a better life in America. I see the outcome as a result of their relationship. A mother consumed with guilt for not being there and a man who felt abandoned and unloved. The result of this is his current incarceration. I knew the day I stepped in the court last year that I did not stand a chance but I represented myself anyway. With the many roles that I currently play, attorney became one of them. Here I as a single mother working hard to raise our son. Not having the financial means at the time to hire an attorney. The very man that refused to pay child support had an attorney. I guess in the streets you must have the money for the attorney by all means necessary. I had every document and argument of why it would be best for us to relocate. I was denied. I cried and did not understand why this man could control our lives when he was not living life right. I was willing to give him every weekend, every holiday, and every school vacation and he still disagreed. The man didn’t even live in Pennsylvania.
This time in court it was different. I held my head up high because I was still standing. The judge had no clue how much her one second decision had affected my son and I. This time I was evolved and prepared for whatever decision was thrown my way. This time I was ready to fight. I was not going to take no for an answer especially after the news I received a few weeks ago. My son’s safety had become a priority and it was time for me to rid myself of being affected by this man’s behavior. This time in court was different because he was over a phone. A year later everything I brought up in court was seen by those who once didn’t believe me. Even with him being where he was, he didn’t give up his fight. The sad thing about it is he always fought with me… the wrong person. Even with us not together I supported him anyway that I could. I know now that he has always been fighting himself. That same attorney from a year ago showed up. This time he was withdrawing from his representation. This time he was made aware of who he was representing. It took my ex-husband to turn himself in for murder, for people to see it fit that I made the best decisions for our son. Yes, I am a single mother to a little black boy, whose father is currently incarcerated on a murder charge. The very person I fought so hard not to be. I went through an emotional rollercoaster after hearing the news. I have come to terms his incarceration is the gateway for our freedom. I don’t wish this on anyone but this happened for him to be still. All his life has been surrounded by distractions. Women, drugs, and fast money was a reality he created. God had to get him alone. I was angry that he left me with the fear of being all my son has. What happens to Micah if something happens to me? How could you leave me alone with so much responsibility? Not only do I have to heal but I have to teach my son to heal. You created a chapter in his blank pages that he will be angry and confused about. I will be responsible for teaching him to channel this into something positive. This year when I got our freedom papers, I realized I didn’t just fight for myself. I fought for every woman who didn’t make out of an abusive/toxic relationship alive. I did not understand the process but I was not taking NO for an answer. My son deserves to see the world. I have lost everything in the process but I have never felt better. The cage is open for me to fly yet I still sit perched afraid to spread my wings. The same judge that told me NO was given a copy of my book. She fell into a role that she became numb to. A role in which she forgot how powerful she was. I never knew how strong I was until I became a mother. It probably is an eye-opening situation for my ex-husband because I used to fight for him. The fight I have for my son is supernatural. That judge tried to stick me in a box. I passed her my book and told her this is how I channeled my negative energy. It is important for her to understand that every woman has a story, and how she is affecting families and children with her decisions. This time last year I felt stuck because someone else was controlling my life. Now that I have severed that spiritual umbilical cord from his father the world can finally be our playground.