“Final” orders. 

In August 2016, when my son was 8 months old, we actually had what they call an evidentiary hearing.  I was bashed for being “controlling” and the Judge put in the final paperwork that it’s clear I do not trust Justin.  Had I been allowed to discuss our relationship maybe she would have gotten a better idea why I have so much distrust.  

The final orders gave a brief background to the case.  Justin was the only one allowed to testify regarding our past relationship and he and his attorney said that they were only questioning paternity “because of the actions of the mother.”  Because he chose to not be involved, from the beginning, had multiple relationships, and continues to do so now, and I didn’t feel that it was my obligation to allow him into the delivery room, suddenly I’m a “slut.”  It was laughable at best.  

The orders did not grant any supervised time, as I had requested, and gave Justin 14 hours per week with a baby who had no idea who he was because he couldn’t bother himself to make more of an effort to see him in the 8 months prior.  He got every Saturday until my son was 3.  I was also required to leave work early three times per week to get to the drop off location at the time Justin specified.  I also had to drive 40 minutes, out of county to drop my son off.  The judge did not order any child support to be granted but left that to Justin’s attorney to work up the papers.  Of course those papers were held up, ironically, for several months.  

My baby screamed at every single drop off. It was horrible listening to him in total terror as I handed him over to this abusive individual.  It got to the point that we couldn’t put him in his car seat to go anywhere because he thought we were taking him there.  It broke my heart. 

Then. Two months into it, my child came home with a huge bite mark, from an adult, on his leg.  

I took him to the hospital, because I had tried to file a previous report with the city police and was told they didn’t want to get involved in a domestic dispute. This was after Justin’s “baby sitter” said she wanted to stab me in the throat with a knife. 


She posted this online for my benefit. 


There are pictures I cannot post here for non-PG related content, but my sons diaper was never changed when he was with them.  If it was changed, the diaper was put on him so tightly that it actually caused him discomfort.  

As you can see, this diaper is entirely too tight and there is no reason for this.  My son started getting diaper rash, which he had never gotten until he started going with Justin.  He was also getting red cuts into his skin where the diaper elastic was actually cutting into his legs and stomach because it was so tight.  

Two months. That’s all it took for the abuse to start on my son.  Justin was abusing the baby, who was now 10 months old just to get back at me.  He would pick the baby up with a case of beer, and told me he was taking the baby hunting. It was reported to me by his family members he was putting our son in a backpack and taking him hunting.

After the bite mark, the emergency room doctor thought there was enough cause for concern to call the police.  The case was investigated as a child abuse case, and eventually passed to DCF.  

In the mean time, I was court ordered to attend a “Healthy Options for Parenting Effectively” class with my abuser.  This “HOPE” class was somewhat of a joke.  You’re required to attend, and pay for the class, but nothing of real value is discussed.  They don’t want you to discuss specifics in your case with the group, and by having your abuser in the same room, it’s rather difficult to open up anyways.  

At the intake of this HOPE class, I told the facilitator that Justin had attacked me after a doctors appointment for our son, that there was prior domestic violence and that I was afraid for my safety.  They didn’t take this seriously until they let the men leave first one night and I refused to walk to my car alone.  Justin had sent this text that day, to the mother of his daughter and made it a point to let me know he was carrying loaded guns in his vehicle that evening. 


Once again. My story has never changed. This man is abusive and uses his perceived power to control and dominate. My child is the one who gets injured because they will not listen to me or even look at my documentation.  This is why I need to tell my side of the story, because no one will know that I’m fighting for the right reasons. This isn’t about retaliation. This isn’t about hatred. This is about protecting an innocent child from unnecessary abuse. 

How much is too much?

My original intention was to post in chronological order, from oldest happening to current.  However, as with life, things change.  I need to deviate from the path momentarily because I feel it’s important to document even the “small” stuff for an entire picture of what I deal with.  Our current court order reads that Justin only has scheduled supervised visits at an agreed upon location.  While he does not make an effort more than one hour per week, he chooses not to give me adequate notice, nor does he have a consistent schedule.  

At the visit yesterday, he contacted me after 40 minutes to come collect the baby early.  This is not unusual. He uses these visits as a means of control and domination.  This is the only control he can exert over me, and he uses it to his full advantage. 

Justin has not changed a diaper at any of his visits in almost 5 months. I know this because I mark all of the diapers and photograph them when I change them after the visits.  I also have to travel, on average 90 minutes for him to have a visit, that will take less than an hour.   Justin travels about 30 minutes, round trip to his selected supervisors location.  


At the most recent visit, upon my arrival, he allowed our son to run out to the street to my car. He is 16 months old. Had I not been paying attention I could have easily struck him with my car.   Upon arrival Justin informed me that the baby had pooped in his diaper.  With the past history of Justin not changing diapers, I didn’t know if I was called back early to change the diaper or what. I asked if he had changed the diaper.  To which he responded “no, I smeared it all over him.”  

This is a classic abusers game.  They want to exert control over the woman by threatening or actually harming the children to keep the woman in a submissive state.  I didn’t react.  I simply collected my son and left.  As usual, I drove to the closest small town and used a kwik shop restroom to change his diaper, which is what I have to do every time, so it was nothing new for us.  

When I contacted the supervisor, and let her know that she may be required to testify regarding the incident, she told me I should have never asked if he changed the diaper (classic victim blaming).  I believe any good parent should be able to ask simple questions relating to the welfare of their children.  

I also don’t believe that this supervisor has a husband who would speak to her like that, nor do I think they would think that was an appropriate response for themselves to have received for either of their children.  Not only do I think this was inappropriate, I feel that more should be done to protect my child from this abuse and neglect.  



I’ll never believe that questioning the safety and wellbeing of my child is “making mountains out of molehills” as she suggested.   She has been supervising these visits since March, and this is the first diaper that anyone has changed.  The fact that she assumes justin would change a diaper shows that she is not doing her job, or justice to my child, to provide a safe, healthy environment for them to have visits.

Dispute Resolution.

111aaa (3)_LI

His family was in contact with me, and remain supportive.  I still go visit with them so they can have a relationship with the baby.

After the initial illegal order was thrown out, we were ordered to go through this lovely (enter sarcasm here) process of dispute resolution.  The concept behind dispute resolution is to have both parties come together to a mutually acceptable conclusion that is supposed to save attorney fees and court time and, in most cases it is supposed to foster inhanced communication between the parties for any future decisions.  What this entire process has actually accomplished is to further break down communications between us, and has fostered even more hatred for each other than we originally started out with. 

In the real world,  how it’s done in

 

111-2015-08-05 14.25.52 harassment

He posted this on Facebook, just to jab at me.

 

county we are operating in, you go for an “interview”.  Both parties are in a room together, and they ask a bunch of questions.  If you answer truthfully, you get to pay a whole lot more than those who just lie and say we have no dispute that needs resolving.  

Well, keep in mind, I’m about 2 months post-partum by this point, and I’m really rather angry that all of this is happening because someone who wanted nothing to do with a baby decided that to further victimize me he is dragging me through the mud, all while I’m still trying to juggle being a single mother, staying up with an infant all night, going to work, and did I mention previously that I’m completing a Master’s degree?  (Currently still maintaining a 4.0 GPA, even with all of this, to date.)

aaaa11111333During the interview, they asked questions like do you think the other party has a problem with drugs or alcohol?  And, without a lawyer present, or without anyone to walk you out to your car, you’re expected to tell the truth with your abuser sitting two feet across the table from you.  So when I answered truthfully that I felt he drank too much, when the interviewer turned his back to type my response, my abuser tried to aaa11112intimidate me with his body language and his facial expression.  It didn’t stop there.  He would bang the table, mutter under his breath, even called me a B*tch multiple times, and NOTHING was done to put an end to this obvious attempt at trying to get me to stop calling him out.  I’m not even going to bring up the fact that I told the interviewer several weeks in advance that I was afraid for my safety, and I needed someone to walk me to my car.  This didn’t happen, although they did allow me to leave the room first.

So after the interview, they will determine what level of dispute resolution you are entered in by the court.  There are three levels.  Mediation (low conflict), Limited Case Management (some conflict), and Case Management (extreme conflict).  For the initial order, we were entered into Limited Case Management.  

For the Limited Case Management process, again you go for an interview, however it is on a one on one basis with the case manager. Then, since I requested not to be in the same room with my abuser, and I was also pumping every 2 hours for milk for my son, I was allowed to sit in a room alone for the joint session.  This process took about 4 hours to complete and it was awful.   The case manager would shuffle back and forth between us, but spent a majority of his time with Justin.  I was told I had to work around Justin’s schedule, even though I have been employed at the same business for 8 years at this point and doesn’t work for an employer and has a much more “flexible” schedule than I do.  

I had concerns that I wanted to be prepared to tell the Case Manager.  A list of 27 to be exact.  The Case Manager never saw them.  He wasn’t interested in documentation.  He was interested in collecting a pay check.

katie 1

 

katie 2

We were herded through like cattle, he collected his money after he passed “go” and never looked back.  When I questioned about “what if he kills my baby” I was told, “I’ll give you a free bit of legal advice.  You can sue the pants off of him.”  I was also told by the Case Manager that I was responsible for providing furniture, clothing, car seat, and other accessories necessary for a baby to live at Justin’s home.  I can’t make this up.  At this time, the father wasn’t paying a cent in child support, and I’m required to not only furnish my own home (which I had spent 8-9 months doing) but now, last minute, I’m told I also have to abc1furnish a second home as well.  I was admonished for only agreeing to meet in public, and told that I must allow Justin to come to my home because it was his right to come see the child “in a home setting.”  This advice later got me physically attacked in my bathroom in my home, while my baby was laying on the floor in the living room, and at another instance one of my pets was stomped to death in the back yard, which he admitted to in court later on.  I was also required to invite Justin to doctors appointments, which resulted in me asking the pediatrician to leave the door open so I wouldn’t be in a room alone with Justin.  After the visit, he followed me to a gas station where he body slammed me into my car and took my credit card out of my hand.  

He had told me the reason for killing my pet was because he was going to make the baby hate animals and there was nothing I could do about it.

I Justin ended up objecting to the Case Manager’s recommendation that was issued in late Feb 2016.  Then through a few trials and tribulations, we ended up seeing the judge in August 2016, for the first time.  Between birth and December 2016, I never received any financial support.  I continued meeting Justin when he would ask to see the baby which would be about once per month.

 

Click here to see my list of concerns the Case Manager refused to read: request_Redacted

 

Family Courts – the antithesis of itself.

During my pregnancy, I sought legal advice so I would know what to do after the birth of my son.  I wasn’t seeking any type of financial assistance from the father, and just wanted to be as far away from him as possible, so I was in111-2015-04-16 03.14.12 abandonformed by a lawyer to not include his name on the birth certificate.  That way, he was free and clear from all financial responsibility.  She also cautioned against letting him purchase anything for the baby, but I didn’t need to worry because he doesn’t believe in spending money on anyone other than himself.  I had baby showers that helped me get a lot of items, and the other necessary items were either given to me, or I purchased on my own.  I’m NOT one of those mothers who had a baby banking on getting child support.  I even asked him to sign over his rights so he wouldn’t have any obligations to us.

When my son was born, the father field of the birth certificate was listed as “unknown.”  This was hard for me.  I knew who the father was, but my need to protect my son outweighed the backlash of being a single mom 111-2015-03-30 17.47.47 child supportwho “didn’t know” who the father was.  The courts didn’t care.  Without even making the father prove he was the father, which was supposed to happen, our first order that was signed by the Judge gave him 50/50 custody immediately, gave me NO chance to respond, and immediately begin visitations with a newborn who had just been released from the hospital for 10 hours every Sunday.  I was nursing, and my milk had not even come in yet.  We eventually got the order thrown out for reason of it being an illegal order, but it took over a month to accomplish this.

By this time, the father had entered into his 7th relationship since I had informed him that I was pregnant.  That’s someone new every single month.  He was moving these women into his home, and I was expected to ha2015-11-30 21.48.02nd my tiny infant over to him, for 10 hours straight.  Did I mention, he didn’t even have a place for the baby to sleep?  He intended on using my carseat, because he didn’t feel it was necessary to spend his money to purchase one.

Luckily, my motherly instinct kicked in, and I flat out buffaloed him and convinced him if he took my baby, I would cal2016-01-17 14.58.14l the police.  I NEVER denied him the ability to meet in a public place to come and visit, but I wouldn’t send my infant alone with him.  He has a prior conviction of Domestic Violence, was court ordered to attend Anger Management, and had a prior conviction of child endangerment with his daughter.  My concerns were based out of concerns for the safety of my son, not revenge.

At one of these public meetings, he called my son a faggot.  Another reason this “father” doesn’t have the baby2015-12-30 01.57.33‘s best interests in mind.   We had several altercations at these visits, which is why I insisted on only meeting him in public.  I knew if we were at my house, he wouldn’t have anyone else watching who might be able to call the police if they were needed.

He would try to threaten me, and use coercion to try to force me into giving into him.  Just like in our relationship.  I continued to put the baby first, even though he wasn’t.  What kind of man would willingly take a brand new baby away from his mother who is less than a month old.  And what kind of court system would allow that?  I was always the “unreasona2016-01-17 15.03.17ble” one.  I was still recovering from birth, still going to work every day, still getting up every 1 1/2 – 2 hours with a baby who wanted to nurse, and STILL agreeing to meet the father, without a court order in place so that he could form a bond with the infant he had abandoned in-vitro.

To this day, he had more opportunity to see his son during the first few months before we had a court order than what he currently has.  He claims that h2016-03-21 01.37.55e can’t stand to be around me or my family, but what he hasn’t come to terms with is that my family is still his son’s family too.  We will always be here, and we will always have half of the DNA that our baby has.

The problem with the family courts is that they are not prepared to deal with Domestic Violence cases.  They expect people to fight, but they don’t take things seriously, even though all of my actions to this point have shown that my story never changes.  But they don’t care.  They claim its “whats best for the child”.  I will never believe that taking an infant away from their mother when they are less than a month old is what is “best.”  They can beat me down all day long, but they will never change my opinion on that.

 

 

The “war against mothers”

Father’s Rights.  Today, this phrase boils my blood.  I know there are many good fathers, who don’t deserve to be separated from their children.  I get that.  But, those fathers who use the courts to further victimize those they have abused… those fathers are the reason for the war against mothers as we know it today.

When you picture a new mother’s first days at home with a brand new baby, rarely do you see that mother getting up and going to work.  While I had planned for at least 6 weeks off for maternity leave, including the labor and delivery, I got 6 days.  Less than one week.  I had to return to work, brand new baby in tow, because I would be out for days for court, and attorney fees aren’t cheap.  Neither are hospital bills that they don’t tell you fathers are actually not legally obligated to pay.  I was also safer at work, at least for the short term, and I wasn’t a sitting duck at home, which was a very real fear.  For this very small period and disruption to my plans, I will probably remain bitter for years.  One day, I hope to move past my bitterness, but its still alive and stewing today.

Fortunately for me, God gave me the perfect baby.  I know everyone says that, but its true.  I got him.  He slept very well, we had ONE bad night that I can remember.  He easily took to nursing, and to this day is rarely fussy.  The day after the one bad night, I didn’t go to work.  I was exhausted.  Still recovering from 9 months of carrying a baby, plus labor and delivery, and being a brand new mom by my self with the added stress of someone getting an illegal order signed (more on that later)…  I couldn’t make it to the office.  While I was sitting at home, my first real experience with the system was about to land in my lap.

That afternoon, a knock on my front door led me face to face with the first of many encounters I have had with DCF.  This case worker presented herself as coming to do a “welfare check” on the baby.  I had nothing to hide.  I welcomed her into my home.  The hospital told me they would probably have someone come talk to me before we left the hospital, and I thought that was probably what was happening.  After entering, she had no interest in discussing my living arrangements, and told me her “real” reason for being there.  She had received a complaint on the father of my son, being abusive towards his daughter and had been informed I may have information for her.  I had been documenting since my first trimester, and I had over 500 screen shots, pictures, and 27 pages that I had typed, single spaced.  I handed her the case she was looking for on a silver platter, and I was willing to testify.

She interviewed others.  Since I wasn’t the parent of the child in question, they took my information and blocked me out.  I didn’t care.  I wanted someone to do something in hopes that his daughter got some advocacy and maybe my less than a month old infant would get some help too.  She promised that she would write up a safety plan for my son to help me.  It never came.  I was told that since the abuse happened to another child, that it may be likely that he wouldn’t harm my son, so therefore there was nothing they could do to help.dcf

This was the first lesson in learning that those who are put in the position to help, aren’t there to help.  They’re not going to return your calls.  They’re not going to answer your questions.  And they’re dang sure not going to help.  I now know, that 86.5% of the cases that DCF is involved in are “unsubstianted”.  86.5%.

dcf2

You can research this screenshot and more information at the DCF website, under “reports”.  

To date, the father of my son has had 5 (five) DCF open cases against him for various abuse allegations.  My son has been a victim to one abuse case already.  It happened before he was one.  No one will listen.  No one will protect him.  And if I try, I can/have been threatened with jail.  All 5 have been unsubstianted.  Unsubstianted, when used by attorney’s for the accused means they are innocent.  What unsubstianted actually means is that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that the abuse did or did not happen, and since there’s no witnesses old enough to talk, nothing happens.  Were you aware that a majority of children who are subject to abuse allegations are under the age of 5?  The doctor who filed the report on my son, because he felt my concerns were justified and the evidence he saw indicated that I was right, gave me the information on abuse statistics.

Life, love and the escape

 

 

In December 2013, I met the person I thought I may spend the rest of my life with. I fell fast and I fell hard. And shortly after, he flipped the switch and the abuse started. I thought for a while that things would change. I thought he didn’t mean it.  I thought he would get better.  But, he didn’t.  I made the break several times, but found his charming ways and promises to change appealing and went back. He would point loaded guns at my dogs to keep me under control.  He berated me constantly. The put downs never stopped.  Multiple times I went to work with bruises where he had left his mark. He made me feel like I wasn’t worthy, and for a while, I believed it.  He wanted

111-2015-03-30 18.11.37 abuse

His handprint appearing on my leg after an altercation over dinner.

me to quit my job, at one time threatening me that he would make me get fired, to keep control and dominance over me.  He wanted me to be financially dependent upon him so I couldn’t break away.  I remember thinking, someone will see how he treats me and sweep me off my feet, but no one spoke up for me.

 

Finally, in early March 2015, I escaped for good. Or so I thought.  Unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant, with my only child.  This was a miracle baby, as I’d been told it was unlikely I would ever have children.  I may have prayed for this baby, but I would have never believed the circumstances he was going to be born into.

Two days after I informed the father that I was pregnant he announced that he was in a relationship with someone new.  When that fizzled after six short weeks, like an idiot, I went back.  Less than a month2016-02-22 01.20.20 into it, I knew if I stayed I would lose the baby to stress, or worse. He actually tried to give me an STD to cause me to miscarry.  It was more than just me at this point, I had to protect my baby.  So, back to being pregnant, and single, and 100% responsible for this being that I could only protect for another 7 months.

111- 2015-03-30 17.46.23 (STD)

He said he wanted to be a father.  He promised to change.  Nothing in his actions showed he was moving towards either of those so throughout the pregnancy, I kept him informed but at an arms length.  He didn’t come to doctors appointments. (Well, ok, he came to one to hear for his own ears the heart beat, then never came back).   He missed a sonogram appointment I had scheduled for him specifically because he had missed all the others.  His excuse was that it was opening day of dove season. He missed the hospital walk through and 4 weeks of birthing classes, because again, it

2016-01-08 16.10.19

I texted him the sonogram pictures (to keep him informed)

was hunting season.  I went through the entire pregnancy alone, with only the support of my parents and close friends.  For their support, I will forever be grateful.

 

My due date came and went, and by that point he didn’t even text to ask how we were doing. I hadn’t heard from him in over a month and I thought for sure we had gotten rid of him for good. The day I went into labor, he was in McPherson, Ks. I knew exactly where he was, and it wasn’t at the hospital. By this point he had blocked me from any contact so it wasn’t too hard to not inform him. Had I wanted him there, I wouldn’t have been able to reach him without going through a third party.  I told the nurses that there had been abuse in our relationship, and by this point I actually feared my safety. They decided to  admit me as a patient with limited, restricted access.  No one could even call to ask my status and they’d act like I wasn’t a patient, however there was no need to worry because no one called.

The day after we were released from the hospital, the real start of my maternity leave, I received papers from the County Sheriffs office.  This “father” who had all but abandoned us throughout my pregnancy, wanted custody.  And the longCapture_LIest, biggest, most stressful battle of my life started.  4 days post partum.  At the time of starting this blog, my son is 16 months old.  We have a “date” with the court ordered case manager in two months.  This fight is no where close to being over.

I’d eventually like to chronicle each of the events of the court system in this blog and how hard I’ve fought for my son.  This is just the beginning. I imagine that we will be fighting for another 17 years, and unless I completely run out of money, I won’t stop.  I can’t stop. I’ve seen what this person does to children, and women, first hand and I can’t leave my baby alone with a psychopath without wondering if I will ever see him alive again.  This is just the beginning.