We were allowed to see my mother at a Christmas party on Christmas Eve for a very short time. After that we weren’t allowed to have any contact with her for months. I have been told that it was only 6 weeks or so, but it seemed like forever. When we were finally allowed to see our mom it was in a county supervised visitation setting. There was one other family there, usually a yucky father with his kids. It was a totally different kind of situation. Those kids were afraid of their father. We loved our mother and kept climbing on her lap and hugging her. We were constantly told that we weren’t allowed to have so much physical contact with our mother. We were instructed to sit at a table and play board games with our mom. All we wanted to do was cuddle in her arms. When we had to leave I would become hysterical. I cried and cried for my mother. The supervisors would threaten me that if I didn’t stop crying I wouldn’t be allowed to come back and see my mom.
Life with my father was unbearable. He didn’t seem happy to have us at all. In fact our presence caused a lot of problems with him and his new wife, Rena. She was also terrible and quite abusive to us. For Example we often had to get them drinks. One time in particular, Rena told me to get her a glass of wine from the kitchen, when I wasn’t fast enough she kicked me. That was the norm in their house. We were there to serve them. They even taught me how to make mixed (alcoholic) drinks for them. I was their bar tender at 7 years old.
My father (and Rena) continued to abuse us. I accepted his abuse but I was so upset when she started hitting and kicking us. My attitude was “He is our father. He is ‘allowed’ to hit us.” (The court officers made that very clear to us.) But…her?… she was nothing to us and we hated her!
On a few occasions I tried to show the court people my bruises and beg for their help. I specifically told Michael London that my dad was still hurting us and he said “This is the way it is. You better get used to it!” I was desperate to get help. As soon as I saw my mom at visitation I lifted up my shirt and showed her my bruises. I said ”He’s still hurting us Mommy.” My Mom started crying and told visitation supervisors to look at my back. At first they gasped. Then the woman said “Pull down your shirt now! You know you are not allowed to talk about those kinds of things anymore.” My mom begged them to help us. They told her to be quiet or we would be taken away immediately.
The days, nights, months, even year (and a half) dragged on so unbearably slow. I missed my mother terribly. Every night at precisely 9:00 I would sit in my window, look at the stars and sing our (Disney) song “Somewhere Out There.” My mom promised that she would do the same every night. She would also sing it at visitation to us when it was time to leave, but then they wouldn’t let her sing it to us anymore, because it specifically referred to “Soon we’ll be together….”
My mom bought a book of Disney songs so we could pick out a new song. She got a piece of paper and a pencil so we could write down our favorite picks. My brother wrote on the paper “Mommy Help us!” I kept watching the supervisors to see what they would do, but they didn’t notice. After that day, we started writing messages to our mom. I would write my mom letters at my Dad’s house and then slide them in the music book.
I was most concerned with the fact that my father kept telling me that my mother didn’t want me. I needed her constant reassurance that it wasn’t true. My mom would write us nice loving letters saying that she was trying everything to get us back, and that she loved us very much. I was so relieved when she promised that no matter what anyone said; she loved us and would never give us up! She promised that somehow, someday, she would get us back! I longed for that day!
The time we spent with my father was unbearable. He, his wife and the court officers tried to change our whole being. We were ripped from our mom, our home, our school, our friends. We weren’t allowed to have any contact with our grandfather (on our mother’s side.) My father even dumped off our clothes at the Good Will because he said that was part of our old life. That was how we were told to associate everything; “Our Old Life and Our New Life.” It was all very strange that he started letting us have visitation with my mothers biological mother. We didn’t have a relationship with her at all, because she had abused my mother as a child. The court in Massachusetts even issued an order for protection forbidding my mother’s mother to have contact with us at all, yet the Minnesota court suddenly gave her permission to take us alone. It was all so confusing why we were allowed to see her and not our own mother. It became quite obvious that everything was in reverse. If we said we wanted something, it was denied. If we rejected anything, it was forced upon us.
Things just kept getting worse and worse. My brother became more and more depressed. He started saying that he wanted to kill himself. I used to beg him not to do it and not to leave me alone in that house of hell. He was my best friend. In our notes to our mom, Zachary told her that he was going to kill himself if she didn’t come get him. She promised that she would come get us in the summer vacation. My father left us home alone all the time for the whole day! We told our mom specifically when she should come get us and we were so excited that the day was coming soon.
18 months and 8 days after my father stole us away from our mother, she finally came to rescue us. The moment my mom called us and told us to come meet her was exhilarating. Even though I was terrified of getting caught by my father, (We would receive a certain beating) I couldn’t wait to go back to my mom! We met her at a designated spot, jumped into the car and drove and drove far, far away.
We were safe!
We were together again!
It was a dream come true!