My son is 7 years old; I am 34. He is an only child, and I am not able to have another. I was told I should not have been able to have him. :)
I was never seperated from my child - not once, ever for the first four years of his life. His father would leave for months on end, and I wouldn't know where he was and he wouldn't contact me. I would not divorce him because as a child who had divorced parents I swore I wouldn't get divorced, that a bad marriage with both parents is better than a child growing up in a broken home. Everything I did NOT want for my child has come true - my worst nightmares.
I was 27 when I had my son. I have spent my life as the oldest of 6 kids babysitting, and babysitting other people's children. When I got to the point where I loved spending every moment of everyday with children without frustration, I knew I was ready to be a mother myself. When my son was born, I did not need his father. I was able to support and take care of myself - but what mattered to me was for my child to have a relationship with his father. Even when his father rejected him, and me, as his family. Somehow he always came back.
In 2000, while in Australia, my exhusband was in a car accident that gave him brain damage, which was in the area of the pain where he cannot control violent impulses. The doctors said I should divorce him, but I was stubborn. They warned me he would never be the same. I thought I could handle it.
In 2002, he met a woman who told me she would steal my husband and my child, and made it a point to say she hated children, and even had her tubes tied because she didn't want to get fat. She has been heard to say that stealing another woman's child is smarter. When I asked her why she would even want to steal a husband and child, she said, "because I can." They have both told me they will drive me to suicide, and make sure that SHE will be my son's child, and not me. She even told my son she was his biological mother when he was 5 until he was confused of who his real son was.
I had never been seperated from my child, ever, not even for a babysitter until he was four and his father went to live with this woman he married as soon as the divorce was final. I was left homeless. I have been living in a one bedroom subsidized apartment - that is very nice, though small - more comfy feeling than anything else - which the court said just Friday was "too small to be acceptable to raise a child in." The mediator had come to my house on a surprise inspection. She said I should sell my possessions, and move to a two bedroom apartment in the city my ex lives in. I have been driving my son to this city 10 miles a day to go to a school one block from my ex's house - they have a two bedroom town house. I have depression, with anxiety and PTSD from the abuse of my husband. My son suffers also from PTSD and nightmares. We have both been in therapy and completed it. All they look at is my diagnosis and what medication I am on - and do not even consider anything about his medical condition since he has not been under a doctor's care since we seperated (though he needs to be constantly.)
Right now we have 50% custody, one week with me, one week with his dad. So far it was worked out the best, but his dad wants MORE. He wants it all. My son and I are VERY close, and I can't believe they would take a child from his mother like this. I cannot get used to him leaving me to go to his dad's - and I cry everytime he leaves. I am always left with a feeling of unease, like he is in danger, and I constantly worry about him. My ex and his wife won't leave me alone - no matter what I do or go with my son, they always seem to be there. Everytime I take him to school or pick him up, at every function he goes to for school, and when I enrolled him in Cub Scouts they became his Den Leaders! They say "they are involved parents." I say it is harrassment - for both me and my son. My ex's wife makes my son call her "mommy" and forces him to give her hugs and kisses in front of me, even when he does not want to. They shave his head everytime I do something that makes them mad. Once they even spiked his hair and dyed it green.
What is wrong with the court system? I have been reading these posts, and it REALLY seems like mothers are being discriminated against. We can do something if we can just get together (in the United States) and make some noise. There are sure to advocacy programs out there - but if this is the way it is in our country, we need to do something to change the laws! This is unreal! And it is wrong!