Saturday, 12 April 2014

An Open Letter to a Birth Mom from a Step Mom... Part One.

So this shall be the first of probably several (at least three) blogs that will suit as an open letter to the Birth Mom in my life. The mother of my step-daughter and the woman who has done nothing but attempt to destroy our lives pretty consistently for the last two years or so.

BJ has asked me specifically to not contact her via email, text, or phone, so I have decided this would be the best means for me to get this information out there. This way I can finally say what needs saying and she can read it or not. That will be up to her.

There will be more. I'm just making sure I word them just how I need to.

Please, read on...


Birth Mom,
I am writing you because I'm sure you know just as well as I do that this is a long time coming. I feel like the last year and-a-half has been such a hideous pressure on every single person involved with our houses either directly or indirectly and it’s created emotional and financial strains that I hope you understand we are just as familiar with as you are. It has been hard. For everyone. And I want you to know that I understand that. I understand that and feel for you. Just as I would hope you have the empathy to do for us.
Also? I want you to know that I am writing this not from BD, not from US, but from me. Just me. BD has nothing to do with me writing this. Despite what you may choose to believe, I have maintained a reasonably large distance from all things relating to your court dealings. I made it my job to only be involved if BD asked for help or guidance and that was from a standpoint of a second head to deconstruct and interpret things, were that to be necessary. I provided a shoulder if he needed one to lean on and an ear if he needed to talk or vent. And no matter how much you will try and try to argue that fact, that is where I was. I wasn’t working through him as a puppet master or driving force in an effort to ruin your life or steal your daughter. I was his support system and that was it. 
I also want you to know that I got tired very early on in this. I got tired and took a backseat to everything that was going on because I have my own things that I need to focus on that are more pertinent to the future of our household and my own sanity. I have school, family, work, and my own personal health that I have been taking care of more urgently than a situation that I had no part in creating and decided to have no direct part in resolving. I have always made myself open to try to help and will continue to do so. I will provide support and communication where needed and be kind to everyone to the best of my ability. But I will not try and solve the issues that the two of you have. That’s not my job. 
Despite this, I hope that you would please try and understand that this has been an agonizing thing to sit and watch (just as I can imagine it was agonizing to go through directly). I am not going to sit here and try to even begin to speculate what you went through. Nor am I going to try to compare our situations. There is no parallel. What I do want to do is try to open your eyes to where I've been, because I've spent months reading about what you've been going through and I feel like it would only be fair for me to be able to enlighten you to what we as a household have been going through at the hands of both you and BD.
From our side of it, I really want you to know that there is no way to describe having to live in constant fear of what one of us would hear or find out each morning that would offer insight on what our day would turn into. To never, ever know what turns our day would make because someone else thinks they have the right to reign unpleasantness upon us on a whim. It has been a difficult thing to be a part of that. Luckily, it has built us up to be stronger in the long run. We are now able to listen more objectively, plan more carefully and make decisions that will be better not just for us, but also for the people around us that we love. 
And please don’t think that I don’t know you have got your own troubles. I am very aware of the fact that you have got another child at home who has illnesses that need attending to. I am aware of the fact that you don’t have the money to pay for multiple flights out here for court dates (a problem that didn’t need to be blamed on us if you had simply used the facilities at your disposal, including the ability to get in touch with the County Clerk and advise them that you can’t attend in person, and arranging to phone in so that you were counted as attending.). I am aware that all of the financial and emotional issues that arose must have absolutely put a burden on you and your husband (who is a saint, and I hope he knows that. He sold a lot of his own personal effects for something that could have been prevented by you in the first place. He is an incredible person and I respect how much he supported you through this. You have got yourself a keeper there and you should forever be completely thankful for every day that he has stuck through all of this with you). We experienced our share of issues that I am not comparing to yours, but  instead simply letting you know that I know some of what you were going through, because we had our own issues. There were arguments and times when we had to tighten our belts a little to afford certain things. We know that this caused a strain and I don’t want you to think that you were the only one to suffer through the agonizing months of ragged emotions and empty bank accounts. I empathize and wish things could have been different. 
I also really want you to know that through everything, right from the beginning, I have done nothing but try to empathize with you. And not just from the beginning of the court proceedings. I’m talking about from the beginning, like, when Husband and I were coming to visit Daughter in 2011. I felt for you because I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to let your daughter go spend time not only with a father who she has not spent a lot of physical time with, but also someone she has never met. From the beginning I have strived to be nothing but open, honest and communicative with you, and I would hope that you could look back and recall that. I have never been dishonest with you and unfortunately, despite you telling me countless times that you respect and appreciate it, you’ve regularly been unable to accept a lot of my honesty. 
Again, I understand. You’ve never had anybody challenge or disagree with you before. You’ve spent the last seven years making all the decisions for yourself with little or no regard to BD’s feelings or opinions. So I GET you becoming defensive and lashing out to some degree. It’s new and weird for you to have to be accountable for things like taking Daughter in for (what some might consider) excessive medical appointments or raising her however YOU want. BD is a kind person who never wanted to rock the boat, so he just accepted his fate of just being stuck in the background, only being allowed to talk to Daughter weekly and rarely getting to see her. He had accepted never having any choices on the countless medical procedures you have forced Daughter to endure. He had accepted that Daughter only called him by his name because she had been raised to call her stepfather "Daddy." These are all things that he shouldn’t HAVE to accept, but you gave him no other alternative and made him afraid. 
You had actually made him afraid of you. He was fearful of asking for anything from you, even for photos. A father shouldn’t have to ASK for photos of his child (We know that you have gone and gotten professional photos taken of Daughter, one of the sessions being right near BD’s birthday in 2012 and you didn’t even have the kindness in your heart to ask if he wanted to chip in to buy some for himself and his family). He was worried that if he asked for anything from you that you would cut off what little contact that he already had to fight for, which is unacceptable.

Because of this, he finally hit his limit and got tired of being afraid of you. He decided that he should be allowed to have rights. Rights that you weren’t even giving him the chance to have. You went about every single one of your days with no consideration to him or his feelings. You would keep him in the loop the bare minimum, whilst building your own family up, with as little interaction from BD as possible.

The straw that finally broke the camel’s back is when you decided to take Daughter out of school after he told you he didn’t want you to. That, combined with the fact that you decided that you didn’t need to give him formal notice that you were moving was what made him do what he did. You gave him no choice, and I wish you could see that. Any time that he approached you in a very rational way, you blew your top and lashed out at him, completely cutting off all contact. 
Do you remember when you actually stopped him from speaking to his daughter for a couple of weeks? I do, because I remember the hours and days that would pass with him longing just for a photo or just to hear her voice. I wish so much that you could understand how horrifying that is for a parent. To just NOT be allowed to talk to your child. To have someone waive their control of the situation around so callously. You GET to talk to Daughter every day, any time you want to. He doesn't. I don't understand why this is so difficult for you to comprehend. I wish so much that you could utilize just a little empathy regarding BD's situation... How would YOU feel if you knew that you had a gorgeous little girl that you helped to make. A little girl that you were only allowed to speak to once a week if you were lucky. A little girl who you couldn't even pick out of a lineup most days because you only got one picture every four-to-six months. A little girl that you KNEW was brilliant and funny and great to talk to, but you were not allowed to, because that little girl's other parent was busy trying to forget you existed because of the hurt emotions that occurred during your relationship. Not because you are a bad person. Not because you have ever mistreated that little girl. But because of negative feelings harbored and therefore projected upon anybody that they could.
Despite all of this, I tried, and I hope you know that. I defended you to people who were shocked by your actions. I plead your case more times than I can remember because I understood that you were fearful of losing control. I understood that you were blindsided and were acting out in the name of what you called  protecting yourself and your family. I begged for people to try to consider your side of this. I tried so hard to be your personal advocate here to try and protect your feelings. Unfortunately, most of my fighting for you ended very abruptly when a few things were brought to my attention. Things that I had no choice but to take seriously.
I was directed to your public Facebook page that was created as a “secret” page, I guess. A page that was set up with a fake name that led me to a huge cavalcade of other information that I spent hours and hours taking screenshots of.  I fond your Facebook, Pinterest and GoFundMe pages, which I’m guessing you created to protect your identity and still vent, but I wish that you had respected our intelligence a little more than you did and know that you didn’t make yourself hard to find. You also didn’t heed much caution to the things that you said. Things that were often dishonest and downright hateful a lot of the time. 
I want you to know that both BD and I were very careful throughout the entirety of these proceedings to not post or say anything out of anger or that might be construed as such. We owed you more respect than that, and I wish that you had been able to offer us the same respect. Also? We never took the route of lying to try to plead our case, which you did on many occasions, not only through social media, but also on court documents. 
I want you to know that I do very much respect your need to vent and reach out. I can’t count the amount of times that I longed to fumble through my feelings and find someone who I could get sympathy or guidance from. Even then, though, I ensured discretion. Again, I understand and am not condemning you for wanting to reach out. I have spent hours mulling over what you must have been going through. Hours trying to imagine what range of emotions must be running through your head, sometimes making your days unmanageable. I understand that the fear of things to come and the frustration from sudden action must have made you want to pull out your hair a lot of the time. I GET reaching out. I GET venting ugly things to make you feel better about yourself by poking fun at people. But why publicly? Why so blatantly? And why with lies?

Everyone does things behind closed doors that cannot be called to question or challenged, but you brought everything right into the open in an attempt to not only humiliate, but almost create a lynch mob against Husband and everyone affiliated with him. You became paranoid and that caused you to lash out. Most of what you lashed out with though was based on lies. Lies that served no purpose other than to again humiliate and generate a mob of people against us that would praise you and lift you up to be the almighty savior who is being persecuted for nothing but, as you claim, doing what is best for your child. 
I find it really difficult to see how fighting with her father is for her best interest. I find it difficult to understand what part of the things that you said, did and accused us of would benefit your child. I’ve tried, and I really can’t stress that enough. I TRIED to piece together what your thought processes must be like. Processes that have led you to not only post on countless public webpages, but also tell your daughter horrible things about us and lie to professionals about things that you could have never known about. 
The necessity to write this letter came up months ago. Through all of these months I’ve wanted to lash out or say horrible things to you. To publicly out you for all your lies and hatred. I’ve wanted to demand your open ears so that you and all of your friends could hear my half of the stories that you have been spewing out all over the internet. SO many times I started messages to your friends, explaining the truth and how dishonest you were being, but every time I closed it down because that wasn’t necessary. Instead, I’ve decided to go through the things that you have been saying that have been so glaring that I’ve been given no other choice than to defend not only myself, but my husband. You see, I have the right to defend myself and my family just as you do. I am allowed to protect the stability and reputation of my family, just as you are. And that is what I am here to do. So please, read on and see my defenses to the miscommunication and lies that you have been spreading all over the internet and court system. 
They’re broken down by topic and as relatively in chronological order as possible. I’ve also provided screenshots of the posts that you have put up publicly, just in case you might want to deny or pretend it didn’t happen…


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