As I prepare my case for upcoming court date, I needed to obtain the reports from the company who supervises my X’s visits.
There have been a total of three visits- only two hours each visit. My fear in the beginning was that my X would put on a huge act in an effort to win the Father of the Year award. Since the visits are only two hours in length, I didn’t anticipate that a lot could go wrong. Being that these reports are now in the hands of the court, the girls’ attorney, my X’s possession and in my possession… it makes them public record. Because of that, I feel comfortable talking about them in very general terms.
Apparently, I was wrong. A lot can go wrong in a total of six hours. It worries me that he didn’t try to put on a show as it makes me question his state of mind.
- He was 20 minutes early to the first visit which started everything off poorly for the girls and I. He had strict orders to arrive on time. He had to be asked twice to leave.
- According to the report, he ordered his favorite pizza (chicken garlic pizza) without thinking of the girls which means they barely ate anything. They are like most children– cheese or pepperoni.
- He had to be reminded to not use his cell phone.
- Late to second visit- with no explanation.
- He sat and drank coffee while socializing with another father for 20 minutes of his two-hour visit.
- Had to be reminded that there are no cameras when he tried to take a photo. (This makes me so angry because I know those photos would have promptly been posted on Facebook to keep up his facade).
- Arrived late to the third visit- with no explanation.
- On the report, it was noted that, “Dad does not interact much with girls as they play”.
- He brought a family member to the visit (against the rules) and then denied that they were related when asked three separate times. This was his sister-in-law (brother A’s wife) and nephew.
Once again, it is a bag of mixed emotions. If you were to reach in the bag, you would find sadness because my daughters deserve SO much more than this. You would also find shock. Even when I don’t think I could possibly be shocked anymore, I am proven wrong. You would also find confusion. It’s difficult to understand. If I hadn’t seen my children for six weeks, you wouldn’t find me drinking Starbucks and socializing with an adult for 20 minutes. You would have to peel me off of my children. Inside my bag of emotions is also anger. Anger because these reports show his true colors.
This isn’t about our daughters…it’s about his need to beat me in court. It’s also about saving face with his mom who he can’t possibly disappoint.
The time is here. Tomorrow is the first day of supervised visitation. The paperwork process delayed things a bit but the time is upon us. I should feel ecstatic but I feel like I need a pep talk instead.
I feel comfortable with the company who is supervising the visits. The visit will take place in a pizza place and I will meet the Director of the company 20 minutes before the visit begins to let the girls become acquainted with her.
At 12:55pm, I will leave the pizza place and he will arrive at 1pm for his visit. The visit will last two hours and she will never leave the girls’ side. She will be with them the entire time- at the table, in the restroom, etc. I will arrive at 3:05pm and the same cycle will repeat on Sunday. Two hours total.
I have a lot of mixed emotions tonight– it’s been a while since we had to interact with him (February 19th) and the last incident was so traumatizing for both the girls and I. We (the girls and I) have had a lot of conversations about the new arrangement– all prompted by the girls. I’ve answered all of their questions with age-appropriate answers. They know that they get to see their dad but that they will have a “buddy” with them. They feel good about the situation as I’ve explained it to them.
This is what I have fought so hard for. Regardless of how I feel about him, he is their father. This gives them the ability to know their father in a safe environment. I pray that this order stays permanent.
Supervised visits. Something that I have fought so hard for. I sat in front of the main office waiting to meet with the Director of the program.
I’ve had a pinwheel of emotions over the past few years– red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Today’s feelings were yellow: peaceful, happy, relieved and filled with gratitude.
The color “red” served me when I needed to fight to protect my daughters. “Pink” comes into play when I need to wear my “mom cape” and “blue” was a feeling that visited however, I didn’t let it stay for long.
I met with “Mindy” (yes, a fake name) who was the program director. It was a simple, homey place where we met, went over policies and discussed the next steps in the process. I felt at ease as she laid out the ground rules– visitation in a public place with many boundaries and limits. She will be with my daughters at all times– not simply observing from a distance. No visits inside homes or other similar situations. No visits near bodies of water– ocean, pools or lakes.
My appointment lasted about an hour and I left with a good feeling. As I walked outside, I heard doves cooing. That is my “sign” that everything is just as it should be. My children will be safe.
My heart is happy today. After 2.5 years of requesting supervised visitation, I received security for my daughters and peace of mind as a mother. I was awarded supervised visitation today.
The story of Pinocchio immediately comes to mind. He was caught in another string of lies. The judge set a new hearing for April and gave the attorney representing my daughters one month to get to the bottom of the lies. He dug himself pretty deep today and if his lies are proven in April, the visitation order of supervised visits will be made permanent. I have already began my quest to prove that he is lying and it will be fairly effortless.
I pointed out to the court that the person testifying is not the person who I interact with outside of the court and that we would be in court all afternoon if I went through each and every lie that he told in court and on paper. I addressed the fact that this was a six-month review hearing and was his chance to start behaving like the responsible father that he claimed to be. He did the opposite. He has continued in a downward spiral.
This isn’t about winning. This is about standing up for my daughters until they are old enough to do it on their own. This is about being, T-REX, Mama Bear and my daughters’ voice. This is about having the peace of mind that my daughters are safe.