A Little Something Is Better Than Nothing…

So after three painstakingly slow and torturous weeks of this back-and-forth with the girls and worrying about how they’re being treated where they’ve been staying…and losing all faith and hope in a system that SHOULD have protected them, but didn’t…we’ve finally made some headway. Finally.

 

My grams and my sister had a sit-down with their lawyer this morning and he apparently told them that it’d be in their best interest to contact the girls’ mother and try to work out some sort of joint custody arrangement–rather than my grams take her chances with the judge and a trial…because even though we have years of evidence of her not being a fit parent and her neglect of the girls–and all the recent evidence that has since come to light–she’s still their mother. And judges in New York are wont to rule in favor of the mother or sole parent in most custody cases rather than the grandparent–even when the grandparent has been the one to raise the child or children–like in my grandmother’s case here with the girls.

 

Avie <3
Avie ❤

 

So, they went and met up with her tonight and worked out a deal. Custody will be shared, with the primary residence for the girls being at my grandmother’s, so that they can stay in the district for school and so Emma won’t have to go through the wringer with the special needs programs in a different district. So my grams will have the girls during the week, and their mother will have them on the weekends. It’s not an ideal arrangement…but at least the girls get to come back home and they’re somewhere safe and loved and not being abused. It levels the playing field and now my grams and their mother will be on even ground as far as the girls are concerned, which is a hell of a lot better than how it was before with their mother calling all the shots and using the girls as leverage whenever it suited her…while my grams meanwhile had to basically stand by and do nothing…and say nothing.

 

Emmie <3
Emmie ❤

 

They still have to draw up the papers, so nothing’s set in stone just yet and the agreement probably won’t be finalized until they go to court on the 10th and get the judge’s approval…but it’s progress…and it gives us back a smidge of hope, at least. I’m just hoping she doesn’t back out or renege before things get finalized. These girls need to be back home with their family. You can tell that all of this back-and-forth has taken a toll on them and it’s only been three weeks. They’ve lost weight, they don’t talk or smile like they used to…they’re just not the same little girls they were before. And hopefully them being back home will fix that, in time. And it’s going to take time, I know. I mean, you can tell that they’re scared…and that every time they walk through the door they’re desperate for someone to tell them that this will be the time that they don’t have to leave and go back. I just hope this hasn’t caused any lasting damage on them because I miss my little Emmie and Avie J, the precocious, loud, chatterbox little nuts that I remember them being before all of this happened.

 

(Left-Right) Avie & Emmie.
(Left-Right) Avie & Emmie.

 

Again, it’s not ideal…but it’s something. And something is better than nothing. At least now I can go back home to Nashville next month and not have to worry that the girls are still being used as pawns and being abused by babysitters and carted here and there with no stability whatsoever in their lives. Now I can leave with the assurance that they are somewhere safe and cared for, which people I know and trust–and that I know love them and will ALWAYS put them first. I was so worried that there’d be this long drawn out trial…and I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to leave and go back until things were settled. But now I don’t–at least hopefully–have to worry about that. Now I can get these doctor visits and clinic appointments out of the way and head back next month to Tennessee.

 

Speaking of, I can’t wait to head back. Don’t get me wrong — I love my family (well some of them and most of the time) — but with all of these doctors and everything that’s happened with the girls…I’m more than ready to leave the Land of Insanity, so to speak. It’s just been crazy. Totally and ridiculously crazy. I need the break from the drama and the chaos. I need some peace and quiet…which even on a good day, is generally a rare commodity to be found in conjunction with my family. I’m going to miss the kids and everyone, but this isn’t home for me anymore. I know that now more than ever. My heart may be here in New York, but my life is back in Nashville. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m going back, and have taken it upon themselves by just assuming that I’m not–though I have no idea where they would have gotten that impression from. It certainly wasn’t me. I neither had nor have any intention of moving back to NY. Not in the slightest. In fact, as far as intentions go, I didn’t even intend to still be here or stay up here in NY as long as I have this visit. But things got dragged out with the doctors and whatnot, so I didn’t really have a choice.

 

But I have just a few more appointments left, so I should be set to go back by mid-month next month (September). I figure that’ll give me time to settle back in and get some things taken care of before the film circuit starts up the beginning of October and things get really crazy.

 

So, fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly from here on out…

 

xoMESSIE

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The Worst Feeling In The World.

Helpless.

That about sums up how I feel right about now.

We saw the girls again tonight. For about an hour. And when it was time to go, to get them in the car to take them back to their mother…then the crying started again. And I couldn’t take. I just couldn’t. I know I’m an adult. And I know I’m supposed to be the one holding it together and staying strong for these girls–even if its just a front–but I couldn’t. I went with their father Wednesday to pick them up and then bring them back after visitation and it broke my heart, seeing them like that. They both sobbed the entire way. 30 minutes of two little girls crying and sobbing, begging you not to bring you back to that place, to the mother that you know for a fact doesn’t want them and is only doing what she’s doing to hurt you and the rest of the adults, begging to go HOME, wanting to know WHY they can’t go home, asking you why you don’t want them anymore…it’s literally heartbreaking.

 

I know you’re not supposed to wish bad of anyone, but I do. To her–their mother, my biological sister…I do. So badly. I do. I don’t understand. I don’t know how she can do this to them. Her own children. She’s their mother. To see the pain she’s causing them, the absolute heartbreak, and feel no remorse whatsoever–how does a mother do that to her own children? She doesn’t care. And whoever it is that’s watching them is still abusing Emma…she told us again today that the woman is still hurting her. And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. We’ve done what we were told to do. We reported it to CPS, to the State Police. To the court. I even contacted the girls law guardian–who wasn’t too happy with me for contacting him–but you know what, I don’t care. All these agencies advertise that they are here to protect the children and NO ONE–absolutely NO ONE is protecting these girls. NO ONE!! And it’s wrong. It’s so fucking wrong! The system is so messed up. It’s no wonder there are so many stories about kids in the system that are abused and even killed because the system failed them. CPS claims to want to keep families together–bullshit. CPS is a joke. The officer I spoke with the other day even came out and said so–that’s right–an officer of the law came right out and said that Child Protective Services, an agency set up to protect children and look out for their welfare, is a joke. What does that tell you? It says a hell of a lot, don’t you think?!

 

Anyhow, after going through that on Wednesday, I told them I didn’t want to be the one to ride back with the girls today. I just didn’t want to see them go through that again. But Avie started crying and begged me to go and sit in the back with them so I couldn’t say no. So I spent thirty minutes with Emmie holding onto my arm sobbing (and me sobbing with her) that she wanted to go home and begging me not to make her go with her mother, promising her that we’d get her back–and me feeling like shit each time because I honestly don’t know if we’ll get them back and I hate promising her something that I can’t guarantee–and trying to explain to her that we’re fighting to get them back and that no matter what, we love them. And it was no better when their mother finally showed up to get them. She was pissed because I was in the car, as well as my aunt Dar, who was consoling a screaming Ava. Emma literally threw herself down on the ground in the parking lot, screaming that she didn’t want to go with her and Avie was sobbing as well and it was just horrible to watch. I cried the whole way home and when we got back, I wouldn’t even talk to the rest of my family. They aren’t too happy with me because I said that I thought it was wrong to do that to the girls. I want to see them just as much as they do, but not if that is what they have to go through each and every time. It’s not worth it. I love those girls. I’d give my life for them in a heartbeat. Something their mother surely would NOT do. And it kills me that they get that upset every time. I can’t watch them go through it 3 times a week for another month–and that’s just until they go back in front of the judge. That’s not even saying what will happen once they see the judge. There’s no guaranteeing anything will even happen then. “The mother has rights” thing is what’s at the heart of all this…even though the mother is nothing but an evil selfish BITCH that doesn’t give a rats ass about either one of those girls. Who knows if he’ll even entertain my grams’ petition for custody then. Who knows what will happen. It’s all up in the air. And the worst part in all of it is that the ones that suffer is the girls…and there’s not a goddamn thing we can do about it. Not a goddamn thing.

 

I hate this. I really, really do.

-Messie

 

 

What A Mess.

Can’t sleep. I’ve got too much on my mind…

I have my appointment with the neurologist today. My friend Alan was asking me the other day if I was nervous about it. I’m not really nervous, per se. Anxious is more like it. I just want to get it over with, to tell you the truth. And can you really blame me? It’s been over a month now. I’ve been to the ER and clinics probably a dozen times now–seen about that many doctors, if not more. I’ve been poked and prodded, tested, tried a dozen different meds…and I’m no closer to a cure or answer to these headaches than I was a month ago. According to my primary doc, there’s a good chance that there may be nothing we CAN do about them. I don’t want to believe that, but then, I’m so tired of the meds and the doctors. Above all, I’m sick of the headaches. My world pretty much consists of good days and bad days. And the good days aren’t really good days. They’re just days when the headaches are tolerable to the degree that I don’t wish I were one of those 2nd Amendment weirdo fanatics with the ability and means to literally put an end to them, once and for all. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not suicidal. I’m not. But you have no idea what it’s like to be in constant pain. I even wear sunglasses inside the majority of the time because the lights hurt–that’s how bad it is. And it’d be one thing if it were a here and there thing. But it’s not. It’s constant. And it sucks. It’s hell. Absolute physical hell. And I just want it to stop. So I can get back to my life. I want that so badly. So, so badly. At this point, I’d pretty much do anything to make that happen. To make them stop. Hopefully this doc will have the answers that the others didn’t. Hopefully. 😦

Moreover, today’s the day the others go before the family court judge about my nieces, Emma and Ava. My sister and grams hired a lawyer and they’re going to request that my grams be granted temporary custody of the girls while the whole thing gets situated…and I’m hoping beyond hope for a miracle–that the judge grants the request. It’s been almost a week since we’ve seen them and I miss them like crazy. It’s insane how quiet it’s been without them here. It just doesn’t feel right. It feels like something’s missing. Because something is. And that something is them. Honestly–and though I hate to admit it for fear I’ll somehow jinx things or something–I’m not holding my breath or anything for any good outcomes. I want to believe that the system will work the way it should and that justice will prevail for once…but history has given me nothing but doubt. Lots and lots of doubt. It’s hard to trust a system that you’ve seen fail you and so many people so many times over the years. It’s so hard. And yet, I want to hold on to the hope. Because it’s all that we have. All that my family and my grams have. All that those girls have. And in the end, that’s what matters. That’s ALL that matters. Those girls. Only them and no one else.

I keep thinking about them. They’re all I can think about. I’ve seen pics on Facebook that her boyfriend’s mother has posted–for show, no doubt–of them…and I don’t know what to think. It’s hard to explain, but they just don’t look or seem like the girls we know. Their smiles aren’t their smiles. They aren’t them. I wonder if they’ve asked about us. If they’ve asked to come home. If they’ve cried and begged. Pleaded with their mother to be returned to the place and the people they’ve known their whole lives. I can’t believe her. She makes me angry. So damn angry. How can she do this to them? Her own kids. It’s unconscionable. So wrong. And yet…It’s so her. God, I’d love to knock her off her high horse. Oh, yes.

At the same time, I can’t help but think about where the outcome of tomorrow’s hearing puts me in terms of my return to Nashville. The plan was to see the doctors and go back. After all, I have a lease and an apartment down there that I’m paying for…where my stuff is…where my responsibilities are. I have school starting in a couple of weeks. I can’t just not go back. And yet, I can’t just leave with things so up in the air like they are right now with the girls. It’s so complicated. And I’m so conflicted. I need to go back, yet I need to stay. And I can’t choose. I just can’t.

So I won’t. At least not right now.

But soon. I know. For soon, I’ll have no choice… :/

xoMESSIE

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