Letters To BEAN

(    !! Fair Warning – this one is a long one !!   )

Was feeling a little nostalgic for the days and all the years gone by earlier…then this happened…

My oldest niece, Angelina, will be fourteen in April and all I can think is what the hell. It can’t be. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was kneeling on the living room floor, arms outstretched, stomach in knots and a lump in my throat as I held back the tears and watched her take those first few shaky steps towards me. So fourteen—it can’t be, and yet I’ve known it from that very moment on that she was going to be unstoppable. And she hasn’t let proven me wrong yet. She’s so smart and funny and sweet—and even when she’s being an absolute brat, I still love her to pieces. I really do. And while I’m so proud of the young woman that she’s becoming…part of me just wants to scoop her up in my arms and never let her go. To keep her thirteen forever –minus all the teenage angst and attitude, of course. It’s a silly wish, I know, but I wish it nonetheless. I just feel like if I blink, I’ll wake up and it’ll be the day she takes her road test, or her graduation day, or the day we send her off to college, or god forbid—her wedding day. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping she waits awhile on that last one. It’s not that I don’t want her to get married or anything. I do. Of course, I do. I just want her to take her time getting there, that’s all.

I want her to have some fun first…to go out with her friends and enjoy being an adult for a little while. Granted being an adult can be absolutely frustrating and just plain hell at times, but there are some perks—some advantages to be young and dumb AND legal. I want her to take a semester abroad and travel the world – to know that there’s so much more out there for her to see, explore, and experience – OUTSIDE of this little town. I want her to fly to all those places she’s seen/sees in the magazines and that she’s dreamt/dreams about visiting someday. She’s got that stubborn personality, that impulsive, independent, and recklessness about her—always has—that I recognize all too well. She’s not mine—I didn’t give birth to her—and yet, she’s like a miniature carbon copy of myself. I’m not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet…but time will tell.

What I truly want more than anything else for her…is for her to find love. I want her to fall in love, be it just the one time…or more than once. I want her to find a guy that doesn’t just tell her that he loves her…he proves it over in spades. I want her to find a guy that treats her right—one who doesn’t hold her back, step on her dreams, or put out that fire in her beautiful brown eyes. I want her to know excitement and to feel those little butterflies flapping their little wings around inside her—the kind that steals her breath and makes the rest of the world disappear. I want her to know love; to know that she IS worthy and deserving of that love. I want her to know the kind of selfless, all-in love that doesn’t leave her yearning for more or left out in the cold. While I don’t relish seeing her hurt, I want her to know heart-break. It’s not being harsh, it’s being practical and simple: You can’t fight, understand, or avoid something that you’ve never experienced. I want her to get her heart broken at least once, to experience that soul-crushing devastation that leaves you crying on your bathroom floor and wondering if any of it was even worth it. It’s hard—those life lessons you have to both live and learn from—because they’re lessons that we all – her included – must learn on our own. You have to walk and go through Hell to get to Heaven, as the saying goes, with love especially. And she’ll have those moments of weakness where she’ll do anything to make the pain go away…to just give up and throw it all away. But she’ll get through it and come out the other side a hell of a lot smarter – and a little less naïve—because of it. She’ll look and she’ll find that untapped strength and determination that makes my strengths look puny. I know she will. I don’t want her to have to live with the same regrets we all live through (for me, at least) when we put ourselves in situations that we’re set up to lose right from the very beginning when we fall for the wrong person. But if she does have them, I don’t want her to let those mistakes and regrets consume or define who she is. I want her to learn from the experience—good or bad—so she knows what and how to avoid repeating them down the road. Moreover, I want her to know that love isn’t perfect. Rather, it’s flawed with both good and bad. I want her to know that love doesn’t always work out—no matter the effort you and/or he might put in trying to save it and to make it work. I want her to learn to fight for what she wants—and to live her life the way she chooses, instead of listening to and letting everyone else live her life FOR her. I want her to never lose that free and independent spark of hers.

I want her to know that she shouldn’t and doesn’t need a guy to define or complete her. She’s better than that. I want her to stand strong, and fall apart, too (if that’s what it takes). I don’t want her to be embarrassed or ashamed by her feelings or emotions…or feel guilty or like she has to echo those three little words just because he’s ready and she isn’t; or because he says it and/or feels it and she doesn’t. I want her to keep that sparkle and light in her eyes, and to avoid the men that will put that fire and shine of hers out. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to stay…that she can leave at any point. I don’t want her to stay in a relationship that isn’t working because she feels she has to or that it’s expected of her…or because she’s afraid that people will judge her or condemn her choices or attack her sexuality and call her derogatory names because she’s moved on with someone else. I want her to know that the double standards on men sleeping around opposed to women having more than one sexual partners. As women, we hate it—but it is what it is, for now at least. I want her to know that she can try everything…to defend or hell, explain herself until she’s blue in the face…and there will always be that one person (if not others) that will be determined to tear her down with all their cruel assumptions and accusations and insults…but that she can’t let their negativity or their miserableness get in the way of HER happiness. There are just some people that are like that. You can try to understand it, but you’ll never succeed. That’s life. That’s people. You just have to take it with a grain of salt…or tequila, preferably.

I want to tell her to try her best to live only in the present. For her to know that it’s okay to forget, move on, and put the past behind her… and to not worry so much about what the future might bring. I want her to focus on all the moments—the good, the bad, the big, and the little ones. I want her take risks, to tests the limits, toe the lines, dream big, and fly high. So very, very high. But more than anything else, I just want her to be happy. Whether it’s in her work and the career she eventually chooses, or a lifestyle and hobbies, or finding the right guy—the one she thinks she could potentially see a “forever” with, standing side by side, both worthy and EQUAL in EVERY way. The deck is already stacked unfairly against her because she hasn’t had the best female role models in her life. My mother and my grams have had custody of her since she was 6 months old. Neither her mother or my brother have been around her very much. My brother’s been doing better and he’s been around more these last few years, but it doesn’t negate all the time that he should have been, and wasn’t. As for her mother, that woman is all over the place. Including my niece, she has 5 kids with 4 different fathers. She’s constantly going from one loser to the next. In the past few years, I think she’s been “engaged” like 3 times—with different people. She doesn’t even have her other 4 kids…and the youngest one is barely a year old. My nephew lives in the boonies with her mother, and the others are each with their respective fathers or relatives of the father. How you can feel no shame in coming and going in and out of your children’s lives, letting others raise and care for them…is a mystery to me. She likes to say that she’s settled down…but she’s a little off on the definition of “settled down” I think. She might not party as hard as she used to, but if she really had cleaned up her act as she claims to have, then she’d be a mother to her kids. But she’s not. I know it bothers my niece that her parents aren’t around a whole lot—she’s at that age—just as I was—when I really started to wonder where my father was and why he wasn’t in my life. I’m sure she’s wondering the same. She plays it cool, but you can tell it bothers her. It took me a long time–even longer to accept—before I finally came to the realization that people are where they want to be. If they love you and really care, they’d move mountains to be there, with you. But some moms and dads are just wired wrong and missing that maternal/paternal instinct. It’s not always entirely their fault, I know. But even so, the majority of the blame is on them.

They’re the ones that brought you into this cruel, unforgiving world and for –essentially—abandoning the kid at the world’s door step. My mother was like that—still is, in fact. With my mother, men always came/come first and my brother, sister, and I second. She hasn’t changed at all over the years. My niece’s mother is like that. What’s sad is that I know what my niece is going through…how she’s feeling. Like myself, she knows how to put on a convincing front and pretend that everything is great—even when it’s not. Same as her, I tend to keep people from getting too close—mostly because I’ve blindly put my trust in people I shouldn’t have…and it almost always ends up coming back to bite me in the ass—some way, somehow. Always. Without fail. Admittedly, my method isn’t the healthiest of coping methods as far as coping methods go, but it works for me. Shutting down and shutting people out is what I do best—but then again, I’ve spent all these years perfecting the art of deflection. That, and leaving. I’m used to people leaving. People always leave. And the unspoken pain that goes along with it. I know she has to find out for herself that life isn’t always fair…and that some people really suck. I’ve been in her shoes. And when the time comes for her (which it most certainly will) I want to be there to reassure her and remind her of that “this too, shall pass” adage and whatnot. I didn’t have the amazing, loving support system that she has when I was her age. I didn’t have anyone really — my family was busy, distracted and just plain clueless to notice me, let alone offer any reassurance or protection from the dangers of the big, bad, old world out there. It was just me. No one else. And it was fucking hard. And it still is at times. I want my niece to experience and eventually learn for herself that life isn’t all puppies and rainbows. Sometimes, life really, really, REALLY sucks. Unfortunately, there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it. You don’t have options, you have a choice…and it isn’t always an easy choice to make, no matter how right it may or may not feel or be. I want her to know that it’s okay if she doesn’t have a 5-year-plan or know just yet exactly what she wants to do in life or who she wants to be. She might not see it—in fact, I’m sure she doesn’t. After all, I was a 13-year-old kid myself once upon a time, and contrary to what she’s convinced herself of and loves to remind me, that wasn’t all that long ago. And I’m not as old as she makes me out to be. Hell, I’m not even 30, but the way she talks about my age, you’d think I was ancient or something. That’s my mean. She’s such a brat. A spectacular one, but still…a brat.

I’d give her the world if I could. That is, I can’t give her ALL of it. I can at least give her some of it. Even at that, it seems a small consolation—if it’s any consolation at all. All things considered. And I’ll be honest, just the thought of her growing up in this hot mess that we call the world – well, it scares the living shit out of me. I know the day will come when she won’t need me to always be here—and even though it’s going to absolutely break my heart when that moment comes—there’s not going to be any postponing…on any level. It’s going to happen. She’s going to grow up. She’s going to leave to find herself, and along with it– the answers to all the questions she’s always had or may have down the road.

Only 4 more years. Four short years that are probably going to be some of the last I have with her…you know, before she gets bit by that travel bug, marries someone, and has little ones of her own. I can’t stop her from growing up, but I can give her the advice and encouragement she might need one day, that she’ll need on that day—when she takes flight and doesn’t look back—for the most part—only forward and straight ahead. I know that she’s going to be amazing because she’s already amazing. And beautiful. And talented. She’s sassy and one-of-a-kind…she’s going to be an incredible human being, that’s for sure – more than she already is and that I could ever imagine. And I’ll be her greatest fan, truest friend, and her loudest cheerleader—always. One thing I know for sure is that she’s always going to my Little Bean (my nickname for her) no matter how old she is and gets to. 13 or 33…she’s still ours. For now, I just hope she realizes the value of being careful and sure cognizant of her vulnerabilities AND of time. She’s too young yet to know just how quickly time passes and that it all goes a hell of a lot faster than she’s even probably aware right now. If I can, I want to be someone she can look up to, that she trusts…and trust isn’t something that grows overnight. It takes time, not just to build that trust, but to cultivate it and allow it the time it needs to reach its maximal and greatest potential. On that same coin, however, life really can happen in the blink of an eye. If you take too much advantage of something or someone, if you’re not watching or you aren’t careful enough…you can miss some of the very best parts, without meaning to. And that would be an absolute, damn shame.

angelina-loose-french-braid So in tribute to my Little Bean (who’s not so little anymore) and the little girl that stole my heart 13 some odd years ago in seconds … I just hope she keeps on dancing. My wish for her is to find all the happiness in the world and all the opportunities this crazy, beautiful, frustrating world has to offer. She makes me proud to be her aunt. I’m the lucky one. Truly. I hope that when life gets hard, she just remembers what I’ve told her since she was little…

“Dream big…

Soar high…

Never question fate or ask why…

And never, ever be afraid to fall

Or fly…”




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…



The Worst Feeling In The World.


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.




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… :/


When Karma Comes A Knockin’.

I’m absolutely heartbroken right now. Like my heart is LITERALLY in pieces. Amanda, my aunt/biological sister/fucking-demon-spawn-bitch (oh, I can go on and on) took the girls, Emma and Ava. It’s only been 2 days, but it feels like longer. It feels like forever.


We knew it was coming. The day that she’d take the girls…we knew it was coming. It’s that simple…and yet it’s really not. It’s really complicated, so I’ll just start somewhere near the beginning. So Amanda is the biological mother of my two nieces, Emma and Ava…but she’s no mother. What she IS however is a narcissistic, heartless, self-centered BITCH. That’s Amanda.


Her oldest daughter, my niece Emma, will be 10 in November and is Special Needs. She was a preemie and has a genetic/chromosomal condition that causes developmental delays, in addition to her having epilepsy and a range of other medical issues. Since she came home from the hospital, my grams –Amanda’s adopted mother (my grandmother and grandfather adopted her when my mother wanted to give her up) –like I said, it’s complicated–anyhow, my grams has been her (Emma’s) primary caretaker. She was the one that got up during the night with Emma for feedings and diaper changes. She’s the one that’s taken Emma to all her appointments with the pediatrician and the specialists. Because of Emma’s epilepsy, Emma sleeps in my grams’ room…basically so my grams can monitor her. Which is a good thing because Emma will literally spike a fever in minutes, out of absolutely nowhere, and go into a seizure without any real warning whatsoever. And it’s happened–the seizures–many, many times that I couldn’t even give you a number if I tried. But what I do know is that for a good 95% of the seizures she’s had, Amanda–her “mother”–wasn’t even home at the time. I can’t tell you how many times we’d call her with an emergency and she’d be elsewhere, usually with her phone off, or she’ll simply just ignore the call–even when we leave messages telling her it’s an emergency. And why is that? Because she doesn’t care. It’s really that simple. She doesn’t care. Not about Emma, not about Ava…not about anyone but herself. And she’s proven that multiple times over.


Emma, who is literally one of the sweetest little human beings you could ever hope to meet–who has been through so much in her short life already–can also be really, really difficult behavior-wise. She’s not your typical 9 year old. For starters, she’s the size of a kindergartener. Secondly, she’s got the intellect of a pre-schooler and zero safety-awareness. You can tell her she’s doing something wrong, but she doesn’t understand it. Not really. She just thinks it’s a game. And Amanda can’t handle her. At all. She’ll just yell and swear and rough-handle her to get her to do what she wants her to do. Emma takes a lot–A LOT–of patience. And she can drive you up the wall, let me tell you. But she’s just a little girl. A little girl that because of her condition, allows for her mother to receive a disability check every month to do with as she pleases. And that’s all Emma is to her. A check every month. She doesn’t care about Emma. She doesn’t love her. She loves the money. All the new clothes and shoes and designer purses and manicures and weekend getaways…that’s what Emma is to Amanda. That’s what Amanda loves. Not the little girl behind the dollar signs…the little girl that doesn’t see a cent of that money.


And it’s the same thing with her youngest, Ava…who just turned five this past week. Ava’s a bright, beautiful little girl with the sweetest personality and the biggest heart…and her mother has just as much disregard for her as she does for her sister. But unlike Emma, Ava understands what’s going on. She understands all of it.


Ava’s birthday was this week…and that’s when it all went down. Amanda–who hasn’t been living at the house and pretty much moved out and into her new boyfriend’s place–this guy that she’s been seeing for a year despite the fact that her divorce from Emma and Ava’s father was only JUST finalized this month–was at the house for Ava’s birthday. My mother and I had just gotten home after hours in the ER because of one of my headache spells and the second my mother walked in the door, Amanda was in her face telling her that “she’d see her in court…that she had the messages…blah blah…” Yeah. Apparently Amanda had gone through my mother’s phone while we were gone and taken pictures of text messages between my mother and the girls’ father. I don’t know what all was said in the messages or what–and I really don’t care–but that’s what started it all. Naturally, my mother was livid that she’d gone in her phone without her permission. As she should be. So my mother being well…her…called up the cops to see if there was anything illegal in what Amanda had done. They apparently told her there was nothing she could do and she was about to hang up when Amanda went out on the front porch where my mother had gone and starting yelling and swearing. Ava had followed her out and was crying, upset and begging her mother to stop fighting. The officer on the other end of the phone heard the commotion and said they were sending a car right over. My mother filled out a complaint, the cops left, and then Amanda went crazy. She started throwing the girls things into a garbage bag, telling the girls she was taking them–so of course they were both crying and hysterical because they didn’t want to leave. Then Amanda went out in the kitchen with my grams and tried taking Emma’s meds out of the fridge. My grams tried to stop her from taking the wrong meds and Amanda went psycho on my grams, hitting and shoving her. My brother and I were right in the next room and we both jumped up…my brother ran out to the kitchen and literally had to pull Amanda off of my grams, whereas I ran outside and informed the others what was going on. My mother, aunt, and the girls’ father ran back in the house and I had to corral a sobbing, screaming Ava–the birthday girl that hadn’t even had a chance yet to blow out her candles or open her gifts. After that, Amanda tried to get the girls to leave with her, but they refused to go, so she ended up leaving, threatening that she’d be back with “help”.


She never came back. Not that night, nor the next. It wasn’t until yesterday–two days later–when we got the phone call out at my sister’s where we’d gone with the girls to spend some time in the pool that Amanda had gone down to family court and was up to something. I’d already put together the statement for my grams’ custody petition for the girls, so my grams and I left and headed straight back and down to family court. But of course, the judge refused an emergency hearing. We had no choice but to give up the girls to their piece-of-shit mother who’d waited until she knew we were gone to pull her crap and go in the house and pack the girls things–95% of which she hadn’t even bought. But because she’s their “mother” and has custody, we had to give her the girls. Which is total bullshit because she doesn’t want them. She doesn’t give a damn about them. Only herself. And her doing what she did, taking them–she didn’t do it for them or because she thinks they’re better off with her. She knows damn well they’re not. She did them for the simple fact that she wanted to spite us. Because she knows now that no one gives a damn about her–and that its the kids we care about. And because of that, she hit us right where she knew it would hurt the most. The girls. Those two beautiful little souls that deserve far better than her.


As I said earlier, it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. We knew. She’d been threatening for years to take the kids. She’s used them as leverage for years, holding them over my grams’ head to get what she wants. It doesn’t matter what it is. She wanted a new car and needed my grams’ to co-sign, so she used the girls to get it. She promised my grams that if she co-signed for her, she wouldn’t take the girls from her. Yeah…talk about a piece of shit. Who does that? Seriously, who uses a 9 year old and a 5 year old as leverage for a goddamn car? It’s fucked up. Plain and simple. It’s FUCKED up. And my grams has tried. She’s contacted the fraud department for the SSI I don’t know how many times to inform them that Amanda isn’t using that check for Emma on Emma at all, only to be told that there’s nothing they are going to do because apparently she doesn’t have to account for where the money is going. Talk about fucked up…that right there is prime example of how screwed up this government of ours is. RIGHT THERE. But that’s not even the half of it. We’ve tried calling CPS on Amanda…we’ve talked to the police…we’ve consulted with family law attorneys…and they’ve all told us the same thing. That there’s nothing we can do because even though she’s a shitty mother and she’s essentially left the kids with my grams’ to take care of 24/7 while she goes out and lives her life…she’s their mother and she has custody. And technically, it’s not considered abandonment or neglect because the kids ARE being taken care of…even though she’s NOT the one caring for them…my grams is the one that’s caring for them. It’s like saying “yeah, you’ve raised these kids since they were born, you’ve been there and she hasn’t–but she has the legal right to do whatever she wants with them”. And that’s exactly it. That’s what we keep getting told.


But we’re going to fight. She wanted a war and now, now she’s definitely going to get one. And it’s not like we’re making this shit up. She has NEVER been there. Never! And everyone who really knows her and knows the situation–they know. The doctors, the school, Emmie’s teachers…the neighbors…everyone knows. But the thing is–Amanda is a pathological liar. It’s a real thing and she is. Honestly, I think she’s gotten so good at telling her lies that she actually believes them herself. It’s sick. She’s sick. And while she may be blood–she means absolutely nothing to me. It’s a horrible thing to say, but if it came down to her or the kids, it’d be the girls 100 percent, all the way. And I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty for the choice. I don’t know who or what she thinks she is, but she’s screwed up. We were all raised in the same house by the same people and I just can’t understand how she could be so selfish–and so spiteful to the people that have been RAISING her children FOR her, without protest and with pleasure. I don’t get it. How can you be that cruel to people who have done so much for you…and moreover–how can you do that to your own children–your own flesh and blood? To take them screaming and crying out of the only home they’ve ever known and bring them to a place (we aren’t even allowed to know where she took them–talk about fucked up) they don’t know and leave them with absolute strangers? How does a mother do that to her own children? I don’t get it.


We tried today…we tried again to get the judge to grant us an emergency hearing (especially when going through Amanda’s room last night for my headphones I came across a bag that smelled like weed, told my mother, and the cops came and confiscated a bowl and grinder–so we had the police report and everything…but he still wouldn’t give us even 5 goddamn minutes. Nope. It was the same judge that I’d dealt with before with that one ex years ago and then again with my bitch-ass aunt when she decided to shove me around. For some reason, the guy doesn’t like me and it’s obvious. But whatever…that’s not his job. And he doesn’t have to like me or my family to hear a petition that involves the welfare of two little girls. It’s his job to protect those who can’t protect themselves…not to take the law into his own hands and play on some little power trip. It’s corruption and it’s bullshit and I know it’s just this fucked up legal system that this country thinks is so great…but it’s wrong, it’s just so wrong. And in this little county, there’s really nothing we can do about it. We tried talking to the police. They just tell us there’s nothing we can do…that we have to contact CPS and go down to family court. And we tried that. In the past and again with everything recently. But CPS says they can’t do anything and family court claims its up to CPS to launch an investigation and it’s a game of passing the buck. No one cares and no one wants to do anything. We can’t request a new judge–that is, we could, but I doubt we’d get one I should say–so we’re stuck, unable to do anything but wait until the court date when the judge is going to hear all the petitions on the 5th. So in the meantime, those girls are stuck with a mother who doesn’t give a damn about them and complete strangers in a strange home for, at the very least, another 5 days.


I can just picture Avie. She’s not good with strangers and god only knows how they’re being treated. She’s probably been crying and begging to come home and it’s just not fair. It’s just not. She and Emma are the ones that are suffering here and it breaks my heart into a million little pieces. And I’m scared to death of what’s going to happen in court on Wednesday. I mean, god forbid that judge plays into her little game and lets her keep those girls…I don’t know what we’ll do. If she keeps custody, we’ll never see those girls again. And just knowing that could happen…it’d break us all. It’d kill my grams…that much I do know. She’s 74 years old and though you wouldn’t know it from looking at her,  57 years of raising kids has taken a toll on her. And those two girls have been her whole world for the past 9 years. It’d kill her…and if anything were to happen to my grams…I can damn well guarantee there won’t be a hole where Amanda can hide to protect her from the backlash of this family’s wrath if anything like that were to ever happen. She started World War III here and I don’t think she has a clue the hell she’s just unleashed. If she thinks we’re just going to sit back and watch her destroy the lives of those two girls…she’s got another thing coming. As we all know…you reap what you sow. And Karma. Is. A. Bitch.


I’m not the praying type, but I really do pray that if there’s a God, he’ll do the right thing and give us back these girls. That everything will go our way on Wednesday and we’ll get them back. I don’t care what it takes. I just want them back. Safe.



She’s Five.

Wishing a very Happy 5th Birthday to my Avie J today!!

“I love you to the Moon and Back.

I love you the most-est.

I love you too much.”

(As Ava and I always say)


avie fbook bday collage 7.28.15 - 5yrs old

Three-Footed, Mistress of Sass…

Can’t believe my little miss sassy-pants Avie munchkin is going to be three soon…suddenly, I feel sooo very, very old…where oh where does the time go…


Watch out world, she may look cute and sweet…and she is, most of the time, but…she’s an absolute, little menace when she wants to be, with a quick tongue to boot… But…I love her to pieces and pieces… XOXO 1362649654700


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Oh Avie, you light up my world….love you to the moon and back!! xoxo

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Rest & Giggles, Avie Style…

Well, I’m finally out of the godforsaken hospital. Ugh, one more day in there and I think I might have gone crazy. I hate hospitals–by the way–the whole sterile-y feel and being all cooped up…though the morphine was nice. Anyhow, it’s nice to be home…chaos and craziness and all. As per doctor’s orders, I’ve been “taking it easy”…which pretty much amounts to lots of writing and scrapping and listening to hours of iTunes. That, and feeling bored and going a bit stir-crazy. My little Avie munchkin decided to come in just now and give me some special attention and her very own idea of “medicine”…which included some jumping on the bed, a tickle fight, some squealing, and lots of lots of giggles. Morphine is great…but laughter…hers especially–definitely the best medicine of all. Hands down…no contest. Yeah. Life is good.

100_5335                  My Little Avie J. ❤100_5339


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