Time Didn’t Stand Still, but My Heart Is Still Broken
Tonight as I drove through my neighborhood, I saw toddlers all dressed up with their parents walking around excited and playful. I had forgotten it was Halloween. Prince was supposed to be a monkey. The costume is still hanging in the closet. He will never wear it, nor will he wear any other Halloween costume.
On October 20th when I learned my son had died, it felt like the world stopped, like my heart stopped beating, and like time stood still. As I watched the little people walking around my neighborhood, I felt like I was being punched in the chest. Time hadn’t stood still and other people would go on to keep raising their children. I, on the other hand, now had to learn how to be a childless mother.
A few days ago, I went to a doctor and asked for some anxiety medication. While I had been fighting taking medication for the past 15 months (because I was breastfeeding baby boy), I no longer had that excuse and I needed to find a way to sleep. I hadn’t eaten in five days since I had seen Prince alive. I felt like I was dying.
After hearing my story (the five minute version), the doctor gladly wrote me a perscription and said, “This might sound insensitive, but your child dying sounds like it could have been just the thing to get you away from this monster. You need to see the silver lining here.” As the tears streamed down my face, I stared at him in shock and horror. ‘He couldn’t possibly be a father’, I thought. How could he say something like this to a mother who just lost her child.
I hate Luc. He is the devil in human skin. I believe with all my heart that he is the reason my son will never get to say “I love you”, bring me home a report card, graduate from kindergarten, or do just about anything people tend to take for granted. I hope I never have to see Luc’s ugly and villainess face again, but this reality doesn’t give me an ounce of comfort when the cost is my son. I would have been happy to fight Luc for the rest of my life if it meant my son getting the chance to live a full life.
Cappuccino Queen, I don’t even know where to start… While I have been following you on LF since your first post, NEVER in my wildest dreams did I ever think that today I would be reading about your tragic loss on LF “Rest In Peace Baby Boy – The Courts Failed Us” – I am so deeply sorry… I am in complete shock!!! My heart ACHES for you cappi Q!!!! I too share a son with a spath who is now only 11 months old, and I can’t even tell you how often I would read your posts and almost feel like I was reading about myself (that’s how much I can relate to your circumstances) – and this certainly hits far too close to home for me! I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about what happened to your precious baby boy Prince (after I feel like I’ve grown to know both you and him through every word you have written), and I have not stopped crying ALL day, or stopped thinking of you!!!
I am so extremely sorry for your loss, and though words cannot take your pain away, or make you feel any better, I just pray that the Lord will comfort you in this difficult time, that He will surround you with His unending love and strength and that He will keep you in the palm of His hand and close to His heart. He is there with you whenever you feel like you cannot carry on any more, and when you don’t know which way to turn – just rest in Him because He will carry you through this.
And don’t beat yourself up hun, you did the best you could (and your little angel knows that) – baby boy was blessed to have such an amazing woman as his mommy who clearly loved him SO very much!! I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish you must be feeling right now, along with all the other emotions. But you are an amazingly strong woman, and the best mother baby boy Prince could EVER have wished for, don’t ever forget that!! You have been such an inspiration to me (and still are), and I’m sure to many many others too. So keep telling your story, to the world! Not only for baby boy’s sake (or in honour of him), but for you as well 🙂
Try to take comfort in knowing that you WILL see your baby boy again one day in heaven, and that Luc will NEVER ever be able to touch or harm him again – EVER!! Because baby boy is now with Jesus (our protector), singing and dancing and playing with balloons, and always looking down at you! We serve a good God, a just God, a VERY JUST God! and that devil monster Luc WILL pay dearly for his actions. I don’t wish that upon anyone, trust me I don’t, but at the end of the day it is really not about this life on earth but rather about where we will spend eternity. And monster’s like Luc will spend it in hell with satan where they belong!!!
Sending SOOOO much love your way cappi Q, to both you and your family, and of course your little Prince who is now safely in heaven xxxxxxx
Thank you Lara. I am sorry that you are also dealing with one of these monsters. My advice at this point – run. I wish I had. I tried to look to the system to protect us, but that is just not what the system does. Nobody in the courts understands how bad these characters truely are. Unless you are able to get the visits to be supervised (and even then I had read cases of horror stories), you are better off disappearing and taking your chances. I am sorry I don’t have better advice for you, but I wish that someone had told me to run before this happened to my son. Now he is dead and I will never hold him again, talk to him, hear him say MAMA, hear him cry….He will never grow up to be anyone because he is dead.
I am so sorry. Everything Lara said I ditto. I believe love is what holds that spirit soul together with us. Luc has no reach to your son now. He isn’t capable of love but of evil so your son is safe and with you but (I’m sorry) not in body in my belief.
I cannot begin to imagine your pain and emotions so deep. I do know Prince IS lucky to have you as a mother and knows you love him and would do anything you could to protect him. We don’t have a crystal ball. Although we fear the worst case scenario, none of us who are real and loving truley believe a person can do that to our so loved child. Do not hold it against yourself for not running. I was told to run and considered it. I researched it. Since 9-11 it’s become almost impossible to get lost. If you make it for a time, when you are caught they give the child to the abuser and jail you. Prince would have been in much more terrifying danger and once again the courts would fail you.
I hope your doctor had more thought than the words he spoke as I get his point but MY GOD MAN! Have you no sense? People say the dumbest things during extreme emotional times. I hope he pondered his words and realized what an idiot he was.
My daughters pediatrician who knew what a happy kid she was heard about her abusive criminal bio-hazard coming for her and I dared to say I wanted to run him over with my car to the point of hearing the two thumps as I did it! (I have never wanted to harm someone like this let alone been brave enough to speak it) Do you know what she said? “Make sure you put it in reverse and hear two more thumps so the job is done right!!!” I knew then that she understood.
CappiQ, I know none of us can take away your pain or do anything to help you right now. I hope you know if we could we would and I believe this of others with all my heart. The only way through this is “through this”. If a song pulls your heart strings, remember, whoever wrote that song with the words so spot on, lived to do it, most likely lived through it! It must be possible to get through it.
I hope you have the love of Prince come to you in your dreams or moments unexpected and as your guardian angel he helps give you the strength to get through this.
HUGS AND HUGS AND HUGS to you.
It took me a while to write. I am so very sorry. You wrote about me on your blog just recently after I wrote to you how 8 years later I am still in court fighting for my children to keep them safe. Your advice was spot on. You put things in perspective for me, as I can no longer complain. I have my babies still. I know you would fight for the next 17+ years for your Prince if you could. Again, by heart breaks for you and I am in disbelief.
Please keep us posted on the progress of the criminal investigation. You are an incredibly strong woman and don’t ever give up the fight.
Dear Capuccino Queen, I didn’t check your blog for a couple of weeks – one child had severe strep, I got pneumonia, then we were in the Hurricane Zone. I have come to love your writings because as you said – you got through this, think that it’s only you, and seeing that it isn’t only your own experience but that other mothers have gone, are going through the same thing – in fact, it’s shocking how nearly identical these spath’s are. When I read about your son’s death, I too went into shock.
My children are older – 14 and 15 and one is autistic. I went into my first attempt at separation just over a decade ago, and I was blindsided by a family court that gave the spath abuser (temporary) sole custody. Since he was not in actual fact interested in actually raising his children, he was eager to “reconcile”. I knew by then that it was no reconciliation, but rather being in the line of his fire. However since it meant I would be with the children (one of whom as I said has special needs – she was not toilet trained until 5, she has always been unbelievably labor intensive compared to non special needs children) – I chose to “return”,. I was condemned by many (some of whom suggested leaving the kids with him, and restarting my life, and “some day” I’d be able to win sole custody). I lost most of the rest of my support system – who had not been driven away or coopted by spath – who just did not get that I was not looking at a “reconciliation” or emotionally attached or whatever — I returned to the hell of marriage with spath because in effect I had sole custody of the children within the legal framework of a marriage. He heaped constant verbal and emotional and intermittent physical abuse upon me for the first several years (of course, he was cocky and triumphant that he could play the system after that) – I am a woman who once was on a magazine cover who now in middle age have a disfiguring scar from cheekbone to lip (throwing me headfirst through a window), wear a “flipper” (for missing front tooth).
Within this marriage I have been penniless – I have not seen his tax returns nor have access to $ though he has periodically made big (over 100K) money. I did not have basic identification – as he refused to give me $ to renew my driver’s license or passport. And in a post 9/11 world – not having ID is being a nonentity.
Over time, he not only lost interest but just plain left (1000 miles away) although he reserved the right to show up without warning – insisting on his right to see his kids – I would learn morning of, that he would be here for a few days. That happened three times a year when I look back at it. He paid the rent (apt is mine pre marriage) and utilities, always months in arrears (so that I and the kids would know we were one phone call from eviction – that he could destroy us, his words). He sent $500 a month and we were on food stamps. Last spring after one of his visits which involved a rage attack on his part I got a restraining order and have been back to dealing with Family Court.
Sometimes I doubted myself – was this really the best choice? I lost a decade of my life. No profession (I was highly regarded in my field), material deprivation (to the point that now, with snow in NY, I have only a pair of sandals to wear with socks). Our children’s lives have been in the deepest poverty. We three have had an amazing and great time nonetheless – without money, but with spirit and a sense of adventure and curiosity – so many wonderful times, such a happy life, with the exception of the periodic appearance of the spath and the constant black cloud of his attempts to micro manage and poison long distance.
At the same time, I am dealing with Family Court, trying to untangle the mess (discovered that a man who has made on the average 75K annually sometimes much more – has used my social security number and there are unknown but beginning to show up debts he opened that I am learning about),. We are on public assistance and I am dealing with people who say to me, you have an Ivy League education – get a job! without grasping that the without identification, with liens on all financial accounts, without shoes, with one dress, wearing one contact lens because I’m out, without a hair cut, etc., “get a job” isn’t realistic. I myself wondered, was this the right choice? A decade ago – I was still on track personally and professionally. Did I do the right thing?
When I read your posts about your son’s death (and I too called my son “baby boy” – and sometimes till do, in tenderness, though he is over 6 feet) – I knew I had. When Spath had temporary custody (a female judge in NYC actually said, OK, he’s been physically violent to his wife, but if he hasn’t been with his children there is no reason he is an unsafe parent). – he would call me, say, I’m going out for the night and if you want to save me money, come watch the kids”. (he’d asked for “mutual restraining orders” which back then they often gave – and so was violating the order keeping me from the home). When I pointed that out, he one time told me that he’d met a Brazilian chick (his words) who’d just lost her job tending bar and she’d be watching them if I couldn’t. He didn’t know her last name nor did he care. In fact, he told me, she’d watched the kids when he’d gone away for a weekend but he didn’t feel like spending the money and the neighbors complained about the kids screaming so he was offering me the chance to watch them and save him money.
That’s how our “reconciliation” started – I saw that their well being mattered not one whit to him, they were his possessions but possessions he didn’t need to take care of. He left autistic child in a car seat in a locked car in the sun in the heat and talked his way out of it (I suspect if a mother did that she’d have handcuffs in her future). I could go on and on but anyone reading this knows the kinds of callous disregard that these spaths show. He loses his keys a lot so no one is allowed to lock the front door, he tried to send our baby boy out alone to buy groceries for him – when baby boy was six – in city streets. etc I will stop with that. I had no doubt then that he was a danger to them beyond physical abuse (which later he tried with our son – and which he never ever managed precisely because I was there and physically got between them – one of the many things he is bitter about, I have “stopped him from disciplining his son” – hell yes I have). But beyond that, his callousness, his recklessness, his absolute lack of empathy and awareness of them as human beings – either of my children could easily be dead.
I had almost forgotten that, and your story reminded me what could have been my story.
I can imagine but do not know the pain you feel now. Please know that I am thinking of and praying for you.
If I have learned one thing in this nightmare, it has been that no matter what decisions we make – there is no managing a psychopath. They WILL kill us and our children one way or another. I don’t judge you for going back. I, however, knew that once me and baby boy left there was no turning back. With Luc, I was either with him or against him. That night I left he told me this would happen. I fought so hard in court trying to manage him and trying to play this impossible game of chess. Luc, however, decided he was not interested in a chess game so he set fire to the chess board.
I only had my son for 15 months, but I am still proud of the fact that I didn’t give in to HIS rules. I was the best Mama I could be to that little boy. I chose him and was ready to continue doing so for the rest of my life. Luc chose to kill his own son and the courts allowed him to do that. If a woman came to me at this stage….knowing what I know now…and wanted advice on Child Custody War’s with these people, I would only have one piece of advice:
If you want to save your child both physically and emotionally, you cannot stay. You must run as far away as you can. It will be hard. You will have to hide until the psychopath loses interest and moves on to a new target to terrorize. You might be homeless and lose your identity, but if you are a Mama like I was – it would be worth it to wake up every day knowing you are doing the only thing possible to protect your child. Family Court is a joke. It is the biggest horse and pony, smoke and clouds, waste of government tax dollars I have ever seen. Run and run far.
In regards to your comment in this specific post, which is the primary reason for me sharing myself with you. I have been mulling over since I read it over a week ago about wanting to give your son a full life. In my very humble opinion, I feel you did. You did give your son a full life. You did your best to protect him, to love him, to give him happiness and joy. That is the best we can do with our children as mothers. You gave him a full life, though he sadly wasn’t with us in physical for a very long time. I do feel he is and will always be with be with you and all the people that you share with, especially myself.
Sasha’s comments, I agree so much. Prince is representative of our children, and that though we don’t know directly the pain you are going through, but we understand and share in your loss. Also, again, its amazing the parallels. Its as if the expaths are cloned! For me, I am greatly comforted to know and finally find people contending with the same conflicts, frustrations, concerns and experiences. For nearly fourteen years, I thought I was alone. I am not.
Take your experience where Luc didn’t give the correct information to the hospital and that was my experience when my children after they moved out of state that the stepmother enrolled the children as the ‘mother’ though they had copies of the birth certificate and never provided any legal guardianship papers (because there aren’t any). The first flag the school administrators overlooked is that they noticed and corrected my oldest’s name….as her name was misspelled on the enrollment form and other incomplete or inaccurate information. Of course this didn’t come to topic until I found out that the wife as ‘the mother’ pulled my oldest out of school for “home schooling”. Luckily and probably done to avoid a law suit, my daughter was immediately re-enrolled back into school after sending the school all the legal paperwork supporting I am in fact, the mother and have joint legal custody.
Side note to Sarah: I hope you and your family are okay – I have family in the region and my mother was displaced. I know it’s been a rough ride and in my life, never saw such destruction to the area, and is so devastating. Never – and I was 10 with hurricane Gloria! Though I moved out of the region, I’ll always consider the shore my ‘home’.
I found your blog by another website I was intrigued as I too have been fighting for my children’s safety.I connected strongly to you as a mother and woman, and even with these other women who comment in your blogs and continue to do so.
When I came to the one about your son passing, I was shocked. Stunned. My heart ached and broke for you and still does. Many emotions flooded through with the same level of shock and disbelief as when I was 17 my 15 year old brother died suddenly and tragically in a motorcycle accident 25 years ago. But again, my primary message was learned from my brother. He died young. Every time I make a milestone in my life, it is bittersweet because I knew he never had that pleasure and was ‘robbed’ of it. I especially was affected once I became a mother and had more insight and compassion as to what my mother must have gone through and still does.
Then I remind myself that in his 15 years, and like your son’s 15 months on this earth, how many people and how much joy and how much living he did with full passion…. he lived a full life and touched and loved by so many. (In typing this and re-reading I thought to specify which ‘he’ and I realize that ‘he’, is both my brother and your son. I hope you can respect that comment as it is intended.)
I then think of my very bitter, angry, sad, hurtful paternal grandmother who died at 85. Her life was empty and reflected at her funeral where no one shed a tear and seemed more like a casual social gathering, attended by maybe 20 people, and only went out of respect. Her life was long, but not full as it was devoid of any joy and she only bought bitterness to the people around her..
My story: I have three with the ex and his wife is definitely a sociopath and he’s over the past 14 years since our divorce,adapted much of her ways and mind set. I too have to deal with a lot of contemptuous behavior from him and his wife and we’ve gone to family court no less than a dozen times, usually over behavior they executed, but yet blame me for being litigious though they love being high conflict and using the courts. Though my actions are only my reactions to their behavior, but they of course, fail to see them doing anything wrong.
I was drawn to your blog because it reminded me of my ‘beginning’ when the exchanges had to be at the police station, juggling three small children (3 kids born back to back), diaper bags only to be verbally assaulted at the exchange or having harassing phone calls because the children got sand in their hair because we went to the beach during the week night visitations. Or cancelled my visitations ‘just because’, or if I was five minutes late due to traffic, etc and several attempts to try to strip me of visitation and custody. At one point I was offered $15,000 to” just go away and sign off on the kids”.
Mind you I thought I made a best choice decision for the kids to stay with them as she was able to stay at home, they had my family’s support at the time, a nice house, pool, huge yard and I had nothing….no-thing…. and had to support myself and go back to college and knew that collecting support would be a definite challenge as at the time it was not mandatory to go through Child Support Enforcement….little did I know my children would become ‘hostages’ not only to myself, but eventually the entire extended family on both sides (his and mine). How little did I know what I truly was up against, and mind you everything happened so fast and hard I didn’t even know what hit me. The ex’s wife certainly had us locked in her cross hairs and ambushed our lives and got what she wanted, big time. Hindsight… a blessing and a curse.
As to a bit more background with my story, I finally landed a job opportunity and moved out of state and remained out of state nine years ago, and blamed for moving and ‘abandoning’ my children. Though they’ve done nothing to help me see the children more frequently such as meeting me half way due to the long distance. In doing as such I was able to provide better for the children and enjoy longer visitations though over long absences with far less drama and disruption causing for better quality time for me and the children.
In essence, I ran for my protection so I could protect my children better after I realized that the behavior of the wife was far from normal, lasting way too long, and from a woman I never met previously, her level of hate, blame and shame was becoming more atypical as a couple years passed and her anger level only increasing though we have minimal contact. I realized she was never going to let up as I initially thought it was emotional drama from a husband stealer. Mind you I had reason to feel I deserved the guilt and shame as like my husband, I also went outside of the marriage Then I came to realize, I was emotionally moving on amid all the infidelity and they even moved in together two weeks after my ex kicked me out in a very orchestrated manner, and after only a 5 month separation divorced, and they married six months later. If you talked or met us now, you’d think then and now, that she was the wife that was scorned, that is how hostile she was and remains. She’s benefited highly from the situation for over a decade and is still angry though she ‘won’.
I’ve also been coping with the fact that nearly a year ago the ex’s wife almost got into a severe accident with three of the kids while driving under influence (2 of them mine and their half sister) and then later assaulted my oldest daughter. This after a year of people warning my ex that his wife was getting progressively more unstable and he did nothing, but swears he’s done his best to ‘protect’ his children from him, though he had his wife return home in violation of her bail after she completed rehab.
As a result we got my oldest out of the home and just got her emancipated in September as she was the ex’s wife’s primary target and been in a safe home and will graduate with her friends and still near and in school with her siblings. The wife completed her mission – remain a parasite and get the kid out as she’s stopped serving a purpose in the home though I think the real reason for targeting my oldest is she is my doppelganger and represents everything good that the stepmother isn’t. Probably looking at my daughter and her compassionate and intelligence reminded her all too much of me, of which she vowed to ‘hate me forever’ and probably the only promise shes kept so far. Though once my other two kids are emancipated and child support stops, then I can finally rest as I will have no purpose to serve her or my ex- husband (my child support). The children are aware that the family will support them in any decision they make once emancipated regarding continuing or not continuing a relationship with their father and stepmother.
I know the battle you had with yourself in regards to being in contempt and worrying about your child. I was put in that situation myself in March as I went up when my ex brought his wife back into the home just before the wife’s preliminary hearing. I convinced the grandmother that it was best and just a couple of days Of course the day before the hearing he wanted her back home.
However I did my homework and knew I’d be in contempt but civil contempt with a fine of $25 and already had contacted child services, the school, law enforcement agencies, the DA, prior to leaving to go get her, that I was going to stay local bring her to school, gave the hotel information, and that I would return my daughter at the court with the father’s consent. In fact, the DA was told that the wife was returning to a halfway house, not the residence and were taken by surprise to the news. So when he changed his mind, he was told “too bad; so sad” in essence.
It also helped that the law enforcement agencies most likely didn’t act because a victim shouldn’t be in the same home as her assailant in violation to bail prior to the hearing. For once- in fourteen years- the circumstances were on my side and I didn’t look ‘crazy’ as it is usually turned around by them. My parents went ape crazy over this decision to let them know I was keeping her for the one more night, but I assured them that it was worth the $25 bucks and broke down that if there was a moment I needed them to support and trust my decision as a mother, it was then.
In fact I still laugh as to how that conversation would have gone “yes, my ex wife has my daughter and won’t return her because my wife who isn’t supposed to be in the house because of an order of protection is home….go get her and bring her home because I want her here with me!”. Then again this same father texted her to come home because she was never harmed in his home. Uh, what? The night before a domestic assault hearing and child services involved and she was ‘never’ harmed? Wow. So sorry I didn’t take the threat of “calling the cops” seriously and immediately obey your impulsive change of mind.
Thank you for being so brave to share all these experiences and exposing the family law courts for their ineffectiveness in protecting children and glad to see you continue to do so.