Days like today make me scratch my head and ask why. I ask God "Why?" I ask friends, family and mentors "Why?" Some things just don't make any sense to me.
To make a long story short, a dear sweet friend of mine is in a nasty custody battle over her 5 year old son. When she enlisted in the Army, she had to sign over her parental rights because she was a single mother. She thought they had agreed that when she returned from training, she'd regain custody and they would go back to the previously arranged visitation schedule. NOT. He instead got an order of protection against her so she could not see her son and went to court for full custody. And WON! He says that she abandoned her child when in reality she did something to better her life for her family because she previously was making just over minimum wage at Menards. She now works full time for the Army National Guard, makes good money, has healthcare for herself and her children and a stable home. So why is it that the mediator who met with both parents wrote in her review that her son is better suited with his father? This man hasn't held a job since 2007, he lives of welfare, has prior criminal history with drug charges and yet she thinks it's a better idea he stays with him? Are you kidding me?
His lawyer is one of those scumbags you see on TV "know your rights as a father. We'll win, guaranteed." Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a father hater, sometimes it's true the child is best off with their father. But this is just not the case. For a while he wasn't even paying his attorneys and they dropped him for a few months.
I've been with her when she picks him up or drops him off(yeah, she does it b/c he can't drive) and I see the pain she and her son go through. Every time he clings to her arm saying "Mommy I don't want to go back to daddy's" or comes sprinting up to her car b/c he is so excited; it tears me apart. I'm not a mother, I can't imagine the pain she's going through but just seeing the situation from the outside makes me want to walk into the courtroom and shake the mediator really hard. And tell the judge that if he rules in favor of that boys deadbeat dad that he's setting that sweet precious little guy up for failure.
I realize there are 3 sides to every story and I mostly see one. And I could be completely wrong, but I don't think I am. A 5 year old child is not good at hiding emotions and you can often read them like a book. So as I sat there and discussed this with my friend tonight I realized this is exactly what he wants! He WANTS her to be upset so that she isn't thinking straight and is thrown off. So after calming down for a few minutes we had a calm logical discussion. Sometimes logic can be my downfall because some people think I'm just cold hearted but really I know that logic wins out in cases like this. After a long talk and coming up with some new tactics I think she feels a bit better prepared and now has some things to bring up to her attorney next week.
I just hate that I have to watch her go through this. But like I told her "Everything will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, it's not the end."