Friday Free for All

Posted on | December 10, 2010 | 7 Comments

I got some really great emails on this so there will definitely be several more weeks worth of Friday Free for All. But this one really struck a chord with me. Something about the way it was written and the obvious need of the writer to just put it out there. So without further ado, I give you the first Friday Free for All:

It was July, I remember because school was out.  I was seven months pregnant and finally had a chance to sleep in, except this particular morning I was awakened by a loud knocking at our door, and dogs barking.  I waddled downstairs and saw a county vehicle and badge adorned woman standing at my door.  I opened the door, she went through the obligatory information required by her office.  Are you____?  Do you know_____?  Does he reside at this address? Are you over 18?  Please sign here, he’s being served.  I signed, accepted the papers and shut the door.

What I did next was probably none of my business and wrong.  But nothing was keeping me from reading.  My fingers flipped through the pages, my eyes darted from left to right and my stomach sank.  My husband had been served with child support papers. Except, I didn’t know this child existed.And I wasn’t sure he knew this child existed.  I called him, I said unkind things, I demanded to know more and so began the wall building.  I wanted to know every detail, he wanted to keep it to himself.  A part of me died inside that day. 

In August we met with a lawyer, we barely had money to cover groceries, but I knew this wasn’t something we could fight without legal help.  First thing first, file a petition and order a paternity test.   I asked a lot of questions, my husband sat and took notes.  I cried, I saw dollar sign after dollar sign.  I thought of all the what-ifs.  I cried some more.   We scraped together enough money to share an Arby’s meal and talked about our options.  And I cried and cried.  I was disappointed in my husband, he was disappointed at my behavior. He claimed it was “before me” so it didn’t involve me.  I spewed it most certainly did involve me and i feared it would ruin our lives.  I wanted all the details, he wanted me to shut up and stop asking questions.  I laid on the couch and rubbed my pregnant stomach.  I whimpered though stomach pain and choked back the hyperventilating tears.  I told him something was wrong, I pleaded with him to make this go away.  And then I found myself in the hospital at 34 weeks having preterm labor.  Thankfully the doctor stopped contractions and I was released later that day. I know it was stress-induced. I had never been more stressed out in my life.

Did you know going through the courts, petitioning these types of claims and waiting for court ordered paternity can take months?  Well, it does.  We went to a phone hearing around Christmas time, Happy  Holidays, Merry Christmas to us.  Still we were not closer to finding out our fate.  I sat in the conference room with a newborn, and wept inside.  Who did I marry?  Why was this happening? My husband secretly visited this child.  The child’s mother shared pictures with him, set up phone dates and met behind my back.  I found out by snooping, another thing I shouldn’t have done, but to me my actions were justified.  I secretly hated him, hated the child and hated the hoe-bag who mothered her.  My husband researched child support fees, the financial trouble we were getting into and told me I’d have to go back to work.  I scoffed, I cried and I yelled.  Me? Go back to work to support a child who we’re not sure has our last name?  I cried some more, I hugged my own baby tighter and I wished for all of this to go away.  I prayed every day. My husband said I was selfish and mean for wishing this child father-less.  I corrected him, I prayed for her to have a different father.  I prayed for our family of 3 to stay intact and have our baby be my husbands first and only child.  I prayed for our financial future.  And I cried. 

For months there was a huge elephant in the room.  I scoured our phone records, I wondered at every moment if my husband was plotting a way to meet the child, to call the child and to hide more from me.  Finally a paternity test was ordered and completed.  A cheek swab held our future. More waiting, more tears, and more dishonesty.  I tried to forget about her, but the reality was I obsessed about this child.  I planned out where she’d sleep, I researched jobs, I whispered apologies into my baby’s ear and I cried.  Our lives would forever change with the results of that test. We waited…

Every envelope from our lawyer’s office made me anxious, my heart would race and I’d panic all over again, just like the first time.  There was only one envelope that would truly change our lives.  In May the results of the paternity test arrived, scientific proof in black and white.  My husband read it to himself, then shared.  My husband is EXCLUDED as the biological father of Child.  There was no disputing it.  My husband did not have another child, and our lives were not over, as I saw it.  Seven months of sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and it was finally over.

It’s been seven months since the results were shared.  It took me several months to get over the anxiety and at times I found myself obsessing about a child who I’d never met.  My husband tried to forget it all happened, I tried to get him to open up more.  I wish I could say I’m over it and I’ve forgotten, but this shook up my life, our lives and our marriage.  I’m just thankful I can finally talk about it. 

If you’ve got a story you feel the need to share and you have no where to share it, email me. We’ll keep this going until there are no stories left to share. Happy Friday guys.


7 Responses to “Friday Free for All”

  1. Anonymous
    December 10th, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    Bless your heart, writer. I really hope writing this down and getting it all out will be cathartic for you.
    I am wishing you much peace and joy this holiday season.

  2. Shelley
    December 10th, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Wow. I don't know that I would have survived that situation in one piece. You are a strong momma.

  3. KLZ
    December 10th, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

    Thanks for giving us a safe haven Law-Momma. Looks like a lot of us need one.

    You're welcome to secret post at my place anytime…

  4. Not There Yet
    December 10th, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    Holy Sh**! And that could happen to ANYONE!! at ANYTIME!
    Whew…. glad it worked out well in the end, but man oh man…

  5. The Lungos
    December 10th, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    What an amazing story. My heart goes out to all involved in that story, but especially the two children involved.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kim
    December 10th, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

    This is an incredible idea. What a wonderful gift, giving others a voice.

  7. erobell
    December 11th, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    writer – I was captivated by your story. Thank you for sharing, it was very brave.

    I'll be thinking of you and your family.

    Law Momma – BRILLIANT as always!

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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