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The Worst Summer - Part III

It has now been weeks since I’ve been able to speak with my daughter. I have been in full panic mode. Not able to eat. Not able to sleep. I don’t know that I have ever been this stressed out in my life. I have been spending my time trying to figure out the best way to travel to a state that is not allowing people from my state to visit during the pandemic, calling the police station in the town I know Dana lives in, and getting legal advice from anyone qualified enough to give it. I made various plans to get to my baby that just kept falling through because of everything going on in the world, and I was really starting to lose it.

I was now on three different medications to try to keep me from losing my mind and help me sleep. None of them were working. If I tried to put food in my mouth I either spit it back out or threw it up. What was going on with my child? Did she think I deserted her? What were they telling her about why she wasn’t talking to me on the phone anymore? How could a person that has a child do this to another person?

All of my legal advisers told me the same thing, she cannot keep my child from me. She didn’t even live in that state anymore and if I go there and she refuses to give her back it’s kidnapping. I was told she can make all the false accusations that she wanted, but even if some type of case was opened it would need to be opened in the state I lived in. All I had to do was get to her without incident.

I decided to test the waters. I sent a text to Dana saying that my father-in-law was coming to visit us and he would bring Kiara with him. She didn’t respond. A few days later I sent another text telling her that my best friend was on her way to get Kiara. Finally I got a text back. “I am not giving Kiara to ANYBODY and if someone comes here I’m calling the cops.” Ok so the text may have pissed me off, but she responded. I told her it didn’t matter who she called because I had been talking to the police and they already know the situation. They are just waiting for the call to meet at her house. She said I sounded stupid and she would be calling CPS because Kiara should be seeing her father. Wait...her FATHER?!? The man that hadn’t seen or spoken to Kiara in over 3 years? The man that you called a bum, a waste of space, nappy headed, an idiot and all kinds of other things? Yeah I’m sure she was so concerned about Kiara seeing her father. Anyway, I said good call CPS. They will make sure you give me my child because a case has to be opened in the state the child lives in. Now we were arguing back and forth over text messages. First she tried to make it seem like my husband was abusing me and my daughters, then later it was changed to I sit back and watch him beat on the kids. She then started calling me a dike and a crackhead and saying I’m a terrible mother. I had enough of her disrespect and told her maybe if she was a better mother her daughter wouldn’t have been contemplating suicide at the age of 16 because she couldn’t accept that she was gay. I also told her to get my child ready because I’m on my way, come hell or high water. Then I blocked her from texting me back. I wasted enough time and energy arguing with her when I could have been planning my trip.

Every mode of travel had something wrong with it that could potentially interfere with plan. One of the main things we worried about was the virus. We had a one year old that we had been keeping quarantined from everyone. She didn’t even go into the grocery store with us anymore because of my paranoia. To both of us that meant that driving was not an option. It’s anywhere between 16-18 hours one way for the trip, we weren’t sure we had the money for all the expenses that come with driving long distances, and the baby couldn’t stand being in her car seat for more than an hour. Then I said screw it, I’ll drive by myself. Richie immediately said no to that because of my suspended drivers license, but I didn’t care about that license when it came to getting my baby. He pointed out that it was game over if I got pulled over by myself out of state, and of course he was right. My next thoughts were either a train or a bus, but they were both expensive options AND I was paranoid about Covid. It looked like my only option was attempting to fly there. Flying out of Alabama was insanely expensive no matter what day or time I tried to choose. I had previously flown out of Atlanta, which was only 3 hours away and much more reasonably priced so I booked a flight from there. My cousins that live in that area graciously offered Richie and the baby to hang out with them instead of driving for 6 hours straight. Things were finally coming together nicely.

It was Thursday afternoon and I texted Dana and told her that I would be there Saturday. I never got a response but I didn’t need one, I was coming and there was nothing she could do to stop me. It turned out that I couldn’t leave when I needed to and I had to change my plane ticket to Tuesday. I wanted to come when she wasn’t expecting me anyway, so I figured it was for the better. I just knew she would come up with some kind of scheme if she knew exactly when I was coming. Boy was I right...

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