Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
"Step-Daughter Nightmare" from KIDNAPPED TWICE
Our marriage was the second marriage for each of us, Alan and me.
The situation with Alan’s daughter was a nightmare. Telephone calls from her mother came every day– many, many times a day. This woman’s foul language was terrible.
Before the daughter was taken away from her, there were many traumas. One was the mother’s bringing the daughter up to Alan’s house, sitting her daughter down and telling her that she would be living with us now. The mother left and then called us within 10 minutes, saying she was going to kill herself.
I left Alan with his daughter and went to the mother’s house. She was writing a will and let me in. Shortly thereafter, her brother came in. We both sat there with her, talking for a long time. She then went back up to Alan‘s house, and I gave her some supper. She said she was going on vacation the next day with her daughter. Alan and Alan’s mother and I gave her some money toward the vacation. The next morning, she called Alan’s mother and us and told us all to rot in hell!
When the daughter was with her mother, she rarely made it to school on time, if she made it at all. The school was alarmed, and they would call us.
We would sit in our car on the next street down from the mother’s house after returning the daughter after a visit. We sat there with the car windows open in case the daughter would cry out.
The local drugstore owner had the mother arrested because she had attacked the owner and broke her glasses.
On one particular Father’s Day, she called Alan and told him to pick up his daughter’s Father’s Day gift. When he went there, the mother attacked him, hitting him, slapping him while his daughter hid under a table. Alan was always afraid that she would take off his eyeglasses, as he could not see without them.
The mother would wait for Alan to drive on the main street in town and then try to seduce him. When that didn’t work, she would revert to hitting him. She would tell anyone who would listen that her father had sexually abused her. It got to the point that if she were on an elevator, any man who lived in that town would not get on the elevator with her.
Later, when the court told her that because she had been abused she was probably abusing her daughter, the mother changed her story and said that maybe she was never really abused. What she put her father through during his life with her madness was terrible. He in fact was a good man.
There was never a day without her abusing all of us. There were people who believed her stories. She was very good at convincing people that she was abused by everyone. She always needed a new audience to tell her stories to.
Just to set the record straight, she left Alan. He did not leave her. Actually, Alan and his mother helped her buy a house and set her up in a video store business. She was suing him for divorce at that time.
From the first day that Alan received temporary custody, I got up every morning and got his daughter ready for school and drove her there. At her lunch break, I would leave work and go to the school parking lot to make sure she was not taken. Everyone was walking on eggs, including the teachers and the supervisor. I would pick the daughter up after school. I took her to karate, to dance classes, and to any after-school activities, and then I parked outside to protect her. Her mother was constantly saying that she was going to take her. We all had to go to be evaluated by many different psychologists
We also had to retain an attorney. A court-appointed attorney was appointed for the daughter. The mother claimed she was indigent, so she, too, was appointed a court attorney. She went through many attorneys.
All this went on for months. During this time, the mother came to our front door late one night. She broke through the front door glass with a brick to get in. I had the daughter go to the bathroom and lock the door. I called 911.
The mother was arrested for this, so we had more court appearances. The daughter was telling more and more to her attorney, the psychologists, and us. She did not want to see her mother at all!
The court tried supervised visits at the Child Protective Service in a private room. This produced more trauma, taking her there every week. She wanted her mother to admit to everything that she had done to her, before she would even think of forgiving her. This was not happening, and the mother’s actions were alarming to the weekly visits’ supervisor, so these visits were stopped.
At a subsequent hearing, the judge took my testimony and that of several others. I reported that the counselor who interviewed my step-daughter told Alan and me that she was surprised that the girl did not want to see her mother ever. The counselor then told us she would try to arrange that the girl need not see her mother for awhile. I reported this in the courtroom. The judge reacted to the first part of what I reported and failed to hear the clarifying statement at the end of my sentence, “for awhile.” The judge later claimed that I had misled the court, to my embarrassment.
The mother blamed me for everything, which was expected. We were trying to give the daughter as normal a life as possible, considering the situation. As I will relate below, the daughter has continued to be a problem. ###
We are serializing here KIDNAPPED TWICE: Then Betrayed and Abused. This memoir by Mary E. Seaman and me tells of a terrible childhood and the slow recovery from it Mary has made. It is published by Outskirts Press and available from OP as well as from other on-line booksellers, like amazon.com and bn.com.
You are invited to view my other site, http://writeyourbookwithme.com.
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