We can't do this alone

Hello, I am Cynthia Terry,

I am looking for help paying for a lawyer so I can get sole custody of my son. I want him to have a successful life but I feel that if we keep on the track we are on, my five-year-old son August will struggle continually throughout his life.

Two years ago I was able to find enough self-confidence to leave my abusive husband and brave the world of being a single mother. During the divorce process, my ex-husband and I remained civil and agreed to share joint custody of August. I quickly learned how big of a mistake that was when August’s father showed his inconsistency as a father and co-parent. He sees the divorce agreement as a suggestion which does not apply to him, making up his own rules about custody, child support, and communication. Worst of all, I can see how August is struggling.

I started noticing behavioral changes in August as he came home from his father’s house each week. I could tell something was bothering him but he struggled to find words to express his emotions. I knew swapping him between different homes with different rules every week would be a challenge for him.

As his behaviors became worse, I began saving my money knowing that one day I would have the means to fight for full custody, and rescue him from the emotional damage he is enduring while in his father’s care. About a month ago, during a parental exchange, I realized that I couldn’t wait any longer to pursue custody.

***

“I have to take you to your dad’s house,” I told August, holding back my own tears. August had been crying off and on all day. He knew it was Sunday, the day of the transfer from our house to his dad’s. Now he was in his car-seat wailing in utter despair, completely unable to contain his emotions. My new husband and I tried to console him to no avail as we arrived at the neutral drop off location.

He cried out, “I don’t want to go to my dad’s! He yells at me all the time! I want to stay with you, mommy!” Exasperated at this horrifying legal position I was in, I got out of the car and opened August’s door. For the next minute or so, I tried to pry his hands from his car-seat so I could bring him over to where his father was waiting.

After I had managed to get my kicking, screaming boy out of the car, I held him in my arms and squeezed him with as much love as a helpless mother could try to transfer. He clung to my neck with all his strength and locked his fingers in my hair, doing everything he could to stay with me in our home of abundant love. That’s when his father met me in the middle of the street. He reached his arms around August and began to pull.

“What is wrong with him? Let’s go August,” His father said.

August clung to me harder in response and screamed loudly.

“No! I wanna stay with my mom.” I’d been trying to suppress my own weeping and be strong for his sake, but this was too much. The nightmare I had once been married to, pried my beloved baby from my arms. Pain rippled through my head and heart as August’s hands pulled at my hair, not wanting to let go of me. The moment he lost his grip, I had to turn away. I couldn’t look at my baby's grieving expression for another moment. As I watched his father attempt to get him into his car, I knew I could no longer wait. I needed full custody. I needed to rescue him as soon as possible.

***

I am heartbroken to see who my ex-husband has become. I’ve seen him steal, withhold child-support, and use my name to commit fraud. I also know he is capable of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. I feel my child is no longer safe with this man. I pray that abuse against August is not taking place, but with his father I am only left to wonder.

What I do know is that my son is suffering severe neglect from an unstable man who yells at him. At his father's house, he’s left alone with his video games, movies, and little to no attention. He is not doing schooling or much socializing. He is lonely.

August feels like he has no control over his life. He is dealing with that by screaming, hitting, and disrespecting others. I have to watch him collapse into fits of trauma-fueled anger where he can’t self-soothe. He is a very wonderful child and feels terrible when he acts out. He then tells me that he feels like “Worthless trash” when he doesn't work through his frustration well.

I can handle it when his dad verbally abuses me, but when my son is telling me that he feels like trash, I cannot be idle. I need to take action now.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the means to afford a lawyer now. Because of the pandemic, my work hours have been cut in half causing me to dive into my savings.

My husband and I intend to build a stable home for August and raise him with love. We intend to allow his father to visit him and have some sort of relationship as long as that is what's best for August.

I have to give up my pride and ask for help. My husband and I are praying for assistance and we’ve realized sometimes it takes a village to raise a child. We must turn to our community, friends, and family for support in this instance. Please help give us a chance to raise August in a loving and stable environment. Any amount helps, and any amount is greatly appreciated. Can you help us fight this custody battle and rescue August from the nightmare he currently inhabits?


Thank you,
Cynthia Terry

Donations

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  • Kylee Black 
    • $15 
    • 2 mos
  • Beth Snider 
    • $15 
    • 3 mos
  • Bryan Madden 
    • $15 
    • 3 mos
  • Emma Garlitz  
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
  • Mirka Hokkanen 
    • $40 
    • 3 mos
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Organizer

Cynthia Terry 
Organizer
Orem, UT
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