I went from making nearly 4200 as a active duty Marine with dependents to making barely 2300 monthly in the state of California where the cost of living is very high. All I could afford was my car and a place I shared with a roommate for 550 a month and a few other miscellaneous bills here and there. The rest was taken from me since her father now had custody of our daughter because of a mistake I made... a mistake that has cost both my daughter and I so much.
Since then her father did his best to try and delete me from our daughters life... every time the court granted me a little more custody because they could see I was doing everything they asked to prove to them I was not emotionally unstable and that I was in fact a good mother who was just heartbroken by her ex husband... He would turn around and accuse me of things I wasn't doing to try and keep full custody and keep me on supervised visitation. If it wasn't him stealing my car and saying that it was repossessed so I could miss work and get in trouble with my command or accusing me and my family of sexual molestation or him accusing me of stealing from him or being a prostitute it was something else... trust me... the list goes on.
He was doing his best to make me suffer because when I found out that he slept with a best friend of mine I grew up with I asked for divorce... his response was "We either stay together and work things out or get a divorce and go through a child custody battle... the choice is yours." And since he has made both mine and our daughters lives miserable... I remember clearly days she had to go back to her dad after my visit with her was up... I would have to put her in her car-seat and let my mom take her to him since we had restraining orders...
Her eyes would well up with tears and she would hold my hand with her two little hands and beg me to come with her.. "No mommy ... please come with me... get in the car..." It tore me apart ... I had to pry her fingers off me and watch her go as she screamed in the back seat... "Mommy... MOMMY! I WANT MY MOMMY.." Imagine having to do that every Wednesday and Saturday for a whole year and not being able to kiss your child's tears away and tell her it was going to be ok... Not being able to explain to her that it isn't because mommy doesn't want to get in the car or because I didn't love her... I loved her so much and I cried every time she did...
I was so heartbroken and when my mom would drop her off screaming her dad wouldn't even try to console my baby's cries. He would just grab her with that cold expression of his and say "Come on Aimee." And stick her in the car without a single word to her. My baby was suffering and all he could do was put her in the car like it was no big deal.
When he accused me of child molestation it was shortly after the court granted me overnights with her... it was one night a week... but it was something and after nearly a year I was finally going to be able to sleep with my child on my chest again... hear her soft snore as she lay soundly asleep... I couldn't even sleep that first night I was too excited... I just played with her hair all night. I was exhausted by the morning but I was so grateful to have her little body in my arms as she slept... I didn't want to let her go. Little did I know the scheme her father planned to take her from me again.
He coached her to say we had hurt her on a phone recording he made from home. You couldn't see him in the shot so it was hard to tell if he was telling her what to say but we could hear whispering in the background. With that he was able to keep her away from us for two months before I got to see her again... Just when things were starting to get better and I finally had her overnight and laying in mommy's arms against my breast while I played with her hair and sang her favorite lullaby as she slowly drifted to sleep... he took her away from me all over again...
I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. Can you imagine what it feels like to have that happen to you over and over again... and how much worse it feels when it's your child suffering and in pain and you have your hands tied behind your back and there is nothing you can do? I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy.
Watching your child in pain and being helpless to protect them is the worst feeling in the world as a parent.
Court hearing after court hearing, it just seemed to get nowhere. He kept winning and no matter what I told the judge she didn't listen. He got away with every false allegation and stunt he pulled while I was made out as the emotionally unstable one and my child was made to suffer.
I paid for a child psychologist to evaluate her and spoke to the mediators and minors counsel and her child therapist... they all came up with the same conclusion... it would be more detrimental to our daughter if she was taken from her mother and forced to only see me on occasion and that her primary bond was with me and not her father. They all warned the judge that he would not comply to orders and would make co-parenting difficult and would not support our daughters relationship with me and would actually make it more difficult, but she didn't listen.
When the judge ordered 50/50 custody finally he requested orders to Pennsylvania with the intention of taking her away from me. He knew that the judge would not leave her in California with me since he had custody the majority of our court case. And he was right, she ordered that he be granted a move-away with our daughter and that her home of residence be in Pennsylvania and that after 8 weeks of being with her father I would be able to see her for 2 - 3 weeks provided I purchase the plane tickets to pick her up and bring her back to California.
I was devastated. And the worst part was Aimee didn't want to go but because of her being so young, she can't decide for herself where she should live. He won. He accomplished what he had set out to do... destroy me by taking our little girl far away from me to a place where I was unable to protect her.
Despite all the advice of trained professionals who saw through her fathers facade and could see his true colors, she chose not to listen. Since her father took her to Pennsylvania I have tried to fight for her and get her back to California with not much success. His lawyer is a very good lawyer and arguing with her is like trying to argue with the devil to convert him to Christianity... she's good... but she too, like josh, is also heartless.
And being a mother herself I cannot fathom what he told her about me to make her loathe me so, but she does. It is obvious in the way she addresses me... like I'm beneath her. It's awful. I had a lawyer at some point and he was a good man but he wasn't as good as her and he charged way too much but his heart was in the right place. And I was grateful to him for getting me as far as we had come. But there was no fight left and I owed him too much and he had to move on.
For the last two years Aimee has lived in Pennsylvania and her father has made my visits very difficult, giving me a hard time on pick up days, rarely having her call me when she is with him... most of the time he just makes excuses "were watching a movie" or "she's playing" "she's sleeping" "I'm busy" "I'm at work" "she's not with me"... the list goes on. He doesn't respect me as her mother and makes it a point not to inform me of important things like medical visits and dental issues and when he took her out of daycare so he could buy a BMW instead.
He lives in an area that is not a very good one in Philadelphia and pays approx 900 a month when he can afford to live in a better place where he isn't within 200 yards of 3 different convicted rapists in each direction. Instead he pays between 1500 to 1700 a month for his Mercedes and BMW between the payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance... because living a flashy life and having flashy clothes and name brands is more important to him than the safety and security of our child and her education.
I have tried to go to court and bring these issues up but I keep getting tossed over like my concerns don't matter because of that fight I got into with her dad nearly 4 years ago. Now I'm supposed to pick her up for the summer and her father is telling me because he can't afford her return ticket I would have to pay for both tickets getting her here and bringing her back to PA since I owe him money. I'm struggling and was laid off recently and I have been having a really hard time finding work.
I started going back to school so I could get my housing allowance with the GI Bill but I don't get that till the 1st and even though I told him that I would give him half to catch up, and that he can't keep our daughter from me unless he gets a court order... he doesn't care and is unmoved... his response was "I suggest you go ex parte" which is a request for an emergency hearing which also costs money.
Aimee tells me all the time she wants to live with me and has pleaded with me every night to go to the airport and pick her up.. "Mommy when are you going to pick me up already, I miss you. Can you go to the airport tomorrow? Please mom... Mommy are you mad at me... is that why you won't get me... I have money in my piggy bank mommy, you can use that for the tickets, please mommy"... every time I talk to her those are the things she tells me... And I'm crying on the other end even though they are stifled so she can't hear... because I can't tell her the truth...
I have to tell her "Next week baby... I'm doing my best sweetheart please be patient... you trust me baby... I will get you as soon as I can... but just know I love you so much and I could never be mad at you..." but the truth is daddy won't let me... but I can't tell her that... I don't have the heart to ruin her image of her father especially when I didn't have my own growing up.
He feels gratified keeping her from me this summer because he knows she starts school and I won't see her again till the winter for the holiday break. And if I fly to PA with the order in hand, that might still not do anything because most law enforcement officers don't like to get involved in family matters and just tell you to go to court... which doesn't do me any good without an attorney... and then he wins again because that's a plane ticket wasted and I flew out there in vain.
I have to scrape together what I have just to be able to fly out there and get her so I can spend time with her, leaving me with barely enough to survive...but she is worth every penny... and I just want my little girl back. He has stolen so much time from her and I... I missed so much these last 4 1/2 years between deployment and this harsh custody battle. I just want her home with her mother. I would never do the things her dad has done to me or go to the lengths he has and tell the lies he has just to keep her from him.
A child needs their father too and what kind of mother would I be if I did that. But I know what kind of father he is and it is more than clear he cannot handle the responsibility of being the custodial parent. But I need help... Aimee needs help. We can't fight this fight without you.
In order to retain an attorney and pay for minors counsel, a child play therapist, and a child psychologist to fight this battle again in court we will need to raise $50,000.00 USD. It is going to be hard, but anything worth fighting is never easy and I am willing to go the distance. Will you fight with us?
Just a small donation of $5, $10, $20... anything ... brings us a little closer to our goal. I am not a bad mother... all I am guilty of is being in love with a man who broke my heart and allowing my emotions to get the best of me and losing my composure with my daughter present. It is the worst mistake I have ever made in my life and one I am still paying for till this day and one my baby girl has been suffering for. Help me end her suffering and Bring Aimee Home.
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