Almost a year ago I hit a rock bottom that was further than I ever thought I could. I lost my kids, my husband filed for divorce, I had no place to live, and no car. By the grace of God, my addiction did not kill me or more importantly, my two boys, when it could have. My oldest son's dad had completely lost all trust in me and, rightly so, I lost contact with my son.
My youngest son's dad, my husband, was floored. Hurt, damaged, defeated... He took our son, 3 months at the time, and got temporary emergency custody at the same time he filed for divorce. I put both those boys in a dangerous situation that there was no explanation for.
I was defeated. I was empty. I had nothing.
Through prayer and opening myself up to be at the mercy of God's will, my husband gave me another chance. I said I would go to long-term rehab and finally get the help that I so desperately needed. I was able to find a rehab that accepted women and children, and was able to take my baby boy with me. I lived in a home for women and children for 6 months in Bensalem, PA. I only could see my husband on occasional visits, and rarely did we talk. UPDATE: I am now going through divorce with my husband, who left myself and our kids for a Puerto Rican exotic dancer, and they are expecting a child next month (March 2019). I am at peace with my divorce. My life is now focused on my children and rebuilding myself and a new life for all of us. Hopefully Dalton will be a part of that life, though I have been hoping this for years now.
That rehab truly changed my life. I faced the demons of my past and the reasons that brought about my addiction. I attempted to call my oldest son every single night, and left a callback number, and never received a call back. I sent him letters, cards, presents... And nothing. I received an email from his father telling me what a horrible, monster of a mother I was and that I didn't deserve to be a part of his life or have anything to do with him. He updated me on how much money I owed him in child support and told me that I needed to pay. He also stated that I should sign over my rights to our son.
The emotional damage of this was significant, but I tried to understand where he was coming from and this was not the first time I had let my addiction put my son in harm's way, so his anger and resentment was, to a point, warranted.
While the events that led to me losing custody of my oldest son were tragic and painful, the years of wonderful memories and times together we have are priceless. He is a little boy (now 7) who loves unconditionally and who loves his mama without hesitation. UPDATE: He is now 12.
My son's father has now told me that I will never see him again, and continues to allow zero contact. My attorney has told me the steps I need to take to get back into his life, but the battle is against someone who will stop at nothing to make sure I have nothing to do with my son, and who has hired the (higher-priced) attorney with more devious ways.
I can go on and on about what this man (his father) has put me through in the past, but I am not here to attack anyone or to delve into the past. The past is the past and I have forgiven myself for what my addiction brought me to in the past. The fact that he wants me to have nothing to do with our son and has no concept of addiction are what additional challenges I face.
My battle now is what lies ahead. The legal fees, back child support, and court costs that I will need to pay to even begin the process to just have a phone call - a PHONE CALL - with my son, are my goals now.
I know there may be judgement from some people for making this page in an effort to raise the funds in this manner. I reach out to fellow addicts and other parents (moms and dads) who have ever been in this position.
I cannot explain to you the depths of my heartache over missing him.... Beyond the emotional pain I have caused in the past. He is the light of my life and just to hear his voice again is a day that I absolutely cannot wait for. I am not seeking custody; only phone calls and visitation. My son's father gives him a great life and allows him to do his passion - play baseball - on a very busy, regular basis with a travel team.
If you are willing to donate to my cause, I thank you. If you judge me, so be it. Nobody has walked in my same shoes and felt what I've felt, seen what I have seen, and done what I have done.
I know in my heart I am a loving and caring mother who at one point just got lost along the way. There is not a single day now that I take for granted. Every moment with my youngest son is cherishable. His big brother is missing out on so much of his life, and we are missing him, period.
Thank you for reading part of my story, and for those out there who have read this and believe it could help someone else, I am willing to share my full story if possible. I am not the world's greatest public speaker, but I know I have a powerful message to carry to other addicts and alcoholics.
Again, I thank you.
- Michael Hartman
- Fran Cobb
- Linda Lewis
- Brandon Barrentine
- Allison Mills
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