“You will never see our son again” pressed heavy on my heart and mind. My ex had threatened this so many times that I knew he was willing and quite able to carry it out. I had to do something. Not just to maintain my relationship with my boy but also for his safety and well-being. It was shown in the Social Worker’s Report that my ex thought more about himself than protecting our son. Thus they had a role-reversal whereby my son became the parent. My ex expected our boy to emotionally take care of him. My son’s father told him things that you would share with a close adult friend or spouse, never with a five-year old boy. And my son was supposed to comfort him in his distress. I called the police to ask for help but they said he hadn’t done anything wrong yet. I had to wait for their help after he actually kidnapped our son.
In our divorce decree my ex was awarded visitations and I was awarded child support. He and his family had a lot of visitations (even more than ordered) because I never felt it was right to keep a child from his parent. You might be thinking “Why would she let him go more than ordered”? His parents lived close to us in Salt Lake so when he came to town, my boy and ex would always stay with his parents. I knew they loved their grandson and though they would hurt me, I believed they would not hurt my son. Plus my son enjoyed going; he had cousins to play with and liked the attention of coming to visit. I, of course, never received child support. As I said before, my ex “worked” for his father, but he began to pay him under the table so it would show that he didn’t make any income. They knew how to get around the system.
My ex was still drinking excessively on a daily basis. He was out of control with anger. I knew his threat to abduct our son was real. That’s when we decided to move to California. My husband got a great position in a beautiful area; we were so excited to have a new start without the interferences of both exes into our lives. We had little money to move with but somehow we would work it out. Late one night we received a call from a man in New Jersey asking us if we had stock in a particular company. We said yes but knew it was worth absolutely nothing. He said he would like to buy it from us. We said we would sell it but why did he want to buy it if it was worthless? He just said that he hoped that would change. So he flew to Salt Lake with $13,000.00 cash and bought our worthless stock! Now we have plenty of money to move. We have always felt that man was an angel delivering straight from the Hand of God the money we needed to make a fresh start.
I sent my boy over to his grandparents for one last visit before we moved and told him not to tell them where we were going or that we were going. He was silent. He knew things were not as they should be. When we arrived in California, I contacted my ex and told him we had moved. If he would send me just $20.00 a month (I got a P.O. Box just for this reason) I would have our son call him regularly. He sent the money once. This was way before cell phones and long distance calls were not cheap. I knew I could get into trouble for taking our son without telling him first but his threat of keeping our son from me was more scary to me than what the courts might do. If I told him in advance, would he execute his plan now? Would he disappear to another state? His parents would cover for him. I knew this because they had such an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with him. It’s interesting because they did not have that with their other three children. As a matter of fact, my exes siblings will not talk to him to this day and desire no relationship with him at all. Also, years after our divorce, I learned that my ex had been thrown in to jail for parental abuse. They had enabled him when he had abused me and believed it must have been my fault, but now the tables had turned and he was abusing them. And it happened more than once.
To my exes credit, he got sober after we left. And one day, he along with the police, showed up on my front door step in California. Now what? What am I going to do? After some discussion and seeing with my own eyes that he was sober, he had some time with our boy. He wasn’t paying child support and he hadn’t seen our boy for a year. He was steaming mad and so he took me to court for disobeying the court order for visitation (never mind that he never obeyed it). He had everything ready and he hoped that I would be thrown into jail (and my attorney told me that it was a possibility). He wanted revenge and I was scared. I couldn’t even bring up the issue that he had never paid child support as a defense because they are two separate issues. I would have to take him to court for that at another time (I never did). The proceedings began and the judge asked for a particular document that was supposed to be filed by my husband. I was so innocent (dumb?) that I began to say to my attorney, “Oh, here it is” but he nudged me hard and told me to be quiet. When my ex and his attorney could not supply it to the judge, the gavel came down with “Court dismissed”. He could never bring this charge to court against me again! My Defender (the Lord) had rescued me! He knew my heart was not to keep my son from his dad, it was to protect my son from his dad. And so my Heavenly Father protected me.