The Saddest Meeting I’ve Ever Had

My daughter and I visited with one another today. We were separated by the force of her own mother. During this time, her quality of life has declined so dramatically that I have to write about it.

“Celia Dirt” as her mother is grooming her.

She shows up with half of her head shaved. She looks like David Spade in Joe Dirt. I don’t say that laughingly or mean, because it’s true. Her mother has no pride in the way her daughter looks or anything to do with her. She doesn’t care at all. About anything but herself. Her clothes are unwashed and third-hand at best. Everything I send home with her gets tossed in the trash. She’s shown up 8 times without underwear on because she says she has no clean underwear or it’s “lost.”

No one is washing her clothes, and when that rarely does happen, they are dumped into a pile on the floor for her to sort through and dress, which is why she appears at our visitations looking like how a 6-year-old would dress with no attention. For a year she had no bedroom, no bed, no furniture, no place to store her toys, which are also always “lost,” and no home, really. She tells me she hates her neighborhood, which I believe since it’s in the worst part of our city. It’s where her mother feels most comfortable, despite putting our daughter at high risk and making her miserable.

When I asked the supervisor, the OWNER mind you because they cannot keep the place staffed, at the visitation center to make a note of her showing up underwearless, (and maskless; a ridiculous requirement of the “Center” for children, when they themselves don’t even stock children’s masks. I have to buy an adult mask for our daughter because all the nice cloth masks, as well as a lot of expensive clothing, educational tools, toys, dolls, crafting supplies and photos of me I’ve sent home with her, I bought and let her take are “lost” in her mother’s custody) and in dirty clothes (unbathed, may as well add) I got attutide and an eye-roll!

My daughter tells me all this. She has told me before “You know, mama hates you.” That’s hard to hear especially since it’s based upon nothing at all that’s healthy or to do with me. I realized it’s because people come to resent those they have betrayed. That was a profound realization I had after several years of trying to figure out why I had become my ex-wife’s archenemy for no reason of my own.

The situation with our daughter and custody is about control, personal shortcomings, and a lack of healthy coping mechanisms on the mother’s part. And that was a result of her parents, one dysfunctional member who is living with them now and drinking and chain-smoking, as her mother has decided to take up alongside him, in their rented small, dingy roach and mice-infested squalor-ridden shack, in which our child has no bedroom or space of her own. A family tradition, that she can’t wait to bring our daughter into. My daughter tells me other children tell her they don’t want to come to her house to play or stay because it’s so trashy.

Last meeting our child said the word “freaking” to me. Like off the Simpsons with Rod and Tod and his freaking ears.

Perfect. 6 years old.

She’s picking up bad language, as she also taught her other daughter. I don’t curse in front of women and definitely not children and on top of that, not female children, which my ex’s current husband, who hasn’t lived with them in over a year, do not agree with. He screamed profanity right into my daughter’s ear in front of me, in fact. To the point that ended our exchanging our daughter at their house entirely because it became too risky. Which led to her mother driving over to my house and becoming hostile there, and sending us into the situation we’re in yet again. It never ends. To put children in divorce is the worst situation I can imagine. It’s awful how common it’s become. No wonder so many people are so messed up emotionally out there.

We had to go pick up her other daughter from 4th grade at the best private school I fought to get her into here, after being caught passing a note that contained profanity Eddie Murphy would be embarrassed to read. She learned that, in 4th grade, from mama. Classy. You can take the girl out of Alabama but you can’t take the Alabama out of the girl. Got it. And thereafter she yanked her daughter out of private because it was too much work for her. Parenting, that is. So you can imagine how excited about the situation she is and the abysmally low level of involvement in her children’s lives. It’s been laid out with her first kid, and I’ve told her we aren’t going to squander Cecelia’s life as she did with her first child’s. And she is saying she has that right and desire.

So I’m now involved in a rescue mission.

She learned negligence from her own mother and now she and our daughter have matching scars on their foreheads for their whole lives to remind them of that. It’s amazing how monkeys will repeat what they see so accurately.

This arrangement is purposefully preventing me from giving my child the best life possible. That’s profound for the sake of our daughter. And no one but me cares. I am the one defending her, despite her mother being the one holding her hostage. Her mother’s father didn’t want custody of her when she was a child, and the father of her first daughter didn’t want custody of her either. What is wrong with these “men” is beyond me, but it’s where I stepped up to the plate on their behalf. And was spit upon for that action after being given ticker-tape parades for the job while doing them. Total dysfunction!

Our daughter showed up with massive bags under her eyes and complaining of being so tired, yet again today. That’s hard to look at as a father. I asked her about her schedule and she asked “what’s a schedule?” Her clothes are filthy, she has dirt under her nails, the half of her head that isn’t shaved is a tangled mess, she shows up without underwear, which I mentioned to the facility, and she looks nothing like the little girl I just knew. She’s been brainwashed and manipulated to accept neglect as her new way of life, without daddy and his “rules.”

You know things are bad on the other side of the custodial fence when they most resemble something from “The Simpsons.”

I’ve explained all this to family, including her own grandfather, and have been shunned, with no reason given there, either. It’s been a sad, weird life for me. And it hurts to be me. People may look at the silver spoon upbringing, but that makes this situation that much more painful, not pleasant. I wanted to give my daughter the same childhood and instead the Tiffany’s sterling silver spoon that was generously put in my daughter’s mouth by my aunt Rozzie, was yanked out and replaced with a plastic spork and a butcher knife by her mother. And the aunts and family that were so loving of her have turned their backs on her also. Some of these people have crosses and bibles throughout their homes, incidentally. As do I. It’s unreal how the perspectives of people can differ so greatly and dramatically. And be held in place for no good reason but apathy.

Here’s the unabridged, elongated scene with Moe’s Tavern going Kid-friendly and rebranding as Moe’s Family Feedbag,” as my daughter’s life has been made by her mom:

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