On July 17, 2011, two weeks after my son was born, I took my newborn baby boy and the clothing on our backs and we fled Luc’s house. I left terrified of what would happen to us if we stayed. After learning about all of the horrifying things that happened around Luc (that he has been suspected of causing, but still not convicted for), I believed that the justice system would protect me and my son Prince. I was sure that all I needed to do was find a lawyer and hang onto my boy for dear life. My hope was that the court would see the man Luc really was and not the man Luc so easily pretended to be.
That first night me and Prince spent in my parents house, I remember how scared I was. I looked at Prince as he slept on my chest and said to him, “I love you my Prince….I just wonder how long I will get to keep you.” This may seem like a strange thought to those who have never been in this situation, but even then I knew that Luc wouldn’t let us get away easy. I was terrified of losing my baby boy from the moment I left that house. With Luc, you are either with him or against him. When I left, and stopped paying his bills, I had “betrayed” him and he was surely going to come after me.
A week after I left Luc, Luc’s attorney wrote me a threatening letter asking me to return a car Luc had been using (that I owned). His attorney claimed that not having a car was causing Luc “mental anguish”. He said nothing about Prince. A few days after that, I filed for full custody of Prince. Luc didn’t respond to the custody papers for three months. His response came on my birthday. He later posted “happy birthday” on his Facebook. This was not the act of a loving father – this was the act of an angry man who was dead set on getting “revenge”.
We spent a year in court fighting over Prince. As many of you have read in my blog, Family Court is a terrible place to be. Every time I entered the courtroom, I felt like I was being stripped naked and beaten with a baseball bat. It was demeaning and degrading. The Judge acted as if he wasn’t human and had never made a mistake in his entire life. Let’s face it – HE didn’t have to rely on OUR judgements. My tax dollars (I say MY because Luc doesn’t pay taxes) were spent so that he could be in the position to make judgements on whether and how my son would be allowed to live.
I came to each court hearing and begged Judge Algeo and “the court” to see Luc for what he really was. I begged the court to not force Prince to go back to a man I had so desperately tried to run away from. No matter how much I begged and pleaded, however, we always came back to the same thing – Luc is Prince’s father and he has the RIGHT to access his child. The fact that Luc’s sperm had helped create Prince made the court feel as if it was an “acceptable risk” to send Prince back into the house with the man I had run away from – the man I whom had been hell bent on terrorizing and destroying my family.
15.5 months – This is how long I was able to keep my son alive. This is how long it took for Luc to get the court to trust him enough to bring Prince back to his house. This is how long Prince was allowed to live before the courts decided it was time to take an “acceptable risk.” This is how long it took before my son was found lying on the ground cold, wet, bloody, and without a pulse while Luc and his housemates stood around him and stared.
I feel guilt every day. I feel guilt for not violating the court order and refusing to send Prince that day. I feel guilt for having ever believed Luc’s lies. I feel guilt for not running away and hiding in a foreign country when I learned who/what Luc was. I take full responsibility for having gotten wrapped up with such a disaster and disordered con man. For the decisions I made and the signs I didn’t catch, I have paid dearly.
I wish, however, the courts hadn’t forced my son to pay for the reality of his sperm donor.