This week I feel like my body is crashing. My mind is racing all the time, and I cannot look at anything without thinking about Prince – and wishing he could be with me continuing to experience life. Many people have asked how I have been surviving – how I can get out of bed – how I can walk around – how I can continue to fight for justice. I wish I could explain the terrible feeling I have inside every single minute of every single day. Instead, however, I give them a pained smile and say things like, “I have no choice” or I just shrug my shoulders. While I understand the questions, I continue to struggle to find an appropriate answer because I don’t believe there IS a right way to act when something like this happens. You just survive any way you can.
Earlier this week, I was sitting at my desk (shaking from too much caffeine and not enough sleep) when I realized that it was time to get away for a bit. I decided to take a few days and visit my grandparents (who live in amazingly beautiful place in the middle of nowhere). The sleep that I have finally been getting has allowed me think about how I have chosen to live. It has also allowed me to read some of the courageous letters that I have been getting from my readers. While I will not out any of them by name (for safety reasons), here are some of the things I have heard:
* Terrified women trying to protect their children from the men who have abused then – proof of physical abuse – judges who don’t seem to care. For some reason, judges don’t like to think that a man who abuses their spouse/girlfriend/ex could also be dangerous to the child. Newsflash your honor – abusers rarely discriminate - they likely will also abuse their own child.
* Grandparents fighting to save their grandchildren from disordered parents – judges who fight against them despite evidence of danger.
* A father fighting to save his children from a mother who refuses to leave a convicted child molesters.
* A woman who lost her child for an entire year after Judge Algeo himself legally allowed the child’s father to kidnap the baby girl.
* A woman who now has a baby girl – her only child – but not her first. Her first child was murdered. This woman told me that the death of her son is so painful that she has completely shut out many of her memories of him.
I read these stories and wonder if I will ever live in a world where these things no longer happen. I wonder how I will explain these things to another child someday -Prince’s future sibling. These ugly truths…I can barely even wrap my own head around. I am not sure if I am surviving the right way or if I am just surviving my way. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to be the type of person who could just run away from all these terrible things and pretend they never happened. I am not sure if this response is right or wrong, but I do know that it would likely not make me feel better.
Children continue to suffer at the hands of Family Court. I often wonder if the Family Courts in our country are even capable of making the right decision. It seems like the court would rather saw the child in half (killing him/her) rather than make the difficult choice to limit or eliminate access of a disordered parent. I also think about the police officers who chose to ignore Luc’s behavior and chose to allow him to walk the streets.
These are things I think about all day long. Whether I choose to lay down in bed crying or walk around faking a smile to hide the pain. I think about these things all the time.
I am sitting in front of the fire and watching the evening news. The news story is about “The Perfect Gift” that a parent can buy for their child for the holidays. As I watch the children’s faces light up with joy, I can’t help but cry. Though I know that I have been keeping up “a good face”, I notice that my face now shows a bit of the agony that I feel inside. Prince will never open a gift and scream for joy at Christmas time. He had one Christmas – just one. The same as he only had one birthday, one Easter, one Mother’s Day…
My heart feels like its beating on the wrong side of my chest. I know that doesn’t even make any sense. I wonder if I can even go tell that to a doctor without him/her looking at me like I was crazy. Sometimes I can’t even breath when I think about Prince. I see things all the time that remind me of him and I try too hard to hear his voice. I have nightmares about Prince bleeding all over me as the doctors unplugged him from the ventilator. In the dream, I keep trying to clean him up and make him all better. I usually wake up from this dream feeling like I have died too.
Shawn Mason died the week of her mother’s birthday in 2003. Luc put naked pictures of Alexis on the internet on Alexis’ birthday in 2009 (he waited months after she left to start this terrorism). Luc filed his response to my custody papers on my birthday in 2011 (three months after I took Prince and fled Luc’s house). This year, the first time Luc saw Prince after my birthday – Prince died. I don’t believe in that kind of coincidence. These are the terrible thoughts that I think about. I wonder if the police see what I can see. I wonder how much they care.
When people ask how I am walking around, I will continue to shrug my shoulder, smile, and say, “I have no choice”. I will smile to make others feel better and I will also continue to tell Prince’s story. Right or wrong – this is how I survive. I will do this because I am a Mama – I am Prince’s Mama.