Failure to Appear (6)
Picking up where I last left off (losing stability), my sister Jessica had just been born two months early. My mom and my grandpa had fought which resulted in a heart attack and my grandpa’s funeral. My dad had attended his funeral, as did some of the family, but my mom was not there. She had secluded herself back into the drug infested apartment and lifestyle with John.
Now I know that things are different now, but I am having trouble grasping how a hospital could release a drug baby back to her mother without so much as a question. I don’t know how it happened or why, but it did. A month after Jessica was born she was released back to my mom and John. My mom cared no more for her than she did for me. She was left to cry for hours in soiled diapers and was rarely fed. At the age of three I became the only mother figure in Jessica’s life. I changed her when I could find clean diapers, and even that was a commodity. I made sure she was fed when I could find something to feed her. At least she had someone looking after her. I wish that I did.
About a month after my sister came home a man showed up at the door and handed my mom a stack of papers. I remember that stack of papers rather well because it was the first time I became familiar with running mascara. I know that sounds kind of strange but the image of my mother’s tears causing the black mascara to run down her pale face is one that is imprinted in my brain. This became quite a common sight for me. It was like war paint. This stack of papers made her cry and it was the first time this image of her in war paint appeared in my life. I later found out that this stack of papers had come from the court. My dad had done it. He was suing her for full custody.
I’m not sure how much time passed between being served the papers and packing up the car. My dad says she had 30 days from the time she was served until the court date listed in the paperwork. All he knows is that she never showed. The judge awarded my dad custody that day based on her “no show” and the statements of suspected abuse and such. Reading over the paperwork as an adult, there were statements from her neighbors saying that I was commonly found wandering in or near the street either nude or in a diaper. People were constantly having to bring me back to the apartment because I had no supervision . I wish they hadn’t. In any case, a social worker and an officer escorted my dad to my mom’s apartment to pick me up after the hearing that day. When they arrived at the apartment with the police to get me, the apartment had been cleaned out. How long we had been gone, no one knew.
I have memories of being in the car for what seemed like forever. I have no idea what kind of car it was but I could describe the vinyl of the back of the drivers seat well. Jessica cried whenever she wasn’t asleep and I felt like I was always hungry. What my mom didn’t know was that she was in the process of being charged with parental kidnapping. What my dad didn’t know was that I was being taken across the country. My mom and John had this bright idea that we could all move in with his family back east and no one would ever find me. After all, no one really knew anything about him. They had no idea where he came from.