“What did you do?” he asked with an intensity I had never heard before. I was instantly put on the defense.
“What?” I responded.
“What did you do to Jacob?” he continued. I was confused, but now desperate to know what was happening.
“Tell me what’s going on.” I said.
“I won’t tell you, until you tell me what you did first”. My Ex continued in a way that scared me. I was frazzled by his questioning. I had no idea what he was referring to. Feeling near panic, I was ready to admit to anything just to find out what was going on.
“What did you do to Jacob? I knew you were going to hurt him." He fumed.
"What are you talking about?" I asked again.
"He is covered in bruises." my ex told me.
I had to think. Then it hit me, "Oh MY GOD. The crib.” I stammered. “Oh my god, he got bruises from the crib, I put him in the crib last night. He was trying to escape. I found him hanging on the edge of it last night."
“That’s not it.” my ex replied with a harshness that I'd never heard before. “You did something to him. Admit it. What did you do to our son?” I had to prove that I did nothing and I didn’t even know what was going on. I was horrified. I still didn't know what was happening.
My ex texted me photos of my son's legs and arms with bruises up the sides and along his torso. The another photo came in with a raw red bruise on a body part I couldn't identify. I was horrified. This was my baby, covered in bruises, sustained while I was trying to keep him safe in his crib so he might sleep.
Jacob hadn't been sleeping for about 2 months now. He was too big for his crib, yet not yet aware of "invisible wall" of the twin bed. He had spent the last 2 months popping out of bed every few minutes, it seemed like 100 or more times a night. We were both exhausted.
I had recently begun spending my nights laying on the floor next to Jacob's bed, trying to convince him to stay in and sleep. I needed relief and I had an idea.
I went into the attic and gotten down Jacob's crib, with the help of my mother, who was helping despite being in a walker due to a recent knee replacement surgery. She and I erected the crib and placed the mattress on the floor, in hopes this might contain my son and help him have a safe place to sleep.
I put him down about 8:30, he screamed and fussed about 15 minutes before I came in and found him hanging off of the crib. His left leg was hung over the top rail along with his left arm and shoulder. His right side dangling a few inches off the mattress. He was trying with all his might to get out of the crib. He was definitely not relaxing. I knew my brilliant solutions wasn't going to work.
Jacob only spent a few hours a week with his father. My ex didn't request any more time than that. My son stayed exclusively with me, overnight. Jacob had recently spent one night with his dad, over the 4th of July, just so that I might regain some strength and have one nights sleep.
As my ex explained that Jacob was covered with bruises under his right arm and all along his legs. I was horrified. He assured me it wasn't the crib, it couldn't be that. If it wasn't the crib was something else wrong with Jacob? I thought. Maybe a blood disorder? There are bruises, didn't Riley have bruises with the cancer, oh god, what about Riley?. . . my mind agonized about the possible horror we might face now with Jacob.
My ex continued to text me photos. He was adamant that I had done something to our son. I told him that if he thought something was seriously wrong with Jacob that he should take him to the emergency room and have him checked out. My ex said he would stay at home.
I immediately got in the car and called the nurse line to find out
about what condition might cause extreme bruising and drove straight to my old house.
When I arrived at the house, no one was there. Come to find out my ex had taken Jacob to the hospital and not told me. I showed up about a half hour after they had arrived.
I checked in at the window. “I’m here to be with my son. I need to know what’s going on.” I wasn’t allowed to go back with him. “There is an investigation.” I was told. You can’t see Jacob at this time.” I was stunned.
“I can’t see him? Why not?“ I thought.
"CPS has been called" the charge nurse said. "They are going to investigate."
So I waited in the waiting room, not sure what was going on with Jacob. I waited for hours. During that time I was questioned by the police, and the doctor and a nurse and then by the CPS representative. One of the nurses names was Ed, which made me feel a tiny bit better.
My ex was in rare form. He told the CPS representative that I had been very angry and that he knew I was going to take it out on our child. He painted me as a monster to the woman.
I admitted that I thought the bruises took place while Jacob was in my custody. That it was the crib and that I had no idea trying to keep Jacob safe could cause him so much harm. I was devastated.
That night my ex was given custody of Jacob while the CPS nvestegation was going on. The man didn’t have a bed for our son. He didn’t have Jacobs blanket, no pajamas. Jacob had only spent the night with him once before on the 4th.
Then the real drama hit me, as we walked to the car my ex husband turns to me and says, “I’m Sorry.”
I was wrecked. “SORRY!!! YOU ARE SORRY!! Sorry for LYING about my character to the police, to the CPS lady.” I thought. I was bursting inside. But said nothing. I clipped Jacob in the carseat and let my ex husband drive my son away in my car.
I stood there and watched the taillights fade away. I couldn’t move.
As soon as they were out of sight I walked to the car I had driven and I broke down. It was an ugly cry, like a movie when someone has lost their beloved. I melted into the pavement, losing the ability to stand, as I wailed. Somewhere between a wail and a cry, I sputtered trying to catch a breather in between my tears. My eye swelled my heart pounded.
I was angry, livid and scared. I had never before been betrayed. This was new to me. I relaxed that the man I had married, who was in my mind supported to love and protect me, was willing to lie to the authorities to make sure he kept his "power and control" over me was insane. I never imagined a human could do such a brutal thing to another.
I was living my worst nightmare right then. I had always feared that my son would be taken form me. My ex's father had taken him, from his mother at 3 years old. My ex found out when he was 15 and saw his mothers name was on his birth certificate, didn't match the woman he called mom. I feared that my ex would do the same with our sweet boy. take him away from me.
Now I had lost my son. He had just been taken from me. I wasn’t allowed to take him home. The authorities, got it wrong. They got it all wrong. And there was nothing I could do about it.
Jacob spent the weekend with his father, I was allowed to see him, but i couldn't face going into "our" house and seeing y son and leaving without him again. For those few days, I wore white. I stayed in constant prayer all weekend. I was in vigil that the truth would be known, that I had not harmed my son. I had only tried to help him and in so doing a horrible accident occurred. An accident had caused him to be covered in bruises.
Monday came and the CPS representative interviewed me at the house. I told her what had happened. Showed her the crib. She found no fault. Jacob came home later that day.
I can say this experience was the single worst experience I have ever had. My peak bottom. My son was taken away from me. It was my greatest fear. I lived through my greatest fear and survived.
Living through my greatest fear was a blessing, because it can made me invincible.