Chapter Twenty-Four: An Unexpected Rescue

Now July 2010, I am in Pensacola Sacred Heart Pediatric ICU for my son, who had apparently suffered a severe bout of croup in my absence. He had woken up in the middle of the night, about 1:00 a.m., unable to breathe, and unable to communicate because of an autistic language barrier. Gypsy was at work, so my son had woken his grandparents. They first tried to give him milk, thinking perhaps his pointing to his throat was a request for a drink. When he couldn’t drink it and started to cry, they took him to the ER – but Gypsy had taken the car seats and stroller to work with him out of habit that night, as he often did to prevent my leaving with the children, so his parents were forced to take the children to the hospital in their laps. Upon being admitted to the ICU, my son was airlifted to the specialist hospital 2 hours away. My daughter – who had just passed her 1st birthday just 5 days prior – was also admitted for minor croup, treated, and released.

While in Pensacola, I learned that Gypsy did not inform the doctors of my son’s genetic mutation. The second I informed them, all of his medications were changed to prevent any risk of clotting. My son was on the maxed sedatives for an adult because he kept waking up and trying to remove the machines and tubes from his throat and face. Because of this, Gypsy and his mother would team up to watch him during the day while I slept, and I would take nights while they slept – but I couldn’t sleep the entire time I was there. At one point, when I was nearing rest, I woke up because I heard my 2 year old son crying – when he should have been sedated. I discovered that Gypsy and his mother both fell asleep during their shift, and my son woke up and pulled the main oxygen tube from his throat. he ripped the medical tape from his face and his cheeks were swollen and bruised. He was scared. I immediately ran into the room and began to hold his hands, trying to calm him, the nurses came in and took over so he wouldn’t tear out his IV – and they sent Gypsy away, glaring at him angrily. For the next few hours, Gypsy slept while I watched over my son. He had an IV nourishing him, a drainage tube removing the hardened mucous plug from his airway, and an oxygen tube keeping him breathing.

Eventually, they let my son wake up, and I was the first to hold him the moment they removed him from the bed – Gypsy took a photo, as he was still quite enamored with me at the time (and wanted to make up and get back together) and all I could do was hum sweet songs softly into my son’s ears as I rocked him in the seat. He fell asleep on me quite a bit, but Gypsy did get his chances to hold him, as well.

A positive experience from this was actually caused by my son’s clotting mutation. I was worried about how long he had been in the hospital bed, and I worried about circulation in his legs, so I asked for a physical therapist to come and help him get his legs moving again. The man’s name was Buddy Bolter – not a fake name to protect his identity, this was really his name, and solely because he deserves full recognition for how absolutely wonderful this man was to my son.

He had tiny baby “slippy socks” – the kinds with rubber designs on the bottom to keep you from slipping on hard floors, and he put them onto my son’s feet, joking that it was like “putting on a little foot condom” and he was still being completely professional. My son smiled up at him and all his positive energy as we tried together to stand him up on his feet. My son was, at the time, still under some effect from the sedatives and other medications, so he could not quite balance. Buddy joked that my son was like a little drunk baby. My son endured a little bit of standing therapy so that we could check his muscles, and then we moved to sitting and “bicycle” motions so we could increase circulation in his legs. Once Buddy was certain that my son would be okay, he approved us to take my son to the play room. My poor baby was so tired and so sore…he only wanted to play with the dinosaurs. Still my sweet little boy.

While at the hospital, a nurse noticed my leg was really swollen and discolored, and recommended that I go to the ER to make sure that I did not have a DVT – considering that my son’s clotting mutation came from me – and so I did. I know that Gypsy was worried about me, too, but I think it was mostly stress for lack of sleep. I initially refused to leave my son’s side, so the nurse reassured me that she would keep an eye out on my son just in case Gypsy fell asleep again, so I went downstairs to the ER. I was fine, it was Greater Trochanteric Bursitis of the left leg, and Sciatica. I got an injection of steroids and a cane – and was told to stop walking so much (like that could happen – I have no car and live halfway across the county from my children.) I immediately returned to my son to discover that he was being discharged.

On the way back from Pensacola, having been relieved of all the stress, knowing that my boy was going to be okay, I noticed something strange: I was getting carsick. I only ever get carsick when I get pregnant. We stopped and got a 2-in-1 test kit, and I took both of them 8-12 hours apart. They were negative, but I was certain they were wrong. I could feel it. Gypsy brushed it off, but believed that any child I might be carrying – even now – was his. I made sure to tell him that there was no chance it could be his. But we let it go, and returned to Panama City without issue – stopping by my mother’s job along the way so she could see my son.

Gypsy permitted me to stay at his house during the recovery process. I set up my son’s crib mattress on the floor, surrounded by pillows, and I slept in his room on the floor beside him. At every sound, I awoke and cared for my babies – both of them. My daughter, upon seeing me walk into the house, ran straight through the kitchen with a full-on war cry and a huge, happy grin across her face, straight into my arms. I felt so happy to be back with my babies again, and although I knew it was best not to think this way, a part of me did not want to leave again. Gypsy tried on more than one occasion to convince me to move back in with him.

After the children were better, a lot of what transpired is now foggy to my memory. I do recall explaining to Gypsy that I was in a position in which I did not want to be, but could not get out because I did not have a car of my own. He then helped me to get all of my things out of that woman’s apartment – convincing her that I was going back to him – and into a storage unit. The end result was me residing with Curt at a friend’s trailer a slight bit closer to the children.

For now, everything was okay – except that, for some reason, I was angry with Grim. He continued to try to see me even after I had left that situation, and I got upset with him for following me to my home from the laundromat. My roommate sent him off (take note: I did not have a car at the time, but my roommate let me take his for my laundry) and Grim believed that my roommate – who was actually a very distant cousin from our centuries-old ancestors being brothers – was my new boyfriend (*cringe*) But this was enough to tell me that not only were things not over yet – but something was not right about me. I have NEVER gotten angry at Grim for ANYTHING. I am simply not capable of it, my love for him is far too deep.

Time to take another test.

Chapter Twenty-Three: Wrong Turn

I’ll be honest, the only reason I agreed to a “relationship” with Curt was because I knew he couldn’t outsmart me or screw me over. I could be in control this time, and that’s exactly what I did. I controlled the money, the plans, everything – and I honestly managed it fairly well. The issue was that he preferred to buy books at retail price rather than go to a library or buy them online or on sale somewhere, and he smoked and drank a lot, and ate a lot of takeout. He spent so much money on useless crap, it’s no wonder he couldn’t save up for something other than a motel room.

We had a rough start trying to get out of that hotel, to be honest. We were there from March – July 2010, when a frienemy offered to take us in. I didn’t trust it, and I told Curt,

“I would rather live on the streets than to live with her. She’s a ticking time bomb, explosive anger, alcoholic, just plain mean. I don’t want to be around that”

But he pointed out that we had no other options, so I reluctantly went, and tried to make the best of it – but what it was, mostly, was me walking on eggshells and having severe anxiety whenever I was alone with her.

Within the first week, I found myself getting very, very drunk. Grim came around a lot, which was a comfort, but he had a habit of taking extra effort to avoid conflict – to the extent that he’s walked out on violent situations entirely, leaving me there to deal with it alone. It wasn’t exactly reassuring. I knew that something was up. On July 18, 2010, I ended up getting Xanax mixed into my White Zin, I smoked my first joint, and I was later completely destroyed, vomiting from the mixture with medication (which wasn’t actually mine – she’d slipped it into my drink) and after vomiting to the point that I’d passed out, I woke up in the wee hours of the early morning to the sound of someone beating on the apartment door.

It was Gypsy. My two year old son was in the ICU.

Chapter Twenty-Two: “New Plan”

Having gotten lost at the college, I ran into an old friend of mine. I never really thought much about Curt – I was a cashier when we met, and he was the baker. He never actually crossed my mind after I left. He was 6 years older than me, and I honestly didn’t know him well enough to want to give him a chance.

But when we started talking at campus, he called a cab for us, and took me out for food, for which I was grateful. While we ate, I told him of the most recent events – and that the shelter was forbidding me from contacting Gypsy, which was preventing me from getting my children back. Curt then offered to help me.

He was staying in a hotel at the moment, but was in school and had a job. Seemed ambitious enough. I had a job, too, and really just needed to be in a position that would allow me more space to roam. It seemed like a reasonable arrangement – I specifically told him I was not interested in a relationship, and that I’d had enough of them. It was meant to be strictly a business arrangement.

But a mutual friend I’d not seen since high school came over, with a LOT of alcohol in a cloth shopping bag. We drank, and I felt somewhat relieved to be freed of Gypsy and in a position to do for myself – even if I wasn’t sure what I would do with that freedom outside of getting my children back.

Curt insisted that all I had to do was

  1. Get a place
  2. Get a car in my name
  3. Get a job

He swore it was that easy – but I knew better, and he didn’t know Gypsy. Eventually, I’d formulated a plan to get my life back on track – assuming it ever really was to begin with. In the meantime, I’d try to enjoy myself a little bit while I had the freedom to do so. Honestly, it didn’t end how I’d planned.

Curt and I wound up in bed together – geez was I ashamed. He was…honestly…a gross fat guy. Exact opposite of Gypsy, and sweet, but immature, self-righteous, over-confident and under-educated. His maturity level was that of a middle schooler, and he thought that disgusting, racist and sexist things were funny. But like I said, he was still kind – a bit of a sap, really. Easy to manipulate. I could use this to my advantage, so although I specifically said I did not want a relationship, I kind of rolled with it when he started telling people I was his girlfriend.

Chapter Twenty-One: Bittersweet Freedom

So that’s it. I was free. But I still felt trapped. I made it to the shelter, and stayed there for two weeks. I’d gotten a job at McDonald’s, and was trying to figure out my next step. I tried to get the police to get the children for me and bring them to the shelter, but Gypsy was friends with most of the police department and Sheriff’s office because he worked at hotel security, where police are wont to frequent. The officer who responded, rather than obtain my children for me, instead gave Gypsy a report stating that he could keep them, and that they were perfectly safe there. I was crushed.

I’d never been weak before. I was strong because I had to be, because it’s all I was used to. But here? Now? I felt completely powerless. Everywhere I went I watched over my shoulders. I was terrified that someone was watching me for Gypsy – he did still have people reporting on me to him, after all, and I’d find out through an angry e-mail from him. We still argued when we talked, and he refused to let me see the children. I couldn’t let him know I was afraid, so I responded in calculated anger.

I had nightmares every night of him killing the children in a fit of rage. I woke up crying because the children were not next to me. I stopped eating, started walking and listening to music as a form of self-therapy, and eventually dropped from 165lbs to 140lbs. From a size 14-16 waist to an 8-10. I was back to my Army/High school height/weight. I had to get new clothes.

Two weeks later, I found myself at the college library – as libraries had been a place of comfort for me since  I was very little (ask my mom how many Saturdays I ruined going to the Pell City Library in Alabama, the book I stole from them when we moved to Florida, and the many weekends following where I stranded myself at the Panama City Beach Library – or the library fines from my school. Do NOT ask her about the books I got removed/banned from the Pell City School System. Trust me, not a story you want to hear) I ended up missing the final bus to the shelter, and I knew that by missing their curfew, I would be removed from the program. I decided to walk and listen to music again so I could think more clearly about what to do.

And I ran into an old friend of mine from my days at Winn-Dixie, who I’ll call Curt.

Chapter Twenty: The Final Farewell

On February 18, 2010, Gypsy was meant to work from 7am-7pm. It was perfect – he’d be gone all day and I’d be able to get a hold of someone to come get me and the kids.

I packed up what I could – careful not to let on to his parents what I was doing. I tried calling all my friends and family – but nobody answered.

I called the police, and realized I couldn’t risk Gypsy’s parents picking up the phone to overhear the conversation, so I instead told them to meet me down the road to file the report.

But they came to the house instead. I tried to keep cool, and tried to conceal from Gypsy’s parents that the police were right in front of their house, and I filled out what I could as quickly as I could – but it was too late.

They came outside and spoke to the police, then told me,

“I’ve never had the police come to my house, and that’s just it. I want you out.”

I replied, “That’s fine with me – I’m already on it.” And I continued to call anyone I could. Only one friend answered – an old Army friend of mine, with whom I am still very close to this day, to whom I’ll refer as Wes. He heard with excitement that I was finally getting out, and instantly wired me $200.00 – enough to get my things into storage and pay a cab to get me and the kids to a shelter.

 

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Actual Police Report – Redacted

But Gypsy’s parents were one step ahead. They’d already found the kids’ things packed up, hidden everything (including the children) in their room, locked the door, and alerted Gypsy – who very quickly returned home, just 4 hours into his shift.

I attempted to get to the kids, but Gypsy wouldn’t even let me into the house, and threw my things into the front yard. They called a taxi. When I finally got back inside, I overheard them at his parents’ door

Gypsy, “If she tries to get into this room, you get the gun from your closet. Don’t let her get to the kids. I’ll handle everything else – you just stay with them.”

Up until this moment – after 4 years of living in that house – I never once knew they’d had a gun. Knowledge is sorrow, and I realised I couldn’t risk putting the kids in that position.

I had no choice. I had to try to get the state to help me get them back later, and I was forced to leave without them.

Chapter Nineteen: New Endings

After my daughter was born, things seemed to deteriorate. I always wanted to take the kids out of the house, Gypsy did not. He even went so far as to buy and build a $1300 playground in the back yard so I would not need to take the kids to the park. He became severely controlling again – made worse by the fact that I would continually deny his advances. Eventually, our arguments were so frequent and so terrible that he began taking the stroller, car seats, my bank card, cell phone, keys…anything I could use to leave the house, he would keep on him, and take to work with him. Our fights got to the point that he would leave “shove” marks on me – thumb prints, grip marks, cuts from the fingernails he would call his “talons”…and when he pointed his finger in my face, I lost it. I reached up, grabbed his finger, and snapped it back. He shoved me hard onto the bed, and I felt my head bounce hard off of it, then land a second time. As he came at me, I pulled my legs back and kicked him as hard as I could – throwing him into the dresser, and breaking two of his ribs along with his finger. He lunged at me again and I punched his nose so hard he ended up with 2 black eyes, then I stomped on his foot hard enough to break a toe – and ran out of the room. His parents intervened then, and when he called me a bitch in front of the children, his mother scolded him in Spanish, and he left the house.

And when Valentine’s Day 2010 came around, he started to act “normally”. Our children were then 7mos and 21mos old. He bought me a ring with 3 diamonds, and when turned sideways, the ring itself read “I love you” along the connectors between the diamonds and the band. He then presented me with a pair of red house slippers, and pretended to propose to me until the last second, when he revealed as a joke and I sighed with relief.

But somehow, despite the positive final holiday we had, 2 days later, we got into another fight, and he got an inch from my face,

“If you and I were married, I’d have already killed you by now!”

I removed my glasses, got back in his face, and challenged him, “I’m right here! Just do it already! Do it! Come on!” I wouldn’t let him get a word in.

“I swear to fucking God, I’m gonna slap you,” He spat at me, but I kept pushing him until eventually, he shoved me back again. I pushed him off, said “I FUCKING hate you” and walked into the livingroom.

The next day, February 18, 2010, I did what I should have done a long time before.

I got the courage to leave – for good.

Chapter Eighteen: Sleeping to Death

I awoke the next morning just enough to put my son to his crib and go to bed. I did not wake again for some time – and no one in the house could wake me. I’d already almost miscarried my daughter in the beginning due to stress alone, and had lost my chance at a job with Office Depot because of it. We knew there were problems with the pregnancy, and I had to take it easy.

What we didn’t know was that it was killing me.

Gypsy managed to get me to my doctor, who did bloodwork as I was passed out on his table. He checked the baby first, of course, who was strong and well. We had to return home to await the bloodwork results. I don’t remember leaving the doctor’s office at all.

I awoke to the sounds of Gypsy’s phone (that big, ugly Spring PTT brick thing I couldn’t stand) and he spoke to the doctor (not the office staff – the actual doctor called) then immediately grabbed me up and took me to the pharmacy.

The doctor told Gypsy that my thyroids were failing, my glucose levels were dangerously low, my potassium levels were almost non-existent. My organs were failing, and if I couldn’t wake up, I would go into a coma and likely die. He’d called in some meds at the pharmacy down the road. Get me there, take something immediately, then call him back ASAP. Monitor me for improvement, or take me to the ER. Call him back if there are any problems.

When the meds were working, I was constantly eating anything with tuna and cheese in it. I would take my son to the mall, get a massive sweet tea and walk him everywhere. I would sit with him in the livingroom, play with him or do stuff on my laptop, read, just simple things I liked that passed the time. But when the meds wore off, I would crash. I would forget to take more, and when Gypsy got back he’d have to literally feed the meds to me, bring food (CAPTAIN D’S FRIED FISH AND SWEET TEA AT 2AM DEAR GOD THANK YOU) and make sure I was okay. I would say that our time together during my second pregnancy was probably the only time in our 4 years together that we were actually a “couple”, the only time he was actually caring.

But I don’t remember much of any of it, and after my daughter was born, things changed again.

Chapter Seventeen: Aftermath

To be entirely honest, much of what followed being raped was…I guess suppressed by my own mind. I don’t remember much of my pregnancy with my first daughter. I believe this time span is when my mind and body began to fully deteriorate. Most of the pregnancy, I was exhausted. Sleeping. So much so that Gypsy’s sister (who, despite her brutally honest nature and “in-your-face” attitude, still remains as my favorite member of his family, next to his late grandmother.) had been taking care of my son – and when she was sick, to boot (which I didn’t know at the time). I awoke one afternoon to the sounds of my son screaming in the kitchen.

When I went to investigate, I saw that Gypsy’s mother was holding my then-14 month old son’s head still so Gypsy’s sister could force feed him a jar of baby food. See, my son was very…odd, even at an early age. It took until he was 8 months to crawl, and 11 months to walk, which was normal – but he was not talking, and had an issue with certain tastes and textures of food. I was, at the time, involved in getting him into an early intervention head start program, which Gypsy insisted at the time he did not need. In Gypsy’s words, our son “did not need to go all his life being labeled as developmentally delayed.” Whereas, in my opinion, he needed the acknowledgement to increase his chances of being given equal opportunity to other children – a way of putting extra effort into keeping his development as close to on-track as possible. Regardless, due to his issues with textures and tastes, I would add certain things to his veggie baby foods (salt, broth, other veggies, etc), and taste it myself to insure that it was something he would like. I also warmed it up to a very specific temperature, and would feed him veggies with a side of fruit so he would still feel motivated to eat it (fruit baby foods were very sweet-tasting, which he liked) But because I was 8-9 months pregnant, and constantly exhausted, Gypsy’s family had taken to feeding my son – when he didn’t want it.

“What’s going on?” I walked in and asked

“You need to take care of your fucking kid.” Gypsy’s sister said to me angrily, “I’m sick, I shouldn’t be doing this.”

“Well, he obviously doesn’t want that, why are you forcing him?” I said, obviously alarmed.

“Because he needs more than just fruit! You need to learn how to be a fucking mother.”

Eventually, (And I don’t remember how) I managed to get everyone to leave him alone. I let him sit at the table a moment while I altered his baby peas (added carrots & salt, watered it down a little so it was easier to digest and not so pastey), grabbed another jar of baby bananas, and then I move him to the rocker in the livingroom. He sat on my lap as I played classical music through Comcast on Demand, and I would feed him a small bite here and there, alternating one, then the other, until he turned his head from the spoon in refusal. I then gave him a small sippy cup of water/juice mix to rinse it down, and held him until we both fell asleep.

But I’d forgotten to eat, and had been sleeping all day already.

Chapter Sixteen: The Rape

October 28 2008, Gypsy and I were in our room, and Gypsy confessed to me that he’d had an affair with my sister. He said he wanted things between us to be a fresh start, and that he felt bad about hiding that from me.

“Okay, then” I told him, “Well, that’s worse than mine, so I’m not worried about it.”

“What did you do?” He asked

“Well,” I told him, “I worried that you might have been talking about me to other people, so I logged into your email account and skimmed the subject lines for my name. When I didn’t see my name anywhere, I logged out. That’s pretty much it. When I was in Georgia I mostly spent time working on my book and thinking about the baby.”

He started telling me again how he wanted a fresh start, and he initiated sex. Although I wasn’t necessarily interested, I saw it as an opportunity for change, and it was about 9:15 p.m. anyway, and he was about to go to work, so I allowed it.

Within the first few moments, he started…growling. He dug his nails into me painfully and he started going really rough. His torso was pressed onto me so hard I couldn’t move. I tried pushing against him. Nothing. I know I said “Stop” multiple times – but he was hurting me so much that every breath I took came out hard, so my voice sounded like a whisper. I know he realized I was in pain – he could see it on my face as he looked at me with anger in his eyes, growling. I had tears coming down my face, I couldn’t breathe, I winced with every move he made.

“P-please-s-st-stop-OW-s-st-stop!” I couldn’t even get the words out because of how roughly he was thrusting. I felt myself tear. Eventually, I just closed my eyes and waited for it to be over.

After he was done, he got up, put on his housepants, and went to the door.

“Never. Touch me. Again.” I told him.

“What’s wrong?” He said, annoyed, “Are you bleeding?”

“NEVER. TOUCH ME. AGAIN.” I repeated.

“Fine.” he spat at me, and walked through the door, “See you tomorrow.”

I looked at the clock. It was shortly after ten, he had to be at work at eleven. I laid in the bed, angry with myself, until he went to work. I didn’t want the stench of him on me, but I didn’t want to go into that shower right after him, either. Hell, I didn’t even want to be on the bed. So, considering I’d already been punished for something I didn’t do, I may as well fucking do it, so I did.

I logged into his MySpace account, and read through everything. I saved a bunch of stuff from his gmail account (which I still have today), and I had one large piece of gold of which I even printed out and saved extra copies (copies which he, regrettably, found and destroyed later on.) A message to my sister:

Gypsy: I feel bad

Sister: Why?

Gypsy: I got mad at your sister and hurt her, and made her bleed during sex.

Sister: Why?

Gypsy: She got into my emails again

Sister: Well, then, she deserved it. She should know better than to violate someone’s privacy like that.

That was all I needed. My sister and I haven’t really been on speaking terms since then, though we still visited each other. We mostly just couldn’t (and can’t) get along. I encouraged their relationship, thinking that I could get out of ours and take my son and finally be free of Gypsy. I tried to keep everything as peaceful as possible – even took family photos with Gypsy and my son literally the day after he raped me. Gypsy wasn’t even trying to initiate sex. Things, over all, were going exactly as I needed them to – until November 20, 2008, when I made a fearful discovery.

I was visiting my sister so she could see my son, and realized while driving with her that I felt carsick – a huge telltale sign for me. When we got to her house, she was talking to our grandmother on the phone, and I went to her bathroom because I knew she had pregnancy tests in there. (The one thing she has always wanted more than anything else was a baby)

And when I took it, it was positive, and I screamed.

I was pregnant with a rape baby.

Chapter Fifteen: Escape Attempt

The month of July was a harsh one. A dear friend of mine from high school, Ben, had been killed in an accident very similar to mine – just two weeks after – and had been going 70MPH straight into a stand of trees on his way home from a (comic) con. The only reason I survived and he didn’t was that he wasn’t wearing a seat belt and I was. I had a lot of survivor’s guilt after that, but I can’t imagine the pain that his passenger and best friend went through. I made sure he knew that I was happy to see him alive, and that I did not blame him. I think that the last time I saw him was at the funeral. But Ben…the last time I saw him was at the mall. I was walking my son, and saw him, stopped him, and gave him a huge hug. I introduced him to my son, and asked what he was up to. He told me he was busy planning for a trip. I wish I had known. ~*~Rest in peace~*~ my friend. I ended up getting a ride from Gypsy’s mother to the funeral, because Gypsy was asleep and refused to let me use the van. I also was not permitted to bring my son. I ended up walking back home afterwards because Gypsy had disconnected my phone to keep me from talking to Grim, and I had no way to call for a ride.

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However,  I had about 5 email accounts at the time. I was using one to plan with Grim to take my son and leave to Georgia with him. I didn’t tell anyone anything about it, but somehow Gypsy found out the day I was planning to leave, and took my son from my arms, held him against a bed so I couldn’t get to him, and forced me to leave the house without him. Gypsy was not on the birth certificate at the time, so this was technically kidnapping.

I didn’t want to risk Gypsy getting angry and attacking me with my son in the room, so I went to Georgia and asked the police there to help me get my son back. Before there was even a chance to get that started, I started getting emails. Apparently, he told everyone that I’d abandoned my son, I was a deadbeat mother, I cheated on him, etc etc…and had everyone fooled into thinking he was the victim – even my sister. This was when the relationship between my sister and me really ended. Gypsy and my sister started pushing her into my son’s life as the female parent-like role model. They started having an affair. But Gypsy tried to get my son’s birth certificate to try to file something against me, and found out that he had no legal power whatsoever. That’s when he started sending me threats. He told me that if I didn’t come back to Florida to add him to the birth certificate, he would file that I abandoned my son and strip me of my rights so he could add himself to the document. being 19 and stupid, not knowing what else to do to keep from losing my son, I complied. I came back to GA one other time to get my things, and by October 2008, I was right back where I started.

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