Struggling For Justice
This piece was submitted to our 100K STORIES PROJECT by an anonymous writer.
In January 2011, I took a part time job at a video store in a bad area of Kansas City, Missouri. I needed this job because I was struggling as a single mom of two. My first night (after 3 days of training at another store), I was robbed at gun point and brutally beaten before being left for dead in the store. I was found by a patrol officer who noticed the building lights still on when they should have been turned off two hours prior. He came in and found me lying on the floor unconscious in a pool of blood. He radioed for backup and an ambulance. When I was finally awake enough to talk, I was not allowed to move because they kept telling me I had been shot in the face. The reality was that I had been severely pistol whipped and tazed with a stun gun until my attackers thought I was dead. I suffered multiple injuries along with losing part of my vision. I went blind in my left eye at the age of 14 after contracting D.U.S.N. and now I was losing vision in my right eye.
Fast forward to February 2011…I was standing in front of a Jackson County Judge fighting with my ex to keep my 8 year old daughter in my custody. I was suffering with severe anxiety, PTSD, night terrors and panic disorder. My daughter was given to him to care for and I was ordered to pay $201/mo to him for child support. With all of my injuries, I was unable to pay it. I couldn’t work, and I was forced to file for disability. It took me 5 years to finally get it approved and start getting payments. During those 5 years, child support enforcement refused to modify my order because I had not yet been declared disabled even though 3 separate doctors had declared me legally blind. I was still told by child support enforcement that I had the “ability to work and pay child support until disability was approved”.
In May of 2015, my daughter made me aware finally of the conditions she had been living in at his house. He and his wife were verbally, mentally, and emotionally abusing her and it had been happening for over 4 years. By the time she finally told me about it, she was cutting herself and planning her own suicide. She had reached out to her dad and his wife for help and they shrugged it off. They refused to let me have the insurance information to get her help. So she decided on my visitation weekend that she would not be returning to his home. She has been with me 24/7/365 since May 20, 2015.
He refuses to forgive the past due support which is now well over $8,000. I filed myself for custody of her and our court date was Feb 6th but he got it continued to Feb 27th.
My attorney said it’s difficult to get judges to erase back child support unless the other parent agrees to it which I know he will not. But, none the less, I was able to finally get an ongoing abatement so they aren’t collecting the current support but are still taking almost $100 a month from me for arrears. I can’t file against him until our court date and he refuses to give back the money being sent to him nor will he give her anything financially. He told her that because she moved out of his home, she is no longer his responsibility or priority.
I am struggling only bringing in $1400 a month. We only get $75 in food stamps and we do not live in government housing so our rent is $625/mo plus all utilities. I am at a loss trying to fight it but I will fight for her to have her voice in court until it takes my very last breath.
I will NOT let them abuse her ever again!