“When the going gets tough, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Don’t give up.”― Roy T. Bennett
This is the first time I have ever publicly talked about these events that happened to me. I believe I’ve only told a small handful of people who I trusted at the time about this. Sadly I can’t say the same about the other party involved in this matter.
10 years…. One whole decade of my life.. I’ve been keeping this inside and afraid to share with everyone. Afraid that no one would believe me, no matter how much evidence I have to show. Being told by people that they believe the other person. Not even bothering to ask for my side or look at my evidence. To be judged by people you loved and or thought of as friends, just kick you to the curb and abandoned. Is a feeling I will attempt to explain over this post and hope no one has to ever go through this.
It feels like I’ve been fighting for something my entire life. My kids, honor, dignity, my job/career, love…. But the events that took place in 2013 really damaged my armor(my heart and trust). Between 2011 and 2012 I was in the beginning stages of what is to be the many custody battles.
So over the year of 2013 we had a parenting time in place and we’re following it to a degree. But we were still going back and forth on the custody issues. It wasn’t till November and December of 2013, that all changed. I still remember it like it was yesterday… It was like any other day, got the kids ready for school and dropped them off. Just got home and started getting ready for work. There was a knock at the door and there was an officer holding some paperwork. This paperwork should have been a bomb really, because I had nothing left once I found out what it was about.
I was inform that there are charged brought up against me, stating that I used my child information to make an account for cable/internet provider in our area. At a complete shock and lack of words. The officer said, “Judging by your response you don’t know anything about this?” I said no and head started racing, as was my heart. I didn’t know what to say or do, so I went with him to answer questions. So while sitting there I had a different officer come in and start berating me with questions after question. It felt like I only had seconds to answer them.
So information about this started at the end of October of 2013. I was talking with my Dad over the phone one day and he told me that he had noticed that my child’s name would come up on the caller ID. I thought that to be rather odd and called the cable and internet provider about this. They did say that both my name and child’s name was on the same account. I told them that should not be the case and that my kid’s name was a password for the account. But in order to fix this issues I would have to go down to the main offices and bring proof of ID and fix the account. So I did, I brought my information and what information I had for my child. I didn’t think much of it and trusted the company enough that they would do their job.
That was my first mistake…. So once everything was fix and all the information was corrected, I went back home.. Nothing more was said or done about it, until the end of November when I was serviced paperwork. So here I am, being questioned about everything from home life to work and money. While trying to explain everything to this officer and told him I have my files at home and I can show him. Repeating that it was a mistake and that my child’s name was to be a password. That is when the officer brought up my ex-wife and custody battles we were going through. That he was more inclined to believe her over my statement. It was at this point I knew I was S.O.L. … It didn’t matter what I said or did, it was going to fall on deaf ears. My ex had put things into motion that were now out of my control.
Because of this the custody shifted to my ex and I had nothing. Went from having 70 to 80% of the time, to ZERO. Just in time for the holidays… Once I got home I had a message from my employer (who was also my ex’s family. At the time we were still on good terms when we got a divorce.) saying given the nature of everything, they were letting me go. I tried again to explain everything, but that door was now closed. Friends that I’ve known for years stopped talking with me. I even got a number of phone calls stating on what a “piece of shit” I was and thought I should die. I became blacklisted from everyone. I had no one to talk to or ask for help. I didn’t know what to do.
So now we are in what everyone thought was going to a big trail and I was going to jail. I was a pointed a lawyer, because I had no money for a lawyer. We spent a week going over everything I had and all the information that was given to us my the other party. That is when I found out that I was going up against a new DA, that was trying to make a name for himself. His plan was to make an example of me and so on…. I was told I was going to get at least 10 year in jail or 3 years. So after talking with my lawyer he felt confident I wouldn’t get any jail time and that I should be able to talk away from all this. I believed him… That was my second mistake…
While my lawyer was correct about not getting jail time. I did not walk away from this as easy as he made it sound. The trial itself only took a few hours.. I was met with the same type of response from the Judge and DA. The “I’m going to take the word of you ex over what you say”, and that was frustrating beyond belief. After we turned over our evidence and me standing in font of the courts making my statement. The DA made his closing statement and basically calling everything a joke and that I manipulated everything. Luckily the Judge did not see it that way. But he still felt to teach me a lesson evidently and gave me 5 day of work crew and that there was a mark on my background now. because he felt I handle the personal information incorrectly and that I needed to do a better job as a parent. That was a kick to the gut…. But the Judge did state that I can challenge the judgement later if I wish to. Both my lawyer and myself wanted to challenge the charges and the judge gave us a date and time of when to file for the motion to challenge his ruling.
As my lawyer and myself were leaving, I did see my ex there talking with the DA. Neither one looked happy. But the damage was done. Because of this I lost any chance to having custody of my kids, the way I did before. I’m out of the job and lost most, if not all my friends at the time. No one would listen me. So I did what I thought was best, go dark. Trying to be there for my kids in anyway possible. Trying find whatever job I can to make ends meet. When the time came for us to challenge the ruling, my lawyer told he file the paperwork and everything should work out fine. Just make sure to pay whatever court fees there were.. Again I believed him… That was my third mistake..
Going into 2014, 15, 16 I had weekends with my kids and a holiday here and there. But I still had problems with everyone. I never talked about it because I was embarrassed and dealing with trust issues. Because I didn’t know who my ex talked to, I knew that there was rumors flying about. But I tried to move on with what life I could. Sadly it took the death of my father to slap me awake. While I would admit I haven’t fully dealt with the passing of my father. It did help me move on from the events of 2013 and light a fire inside. In wanting to fight for my kids and so begins the custody battles, again.
2017 and 2018 had a hard start, but I didn’t give up. The courts even told me that I should be happy with what I have. But I wasn’t going to get anything better or that Oregon is a pro mother state and I have no chance of get any form of custody. Keep in mind these are staff of the court house telling me this. In 2019 a number of events took place between my ex and myself, I hired a lawyer and went for full custody of my children. In 2021 after a long hard fought battle and dealing with COVID issues. I now have custody of my children and because of this long legal battle. A lot of things have come to light for a lot of people. I found some old friend given their apologies and even some family members.
I have to say this. I do not blame them for their feelings at the time of all this. I am grateful that people are finally seeing the truth and that I/we can finally start to move on from all this.
But having said that, the reason why I bring this up now. Is because at work I was told that they found something on my background and it might cause problems with my employment there. In shock and confusion I asked what it was. They could not tell me and that I would have to get a hold the background company. Deeply annoyed I got what information I could. Because I’ve had other background checks before and had no problems what so ever. So after talking with the company, I went down to the local court house and to see if there was anything on my background.
Remember when I told you my lawyer back 2013 filed the paperwork for the challenge of judgement? Yeah.. He never did that… After he told he did, I never heard anything else afterwards and went on with my life. NOPE!! The judgement was still there and there was no records of any forms turned to challenge it. From there I asked what I can do myself to get the ball rolling on this matter, because my job now depends on it. So I spent all day at the court house, filling out everything possible. Even hand delivered the files to the DA’s office and mail out orders to the Portland offices. That was two months of hell right there.
Calling everyday, emailing everyone I can to make things go faster. I even had my current lawyer offer to write a letter on my behalf to help keep my job. Even the DA had offer to write a letter to explain the process and help keep my job. But I had to wait for system to do what the system does.
But the vary same Judge that worked my custody case looked over my file and removed everything from it. Followed with a statement saying that this should have never happened in the first place and issues an apology on behalf of the courts. That the evidence is rather clear and there was no wrong doing.
I can’t tell you the feeling I have right now… The weight and depression that came with all this is gone. Having a legal documents to validate everything I’ve been trying to tell everyone is the great feeling in the world. My father always told me to fight what I believe in, fight for your love ones and fight for what makes you happy. To never take no for an answer. He was right and I am glad he was able to give me that nugget of wisdom before he passed. My only regret is that he isn’t here to see all this.
I am truly happy in my life now. I have two great kids, a beautiful, loving & caring wife(even with her terrible pun/dad jokes), and a good job.. I couldn’t ask for more, I have friends and family all around and things are looking good. It feels good to finally talk about this, to put 10 years of fighting to a end. I don’t know what the future has for myself. But I know I am ready for it and I can’t wait to met it head on.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I had to get this off my chest.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”– Thorin Oakenshield