Tag Archives: letters

A Matter of Courtesy

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The prison in which Eliza is serving her time is on lockdown.  An inmate escaped with the assistance of a guard eight days ago and is still on the run.

 

One would think that since I take the boys down for monthly visits, that out of deference, Eliza would have informed me of this.  I would have been steamed had I driven four hours round trip for her August visit and not been allowed.

 

Jazmine’s mom wrote today warning me of the lockdown.  Eliza also wrote the boys today, too.  She very well could have included a note for me to share this information. 

 

I do not watch the news on a regular basis and missed the airing of the escape.  It was actually Tasha who informed me of this—go figure!  She said she watched the broadcast to make sure that the escapee wasn’t Eliza coming to do me harm!!!

 

I have called only a couple of times before driving down, but honestly, most of the time I don’t think about it or I just forget to do so.

 

Courtesy, it is as simple as that.  But sadly, I think once again, I am expecting more than she is willing to give.

 

Makes Me Wanna Holler

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For the life of me I can not understand why Eliza likes to be so contentious.  You would think in her circumstances that she would focus all of her attentions on improving herself.  You would think that she would be on a peace-seeking mission.  Not!

I received her latest letter today in the mail.  While it seemed civil on the surface; it was really loaded with duplicities.  This time the wording was less accusatory and more cordial.  She even included a brief paragraph about the culinary arts class she is taking.  I’m sure it  was a ploy to get the information she wanted.  Really, she only wants to know what they are saying about her.  However, Eliza must have realized by my last reply that firing word missiles would not work.  Perhaps she has figured that she is likely to have more success catching flies with honey than vinegar. 

But as usual, everytime she writes she asks the same exact questions that she has already asked in previous letters.  And I have already provided her with answers.  Not to mention, when I see her once a month, I give her an update on Evan as well.  So really she has no need to write me other than for vexation purposes–this is something which she does so well.  This time she wrote:  Morocco, if you could send me a copy of a progress report or documentation stating the nature of the concerns posed pertaining to Evan’s condition I would greatly appreciate it.  I would just like to be brought up to date with any regression or progress that he may be experiencing.  Just to have a better understanding as to what is going on with Evan.  Please kiss the boys for me and tell them I send all of my love. 

This repetitious practice only supports my theory that she is extremely paranoid and anxious about her inability to control her children (and us) as she sees fit.  It also signals a lack of trust in us.  This is wearing me down to the bone.  She is really starting to work my nerves.  I almost feel as if she is trying to “catch” me in something, what I am not sure.  My answers don’t change because you can’t really alter the truth. 

In no way will she take responsibility for any of her children’s problems and I can’t force her to do so.  When I share with her that Evan is having issues with things that went on in her household she gets extraordinarily defensive.  She also feels that I am only telling her these things to be judgemental and to hurt her feelings. Though Eliza claims she wants to know everything that is going on with her boys, she really doesn’t because she can’t handle the truth.  I too, have sent her clinical summaries from the previous therapist that Evan worked with.  She was in denial then as well.  She had the audacity to question the creditidentals of the highly qualified therapist.  Eliza argues about everything written in the clinical notes as if she was a trained pyschologist.   So you see, you can’t win for losing with her.  But the things that happened under her roof can’t be erased.  They do have to be addressed.  Obviously she does not realize that she can make the choice to be bitter or better.  Plus, I can only sugarcoat so much before it results in a stomach ache for the both of us!  Such madness!

I find myself in the same position  as I was in around mid-June.  I am depending on God to give me the right words to say again.  I know that He does not want me to spar with her.  At the beginning of her letter, Eliza wrote Know that you are a part of my prayers daily.  I truly hope she is being sincere because I do need strength for the journey.

Note: This is my reply: 

El,

 

Hello, I hope all is well with you.  The boys and I are doing fine.  Not much has changed with Evan since I spoke to you regarding him at the last visit. Again, we are scheduled to have our first 24 hour pass with him on August 2nd. 

 

He is still working to improve in the following areas:

  • Poor impulse control and mood modulation, indicative of a mood disorder
  • Resistance to accepting direction and limits from authority figures, inappropriate roles with adults
  • PTSD symptomology related to witnessing violence/murder. 

I will continue to keep you abreast of any new developments.

Turn, Turn, Turn

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Dealing with Eliza’s paranoia is down right exhausting.  It just overwhelms me the way that she processes life.  Case in point, yesterday I received a letter from her that clearly displays what I am talking about.  She wrote under the guise of seeing how the boys were doing.  However, her real intent was to throw “verbal stones.”  Here’s an excerpt of parts of her long rambling letter that troubled me:

I have written all of my boys every week for the past two years.  After you stated that it was instructed for Evan not to be able to speak to me even after the court order.  I can’t help but to wonder if my baby is receiving all or any of his mail.  And it worries me.  I don’t know what these people were told but I am not and never have been an unfit parent so there is no reason why such actions should have been made without properly notfying me…

I pray that you can see my position in this situation…

If for some reason Evan hasn’t been receiving his mail I could only imagine the effect that it has taken on him.  Regardless of any past feelings toward me  it is in the best interest of Evan to know and feel that he is loved by his mom and if his mail has been or is being held this I know is very hurtful to him–not to mention it’s just wrong.  I pray this is not the case at all.  But Morocco can you blame me for worrying?  You know in your heart that I love my boys dearly and their good upbringing shows very clearly.  Evan’s behavior disability should not be taken advantage of by any means.  I pray me voicing my concerns have not offended you.  I apologize in advance if the contents of this letter has in any way.  However right now Morocco I really don’t know what to think.  But I do know that there are things that need to be addressed.  I can only pray that God continues His work with our situation.  He  has already begun and though we still may have ironing we can rest assure that God is still at work.

First of all, I have assured Eliza on several occassions that Evan has been receiving his mail.  I’m puzzled as to why she thinks that he doesn’t considering that when he writes back, he often makes mention of something she said.  We have nothing to gain by holding them from him.

Evan’s therapist did not feel that it was a good idea for her to get him more stirred up during his manic phase.  Again, she has no way of speaking to him anyway because she is in prison–the facility does not accept collect calls and I don’t think any judge would force them to do so.  She has not even been able to arrange a third party call to call our home to speak to Ethan so…??? I’m guessing that she just wants to have SOMETHING to complain about.

Unfit parent, hmm, I don’t think she is necessarily unfit (she did keep them clothed, fed, and sheltered), but I do think she is unbalanced and unhealthy.  She has killed someone in front of them, been in MANY fights in front of them, had them removed from her custody for neglect, been in MANY volatile verbal confrontations in front of them, alienated and kept them from their father–do you catch my drift?  Much of what has been told to the therapist came from Evan’s own mouth. 

Notfying her?  She is not the custodial parent so they don’t have to do so.  It hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, which is why I do keep her informed.  There are SO many things that she didn’t inform my husband of, but we don’t hold that against her because I know that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

Who is she praying to–the Devil?  Her blasphemy scares me.

I have told her several times that the past is the past.  Apparently it is not for her.  I think she remembers how she kept Evan and Ethan away for years and is afraid that we are going to sneak and use that against her one day.  I don’t know why she feels this way because we haven’t yet.  I take them down for monthly visits faithfully, I send pictures, school work, and report cards, I encourage them to write her, I keep her informed about their development, and I make sure that they acknowledge her on all special occassions.  What more can I do–seriously?

This is the second letter in which Eliza has mentioned how she has done such a good job with the boys.  I think she wants me to agree with her.  The problem with that opinion is that I don’t, so I can’t validate that for her.  We have picked up where she has left off.

Yes, I can blame her for worrying.  If she has handed her situation over to God as she has told me that she has many times, she shouldn’t worry.  I sent her the Serenity Prayer months ago.  The lack of control she has over this is killing her.

Behavior disability??? Try mental illness.  It blows my mind that she wants to keep her child crippled.  I can’t understand why she does not want him to get better.  We are getting him the help he needs–not at all taking advantage of him.  That was really hurtful to me.  I almost think that she has something to hide.

She doesn’t care about offending me.  She lives in her own world and plays by some set of imaginary rules that she created.  And she finds a way to contort any information that I provide her with.  I was momentarily offended and upset, but then I decided it was fruitless and made the choice not to be.  Being offended and angry about her character is like getting mad at a bee for stinging.  You can’t get mad–it’s what they do.  They were born to sting.

 The primary emotion I experienced after reading her letter was sadness.  I just feel so sad because she is making herself miserable.  I know she has a lot of time on her hands and is probably listening to the advice of many “prison lawyers,” but her paranoia is getting ridiculous.  And it doesn’t have to be this way.  We should use our problems as stepping stones to get us to a better place.  I am here for her, but only if she will allow me to be.  Though I refuse to allow her to enmesh me in her mess.  I knew one day soon the tides would turn, and surely enough, they have.  But I am not going to “turn” with her.  Here is my response to her letter:

Eliza,

Hi, I am well, thank you for inquiring.  The boys are doing fine, too.  They are both participating in the “Summer Spectacular Reading Program” again this year.

Evan is doing awesome! God has been answering our prayers.  He really loved the picture that you sent of your mom.  He was so excited to receive it.

Take care,

Morocco

I am proud of myself for not letting her manipulate me into something I am not.

Let the Circle Remain Unbroken

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            Sometimes I wonder if I am obligated to help Eliza stay connected with Ethan and Evan.  I think I know the answer to my own question and I would have to say no.  I am not obligated to do anything for her.  But I do.  I do it because it feels good.  I do it because this is who I am.  I do it because they shouldn’t have to bear the burden of her bad choice.  I do it because I would want it done for me. 

            You have to be creative when keeping an incarcerated parent connected to their children.  I try to put myself in her place and imagine what I would want.  With that in mind I send her pictures, school work, and report cards.  If I ask the kids enough, they will write her on occasion.  Sometimes they will send her drawings.  But they won’t do anything without my prompting.  I write Eliza often to provide her with updates about them so that when she does write, which she does faithfully, she will have something to talk about.  On birthdays and holidays we always send a card or something equally special.  I also take them down once a month for visits.  During this time I try to stay in the background and let them have their time with her.  She only gets twenty-four hours per year.  I am with them everyday.  I can honestly say that she is interested in staying close to them.  Why not help her?  I see myself as part of the circle.