‎"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. " ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

many thanks to carrie for posting this quote as it is exactly what i am going to blog about. again, this may NOT be very dreadlock related but i feel i need to share.

in 2003 when i first broke my spine, i was faced with the possibility of spike (dr. montgomery) messing up and paralyzing me or anesthesia killing me. regular old consequences for being under the knife i suppose. but i had a 3 year old child. if anything happened to me, what would happen to him?

before i go any further, i need to qualify a few things. my birth mother (tish) and i are not close...never really have been. we had tried being in a few activities together but never were able to bridge the gap. i was always closer with my dad (jeff). to be honest, when i met my step mom (jennie)...i felt such a closeness to her and share with her as a mother / daughter should. in my eyes, SHE is my mother. i am not writing this blog to air dirty laundry or to mame tish's reputation. that is the LAST thing i would want to do. i am feeling compelled to share this story because it shows how truth and love are the only way.

without any other real viable options, tish got joint custody under the premise that when i am better or got married she would relinquish the rights.

i should have known this would end bad. i mean, it usually does with her and i. not because of any other reason than lies.

i should also preface this by stating my entire life, tish has always told me i am a dishonest person. even to the point of my needing to give her a copy of a job contract because she swore i was lying about vacation time / pay etc. and even with the black and white copies in her hand, she still swore i was being dishonest. if i told her the sky is blue...she would go look and still not believe me. it's just how she is. i am not tryin to bash her. that is the opposite of my intent.

when i started dating marshawn and we decided maybe getting married and him adopting noah was gonna be the way to go. i proposed this to her to prepare her for the giving up the joint custody thing...and she didn't really like. due to several series of unfortunate events, i never did marry marshawn and he didn't adopt noah. i did learn some valuable life lessons and realized that no matter WHAT i did, the approval from tish would never come so why keep trying? it was just stressing me out to the point of spending time with the porcelain goddess. rather unhealthy for sure.

it was a year into my relationship with marshawn that i realized there was really only pleasing God. and so that is what i sat out to do. i started helping lead worship at my church, started reading my Bible on a more even pace and decided to just live my life.

noah was a little heavier than most kids from about 7-9. he had some weird awkward stage and had put on a few extra pounds and really wasn't that active as i was still dealing with some spine issues and cancer. my ex would run him to the playground (well he wasnt an ex at the time), basketball and soccer. noah shed quite a few lbs and when he would come home from visiting his grandmother, he would be bummed. she would tell him that he is fat, needs to loose weight, start being more careful or will become diabetic etc. i mean, it seriously freaked the kid out.

there were other things she would pick at him about. "tell your mom this" or "if your mom doesnt _____ then your life will be terrible". stuff a 8 year old boy should NEVER have to deal with.

when noah started his 4th grade year, we were in a new house in a new neighborhood in a new school district. the house was perfect for us. we invited her over for dinner so she could see where we were living. to this day, she has NEVER been there. we invited her and her husband over for dinner for thanksgiving to which they refused. christmas they wanted to take noah to vegas to visit my brother. my brother didn't want them visiting as he had plans. knowing my brother wasn't in a place for visitors AND noah stating he didn't want to spend christmas AND new years without me, we didn't see them at christmas either. in january, tish then tried to see noah...who at this point is completely fed up with his grandmother's actions and said he was done. after much talkin with those close to me, i decided it was now or never to get the custody thing taken care of.

so i did it. i went down, filed papers and a whirlwind of nonsense started. to say i felt as my back was in a corner would be an understatement. to say that i was getting crap from people and hearing the lies being told about me...i mean, i had quite the crushed spirit. thankfully those that love me the most encouraged me in ways i will NEVER be able to repay or thank them for.

court was terrible. for 70 minutes i had to listen to the one that helped create me and raise me spew words of hatred and lies about me. that day in the courtroom i vowed to hate my mother for the rest of my life. keep in mind, i didn't testify.

a week later, God convicted me of that and i asked Him to forgive me and then i forgave tish.


i continued to live my christian life and the pursuit of God's heart. i continued to care for my son in the same fashion as i always have. i continued to love those around me and just live my life as honestly as possible.

i figured the more honest i lived, the more people would see the truth.

and i was correct.

today in the mail is the judges ruling.

it states

"Now, after examination and inquiry into the facts and circumstances of the case and after hearing the proof and testimony offered in relation thereto, it is ORDERED, that the Respondent mother, Betsy ____, be awarded sole legal and residential custody of the child, Noah ______, with the Respondent father Clint ________ having reasonable parenting time as the parties mutually agree. The Court makes no order of custody or visitation for the Petitioner grandmother Tish _____ and finds this Order to be in the subject child's best interest."

i truly feel that in living a life that is honest and sincere, the lies that people tell about you....well, those they tell to WILL see the truth. for those of you that are trying DAILY to gain the approval of your parents...well, is it working? if NOT, then why are you still trying. i am the owner of a company and help people daily. i am not saying this out of ego...just saying it to point out that no matter what i do / did, the approval wouldn't come. my dad and stepmom (herein referred to as MOM) have been encouraging and loving REGARDLESS of what i do. that is how it should be. my dad tells me how proud of me he is and it warms my heart in ways i cannot express.

i will continue to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God. i will continue to raise my son in the way that i have raised him to date. he is a God fearing, decent, respectful, honest, silly, nerdy, geeky, great on hand drums, brilliant reader, writes great scifi (he's only 10)...my kid is awesome.

so now, onto the next chapter of my life.

the things i learned in this process.

the truth IS (and should be) the ONLY option. stand up for what you believe in. when you fight for what you believe in...good things happen.

i have been truly blessed by (some of) my family and my friends. this journey has been a bit crazy and had some days of serious drama. now it is time for everyone to move forward and heal their heart. i am prayin daily for tish in hopes that she finds happiness with herself and finds peace.

again, i did not post this to brag or anything. everyone has a story that could encourage others. i just wish that those with stories would share them to encourage others. in light of this blog being hard to publish comments to...i did change the settings so you should have easier access to posting...i would appreciate comments to be free of drama and negativity. i am certain tish's heart will be considerably heavier after reading the papers today. i just want healing for the family and no more drama. i am sure in writing this, i will get an email with her "yelling" at me. but truth be told, that's on her.

if you are in a fight to get the rights for your child / children, be honest with the judge / lawyer. do not talk badly of the person you are taking to court in front of your children. they need to be able to make up their mind and in hearing how bad dad or mom is...it will backfire. let kids figure things out based on their own feelings. just because im scared of spiders, doesn't mean my kid needs to be. this world is so negative and full of so much animosity. i mean, i was raised to be the person i am (well, as far as morals go). tish once told someone (i forget who) that when a child becomes 18, it is time for them to examine the relationship. you either remain friends or walk away. pretty telling and shocking eh? a mother's job DOES NOT stop at 18. that i promise you. but the job alters a bit. i love more than anything that i have mom (jennie). i can tell her anything at anytime. whether it's how to deal with a boy starting puberty or relationships or god or anything. it doesn't matter. just because i am adult doesn't mean i don't need a mom. you either! we ALWAYS need our mothers / fathers. i have a friend that has been divorced for several years. the father honestly believes that kids adjust just fine and have no consequence from being from a split household. coming from one, i can tell you, that is NOT correct. we need both parents. if your marriage didn't work, well, then you do everything you can to be friendly to the other parent, be honest with your kids and don't forget that THEY are hurting just as much. i have seen (and been part of) doing things to hurt a parent because the other one said to do it. it's just not good.

stand up for yourself, be honest, give to others and LOVE. who would have thought that the words of harriet beecher stowe would ring so true to me?