Originally Posted by josybear
btbarbara, please read the whole thread before making comments like that. you aren't helping the op.
I've read the entire thread now and to be honest, my comment was not nearly as harsh as some others. After reading the whole thing, my advice has not changed. The OP says that she wants to do what's best for her children so it's time walk the walk. She's made some lousy choices. Everybody has (no, I'm not saying all single mothers chose the wrong partners, but every human being has made some bad decisions at some point in their lives). Now it's time for her to admit the role she's played in all of this (which she does sometimes sound like she's trying to do, but she's not quite there yet) and start over...by changing the only person she has any control over and that's herself.
She needs to take a good hard look at the past few years, maybe even farther back than that, and how she's gotten where she is. Sometimes crappy things happen to good people. Sometimes we are victims of circumstances. But we have to play the hand we're dealt and make the best of our situation. Personally, I have been the victim of some pretty horrendous actions by others. But when I really step away and try to look at my life objectively, I see that sometimes I responded to those situations better than other times. Sometimes I took a bad situation and made it better but sometimes I took the bad situation and made it even worse. If the OP really looks at her life and the choices she's made, how she responded to other people's choices, etc., then she'll see how she's gotten to the point where she is today and what responsibility she has in all this. The point of this exercise is not to beat herself and make herself feel bad about herself. The point is two-fold. 1) She needs to know the mistakes she's made so that she can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. As long as everything's out of her control, then there's really nothing she can do to turn things around and make sure she's not repeating the same patterns. 2) She's depressed right now. She's feeling overwhelmed and beaten down by everyone around her. Maybe by acknowledging the role that she's played in all of these events, she can realize that she's really not helpless. For me, it was a huge relief to be able to look back and say "Yes, I made a lousy choice but it was my choice and I was in control. I'm still in control and have the power to make it better." Right now she feels like she has no control over her own life. Things are happening to her. People are doing things to her. Maybe by accepting that she was in control of the situation, even if she screwed that up, then she can realize that she has the ability to choose better now and make things right.
Now, I'm not one to sugarcoat things so I'm going to be brutally honest. OP, you're in a mess right now. You can turn your life around and I believe that you want to. It is not going to be easy though. You need to decide that from this moment forward, you are going to be honest with yourself and everyone around you and you are going to take responsibility for your own life.
* Your stbx sounds like a real piece of work. I'm sorry that you have to deal with him, but the court says that you do. He has a right to see and speak to his son. You said that if he wants to get in touch with you, he can call your mother. You've also said that you know your mother lied to you about the other father calling. So for all you know, he has been calling daily trying to speak to your son. Maybe not, but you have no way of knowing. What are you going to do if you get to court and he shows the judge phone records proving that he has tried to contact his son? Telling the judge that your mother didn't give you the message is not going to win you any favor.
You need to give your stbx some way to contact you directly. It can be an e-mail that you set up solely for that purpose and check it once a week or a prepaid phone but you need to have proof that you've done your part by letting him know how to contact you if he wants to. If the temporary custody order says that you're supposed to let him and the court know where you're living, then you need to address that. If you're afraid for your safety by telling him where you live, explain it to the judge. The more deceptive you are, the worse it looks for you in the long run. If he truly doesn't care about his son, then it won't bother him one bit to tell the court that you're keeping the baby away from him and ask for custody just to spite you. Judges are beginning to come down on women they suspect of parental alienation and there have been a few cases lately where children have been given to the fathers because the mothers were hiding them, even though the mothers swore they were afraid for their lives. You need to make sure that you do everything exactly by the book so that there's no way he can accuse you of any wrongdoing.
* As for the father of the unborn baby, as others have said, he's not really a concern until the baby is born but he does have a right to be involved with his child. You do not need to lie on the birth certificate or the public assistance applications. Remember, you're starting fresh and playing by the rules. If you lie to keep him away from the baby, it will come back to bite you later. Give him enough rope to hang himself so to speak. Do document any interactions you have with him just in case you need that in the future.
* You said you've got the place in GA so that's done. Before you move, you need to do some soul searching and think about your friends there. Are they the kind of friends you want in your new life, or are they the kind of friends from your old life? Are they the kind of friends who are going to support and encourage you in making the changes you need to make going forward?
* Once you get to GA, your top priority needs to be finding a job (right up there with getting that mess in PA resolved) so that you are not relying on your friends or your parents or public assistance. You want to build the kind of life that's going to make it impossible for anyone to question your devotion and judgment as a mother. Someone mentioned earlier that you were once active in the church. You may want to consider reaching out to a local church. They might be able to help you get on your feet, help with childcare, etc. If worse comes to worst, they may be able to vouch for you and testify that you are turning your life around. You also need to get yourself into counseling ASAP. Hopefully a good family counselor can point you in the direction of some resources to help you work out all the other mess.