I filed for an amendment to the visitation agreement Timile’s parents and I had in place since May 2012. I thought it was bogus. It wasn’t necessary. I left it alone until they reached out to me about visiting Cydney on grounds that I thought were ridiculous. I remembered my lawyer telling me if I don’t like what the judge in Virginia ordered to take care of the matters in New York. So I did. Our court date was November 19, 2013. The judge had ordered Timile’s parents to supervised visitation based on the grounds that Cydney no longer knows who they are. The time they had allotted was December 26-January 5, 2014. Since court I didn’t hear one word from them.
On January 5 I received a text message from Timile’s father saying that requesting to Skype with Cydney. I thought that was some bullshit. The day before court they wanted to say that they reached out and this was a backdoor way to see if I would comply. If I didn’t then they could prove that I’m trying to keep Cydney away from them. I let them Skype. Timile’s father and brother spoke to Cydney for almost an hour. I sat away from the monitor feeling disgusted. Cydney was good about it. She had a great time entertaining them. She’s used to Skyping because we’d done that a few times before with someone I was seeing who didn’t live in New York.
I make decisions based on probability. I run the gamut of possibilities and narrow them down based on past experiences and behavioral patterns that I’ve seen from said person. Knowing how Timile’s father was I thought that he’d be trying to set me up and disarm me into thinking that he wouldn’t show up. While I thought and was hoping that they didn’t show up, in the back of my mind I thought how possible it was that they would show up in court the next day.
I got to court at 9AM. I thought that was the time of our hearing. It was a 10. So after I checked in I walked away and drove around for a minute. I had a writing deadline and was going to turn back home to get my iPad and attempt to be productive. I got back at five before ten to check in once again and in the corner of my eye I saw Timile’s mother and her brother. In my head I thought “Aww shit, it’s going DOWN today!” I called up one of Timile’s cousins who had been in my corner from the start. We talked about it. I had nothing to fear. I didn’t see Timile’s father but I knew he was there. They were trying to rock me to sleep and have me off-guard by their actual appearance in court.
Timile’s father is a retired and decorated marine which makes him well trained in mental warfare and mind games to disarm whoever is perceived as a threat. The biggest mistake that they have made repeatedly is not realizing while I may not be a marine is that I am pretty astute in manipulating people and situations to my advantage. Mental games to create and advantage are kind of my thing (Yes, I’m manipulative but I promise that I use my powers for good).
Unfazed by the game played I sat outside in excitement for what was about to go down. It didn’t matter what they said I knew that supervised visitation was going to stand and the judge would finally get to see what I’ve been dealing with in person.
We got into the courtroom and the judge asked Timile’s mother if she was fine with supervised visitation. Timile’s mother was going on to explain how she was sick and it was hard for her to travel. After a two minute spiel the judge said once again would this be something that she would be okay with. Regardless of how she feels or how she feels about me that Cydney doesn’t know them and her job is to do what is in the best interest of her. She’d brought up some other things that I mentioned in my petition for amendment. The judge said none of that mattered and the issues from the past needed to stay there.
I told the judge how I felt. I also told her that I’d brought up said concerns in my petition just in case. It was in an effort to protect my child and if said allegations were true that I just wanted to rid all reasonable doubt. She reiterated that it didn’t matter. I agreed that for the most part it didn’t either (I only said that for compliance is does matter) and I just wanted to be thorough.
She said that they were here in New York and that we should set up them being able to visit today. I said that the best time was during the holiday in which I was actually quite busy that day. After negotiating based on my schedule and that Timile’s parents had to head back to Virginia that day, the judge said that from 12-2PM they could have visitation. I was fine with them coming by the house, but Timile’s mother said that she didn’t know we had cats and a dog and that she’s allergic. I let the judge know that they’d been over to the house with the cats there and that the dog is on cage rest because she had been hit by a car. Regardless the judge came up with another idea: to meet at a nearby McDonald’s.
The judge then stated that she hopes that we can resolve the rest of our situation outside of court and shouldn’t have to come back. That was her way of saying that “I better not see y’all back in here.” All parties agreed that we could. If they’d like to Skype I could set up a time for them to do so. Game. Set. Match.
I got what I wanted. No more court. I had my daughter. Visitation is supervised and based on my say so. I no longer had to worry about any legal woes looming in the back of my mind anymore. Two years and two days after my first court hearing I was done. This was over. I could finally move on with my baby girl like I deserved to from day one. I deserved not just from a legal standpoint because that is my constitutional right as Cydney’s next of kin since Timile died; but because I had been everything to Cydney since she was born. I was her father. Because her mother was sick I changed all of the diapers. I stayed up during the sleepless night fazes of infancy. I put her to bed and took care of her and her mother after long days of work. I paid for everything for the two girls in my life. I was always Cydney’s guy. Fuck everything else that was attempted to be downplayed or said about me I had always been a good father to Cydney and a great man to Timile. I left court relieved.
I will talk tomorrow about the visit at McDonald’s…Stay Tuned.