Tired Is An Understatement

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”- Bob Marley

During a court ordered visit my son’s father Jhavier tricked our four-year-old son into showing him where I lived. For four years I tried my hardest never to let my son’s father know where I lived. I ended our relationship when I was three months pregnant and never looked back because of domestic violence reasons. I needed to be safe, and I never I could never truly be safe with Jhavier knowing where I lived. Jhavier made is clear that he could not control himself and he did not care if our son was present for his violent outburst last year when he punched me in the face and tried to hit myself and my son with a car in 2017.

The first call I made after I learned my location was compromised was to the House of Ruth Domestic Violence Center. I spoke with the representative who advised me to contact Jhavier’s probation officer and let her know that Jhavier violated his probation. I called LaSondra Michaels Jhavier’s probation officer April 19th 2019. She advised me to email her all the threatening correspondence between Jhavier and I, and she would forward that information to his judge. As soon as I hung up the phone with Jhavier’s probation officer I forwarded her all the correspondence between Jhaiver and I. I also explained to her how in November 2018 Jhavier called me and advised me that he was suicidal homeless and living in his car. I also explained to her that Jhavier advised me that he had a gun and would kill me before he went back to jail. His probation officer advised me she would follow up with me after she heard from the judge.

April 22th 2019 I followed back up with Jhavier’s probation officer because I did not hear anything from her.  She advised me that she submitted all the evidence to the judge and was waiting to hear back from the judge.  April 24th, April 29th, and May 6th I followed up with his probation officer and received the same response. She advised me each time she was just waiting for the judge to respond. This whole time I could barely sleep and was a nervous wreck. 

Finally, May 6th 2019 Lashondra emailed me to advise me that a VOP warrant was issued for Jhavier’s arrest. She told me would let me know when he was taken into custody. May 13th 2019 I received several calls from Jhavier’s phone. I screenshotted the calls and sent them to his probation officer. She advised me that Jhavier was taken into custody and she would follow up with me to let me know when trial was scheduled. 

June 12th 2019 my birthday I received an email from Jhavier’s probation officer advising me that Jhavier was being held no bail and his trail was set for 06/27/19. I cried when I read the email. I did not and still don’t understand how things got so bad between us. It was obvious that as much as I wanted things to change for the better, they would never. Jhavier’s birthday is at the end of May I’m not sure what the exact day is anymore, but I was sad thinking that he spent his 25th birthday behind bars. I was sad thinking about him being locked up around so many dangerous people.

June 26th 2019 4:48pm the state’s attorney Megan Bell emailed me and advised me she would be the prosecutor for my case. She advised me that she just found out about the case minutes before emailing me. She advised me it was important for me to call her back before 5:15pm that day in order to discuss the case. I didn’t check my emails until 6pm and by that time it was too late to speak with her. 

June 27th 2019 I showed up to court without being prepped for trail. I was so sure Jhavier would be released, because I had very little faith in the system. Jhavier was facing 10 years in prison for his probation violation, and had a court appointed public defender John Jameson. John was a middle age black mail who was so soft spoken and lost many of his previous cases. I could barely hear him when he spoke, and I figured my lawyer the state’s attorney would handle him well.

However, when it came time for my case to be heard John came alive. My lawyer asked for have the case postponed for until the end of the month because she needed more time to learn about the case. She asked to have Jhavier remain in jail no bail until the new court case. Jhavier’s lawyer flew into action.

“Your honor this is not a criminal case this is a custody case, and my client should be set free and at the very least granted bail. The plaintiff in this case is anger that my client has visitation and is doing anything in her power to stop my client from seeing his son. This is not a criminal case this is a case of a bitter baby momma” stated John.

I looked over at Jhavier to see him nodding and smiling with pleasure as his public defender spoke. I sat flabbergasted that Jhavier thought it was okay to ruin my character like that and attack me in open court. I would never ever lie to have anyone arrested. Instead of admitting guilt Jhavier smiled while his lawyer dragged my name through the mud. Even in handcuffs Jhavier found away to harass and belittle me.

However, the judge granted the state’s attorney request for a postponement and held Jhavier without bail. The new trail was set for July 29, 2019.

July 26th 2019 I spoke with the states attorney Megan again she advised me she would do everything in her power to help me. She advised me that she could not guarantee Jhavier would remain in jail. She told me that I would have to move as soon as possible. She referred my case to the House of Ruth relocation department. After the conversation with the state’s attorney I knew Jhavier would be released.

July 29, 2019 the state’s attorney advised me that Jhavier had already been in jail for 90 days, and she couldn’t guarantee that the judge would give Jhavier 10 years in prison. The state attorney advised me that she would offer Jhavier one additional year supervised probation. In December 2017 Jhavier was sentenced to 2 years supervised probation that would have ended December 2019, but now his probation won’t end until December 2020. Jhavier took the plea and like that he was free.

July 30th, 2019 my son and I where moved to a safe house in the middle of nowhere. I was alone in a strange town and advised to stay hidden until I was able to find new housing. I stayed in the safe house for 2 weeks, and then I was able to find new housing through the House of Ruth. I am thankful to the House of Ruth for helping me find housing and helping to keep me safe through this whole ordeal.

Tiger Stripes

” Behavior never lies” – Gary Blair

I was admitted to the hospital 12/14/2014 to start the labor process for my son. Jhavier showed up to the hospital 12/17/14. Jhavier and I hadn’t spoken since about July 2014 around the time I was six months pregnant. There was so much turmoil between Jhavier and I during my pregnancy that I decided it was best that we didn’t speak. When I was admitted to the hospital I didn’t call Jhavier to tell him. 

When Jhavier walked into the hospital room I was shocked. However if I’m going to be honest I was also happy. Even after everything we went through I was excited to know Jhavier wanted to see our son be born. When Jhavier walked through the door nothing matter not the domestic violence, not him beating my dog, not the Craigslist sex scandal nothing matter. 

December 19 2014 I had a emergency C section and gave birth to my son Joshua. I named him Joshua because Joshua means savior. Joshua my son my savior. 

Joshua weighed 9.8 pounds when he was born. He was rushed to the NICU because he was barely breathing. I was so scared for my son, and although my mother was by my side I wanted to see Jhavier. Our son was being rushed to the NICU and I didn’t know what to think. I blamed myself, and I blamed Jhavier. I blamed him for putting me through so much negativity while I was pregnant. I blamed myself for putting up with the drama for so long. Once again I was broken my son was hurting and I couldn’t do anything to fix that. The only person who could’ve imagined what I was going through was Jhavier. No one else could feel the pain, or understand my anxiety other than Jhavier. Joshua was our child our flesh and blood. 

However after I gave birth to our son Jhavier was kicked out of the hospital due to his behavior. I watched the hospital security drag him out the hospital. That was the most painful and embarrassing moment of my life. I understood Jhavier probably was nervous about Joshua, but that didn’t excuse his behavior. The nurses and the doctors advised Jhavier’s behavior was unacceptable. 

“Typical Jhavier” I thought to myself. 

“Why couldn’t he hold it together for our son? Why couldn’t he hold it together for me” I thought as I began to cry out loud. 

The next day I would spend all day running back and forth to the NICU bringing breast milk to my son. I decided that I would breast feed, and it was very hard. My son wouldn’t latch onto my breast so I had to pump my milk. Pumping milk was also difficult because I wasn’t producing a lot of breast milk. Not being able to breast feed my son made me feel extremely inadequate and sad. I felt like a horrible mom because of my breast feeding issues. No one told me how normal it is for women to have issues breastfeeding and because of that I felt sad. I felt guilty like maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a mother or I wasn’t fit to be a mother. 

Jhavier finally came back to the hospital around 5:30 pm to finally meet his son. He came with a card with a handwritten note thanking me for choosing life and given birth to his first born son. He apologized for everything he put me through and promised to be the best father ever. He also came with a cloth flower from the gift shop.

“Maybe just maybe being a father will make him grow up” I thought to myself as I accepted the gifts.

Our son was in the NICU for 5 days. I stayed in the hospital everyday with him and so did Jhavier. We both slept in the same small hospital bed together every night. If I needed help with dressing Jhavier helped me. If I was hungry he would get me food and it felt like the old times were back. The old times when we were young and in love with no drama, no violence, just love. Jhavier was sweet, he was my protector. He was so in love with our son he held him whenever he could. My perfect family was coming together I thought to myself. I was happy even if it was just for the moment.

December 24th Christmas Eve 2014 Joshua was released from the NICU. I went home with my mother, and Jhavier went home to wherever he lived. Our time as a family was over. Reality kicked in as soon as we left the hospital. My little family was no more. 

After I left the hospital Jhavier would call every couple of days to check on our son. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t call everyday but I realized our son couldn’t talk. 

February 04 2015 I brought Josh to see Jhavier. Jhavier finally had time to spend with Joshua and I was happy to bring him. Jhavier was renting out a small bedroom in a boarding house for men. He lived on the top floor and had a small twin size bed. His bedroom door didn’t lock and there was one shared bathroom. Being the only woman in a house full of men made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be there, but I wanted to make sure Jhavier could spend time with his son. 

Jhavier asked me if we could have sex. I declined. He seemed like he was okay with the rejection as long he still could be with his son. I was at Jhaviers house for about two hours and I asked him to pop some popcorn. He said no and told me to pop my own popcorn. The microwave was in the kitchen and I didn’t want to go into the kitchen with the men. The strange men in the boarding house who I did not know. I explained that to Jhavier and he became enraged. 

“You think your better than me. Your too good to go to my kitchen.” Jhavier said as he snatched the popcorn from me and threw it out his third floor window. I realized at that moment that Jhavier did not change. He was still the same evil women beater and I felt dumb. 

I started gathering my stuff and my son to leave. I had my son in one arm and his diaper bag in the other arm and I started walking to the door. 

“Bitch you can leave but leave my son” Jhavier said as he pushed me. I feel onto the bed with my son in my arms. Josh was barely three months old. I felt like I failed as a mother again. I knew Jhavier was unstable and still I came to his room with the hopes of being a family. It was my fault that my infant son was subjected to the foolery.

Jhavier apologized and begged me so stay. I left with our son and told Jhavier I would never come back. I told him he could still see our son but I would not bring our son to him. He would need to make the arrangements. I left his room that day, and Jhavier didn’t see Josh again until Josh’s dedication on June 14 2015.

I learned that day that Jhavier would never ever change. No matter how much I wished he would change. My heart was broken. Jhavier showed me who he was and I should’ve believed him.

Single Parent Confessions…

During the summer time my son’s father sent me a text message seeking to end the back and forth turmoil that has been our life since the birth of our child. He apologized for the dirt and acknowledged the domestic violence part of our relationship was a serious mistake on his part. He advised his court ordered anger management was working and he was seeing the error in his ways . Being the person I am I accepted his apology and left it at that. After the apology his family invited me to a family vacation weekend in Virginia and he started texting me all the time. However because I’m a stand offish person I never reciprocated or accepted the advances. All request to come over late at night were kindly declined. He asked if he could come over and have family dinners once a week so that our son could see us happy and getting along. I would again jokingly but sternly decline. He didn’t know where I lived and until this day he doesn’t. It was like yes I accepted his apologies but I couldn’t allow myself to trust him or go down that path again ever in life. With me once the love is lost it’s gone and there is no return of course I can be cordial but nothing more. I’m not the girl who is going to keep sleeping with a no good man just because he promises to change and comes with mediocre sex I just can’t do it.

My son’s father trying to be a player even asked me to have a second child with him. He said the second time could be the charm and we could get it right this time no courts, no child support no drama. I was just thinking to myself yes I love my son to death but I didn’t even wanna have him. I definitely didn’t wanna have my first child with my son’s father but he took advantage of me when I went on a Patron binge but that’s neither her nor there. I accept the fact that I was irresponsible and I wouldn’t change a thing because nothing makes me happier than being a mother. However once again I kindly refused his offer again advising him that I did not want another child. During this time he’s texting me almost all day, FaceTiming me, and calling at night and I was extremely perplexed . I accepted his apology but we were not friends. I could forgive but I couldn’t forget and not being able to forget the emotional pain wouldn’t allow me feel anything towards him ever again in life. I felt bad because I felt like he was genuinely trying to be a better person, but that wasn’t enough for me. I hate holding grudges. I felt like I should forgive and forget and put that past aside for my son, but my mind wouldn’t allow that.

After about a month and a half of my son’s father putting his best foot forward his girlfriend whose 40 years old must’ve thought we where getting to close because next thing I know she’s calling and texting my phone as well. She didn’t know why he was spending so much time reaching out to me, and she didn’t like it. She told me that my son’s father told her he hated me and thought I was a bad mother.

She’s advised me via text and I quote “Ok so I told Jhavier the best way to try to get off child support is to sleep with u . He said he was but u asked him is that what he really wanted to do and atp he changed his mind because he didn’t want to sleep with u Fr because he don’t like u like that ???”

I simply responded “Y’all dumb why would you all think that would work 😂😂😂 “.

Now all the apologies, family vacation offers and talks of future babies made complete sense he wanted off of child support by any means necessary. I have never been so offended in life there was no way I was going to let that extra mediocre sex keep him from finically supporting his child. I just thought to myself what in the name of childish high school plots is going on here! There was no way two grown adults one who is 40 (his girlfriend) came up with that plot. I thank God that I wasn’t dumb enough to fall for the okie doke like some females.

I didn’t even feel like telling her he told her a damn lie. I didn’t ask him is that what he wanted I flat out said no and ignored all his late night texts. I was so thankful that I knew not to trust him or even try to dig up the past. It’s no way on earth I would ever sleep with anyone who punched me in my face. There is no apology, there is no excuse there is no “I was a boy then but I’m a man now” line that could make me truly forgive him either! That was scheme number one I guess they tried to butter me up and go in for the kill I don’t know but I do know it didn’t work. I’m smarter than that, but that was just scheme number one it only got worst.

My sons father called me early November crying on the phone saying he was having suicidal thoughts and was living in his car. Please be mindful that is November in Maryland so it’s pretty cold. He stated that he lost his job and because he is currently on probation (for punching me in the face and trying to hit me with a car last spring) he was having a hard time securing another job. He was sobbing on the phone crying and explaining that he lost his place. “It’s hard out here janay I’m really out here having suicidal thoughts. Your son’s going to grow up without a father and you don’t care” he said while crying into the phone. I’m rolling my eyes at this point like ok Denzel. He goes on and on crying saying that he doesn’t have a job and when he does get a job his check will be garnished because he owes a bail bondsmen $4,000 dollars and he owes child support. He crying about how even when he’s not working the child support is just accumulating and he won’t ever get out the rears.

He was crying saying that he moved to Maryland for me and he can’t believe I really turned my back on him. I’m trying not to show any emotions because I honestly felt like he dug the hole he was buried in and now he wanted to be a coward and cry about suicide.

I said “Jhavier stop lying your not living in your car your living with that girl”.

He sobbed even louder at this time saying his on again off again girlfriend was money hungry and he can’t even live there because she wants money too and he doesn’t have money.

“That’s all y’all Baltimore women care about is money. It’s hard out here janay” is what he said before I hung the phone up.

He called me back 22 times. Sometimes I answered and he would say “please Janay I just need your help”.

I didn’t know what he thought I could do for him he couldn’t stay with me, and I wasn’t taking him off child support period. However after awhile my conscious started getting the best of me and I started thinking about the seriousness of his suicidal thoughts. So many people kill themselves when they get overwhelmed finically in life. I kept hearing him cry and call out for help and I knew I couldn’t just leave him out to kill himself in his car. Even though he was not my favorite person he was still my son’s father and my conscious wouldn’t allow me to be completely heartless.

I called the suicide prevention line, I called 311 and texted him the Baltimore crisis line information. I sent him these text “Idk if you were playing but suicide is serious I called the suicide prevention line for you and also reported it to the authorities someone should be reaching out to you. This is very serious. Much love I hope you feel better soon my friend and I provided your address”.

The second text “Baltimore crisis response 410-433-5175 Sheppard Pratt 410-938-help here are some numbers for you Incase you feel suicide thoughts”.

He never responded to either text and the next day I reached out to a lawyer from the Women’s clinic. It was his weekend to have our son and I started to get even more concerned about my son’s fathers claims of being suicidal and living in his car I couldn’t let my son be around that. He’s was not in the right head space and my son’s safety was worth more than a weekend out with my friends. I sent him a third text after the lawyer helped me find the right words to send “Out of concern for Josh’s safety, the two of you can resume visits when your health and living situation are much more stable. Good luck”.

He responded one hour later “I never made any statements our conversation was about joint custody”. I thought to myself is he serious this was another ploy to get off child support? He really cried and faked being suicidal to avoid finically supporting his child? This can’t be real this has to be a bad dream. Men can not be stooping so low these days a false suicide attempt is too far. All the tears and all the calls just because he didn’t want to pay $404 per month? I could not deal!

My mother said his girlfriend stopped her at the gas station and advised her that he was living with her and lost his car months ago. Oh the games and the lies. After that incident my son’s father didn’t bother to call his son and to say Happy thanksgiving. Our son’s birthday was December 19th he didn’t bother to call or text and say happy birthday. I heard he made a lovely post on Facebook saying happy birthday as if he thought our son would see. I love the clout chase of it all posting pictures like Facebook dad of the year all the while not speaking to our child once. Christmas passed and then New Years still nothing but I’m sure there were post. Too bad he didn’t call 22 times on those days instead of wasting those calls on fake suicide attempts. This story unfortunately is still in progress with no end in sight but I’ll keep you updated. If you see my son’s father before I do please advise him that all the while he is solely trying to hurt or hoodwink me its our son who suffers the most. Not only from the disconnect and distant he experiences from his father, but from witnessing his mother struggle emotionally and finically to support him. It’s not healthy and more importantly it’s not fair!

But Did You Die? Part I

“This seems to be the most pro-criminal group of legislators I’ve ever seen” – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

 Shortly after my son turned 2 years old his father Jhavier was granted unsupervised visitation. He was ordered to see our son every other weekend starting Friday at 5pm until Sunday at 8 pm.  I was granted full physical, and legal custody. I contested Jhavier receiving unsupervised visits. I wanted the visits to be supervised. The first reason I wanted the visits to be supervised was because Jhavier did not spend any time with our son the first two years of our son’s life. Jhavier literally saw our son at the hospital when our son was born, and at our son’s dedication six months later. The second and most important reason I contested unsupervised visits was because Jhavier proved himself to be a loose cannon. He was arrested and jailed for punching me while I was pregnant. I was granted a restraining order while I was pregnant because of the abuse. Jhavier could not control himself and he proved that time and time again, but the Baltimore City Circuit Court disagreed with me. The Baltimore City Court system advised me that Jhavier is the father and as the father he has rights to our child regardless of his past with domestic violence. I was advised that he hit me and not the child, and because he never hit the child he was eligible for unsupervised visitation. The law befuddled me, and I was extremely perplexed. I couldn’t understand why the law would allow someone with a violent past to be around a child unsupervised. Not to mention that yes he is the father, but he was also the same “father” that attacked the mother of his unborn child while she was pregnant. So because his punches to my gut didn’t kill our unborn child he was granted unsupervised visits. 

The unsupervised visits started January 2017. Every other weekend Jhaiver would pick Josh up, and drop him off. However the visits never went smoothly ever. Sometimes Jhaiver would drop our son off late, and other times he just didn’t show up. This would go on until May 2017. 

 One Sunday in May Jhavier was supposed to drop our son off at 8pm. However Jhaiver texted me around 7:59pm and advised that he was in DC running late because of traffic. 

“Really why would he wait until 7:59pm to leave DC if he knew he was supposed to drop Josh off at 8pm” I thought to myself annoyed. 

However once again 8pm turned into 9:45 when Jhaiver finally pulled into my apartment parking lot. I always met Jhaiver at the end of the parking lot so that he did not know exactly where I lived. 

Jhavier hopped out the car but he didn’t unbuckle our son right away. 

“Please stop dropping him off so late he’s 2” I said to Jhavier frustrated. 

“That’s my son he is with his father it shouldn’t matter what time I drop him off. I took him to the zoo” Jhavier said. 

“That’s nice, but why would you wait until the zoo closed” I said. I just thought to myself “is the zoo even open until 8pm at night”? Who would keep a 2 year old at the zoo until 8pm?  His story just didn’t make sense. 

Finally Jhavier unbuckled our son, and I bent down to hug our son. Then I took our son and we started to talk away, but before I could walk away Jhaiver grabbed me by my hair. Then he punched me in my head, and my glasses instantly broke and feel to the ground. Stupid Bitch” I heard him say. 

“NO Daddy your bad” I heard my son yell as he reached down to grab my glasses. 

Jhavier didn’t respond to our child instead he ran to the car. I thought he was going to leave the scene, but he didn’t. Instead he drove the car right at my son and I as fast as he could. Instinctively I grabbed our son and jumped out the way. We just missed being hit by the car. I mean we literally just missed being hit by the car if I waited a second longer I wouldn’t even be typing this. After Jhavier missed hitting us with the car he sped away from the scene leaving me to carter to our crying toddler. I called the police and reported the incident. I was advised that an officer would be on the way. 

I decided to wait outside for the police and to send my son inside of the apartment with my little cousin. I just didn’t want the kids to see me bruised because I was scared and embarrassed. Even after everything Jhaiver put me through while pregnant I couldn’t believe he tried to hit my son and I with a car. I couldn’t believe he would stoop so low to punch me in front of our two year old child.  

15 minutes after I called 911 and reported almost being killed by my son’s father a car pulled into my apartment complex. I thought it was the police, but it was actually just my brother getting out of a Lyft. I started to explain to him what happened, but before I could do so Jhavier pulled back into my apartment complex. He jumped out of the car and knocked me to the ground. My brother jumped in to defend me, and then he and Jhavier started to fight. While they were fighting I noticed the police driving slowly into the parking lot with their sirens off. Jhaiver noticed them too, and ran back to his car and pulled off. Unbelievably he got away the police weren’t able to stop him. 

Although the police weren’t able to stop him a warrant was issued for his arrest on the scene. The officer took my statement and took photos of my injuries. 

As the police were questioning me all I could think about was my son. I requested supervised visits to avoid horrible situations like this one. I still can’t imagine how damaging it is for a two year old child to see their father strike their mother. It’s heartbreaking. The court system needs to do a better job at protecting the victim, and the children. This experience showed me that the law at least in Baltimore MD is in favor of the abuser. There should have been no way with his past that Jhaiver was ever given unsupervised visits with a child. 

The law now basically says that a person has to kill you or your child in order for you to receive justice. If you survive domestic violence in Baltimore you go from being victimized by your abuser to being victimized again by laws made to protect the abuser.