This I Believe

Saint - Saint Louis, Missouri
Entered on April 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: parenthood
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I believe my mother saved my life.

When I was 15 or 16, my family ended up where many others have as well, family court in a battle for custody.

This all started when I copped the typical, teenage boy attitude and decided that the knowledge I had accumulated over the last few years made me an adult. My mother stood up for me then, by standing up to me. She gave me a decision to make. I had to follow her rules, or I could follow someone else’s rules, somewhere else. Of course, I chose to leave. I went to live with my father.

I love my father and many people have never understood why. He has a lot of problems ranging from alcohol to women, but his worst problem is his need for self preservation. My dad just did not know how to be just that, a dad. Having moved in with him, he saw this as the opportunity to remove child support payments or maybe eek some out of my mom. And thus, we ended up in a courtroom letting lawyers speak for us and a judge decide our fate.

My mother was told over and over again not to head into that courtroom. Her friends and family tried to convince her that she would never win a custody battle in a court in my small town with its good old boy club and its good old boy rules. However, one person told her the truth of what she was feeling: though she may not have a chance, if she didn’t fight for her son, she would regret that decision forever.

My mother stood up for me by facing the worst fight she could.

We both won.