Sam Is Dead

For all intents and purposes, Samantha is dead. Realistically she'll only be "dead" about fifteen years. This is going to be a long dark rambling post and I feel like throwing up but maybe if I get it all out of my head the nightmares will stop. Ironically, the only person who would really get it is Sam.

For those late to the party, Samantha and I are second-cousins. Her mother and my mother are cousins, but the same age. And Sam and I are about the same age. Her parents were both corporate work-a-holics who shipped her off to stay with my family at every opportunity it seemed. My mother, her mother, her grandmother, the other sisters -- it was a VERY large and very tight Southern matriarchy. In a subtle way, it was always 'us" against "them", even when they didn't realize there was an "us". By the time they realized that we made each other stronger, it was too late. We were too independent to be easily manipulated and controlled, each one witness to the other's survival.

Years and years ago I overheard my husband make a throw-away comment on the phone about me and Sam. He said that he had never seen loyalty like that. I used to think that maybe Sam and I were like sisters, since I don't have one. Thats what sisters must be like, right? Then over time I realized it was more intense, more like veterens of a really horrible war. Prisoners of war that made it home. We were total opposites. I'm not even sure we were friends, so much as ... I don't know. Closer somehow. Do you know how astonishing it is to have someone understand your backstory so perfectly that you can think as one? That when you're too tired or confused or worn down that she can actually think for you perfectly? Maybe it wasn't about thinking. It was that she could FEEL so perfectly exactly what I was feeling, could understand like she was in my skin, could just ... know. When she said "I know how you feel" she really DID know.

She thought my husband was great, but looking back I can see that made it hard for her. I had someone great and she didn't. Maybe ... maybe thats why she started dating the lunatic. I was living half-way across the country, and he seemed normal enough. Clean-cut, handsome, charming, employed, interested. Prince Charming, right? But when I saw a picture of him, something clicked. Something yucky and all I could do was keep screaming at her to get away from him. I still don't know what made my skin crawl, but she didn't listen. And then a year later he got a little creepy, and the police told her to back-away from him slowly because he was dangerous, and then she ended up pregnant even though she couldn't remember sleeping with him. She tried not to panic. She loved him. She thought they could make it work if he got over a few little issues. She didn't know it was the tip of the ice-berg. To cut to the chase ...

He turned out to be a varient of that movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley". He targeted her for her parents money and influence, tried to force her to marry him while she was pregnant, tried to blackmail her mother (who thought he had delusions of grandeur that he could get away with it), beat her, did some seriously deranged stuff I'm not going to think about, showed his true colors which were -- clinically narsicistic, bi-polar, ADHD, drug-user and supplier, compulsive gambler, anti-semetic. Oh yeah, attempted murderer (from when he tried to kill her and the baby). And that just the stuff that he CONFESSED on the stand under oath.

By the time that this stuff first started coming out, Sam was in the middle of a very difficult pregnancy and refused to leave town because of her doctor. Stupid girl. I tried to tell her. But she could only handle so much reality at one time. True, no one really believed he was evil incarnate. He's very charming. And by the time it became clear what he was, and how connected he was (he used to brag he could do anything and get away with it) (weirdly enough, he got a years probabtion for admitting to trying to kill her, and he laughed on the stand) it was too late. He had her in court. She couldn't get the case moved. She's spent the last three years (and more than $300,000 in legal fees) in court and still NO VERDICT. Just more hearings and more deliberations and more manipulations. Lets just leave it at there are some serious corruption issues.

So when she was late for visitation because the father was in the middle of a declared Federal disaster area with a boil-warning, she thought it would be a contempt of court charge for messing with the visitation schedule. Instead, the judge who is related to his lawyer, awarded HIM full emergency custody, charged Sam, issued an Amber alert with the suggestion that Sam was dangerous and unstable and should be sedated. (FYI, Sam would die if sedated because she's allergic to the drugs, and if she dies the baby is the only hier to a WHOLE lot of money) By the way, aside from all the obvious felony reasons that lunatic shouldn't have custody, there are a lot of legal reasons that he can't like he's not on the birth-certificate and he was never married to Sam. But if Sam's dead, none of that matters.

He tried to kill the baby a few times, which Sam can prove. In fact, its one of those odd little miracles that it didn't work. He faked a fall, took the baby to the ER, told them he vomited after a fall and requested the same drug that almost killed Sam and the baby-in-utero. With NO evidence of vomiting, the doctor gave the baby the injection. Turns out that the doctor and the father's new wife are friends. Turns out the only reason the baby didn't die (although he had a reaction) is that Sam thought since the weather was good that they would take him to the park and let him roll on the grass which would make welts all over him. So she started giving him liquid Benedryl the day before and gave him a huge dose right before he went to visitation.

There were other odd behaviors the last few months. The baby (who is almost three) said playing in traffic was fun, and ran out in the street downtown. And he runs up and down the stairs but flinches and jerks his hand away from the railing if you try to make him use it, like he'd been punished for using the railing. And the father called the baby a "business transaction".

She reported all this to the authorities. Plus more. Over and over and over. She reported the coruption over and over and over. No one cared.

When she was late for that visitation, I should have suspected something was up. She usually talked to me every day, sometimes several hours a day going over and over the case looking for something she missied. (Thank goodness for cell phones -- I just let her talk and went on about my day -- once I timed her at 47 minutes with no sound from my end of othe conversations) But then I noticed that she wasn't telling me where she was. That went on for a few days. Then I talked to her mother, who told me about the change-of-custody and the Amber alert. Of course, when I talked to Sam I told her and she flipped out. I told her everything I knew, and that as long as I told her to turn herself in that I wasn't comitting a felony by talking to her, and she said it was late and she was tired and that she'd call me tomorrow.

She didn't call.

And just like that, she's gone. There's just a hole. Nothing. At first it wasn't so bad, like she was on vacation and left her phone-charger at home. But I miss her. Even though we're total opposites, we're still "us". That doesn't matter. Whatever else can be said about us, we are good mothers. It is beyond the pale to think that she could hand over her son to that monster. I understand that. I approve of that. (I don't think that approving is a felony, right? Its not like she even knows about this blog, so I'm not aiding and abetting through encouragement, right?)

She's not coming back.

Some people think she will, or that she'll call, or send a message, but she won't. I know her. She is really truly gone. Its the only way to keep the baby safe. She's severed every thread that might lead to the baby. Including me. Because she knows me. I'd protect my babies the same way she does. I'd give her up in a heartbeat if it were the difference between going to prison or staying home with my children. Seriously. And she would understand. Which is why she'll never contact me. Or anyone else for that matter. And she'll be fine.

I'm always amused by people that think Sam is weak. Its an illusion that she's allowed her mother to use for years, an excuse her mother uses to camaflouge her own weaknesses. I'm also amused by people that think she's destitute or trapped. Realistically, I'd bet that Sam had ten years living-expenses in cash within hours of trashing her phone and credit-cards. Maybe fifteen years if she was careful, or found a few odd jobs over the years. Sure she was raised by her mother to be an artist, but her father raised her to be his own personal estate-lawyer. Its an odd combination, but useful in this situation. She knows all about the off-the-grid-artistic-hippy-dippy-gypsy-lifestyle and she knows all about how to handle large money and assets cleverly (and legally).

Its just that I miss her. I was flipping out the other night, and my husband pointed out that if she's really gone for fiteen years, I could be a GRANDMOTHER before she calls! He was trying to make me laugh, to make me feel better but I think that until that minute I had kept myself so crazy-busy that I hadn't thought beyond tomorrow.

But fifteen years is a long time. A very long time. She'll miss proms, and graduations, and colleges, and weddings, and grandchildren, and deaths, and vacations, and moving, and books, and movies, and hair-colors, and clothes, and diets, and car-wrecks, and life. She'll miss my life, and I"ll miss hers. I guess the horrible thing is that, in a way, Lucy is dead too.


Oh my God. Lucy, I'm keeping you, and Sam and the baby, in my prayers.

Paul Burgess | 07/13/2010 - 02:06 PM


King of Fools | 07/13/2010 - 03:10 PM

Lucy my friend, I will pray for Sam whenever I think of her.

Leni | 08/05/2010 - 12:50 PM
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