After seven months, Lisetta wrote to me.
Yesterday, Lisetta wrote to me. It is the first contact we've had in seven months.
I had been writing to her and Andreas every week or so with a small paragraph containing positive, light-hearted messages from the time Mike took them in April 2015 until April 2018.
After it became clear that Mike would not stop lying or manipulating them, I went to the KESB, the Swiss child and adult protective services to get a custodian. The custodian has proven almost entirely useless, 11 months in. She told me in April last year that Lisetta didn't want me to write to her anymore. Andreas I didn't write to at that point, because I was blocked on social media. I asked the custodian why Lisetta didn't block me again (as she had before) if she didn't want me to write, but the custodian didn't know. I wrote to Lisetta, told her I wouldn't write her again until she wrote to me, and that was it.
It was extremely difficult to let them go. I also got zero acknowledgment of that from the useless custodian, but that's beside the point, since no one gives a shit about our relationship or me anyway.
Anyway, I haven't had any idea if I would ever speak to the children again. I didn't expect it to be any time soon. Perhaps when they were adults. But I wasn't holding my breath. They've said such horrid things about me that I figure their opinion of me is so low they wouldn't want to ever talk to such a despicable person again.
But she wrote to me. She called me Anneliese instead of Mom. She wished me a Happy Valentine's Day.
When she and Mike showed up at my door on January 11, 2015 with a suitcase, telling me she was moving out, I was totally bewildered and uncertain. As I gave her a hug goodbye, I thought to myself, I won't be caring for her like a mother anymore. I won't make sure she gets off to school ok, I won't know about her homework, I won't tuck her in at night, I won't make her meals. It was like I wasn't even her mother anymore. I said to Lisetta that it was like I wasn't her mother anymore.
That really stuck with her. She interpreted it as my saying that I wasn't her mother anymore. That I didn't want to be her mother anymore. She took it as rejection, when it was nothing more than a realization that the motherly jobs I had been filling would no longer be filled by me. I have told her that multiple times, but of course she doesn't believe me.
She told the courts or the KESB (I don't remember what interview it was in) that she didn't want me as her mother anymore, that she wanted her new stepmother to be her mother. She went to the KESB and said that she wanted my rights withdrawn. She asked me to give up all my rights as her mother. I refused. I will always refuse. I reject the notion that I am a less competent parent than their dishonest, selfish father. KESB told her that because our custody agreement was organized in divorce court, that the court would need to be the entity to determine my rights. It would be pretty impossible to withdraw my rights as there has never been any indication of any abuse by me.
It's not that I don't want to be her mother. It's that she doesn't want me to be her mother.
She told me in 2015 that she would hate me if I weren't her mother, and that she only loved me a tiny, tiny, tiny bit and no more.
Her opinion of me has only worsened over the years.
I don't think it will get better. Every time the children made a move to get closer to me since they moved out, Mike would take some action to alienate them again.
Lisetta hasn't seen me more than perhaps 20 times since April 2015. She was 13. I highly doubt she remembers much of her childhood, so every image Mike plants about me is more believable because she doesn't have memories in her mind to counteract his mendacity. There is nothing I can do about that; it's the nature of our memories.
If I am able to find the motivation to copy and paste the chats and type in the court documents (I am not holding out any hope that I will be able to find a solution that will let me host images without paying if I'm dead), then you will see what she has said about me and why I despair that we will ever have a relationship.
I'm also scared of her and Andreas now. No one believes me, well except for my family and a few others, but the children are believed at every turn as is Mike. They can say whatever they want to about me. They can hurt me terribly. They already have.
I also feel like nothing I can do is right. No matter what, my motives are viewed as circumspect. I am not given the benefit of the doubt about anything, as you can see about the comment I made about being Lisetta's mother, above. I have always tried to do it all right, but look what happened. No matter what I do, it will fail in a tremendous crash and burn. I can do everything 99% perfectly, but the 1% of error will destroy it all. That's why I can never say to myself, oh, I did that and that right, so I can feel good about it. No. The bad shatters the good, rendering it irrelevant.
After I received Lisetta's message last night, I wrote back to her wishing her a Valentine's Day filled with love. She replied with a thanks. I replied you're welcome.
I have a weird relationship to the response you're welcome. It feels like I'm conceited when I say it, like I'm saying yes, I did this great thing for you. I prefer to say no problem. But I've read that it irritates a lot of people because it downplays that anything nice was done for you. So I have tried to say you're welcome more. It's also socially acceptable to say you're welcome. I know other people don't look at it as so weird.
But now, I regret saying you're welcome to her. It's like I granted her a boon or something. I wish I had just sent an emoji.
So after a couple of sentences that were all totally light-hearted and positive, I feel worried that I made a mistake, that I didn't respond correctly.
And I know it's a bit ridiculous to feel that way. But what won't be ridiculous is if she or Andreas attempt to have a real conversation with me, and I mess it all up. Which I will, because I won't know exactly how to phrase my responses so there is no possible offense to take. I won't know what's in their minds. And I know they will be assuming the worse from me, looking to find any flaw in what I say.
Lisetta can't stop by since she's overseas, but Andreas is nearby. Sometimes I have a daydream that he stops by out of the blue. (I can't help but hope to see him no matter how low the chance.) I would be ecstatic to see him. But I'm also terrified. I would feel tremendous pressure to do everything right so he won't leave again. But he will leave again. They've been doing it for four years now. And I also am terrified he will hurt me. I imagine that I will meet him outside, downstairs, because what if he accuses me falsely of something while he is at my home in an attempt to force me to lose my legal custody? No one would believe my word over his.
I cannot express how sad it makes me to imagine that I have to keep myself safe from my children, that they will deliberately set out to harm me as they have these past few years.
If they do decide they want to see me at some point, I think I may want it to be in a protected environment where there are witnesses, for example with my psychiatrist or with the custodian. It has to be more than just their word against mine. My word means nothing.