27
Mar

Dallas County Jail To Michael Unit To Greyhound…Leaving The Driving To Others…

As usual, yesterday was a serious strain to my normal carefully orchestrated day. Let’s begin. At 8:30AM, Cindy arrived at WorthamWorld to visit and take notes on upcoming scheduling while going over the pick up and plan to get her daughter, Stephaney to Georgia. 

My son, Robbie or R.C. would arrive at WorthamWorld and drive on of my suvs to Tennessee Colony Michael Unit with a departure time of 9:30AM. Cindy would leave my home at 9:30AM to pick up Stephaney at Trinity Pavillion a JPS Mental Facility approximately 20 minutes from WorthamWorld. My niece was really excited to see her mom again and spend some time with her before she leaves for Georgia.

I should note that any time anyone on my team or family member travel for work or leisure, I handle the travel arrangements. I always have. Traveling by “the seat of your pants” isn’t my style. I orchestrate and coordinate hotels, cars, and in my nieces case, bus schedules. 

Also, I am always the A SUV at destination events and effectively, the leader. In Texas though, when I’m traveling to a Texas Prison, I’ve been known to have either my son, my niece or my twin sister drive one of our suvs while I tend to business on my phone if my schedule is burdened. During wedding season, it usually is. 

Multitasking is essential when I have no days off on weekdays due to Prison Weddings or weekends during wedding season. Tuesday was “one of those days where I had far too much to do and as usual, not enough time to relax and just drive. 

Cindy would also arrive early for this “pick up” with her daughter at Trinity Springs Pavillion and effectively, stay calm regarding what to expect from Stephaney since we never know what to expect when it comes to my niece, Stephaney. 

Cindy was to also “check in” frequently with either my son, Robbie or me while traveling from Fort Worth to Michael and upon leaving Michael with my son after stopping to get bridal photos, heading to Hodge Unit from Tennessee Colony, I would check in myself with Cindy when not with a client. I worried about Cindy and my unpredictable niece. 

Occasionally after a month or more long release from a mental hospital, Stephaney can be agitated and it’s often difficult to keep her medication on schedule. Stephaney is Bipolar One. 

I had also carefully accounted for any and all hurdles as my son drove my favorite SUV while I responded to emails and texts from traditional clients, TDCJ Clients and The Pawning Planners Clients regarding their event last week. 

A few of The Pawning Planners photos were a bit too risqué to post and Leigh Ann (my other niece) was texting why. At first glance, I missed the issue and called her back. It was windy and the bride was posing with the bridesmaids a precariously unique position. Due to the wind, the bridesmaid was overexposed “showing far too much.” 

I instructed Leigh Ann to “crop far left and overexposed bridesmaid” and “save the photo.” For several minutes, Leigh Ann sent additional photos of the groomsmen “mooning the camera” or the entire bridal party effectively “flipping off the camera.” 

Telling Leigh Ann “please do not to send me every troubling photo while I was en route and juggling other more critical things on my plate,” I knew we couldn’t post these photos after reviewing a handful myself. 

I discussed this intentionally inappropriate  “photo issue” with my son. His reply? “I’m pretty surprised that Leigh Ann didn’t say anything. We can’t use those photos. Leigh Ann wasn’t at the rehearsal because she was at the other event. Mom I think you may need to update your contracts regarding inappropriate behavior with photographers. After all, your contracts are so specific about behavior, photography needs to be addressed. The reason you probably haven’t included it is because you don’t do photography. We do.” He was right. 

It’s never come up before but, now I’m going to need to address it. Certainly my niece, Leigh Ann chose not to tell me about photo issues on location because she knew that I was overwhelmed? I decided to call and ask her about it. “Aunt Wendy, we had 6 events in two days. I wasn’t trying to be a tattletale or anything but, I’ve never had anyone at a wedding or anywhere else do that. I was surprised but didn’t want to argue about what they thought was funny that I didn’t.” Hmm, Leigh Ann was uncomfortable but, also unaware of how to react. 

Wearily, I wondered why people do this flipping off type of thing and especially pant dropping behavior in public? My son was right. For a person who shoots for perfection, unusable photos that require far more time to edit and try to salvage during wedding season are far from fun or even remotely funny. I was completely unaware that there were these types of photos at a family event with children on site. 

My son listened to Leigh Ann on Bluetooth to add his two cents in (as usual) Robbie: “Leigh Ann why not admit you didn’t want to tell mom there was a lot going on because she was already overwhelmed and you were too? Why am I the only one that readily admits my mom can blow a fuse when something goes wrong? Because I already know she’s going to get mad but I also know that she will fix it. I haven’t looked at all of the photos because I have my own photos to edit and also because I was at the 3 rehearsals that you weren’t last week because you had family photos and a wedding and you are still working on the weddings from Friday. I went to two rehearsals with mom on Thursday and Friday and I wasn’t lost or late at ANY weddings this weekend either. Update your navigation. You should have said something on location about the photos and issues rather than waiting until right when mom and aunt Cindy are overwhelmed. I’m not even with you and I already know that this “risqué photo stuff” probably started out innocently enough most likely and BECAUSE you didn’t say anything, it got worse.” Leigh Ann hung up. My son and my niece argue on a regular basis. Sigh. 

He was right though. We were both trying to get too much done while taking care of Stephaney and Leigh Ann ALWAYS calls about minor issues we can’t fix when we are dealing with far more important things. Leigh Ann fails to recognize this and she always has. 

This “consistent competition” between my family members literally “lights me up.” Sure, I get upset but I also FIX issues and if I don’t, Cindy does. Leigh Ann isn’t afraid to tell me something. She does it all of the time. Unlike Leigh Ann though, my son walks up on location. I never hear about problems from Leigh Ann until after the fact. 

I have decided to instruct Leigh Ann to go to her mom on location if she thinks I’m going to “lose it over a problem.” I’m not. Lose it? Oh brother. I encounter problems all of the time on location. I’m not running around acting crazy over them because I’m busy fixing the problem. 

We have had a few occurrences over the years of someone being “over exposed.” A few weeks ago, the grooms zipper was unzipped. Such things happen and may happen again but, deliberately being either offensive or even showing too much skin is normally far from intentional. 

On a regular occurrence, brides choose a strapless dress when they should have opted for a halter or strap style for support. 

Having everything up front rely “only on the dress” itself for support is and always will be a “mistake.” If you prefer a corset, try it on with your dress or opt for a strapless bra. Wedding day is a great time for anyone to get a photo on their phones. 

Here’s a perfect example of where a corset or strapless bra or even a wedding dress with a halter or straps attached would have prevented “fallout.”  

I have a photo of myself in a similar revealing pose. The reason? My twin grandnieces kept grabbing the front of my dress and effectively “pulled the front of my gown down.” Although it had boning in it, I should have opted for a corset. Looking back, I wish I had. 

Thankfully, my husband was in front of me hiding the “peek a boo” photo and effectively saving me from the embarrassment of inadvertently flashing everyone. 
Leigh Ann is overwhelmed with 382 photos from an event where half of the photos will most likely be lost due to being unable to use them in her public galleries gifted to clients. Instead, I will have to send such photos directly to the client. Another time consuming task.

We have spent years earning a stellar reputation and therefore, cannot allow unexpected behavior from others to “tarnish our brand or our reputation.” Please do not flip off my photographers and much less, moon them. 

We are on location giving you the event no one else would and such conduct falls under my “Outrageous behavior or conduct from clients or guests that prevent myself or my staff from completing the task that we had been retained to perform.” I.E. Legal Pages pertaining to Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Officiant Services. 

Your contracts are VERY specific pertaining to anything that impedes our ability to work on location including drunkenness or other aspects that no one should be forced to endure while working including myself or my staff. 

Wedding season is a months long dive into unexpected overworked reality for me. I am literally “up and at it by 4:30-5AM daily. For those who ASSUME I have one job at one business, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I juggle numerous tasks and assume numerous responsibilities. 

My twin sister is also my back up and equally overwhelmed. If you call me and I don’t answer, I’m on location. Please don’t continue to call me over and over or Cindy. We are with clients and will return your call when we can. Ten to fifteen phone calls without a voice mail are harassing. 

Wouldn’t you want the same attention from my staff at YOUR event that we give others? Please be considerate and either leave a voice mail or email instead. DO NOT REPEATEDLY CALL, HANG UP and then CALL BACK. 

I’m a professional and cannot tolerate such childish and/or demanding behavior from anyone for any reason. Again, review “outrageous conduct.”

When I’m out of pocket, I also review photography as well as any other aspects of client needs from all three of my businesses including venues I’m on staff with as well as being the matriarch of my family and it’s not a job for the meek or unorganized. 

I create a daily itinerary each and every day of my life. I have to. After all, I’m juggling 4 businesses AND venues I’m also on staff at. What does this mean? It means I have numerous clients.  

A few of ya all have asked about my other businesses. Texas Twins Events was my first business. Years after starting Texas Twins Events, I decided to rebrand and expand by offering a barter option. To do so, I merged Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create a new business, The Pawning Planners. 

Later, I AGAIN expanded Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings. I HAVE NEVER ADVERTISED OR HAD THE NEED TO ADVERTISE any Wendy Wortham business. I’m picky. I’m in high demand and 

I cannot and never have been able to control my niece, Stephaney who consistently disrupts my well orchestrated schedule. 

I do not tolerate “crazy, uncontrollable clients or prospects.” Why? I don’t have to. Secondly, I have crazy family members who try my patience all on their own that’s why. Seriously. 

Apparently, a few clients are more than a little predictable with my photographers too but, I cannot be everywhere all of the time on location. 

At the event in question, Cindy was off working inside the venue while I was helping in other areas and apparently, Leigh Ann was busy taking photos that went from posed to disrobed? Dang it! I cannot believe anyone finds outrageous behavior appropriate and will now address this in updated legal pages regarding client conduct. I’m overwhelmed. 

The consistent stress my niece, Stephaney has brought to our family is so incredibly stressful that no one (unless you have ever in your life dealt with a drug addict who relapsed over and over again could either comprehend or imagine). 

Yesterday was both trying AND stressful  for my twin, Cindy solely because I wasn’t with her for support due to my existing schedule that had left today “open” as Trinity Pavillion had given us this date rather than yesterday for her release from JPS. The change of the release date was a huge issue to my carefully orchestrated agenda. 

Because of the change, I now had my niece, Leigh Ann scheduled to pick up Maryssa and Makenna aka “the Twins” from Tison Middle School at 3:30PM in order to free up Cindy to go buy the bus pass to Georgia and make any and all other necessary purchases to accommodate Stephaney’s trip. 

The bus would leave the Fort Worth Terminal this morning at 4:30AM. Due to the early hour, I also located a hotel in Fort Worth for Cindy and Stephaney to go through clothing, toiletries and medication from JPS for Stephaney. 

As usual, my careful timelines had zero margin for error. ZERO. What could go wrong usually does and because of this, I had a Plan B already in place in the event that something unexpected occurred. 

On my phone (as usual) and addressing incoming questions, event changes and rental confirmations for this weekends event schedule as well as calling numerous Units to confirm dates and check in with India (Michael Unit) 2-3 times on my way from Corsicana to Tennessee Colony as my son drove on, construction caused a 13-15 minute unexpected delay. Good Lord. The unpredictability of road construction continues to be a “time killer” on my road trips. 

Aggravated about “losing time” on the road due to construction, and now clock watching and concerned, I sent India a text regarding my later arrival to the Unit at approximately 12:15 rather than the previously set time of my arrival at 12:00 and instructed my son to “bump the speed up from 60-70MPH to accommodate the timeline we had lost near Corsicana. 

My son pulled into Tennessee Colony General Store and jumped out. It was now 12:04. I was 5-7 minutes from Michael. But, road construction would delay my expected travel time. One lane was closed off with a “follow me truck” turned my usual 5-7 minutes into 8-11 minutes to Michael Unit. Damnit. Again? 

Fifteen minutes early is fifteen minutes late for me. Anxiously, I called India to advise her of my “hold up.” 

Pulling into the Unit, I walked around searching for a white Kia. A few rows over, I found my bride. Together, we walked into Michael Unit. The Unit is under lock down. Because of this, we were instructed to wait. Escorted to the Visitation Area, I decided to use our time together to learn more about my beautiful and excited bride. 

My bride had a really interesting job as a “fire watcher.” I’d never heard of this job before and found the aspects of travel interesting. I’m glad we had time to visit together and learn about my client. All of my clients have an interesting back story. 

Since Michael was on lock down, we had a great visit visiting and waiting together. About an hour later, the Law Library clerk advised us if another delay. About an hour and a half later, the clerk returned to advise us the inmate was being cleared at not one checkpoint but three and getting “shaked down.” 

A “shake” is a strip search. Three shakedowns would rattle anyone. I understood this and couldn’t imagine how stressful walking to your wedding and consistently being “cleared” must have been for him. 

By the time our groom did arrive, he was a little agitated. Working to ease his frustration, I took my time during the ceremony to allow him to relax. 

As usual, I brought $9 in quarters for photos. I posed the groom and India in several choreographed positions and finally got him to smile. I’m a lot of fun and weddings are meant to be celebrated wherever they might be. 

Leaving Michael, I picked my son up and headed for bridal photos with India before heading to Hodge Unit. 

Cindy and Stephaney were doing fine and having fun at lunch when I checked in again. I then headed to Hodge then back to Fort Worth to meet Cindy and Stephaney for dinner. 

I will admit that I’m melancholy regarding Stephaney going to Georgia but, I’ve consistently paid for rehab as her mother and tried everything humanly possible to fix her daughter, Stephaney and more importantly, Stephaney’s addiction. 

If I don’t change states, I will eventually be BURYING my niece. I’m a realist. I know this. It’s a difficult choice but, the only choice I have left. I must protect my sister at any and all costs. 

I called Cindy between Units to check on her emotional state and checklist for Stephaney’s trip. Cindy had to purchase numerous items including luggage as well as pick up Stephaney’s medications (30 day supply), buy another cell phone since Stephaney had lost the other new phone we had just bought her prior to being involuntarily committed for the 16th time last month. 

For those unaware of drug induced psychosis, it is often mistaken for mania or mental illness, drug induced psychosis has been regularly and consistently confused with mania regarding my niece, Stephaney as well as the fact that she is Bipolar One and consistently “goes off her medication” and self medicates with meth. These Psych Ward stints with Stephaney began nearly two years ago. 

Police REGULARLY have found Stephaney and subsequently have taken her to JPS. Stephaney gets released. We try to stabilize her. Stephaney finds drugs again. Stephandy is committed again and the entire cycle starts over. 

I cannot even begin to describe how this has affected my family. Specifically, my twin, myself and Stephaney’s twin daughters. If I sound intolerant regarding my family or outrageous behavior from clients, it’s because I am. I hate surprises. 

These “setbacks” with Stephaney are specifically why her mother, Cindy and I are sending her to Georgia. Stephaney knows where to find drugs in Fort Worth. We need her to change her environment and Georgia will. 

Stephaney is (hopefully) finally ready to change her life but it took 16 years to get her here. My sorrow over the number of years lost is quite profound. I cannot change the past but continue to hold hope for the future. 

For nineteen months now, losing Stephaney to the streets has happened over and over again. I’m mentally exhausted from the continued effort to force my niece to get her shit together while her mother is an emotional basket case who is not only waiting “for the next shoe to fall regarding Stephaney” but also, my partner in all of my businesses but also and more importantly, the primary custodial parent of Stephaney’s twin daughters, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney. 

For fourteen years and counting, Cindy has assumed the role and responsibilities of raising her twin granddaughters. This is critical for you to understand because we are not simply “dealing with an addict” while conducting our businesses and our marriages but also raising twin teenagers. 

Anyone who has been through the “teenage years” will comprehend the challenges. However, most of you who have dealt with raising teenagers weren’t in your 50’s and in our husband’s case, your 60’s. 

Now you have a far clearer “picture.” Cindy and I are burdened with a “full basket” of responsibility and unexpected setbacks when it comes to her daughter, Stephaney. 

My father went “off the rails” last year. I don’t know why or how. I may never know. He became convinced people were living in his attic. I became exasperated about continually running three blocks from my home to his to re assure him or answering crazy phone calls and texts while driving to a Unit or on location with clients on weekends. 

It was actually while I was on location at Bell Tower Chapel (working as usual) that my father began shooting his own ceiling. I hate surprises but, nothing prepared me for dad AND Stephaney being committed at the same time in two different mental institutes. NOTHING. 

Cindy and I had  “learned the ropes” regarding Psych Wards specifically from visiting Stephaney. “What’s the patient number? What’s your relationship? You cannot bring black clothing. They can’t do this. Bla Bla Bla. Visiting Psych Wards especially since we work so much was exasperating! 

My father continued to complain “you missed a day” over and over and one day, I snapped. “We run from you to Stephaney to clients to bookings and we missed ONE day? Are you kidding me? We are the only two people bringing you this or doing that and there isn’t anyone ELSE standing in LINE to take our place. We were in Houston working!” 

I also couldn’t stand or tolerate continued phone calls and or idiotically “advice” from other relatives “about dad” who didn’t bother visiting themselves but wanted to tell us what else CINDY and I needed to do with dad OR Stephaney. 

The “Psych Ward Circus” of both dad and Stephaney from my “ring leading relatives” the past 19 months, have aged not only me but also my sister.

I now rarely bother to take calls from my “full of advice but completely devoid of action relatives” anymore. Why? I’m still mad about their idiotic assumptions. They had no idea how stressful these “visits” were with not only one but two relatives involuntarily committed were actually like for Cindy or I. They never will. Why? It’s easier for them to sit in the comfort of their home while we run around like lunatics that’s why. Attention relatives: if you want to be helpful, stop calling Cindy or I and telling us what we aren’t doing while you do nothing. The rampant stupidity of your advice is annoying, offensive and intrusive. 

This Georgia trip was and is our last effort to get Stephaney help. The reason we put her on the bus was solely to “test her.” If Stephaney does not make it to Georgia on Greyhound, after 16 years of dealing with the horrific pain and sorrow of consistent disruptions that Stephaney had brought into our lives and households, I and my twin must walk away. I know, you’ve heard it before. I’m hoping it won’t come to that. I’ve tried EVERYTHING. Cindy had tried EVERYTHING. We are frustrated and desperate. 

By 6:34AM this morning, my niece wasn’t answering her cell phone. Assuming the worst (as usual) that she had left the Dallas Terminal and found drugs again. Cindy called me crying and I threw up. I couldn’t just couldn’t go through this “cycle” with Stephaney again. 

This next statement MAY  offend a few of you but I AM honest, blunt and forthcoming and therefore will admit that during 16 years of my nieces meth use, on more than one occasion, my sister and I would have been actually been relieved if she had died. Why? What? You can’t believe I just said that. Get over yourself. Walk a mile in OUR SHOES. We are raising twins. We are running to Psych Wards. We are working 7 days a week. We are bleeding money on rehab and have been for years to attempt to save Stephaney. We also don’t want to die going through this again and again and again. We are nearly 55 years old. When will Wendy and Cindy finally be able to live a normal life? Now, you know (whether you accept the above statement or not) where Cindy and I are “at” in our lives and why we work 7 days a week to occupy our minds and focus on work rather than on Stephaney. 

After that collect call, I left my home office to go get my Xanax. Sick that Cindy was in Weatherford while I was in Fort Worth, I feared my sister would have ANOTHER heart attack due to her daughter, Stephaney. 

Cindy and I were calling each other and while trying to call Stephaney for over an hour, my sister was crying while throwing up while we both thought and assumed that we had “lost Stephaney again.” I cannot even describe how devastating this was to both of us. I can’t. 

You will never fully comprehend the damage and devastation an addict brings to your family and your life UNLESS you have been through it or you are currently going through it. Don’t judge me. I’m weary. I hate addiction. I don’t understand how addicts cannot comprehend the “sea of devastated victims” they leave in their wake. 

My mother was a heroin addict. I’ve lived through a childhood of addiction and for 16 years, I’ve been an adult who should be enjoying my life alongside my sister who couldn’t due entirely to her daughter, Stephaney. 

I’m unfamiliar with the Greyhound Terminal in Dallas. But, knew that if there were drugs, they were (most likely) available “in the area” around or near the Terminal. 

Angry at Stephaney and fearful of going to look for her again or keeping my promise to give up and FINALLY forget my niece (a joint decision by Cindy and I) because I couldn’t take or tolerate yet another relapse, it would be a collect call from Dallas County Jail that changed my furious anger to sadness instead. 

Like anyone getting a collect call from jail, I needed a credit card and subsequently ran over 2k feet across my home to go find my purse and a credit card while the recording droned on. 

Prison and jail phone calls are expensive. The ONLY person who has ever called me collect from jail was my niece, Stephaney. Waiting on more prompts and losing my patience, my niece FINALLY said “aunt Wendy I didn’t do anything wrong.” I’ve heard this so many times that not surprised to hear it again, I started screaming. “Why do you keep doing this to your mother and I? What have you done this time? I was trying to help you get a fresh start! Don’t you want to see your kids graduate? Get married? Have a baby? I cannot do this anymore. You are killing my sister. You are destroying any degree of peace in our family.” 

I was furious. Disappointed. Scared. Angry. Inconsolable. And, I had to tell Cindy….God. Another devastating blow to my fragile sister. 

I sat down on the floor of my entry hall of my “perfect home that was anything BUT a mirror to a perfect life” crying and screaming about hurting my sister even further by yet another unexpected call ABOUT STEPHANEY. My sister who has given her entire life up to care for others. My sister who took on the responsibility of raising Stephaney’s twins. 

My sister who has been drug into putting her own needs last her entire life. I’m fearful of dying not because I fear death. I’m fearful of dying because no one will attempt to protect my sister as I have over my entire life doing. I’m brutally honest. I can’t leave Cindy because I’m the strongest person in my entire family. I’ve always protected my sister. I will always protect my sister as long as I can breathe. I hate to hear my sister cry. 

At 6 years old, a family member (my grandfather) sexually abused both my sister and I. No one cared. At fifteen, we ran away together. I was pregnant. I had again protected my sister. Think about this statement. Now you fully understand and may possibly even comprehend how important protecting my sister is to me. The background of our lives is “enlightening for those who may not fully comprehend” the dynamics of our relationship. There is a reason for everything. The “reason for our inseparable relationship” has a long and painful history. 

Stephaney “collect called” her mother and as expected, had a similar conversation about “not doing anything wrong” with her mother. We are SO worn out over dealing with dad and Stephaney. WORN OUT. 

I called my niece, Leigh Ann to drive Cindy who was absolutely hysterical. I was frightened about Cindy having a heart attack coming in from Weatherford and already calling my entertainment attorney to locate a criminal attorney. I had no idea what had happened. I also had no idea there were so many Jails in Dallas. Who would? Stephaney hadn’t told us where she was. That’s right. Nothing in our lives has ever been easy. EVER. 

Stephaney continued to call either Cindy or I. We continued to be angry. I told Leigh Ann to meet me at Frost Bank as I knew that this would be another $1k-4K “Stephaney incident.” I went into the bank vault and withdrew 10 “just in case.” Jonathan called me back with “details” I was too angry to hear from my niece. 

I called Jonathan back as Stephaney was again trying to call me. All of our children and grandchildren do this first- call Wendy then call Cindy then call Wendy then call Cindy. They always have. Stephaney was doing it over and over while I tried to understand what Jonathan was describing to me as the reason for the arrest. 

An outstanding warrant in Oklahoma. A felony warrant. Omg. How did this happen? Everything was going so well. Cindy and Steph had a great day together. Steph was excited to be getting a fresh start but, Stephaney’s probation payment had been lost in the mail. 

Also, my niece had been beaten at the bus station and when the Dallas PD ran her license, the felony warrant from Cotton County “popped up.” Rather than calling an ambulance, my niece was arrested. 

Stephaney was trying to push one suitcase and pull the other with her purse around her neck when she was attacked and beaten this morning at 6:24 at Greyhound Terminal in Dallas, Texas. A victim of the knockout game. Targeted solely because she was struggling and an effectively “easy target.” 

Stephandy WAS ACTUALLY trying to get on that bus! But, Cindy and I had suffered so many setbacks with Stephaney that we were programmed to expect the worst and never imagined that while we were both calling her cell phone, my niece was being beaten. I’m sick about this. Cindy is equally sick about this. 

We for the first time ever WERE wrong about Stephaney? And, we were angry and screaming at her AFTER she had been beaten and arrested. We may never forgive ourselves for jumping to conclusions either. But, we have been programmed to expect or believe the worst from Stephaney. For years. 

Due to Stephaney’s probation payment in Cotton County being lost in the mail, Stephaney (although she was the assault victim) was subsequently arrested and taken to Dallas County Jail. 

My niece who was so proud she had made the decision to finally seek help and “win her twins love and trust back” was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After years of choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Stephaney was a victim rather than a drug addict. 

Jonathan suggested I call Cotton County and pay Stephaney’s entire probation balance in full. I did. I trust Jonathan and a probation violation would put my mentally ill niece in prison for 10 years due to the violation. It would effectively kill my sister. Having their mother in prison would also embarrass Stephaney’s twin daughters too. The rock thrown in the pond has a “ripple effect.” I was in quick sand AGAIN on my only day off months out. A day that I had planned to spend with Cindy and Stephaney preparing my niece for a fresh start. 

I HAVE NEVER BEEN LUCKY. Cindy hasn’t either. Each and every time someone tells me this “lucky” shit, I want to slap the crap out of them. “You two are so successful and lucky.” The idiocy of such a statement infuriates me. We have never been lucky. What we are and have been are two of the most resilient MF’s I’ve ever met or encountered. That’s the truth. That’s the accurate fact regarding our “success.” Not luck but driven determination. 

In Stephaney’s case, Cindy and I have consistently failed to be successful at achieving any degree of success. 

Meanwhile, I also had Cindy contact Trinity Springs JPS to fax Stephaney’s release papers (less than 24 hours prior) to Cotton County to prove she had just been released from a Psych Ward and couldn’t call to check in with Cotton County because she was involuntarily committed AGAIN over a month ago. 

Then I called Dallas County Jail and after making the payment in full to Cotton County and thanking Jonathan while crying and driving at the same time, headed to Dallas County Jail with Cindy. Or so we thought. Trying to wipe her eyes and stop dry heaving, my sister showed me her phone. Omg. There were SEVERAL detention facilities. We were losing it in Dallas, Texas. How I didn’t wreck my SUV or suffer a stroke, I have no idea. Thanks Xanax. 

Stephaney called again. I screamed “where are you? There isn’t one jail in Dallas! We have no idea where we are going! We are losing our minds.” Stephaney: “stop screaming. I don’t know where I am.” Jesus Christ. I cannot begin to describe how upsetting this was. Pulling over to dry heave myself, I told Cindy “pick one. We will go to all of them.” This was the worst day off I’ve ever had in my entire life. 

On route, I again called Cotton County to confirm the teletype that would rescind the warrant to Dallas County had been sent to them. Cotton County and JPS, God Bless You both for being so helpful while my normal composure flew out the window. I couldn’t even pump my own gas. Cindy has never seen me so upset. I’m the strong one. My sister finally pumped the gas for me. We were both crushed. I called Georgia still crying and advised them of the situation. Finally we got back on HWY 30 to Dallas to the FIRST Detention building on Google. 

The location from my niece? “It’s next door to Greyhound.” This information was so sketchy that I hung up AGAIN. Cindy got out and walked into numerous buildings. I finally parked and we walked the entire area around Greyhound together. We couldn’t find Stephaney. I cannot even describe our wild eyes, lost expressions or the devastated reality of our situation. Homeless people moved AWAY from Cindy and I. We were the scary and unpredictable people for a change. Crying, screaming and back in my SUV. A homeless guy with brass balls walked up to my drivers window. This wasn’t a “hey buddy have you got a dime (or dollar)” time to hit me up. BUT- maybe this guy knew where another jail actually was? We sure as Hell didn’t. Guess what? He did. He had just left the jail and gave us articulate and well informed directions. I gave him $20. We pulled out and headed to the North Tower Detention Facility Dallas, Texas.  

Crying all the way, we finally managed to get to the jail and wait in line an hour only to find that after hours in holding, Stephaney was still not checked in. Due to this, she could not be checked out. I asked “how long will the process take? Cotton County has been paid in full and rescinded the warrant.” The clerk looked at me and said “this is Dallas County Jail ma’am it could be late tonight or early in the morning before they process her in and tomorrow or Friday before they process her out.” Stunned, my exhausted and emotional sister and I had no other option other than to drive back to Fort Worth and wait. My eyes still burn from crying harder than I ever have all day long. Thank God I didn’t have work commitments today! 

I’m picking up my Hobby Bride tomorrow at 7AM to drive her to the Unit myself and now concerned that Stephaney will be released while I’m in Waco. I blame myself for not flying Stephaney to Georgia. Cindy is so upset about this that I nearly had to carry her upstairs to put her in my guest room. We are both weary. I have no idea how long it will take Dallas County Jail to process her out but, when they do, I’m taking my niece to Baylor or Harris for medical treatment and filing a police report. Less than 24 hours after being released from Trinity Springs, my battered and helpless niece is waiting for her mom and I to save her. After all of these months of trying and failing to save my niece, nothing prepared me for this. I don’t believe anything could have.

I will be flying Stephaney to Georgia instead as soon as she is well enough to travel. We have no idea how badly she’s been beaten. 

I now wait for my niece to be released. Like my clients, the waiting is the hardest part…