“Hello and thank you for your help. I have (finally) been properly diagnosed with Migraine Disease after 10 years of tests, various medications, doctors and unsuccessful treatments. I am now getting the proper care and am doing well. I was at my worst when my daughter happened to be 5 years old. I was unable to work and did not have healthcare benefits, so my pain was unbearable on a daily basis. I had friends and family care for my daughter when I was at my worst, and she was never in any danger. She and I had a wonderful Mother/Daughter relationship and I loved being her Mother and watching her grow to age 5. But, everyone was losing patience with me and many did not understand my painful condition. . My husband and I divorced, and the medical benefits I depended on also disappeared. (My ex husband and I had joint custody of our daughter.) I eventually suffered a stroke from the pain, and I knew something had to be done. I left my 5 year old daughter in the care of my ex husband, while I left the state for proper treatment. My plan did not work, and for various reasons I was unable to return home for 6 years. Mostly, I wanted to return home well, and I got worse while I was away in response to the various treatments. My family was unsupportive of my condition while I was home, often telling me I was making up the pain. I talked with my daughter during my time away, and we had good communication. My ex husband allowed his mother to take over the care of my daughter, and my daughter has been living with her for the past 6 years. No official legal documents allowed her this right, but I was thankful my daughter was in good hands. Now I have returned home. I am grateful that family cared for my daughter while I was ill and away, but now they refuse to acknowledge that I am her rightful mother. I do not want to rip my daughter away from the family that cared for her, as I know she loves them. But eventually I do want to regain a life with my daughter if she is willing. It’s what I’ve been working towards and praying for since the day I left. Can you please tell me what legal rights I have, and who I can turn to for help or more information? I was married/divorced to/from her father in PA, and my daughter is now 12 years old.”
If there are legal order regarding custody and visitation, let them know you want to follow them. If they do not make sense any more, try to work something out. Agree to short periods of time in a safe or public setting if they’ll go for it. If the current order makes no sense, seek a modification in the Court that issued the original order, knowing full well that you have a lot of image rehabilitation to take care of. If your parental rights have been terminated already, and they are unwilling to let you see her, then you need to respect that for your daughter’s sake.