The New Boyfriend (8/10)
**Trigger warnings still stand: If you’re easily bothered by things such as suicide, rape, child abuse, animal neglect, sex trafficking, narcissist behavior, and maybe some other related topics, you should skip these posts. It’s not my regular happy-go-lucky sort of deal. Previous posts here: (1/10) (2/10)(3/10) (4/10) (5/10) (6/10) (7/10)**
A brutal cold front on the way
It was the coldest week of the year. In December, over the holidays, the high was 18 degrees F for the next 9 days. I was googling how low of temperatures dogs could survive in. It looked bleak. I was so glad that the little girl at least had somewhere warm to sleep.
Then, Coco and Ava moved back in to the drafty mobile home. There was no power, no heat, no way to cook food, or heat water. And no running water without heat…
Another welfare check
Again, someone called in a welfare check on the animals. The sheriff came out and I was able to talk to them on their way up. Again, I asked that they check on the sheep and at least let me know if there isn’t one so I can stop worrying.
The deputies couldn’t drive up to the house so they parked at our place and walked up. Coco met them at the door and told them the dogs were well taken care of. They came down and told me they didn’t see any tracks out to the sheep in the snow. Therefore they had no reason to believe there was still a sheep out there, but they didn’t actually check.
I was a little miffed at that because it was a bit of a non-answer. The complaint: Not taking care of a sheep. Their answer: no one was taking care of it, so there was probably nothing out there. My worry continued.
I reached out to a friend
At this point, I reached out to a friend who specializes in childhood advocacy. I was concerned for the girl. It was too cold. I prepared to inflict my own personal worst nightmare on someone else. And then I did it, I called Child Protective Services.
I explained the situation as extensively as I could. I explained my concerns and worries. It took more guts than I have ever had to use for anything. It felt like a betrayal of mom code. Even after all that Coco had put us through, I felt bad for telling on her but I made the report. The ladies that answered my call said it sounds concerning and they will check into it.
Shortly after that, Coco made some post to facebook about how her enemies were trying to take her kid away. Jokes on them though because all they did was offer to give her money to get her through winter. So ‘her enemies weren’t successful’. I don’t know if she took the help but I do know she didn’t get utilities or power with it if she did.
I was glad they called and checked on her though. It felt like something.
Winter is hard
Winters in north Idaho are rough, the sun comes up around 9:30am and its dark by 3pm. Even with a full working solar system, it’s hard to even keep the lights on without extra power, like a generator. We knew their system was shot. There were no lights on after dark for such a long time. Occasionally, we would see a candle in a window but that’s it. We could have and would have helped, but Coco had yelled so much at us that it was likely too embarrassing to ask for any help. Any time we tried to offer help we got heckled so we kind of just stopped offering. We knew they had access to a generator up there but, in the cold, they eat through the fuel pretty fast.
Ava would haul gas up the hill by foot
Daily we’d see her struggle to haul five gallons of gas uphill. Walking it a quarter mile, up hill, on ice, and in the dark while packing 30 pounds of gas wasn’t easy for her. She was just a 12 year old girl. It was appalling to me that Coco made that poor girl do that, everyday.
Coco would stay home all day. She would drive down to pick Ava up when the bus dropped her off and go fill the gas. Then drive back up our lane as far as she could, dropping Ava off with a heavy load of stuff to haul up. Coco would then drive back down and park at our mailbox, the only area wide enough for two vehicles to get through in the snow. Then she’d walk back up from the base of the hill (it was about a 1/2 mile walk to the house from there).
If something happened to be forgotten at the car Ava was sent to grab it and walk back up. Usually without so much as a flashlight to help her. It looked miserable and so unfair.
Coco started parking at our place
Eventually, Coco got to the point where she stopped caring about driving back down and she would just park on our property, right outside of our front door. She never asked or even acknowledged it, it was just what she was going to do to get through the winter. I really don’t think we would have cared as much if she was a halfway decent person to us. But she wasn’t. She’d glare at us if she even acknowledged us at all.
She would clean out her car, right where she parked. Whenever she left there were hamburger wrappers, cigarette butts, fast food cups and energy drink cans, just dumped in the snow right out front of our house. We would walk down daily to pick it up. This was the gift that just kept giving in the spring, too, every snow melt there was a new pile of litter to clean up. The worst was a pair of dirty panties. It was so frustrating!
Not only was there a mess to clean up, our dog CONSTANTLY barked at the car. It wasn’t supposed to be there. He’s old, maybe a bit senile, but he would see a car that wasn’t ours, parked, right out front, all hours of the day and night, and he’d bark. I can’t fault him, it’s pretty much his job. So many nights we’d wake up randomly, as he shifted in his sleep, only to see a car, bark and then go to bed. Sometimes he’d wake us up two times a night, sometimes more. Always though, she was interruption to our day and night, without so much as acknowledging her impact.
One time we saw dog food for 7 dogs
We saw everything that came and left, it literally happened right out our front window. It was hard to miss. During the entire winter, we saw ONE time that dog food was brought uphill for 7 big dogs. Our large dog eats 8 cups of food a day, we had no idea how their 7 large dogs were getting food. That’s the main reason I thought they were rehoused, I never saw food brought in for animals.
One night Coco had sent Ava down get a small ziplock baggie of dog food from their car. It was so cold out that Ava couldn’t even feel her hands enough to open the bag of dog food. Out of shear desperation she walked up to our house, knocked on the door and asked to use a pair of scissors. She tried to be as quick and as shush about it as she could be. We could tell she was scared of being caught talking to the neighbors.
I tried to help
I felt so bad for her that I got her some extra baggies so she could carry up more than the little ziplock bag she had. She refused. I took the moment to ask her if she was ok and if she was staying warm? She put on a smiley face and said “oh yes, they have a bunch of blankets and the 7 dogs all pile on her to snuggle at night and it keeps her really warm.” I said ‘but you have heat and food and everything, too?’ My belief is that she lied to protect her mom and tried her darnedest to convince me she was ok. Never could I imagine what sort of helpless that felt like. I mean she’s a kid, what even are the other options. She had no one else, Coco made sure of that.
I gave her my phone number anyway, in case she didn’t still have it, and told her we were always right here if she needed help. I told her that I didn’t know what could be done but, if she wanted it, I would figure it out and help her get out of this situation. She was very kind and I could tell she was holding back tears. She said again that she was ok and thanked me.
That’s the last time I was able to talk to her.
Coco effected my dreams
Not only did I worry incessantly about Ava and the animals, I worried about ALL the unknowns. Is she going to get extra mad, or have a fight with some stranger and deem it appropriate to burn down the house she was squatting in. Or maybe she’d get mad enough at her ex to burn it all down to spite him. Maybe she was mad enough to burn down OUR house, too. Maybe while we were sleeping in it. She really was that unstable.
One particular night, I had a dream that Coco slipped and fell on the ice at her car, parked on our property. Then she sued us for not clearing enough ice for her to walk on. It was completely something I think she would have tried if she could have. She was pretty proud of sharing her knowledge of working the legal system. In fact, she was posting on Facebook to her daughter, things like ‘watch and learn’. As if these things are normal life lessons she needed to master. Not massive betrayals she has to heal from.
We asked her to stop
At that point we texted her and asked her to stop parking on our property. We asked if she could just go 50 feet more up the road and get out of the dogs line of sight. We said it was because our dog barks at all times, which was true. Fear of a lawsuit spurred it. Our expectation was she would get a snow shovel out and clear the little bit ahead and park off of our property. Instead, she drove up and down again, walking up from the bottom of the hill like she did before. This of course didn’t help my fear of a lawsuit.
At one point she did actually fall on our driveway. She rolled around and made a big dramatic thing of it. Then looked up hill at our house, noticing our car was gone. James had taken the kids somewhere but she didn’t know I was still home. After noticing our car gone, she popped right back up and walked away.
My normal response would be to rush out and help. This relationship was so out there, and there was so much fear and uncertainty that, instead, I recorded her getting up and walking off with no limp. I completely expected a lawsuit. And believe me, I feel like a bad person about that. Fortunately, a lawsuit didn’t come, but I still wonder how far that would have gone if she knew I was home.
Then she gets a new boyfriend
The snow began to melt and we again started seeing less and less of Coco. She posted, making her new relationship ‘facebook official’. Then it made sense why we saw her less, again. Out of nowhere this guy starts calling her his ‘wife’ and they are both going on and on about how much they love each other. She goes back to her schedule of coming out every 1-3 days. Seemingly to feed any animals still out here but they definitely stop living out here again. As a curiosity, I googled this new ‘husband’.
He is literally one of the other 48 sex offenders in this town! His victims are also children. She moved her daughter in with another child sex offender!
I learned some terrible things
I immediately reached out again to my childhood advocacy friend. She shared with me that it sounds like the daughter may be being trafficked by the mom. That is apparently something that happens fairly regularly. I already had heavy suspicions that drugs were involved based on the erratic behaviors. If not for the whole relationship, certainly since the break up with Hawg.
Apparently, it’s not terribly uncommon to trade time alone with your child for drugs, if you can’t afford them. As disgusting as the thought was, it actually made things make a lot of sense. My (wonderful saint of a) friend encouraged me to call in again to CPS and ‘stay on them’ if I felt comfortable doing it. She gave me all the pointers to key words to say so they couldn’t shake off my reports as well as tips to staying anonymous if I felt my family would be in danger by reporting. I was warned though, there is no guarantee of anonymity in Idaho. Plenty of folks are pretty lax about that stuff here. She said they need a lot of calls sometimes to really look into things.
So I called again, anonymously again. I made sure they attached this complaint to my previous call. That way there was a history. I never heard back or knew if it went anywhere but I figured it’s probably a bit of a process.
About three weeks go by
It’s almost February. It doesn’t appear anything has changed but I trust that CPS is looking into things. At that point Coco wasn’t out here much but when she was she would bring this new guy. One day she came out, after a recent snow and parked her new boyfriend/husband out front of our house. She walked up hill for about 40 minutes while he stayed in the car, just watching us in our house (beyond creepy!). I see her walk down with three dogs.
I didn’t recognize any of the dogs. They were scrawny. I assumed she had another litter of puppies. Maybe she was finding them homes. Either way, I was pissed she parked her violent sex offender boyfriend at our house. And after we asked that she not park there.
James sent her a text
He told her to not do that again as we don’t appreciate strangers being left in our yard. She doesn’t get to use our place like that.
She texted back angrily that she is going to just do that because she doesn’t ‘feel safe’ without him around and she ‘needs to do something with these dogs that aren’t even her responsibility’.
I texted back that I ‘don’t feel safe’ with violent sex offenders parked at my front door and if she needs an escort she can call a sheriff. If I see him outside my door again, I’ll be the one calling the sheriff. Coco agreed that the next time she won’t bring him but that she will be back and will be parking right there again to get the next load of dogs.
She didn’t end up parking there, she walked up from the bottom of the hill. I saw her again, from a distance walking two more dogs that I didn’t recognize.
Playing the victim
Through all of this she has been SO good at playing the victim while also being SO aggressive. Every situation she played a victim to she was actually a full blown participant in. Maybe even the ‘orchestrator of’. She knew Hawg’s history when she started the relationship. I believe this was her exit strategy from the relationship from day one. She probably knew the courts would not listen to him because of his record and the fact that he undoubtedly did things wrong. At the very minimum he broke his parole and tried to sneak behind the legal expectations placed on him (like not staying away from all minors and not updating SO registries). At the worst end, he did a lot more wrong than that.
But Coco did LOTS of wrong things, too, intentionally. And she controlled the narrative and manipulated the truth at every single turn. We watched it happen. I’ve never felt someone needs to be held accountable so badly. Her actions are just as criminal from my perspective. The way she hurt her daughter is incomprehensible to me. No one deserves that, especially not kids!
She perpetuated and gifted so much trauma, willfully. I’m sure she would probably find a justification for it but there isn’t one. It’s such a fundamental betrayal.