Thursday, October 24, 2013


Thanks for your reply and insight into the events leading up to the transfer of custody when I was just a kid. 

I have been writing about these events so I can move on with my life and go back to what I love doing. 

I had not heard a peep from Karen in years and now that she is a few miles away and causing considerable chaos I have been reliving the events to remind myself not to get too comfortable. 

Karen withdrew me from my graduate school and told my Adviser I wasn't well enough to be in the program at Columbia. 

Every time I get a new job or a new opportunity she shows up either at my home or my workplace to sabotage the opportunity. 

She NEEDS Lauren and I to be sick so she doesn't have to face the reality that she is in large part responsible.
I believe she has Munchaussen  by proxy and thrives on the attention and sympathy she gets when she tells people that she is a "poor grieving widow" and claimed me as a dependent  in NY State until the IRS caught her in 2009. 

She refused to file an amended return for $70 and after the CID investigated they ruled that she could NOT claim me as a dependent since I was living and working for the State of Tennessee in the Office of the Governor. 

The case has recently been reopened (August 20) and they have already ruled that I was falsely claimed as an adult dependent child by my mother in NY state when I was living and working in Tennessee. 

I am trying to protect myself from losing any more than I already have. In order to do that, I must protect myself from ever going through this again. 
I need verification that Karen surrendered her parental rights:

Effective August 15, 1988, physical custody of ED shall be with her father, MD.

Effective August 15, 1988, all child support payments and obligations in the instant matter are fully terminated. 

Thank you for clarifying the events surrounding August 15, 1988. 
Hopefully, she will be forced to admit that *she* made the decision to kick me out and stop blaming us both for destroying her life and stop using it S a way to manipulate those around her. 
Won't ever bring it up again unless I am forced to in the course of this investigation by the OIG, CID and IRS. 

Thanks, Dad. 

I'm sorry I hurt you. I am certainly more than ready to leave this in the past. I'm "over it" and have been for quite some time. 


On Oct 21, 2013, at 12:24 PM, Marc Durant wrote:

You can't live in the past.  You have to get over it and move on.  You can't change the stripes on a tiger.  You are not going to change anybody's personality. 

Marc Durant

Sent from my iPad

On Oct 21, 2013, at 12:16 AM, "Elyssa D. Durant" wrote:

Hi Dad,

Thank you for your response. I do remember the events differently and it is quite possible that Karen contributed to me believing my Bat Mitzvah had been cancelled.

You are absolutely correct that she was always trying to manipulate situations and I remember clearly how she would get hysterical and even tried to bring police to your home. And I also remember the only time I ever saw you cry was the day she handed me over to your custody when she gave up custody when I was in the fifth grade.
I truly believed that my Bat Mitzvah had been cancelled and that I would have to  call my friends and tell them it wasn't going to happen.

I can see you are angry and that was not my intention. It was a short excerpt from a VERY long chapter that was written in a dark, sarcastic tone and I did not mean to make light of the situation. I simply wanted to know what actually happened since Karen tells a completely different version of the story that is even further from the truth.

As for the "Running Away" part, Karen insists to this day that I went to live with you at 15 and tells everyone (including me) that I destroyed her ("again") by choosing to live with you and claims it was my choice and she had no part in the decision.

That is simply not true. She may have contacted you when I was fifteen but she didn't tell me anything about it.
She signed over custody on August 15, 1988 and I obtained a copy of that document several years ago from Philadelphia Court Clerk. She willingly signed over custody and surrendered her custodial obligations essentially terminating her parental rights or support obligations. I still have the document:

Durant v. Durant
Folio No. 0204182
DR No. 9-03257

Once I found out where my personal belongings were I think I called and I'm not sure exactly how I got to your house but I knew you were willing to provide a home for me no matter what happened when I was 12.

Karen begged me shortly afterwards to come back to NY and said she would come and get me and I could repeat my Junior year in my old school.
I told her no. I had no interest in repeating my Junior year or living with her knowing how unstable and unreliable she was. She had already thrown me out once. I wasn't about to put myself in her care willingly.

I do remember going to live with her after high school and working three jobs (Nutra System, Sands Point Gym and Miracle Mile) and being held against my will the night I took all of her pills after several hours locked in her bathroom.
Shortly before my 18th birthday she told me that she called you to discuss college and you refused to help with my college tuition since I wasn't smart enough to get into an Ivy League School.

I am pretty sure you paid for my first year at SUNY and I know for sure you paid for Penn State (except that one time you forgot because you had a client on death row and they dropped my classes. I asked you what he did, and you told me, "he killed a family" and I said, "don't you think maybe he deserves to die" and you told me, "my job is to give him the best defense possible" and I understood that.

I truly believed my Bat Mitzvah had been cancelled and my mother offered to throw me a party and drove me back to Yardley to "make up for the Bat Mitzvah you had planned."

To be continued. 

I want to know the truth and accept the possibility that several other factors may have contributed to my memory of how it happened.

I tend to agree with the majority of what you have said here. And I am VERY glad you responded and I apologize for the pain I caused you.

I spent the last 28 years believing one thing and it wasn't until Grandma told me differently that my Bat Mitzvah was cancelled as a punishment. And Karen rushed in to throw a party at Newtown Racquetball Club to be the hero to rescue me from the embarrassment.

I'm sorry if my tone was too sarcastic. My greater concern is that Karen lied to me and continues to lie about so many things and blames me for most of them.
I will include this correspondence when I do publish since I feel it is representative of the lies I was made to believe over the years that have haunted me day and night since I was a small child.

I want to know the truth. Thank you for telling me your side.

And at least maybe Karen will be forced to stop telling the world that I "ran away" when I was fifteen.

She threw me away. A long, long time ago.

Thanks, Dad.

Sorry if this is painful for you. I had no idea you had such strong feelings about the events I discussed below.
I hope you realize that I was making a joke about the guess jeans (although she did actually promise me two pairs of guess jeans) like that could make up for the instability, insecurity and histrionics that I lived with while in her "care"

On Oct 20, 2013, at 6:48 PM, Marc Durant wrote:
You can publish whatever you want.  You don't need my permission or approval.
You have your facts all wrong about the Bat Mitsvah.  The invitations were never sent out.  Right before they were going to be sent out, you left with your mother and said you weren't returning.  That is why the B.M. didn't proceed; you and your mother threw everything into uncontrollable chaos.   I did not "cancel" it before you left.  Everything was set and it is not in my nature not to do something that I said I would do.  As you say I am "a man of my word."  For whatever reasons, your mother didn't want it to proceed; probably because she wasn't going to be the center of attention.  She was going to be on the bimah with you and participate fully in the ceremony.  She also was going to be invited to the party.  Apparently that wasn't enough for her.  She could have waited for six weeks, let you have the Bat Mitsvah with your friends as planned (at a gorgeous place in Peddler's Village) and then bribed you to live with her.  Instead, she did it right before the B.M. knowing it would derail everything.  People intend the  natural and probable consequences of their acts.

Two years later she called me and said that she couldn't handle you because you were too difficult.  She wanted to send you to live in Yardley.  As so very unhappy as I was about the B.M.. i.e., the way it was selfishly sabotaged and the fact that she was invited to everything I planned, but I was not invited to even the ceremony she arranged on Long Island, I agreed.  I thought that she as an adult was more responsible and blameworthy than a 13 year old.  I also thought that you were better off in Yardley, which I regarded as a more stable environment, than with her.  Hence, I agreed.

As to your running away because I was too strict, there was a pattern there too.  If you were grounded or whatever because of teenage misbehavior,  you would complain to your mother.  She was always delighted to play the heroine and save you by helping you escape.  She was always delighted to help you evade the natural and probable consequences of your behavior.  Do you have to be a Ph.D. to comprehend that it is unwise for the noncustodial parent of a teenager to undermine the discipline imposed by the custodial parent?

There was another witness to the Bat Mitsvah events, Rita.  I won't tell her about this email exchange.  You can ask her about what happened.

Marc Durant
Durant & Durant LLP
325 Chestnut Street
Suite 1116
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2611
From: Elyssa D. Durant 
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2013 5:16 PM
To: Marc Durant
Cc: Elyssa Danielle Durant
Subject: Excerpt from my new book: Unwritten: Runaway (Draft)

I spoke to Grandma for several hours and I it made me realize we may have had some misunderstandings and unfinished business.

This is how I remember it (excerpt from Unwritten: Chapter 7). Are you okay if I publish this?

Karen still insists I ran away at 15 and blames me for destroying her marriages and her life.

And claims you kidnapped Lauren and I ruined her life when I wanted to go too.
I told her I was five years old and to get the fuck over it. Here is what I remember. I'm hoping you have a little time to read through it before I submit it for publication. Just a few paragraphs until I clean up the rest of the Chapter.
Hope it doesn't upset you when I posted that open letter to my dad. Several fathers around the world contacted me to tell me that it inspired them to reach out to their own fathers, daughters, and children. 

I may post this on my private site and hope Karen doesn't come across it on the off chance she ever visits any of my websites.

She refuses to read my work anyway. She says it "hurts her head."
Look forward to hearing back from you.


I told the ER physician not to bother calling my parents. My dad and I were estranged and a waste their time to call my mother who had kicked me out at 15 without telling me first.

I was in the 10th Grade and came home from my full time job (which sadly paid more than my Graduate student stipend at Vanderbilt University from 96-99 or any other job I have had in the last 20 years. Except for the five days I danced in my underwear so I could buy a car when I missed my flight back to school my Junior Year. True Story. Five days? Five grand. New car.)

Anyhoo, came home from work as a (fully clothed) waitress on a Barge at a Marina on the North Shore of Long Island.

I worked since I was 13 and got fired from a fancy seafood restaurant for lying about my age.

As soon as I turned fourteen I got my working papers and found a great job a few miles from home.

I was coming home after the dinner shift and my keys didn't work when I put them in the front door of our home on Sands Point Road.
I figured maybe someone lost their keys and called a locksmith to change the locks while was at work.

It was after midnight so I just figured I would climb in window like I had done so many times before.
But the window was locked. When I looked in the window, all my shit was gone. Even the furniture was rearranged in my bedroom.
I had no idea what my mother did with my things until a friend found out a few weeks later that she sent all my crap to my father's home in Philadelphia.
Okay, then. Hadn't seen my dad him since she picked me up from there just before my 13th birthday and drove me to Vermont with her 2nd ex husband and had me call my dad from a pay phone to tell him I wasn't coming back.
She bribed me with two pairs of Guess Jeans and that was all it took for a Cheerleader who wanted a New York wardrobe and had worn already worn everything in her closet once.
My dad obviously wasn't thrilled.
But I was young and he was strict.
As the youngest in my class, I spent the last year and a half attending all my friends Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
I was disappointed that I could have LaMasquerade and a Black Tie affair at the Warwick like my best friend and I was also disappointed that I wouldn't be going to Lawrenceville, Princeton Day School or Hunn with the rest of my friends for High School but most of all, I was terribly embarrassed that my father  cancelled my upcoming Bat Mitzvah after the invitations went out.
He was strict. He didn't care about losing the money he spent on the Venue, the invitations, the elegant pink roses we picked out or the years I spent going to Hebrew School three times a week. I was grounded and I was devastated.

To this day, I'm not sure exactly what I did to warrant such a severe punishment. But in the 6th grade he grounded me for a year and he meant it. He is a man of his word so when he said, "No Bat Mitzvah" all I could do was run away so I didn't have to face my friends and explain that my Bat Mitzvah was cancelled because I was being punished for doing something that made my dad furious.

So two pairs of Guess Jeans and a new school sounded pretty good to a spoiled twelve year old.

I packed a duffle bag and put it outside on the wet autumn lawn and when my mom came "to visit" from New York, she or one of her ex husbands carried the duffle bag to the car and we drove straight to a fancy Bed and Breakfast since Long Island was taking a beating by Hurricane Gloria. The only hurricane other than Sandy to hit New York in my lifetime.

BREAK:: just got a text from my mother. 6:48 am. She is on her way over.
I will continue with this chapter and tell you how GAF assessments and false diagnoses run the health insurance market place another day.

Holy crap on a cracker. I had a point to this story.

I have to text her back or I will lose this entire chapter of my book when she calls.

To be addressed:
Duplication of Benefits
Billing and Diagnostic Codes
The system is designed to keep you sick and poor. 

...and the rest is still unwritten. 


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