Anatomy of a Disaster Part Two, Scene One: The Vacation from Hell

New here and not familiar with this series?  Catch up! 


1. Cast of Characters

2. Sarah’s Story

3. Let’s Get Something Straight

4. The Box, the Lies, and the Unraveling

5. We Interrupt this Program for an Announcement!

“This isn’t supposed to be my life, you know.”

Sarah didn’t want to talk about the divorce just yet, and had started crying.

“When I got married I was sure it was forever.  I wanted to be a wife and mom and grow old with Sam.  Does it sound stupid to say this isn’t fair?”

“Of course not,” I replied, “but your life isn’t over.”

Archie jumped on Sarah’s lap and sniffed her jealously, wondering who these other dogs were who left their scent on his friend.

“Once you are ready to start dating, you will have lots of opportunities to be disappointed by men again.  Who knows, maybe your next husband will be a closeted gay man, or a sociopathic serial killer!”

I got a smile out of her with that one.

“Let’s set aside your complaints that life isn’t fair for a moment and talk about the children’s estrangement from their father.  How did it start?”

Sarah sighed and rolled her eyes.

“The vacation,” she said.  “That’s when everything really fell apart.”

The Vacation from Hell

This sub-story within the story is important, because it illustrates how confused and scared the children were and Samantha’s choice to put her own needs before those of her kids.

Katie and Chris were understandably struggling with their father’s announcement that he was going to transition from Sam to Samantha.  Any teenager will have a hard enough time with a divorce, but if you throw gender change into the mix you’ve got to expect some difficulties to arise.

But the kids were trying.  After all, they loved their dad.

Sam proposed a two-week trip with his family but Katie and Chris were hesitant. However, they met with Sam and a therapist and agreed to the vacation on one condition:

The entirety of the time was to be spent with Sam.

They were not ready to be with Samantha yet.  Sam promised his kids that Samantha would not make an appearance.

I think you all are smart enough to guess what happened.

Samantha did indeed make a dramatic appearance and to say the vacation turned sour at that point is quite an understatement.

The trip started badly.

Sam arrived to pick up the kids and even though he and Sarah had been cordial in recent interactions, on this June day he was furious.  Sarah asked him what was wrong but he refused to speak with her or get out of the car.

Unbeknownst to the children, the family they were having dinner with had moved to a town about 85 miles away.  Already unhappy about the long drive, the kids became more upset when Sam spoke openly about Samantha with his friends, and when the kids were in the next room, trashed their mother.

Unbelievably, Sam was angry that Sarah wanted a divorce.  Like a true victim-mentality narcissist, he had already developed the position that everything bad that had happened and was to follow was Sarah’s fault.

Obviously, this was a poor start to the vacation.

At some point in the next two days, Sam asked his daughter if she would go to the nail salon with Samantha; an activity they had done a couple times before but with which Katie was very uncomfortable.  Like any loving person, she didn’t like upsetting her dad, and when Sam felt rejected he cried.

Like, a lot.

Samantha is a big-time weeper.  I think I can hear her crying right now, in fact. I assume taking massive doses of women’s hormones will do that to you, because I know what an emotional teary bitch I can be every 28 days or so.

Not wanting to make her dad cry, again, Katie acquiesced and accompanied Samantha to the salon.  Samantha then refused to change clothes and dinner with both kids did not include the dad that had been promised to them.


I’m trying to be sympathetic because this is a terrible struggle and I can understand wanting to finally be yourself after years of living a lie.

But still.

He promised.  He promised while sitting with those two kids in a therapist’s office that they would have two weeks with their father.

He lied to them, and he broke his promise.  And I for one cannot imagine what he was thinking.

He had 40+ years to come to terms with his true gender and be honest with who he was, but he expected his children to adjust overnight.


That’s selfish, arrogant, and narcissistic.

Children must be put first in situations like these and they must be able to believe their parents when promises are made.

/climbs down from soapbox

The Shit Show

The next morning Sarah received a text from Katie.  She had forgotten to bring her violin and wanted Sarah to bring it to her so she could play it for her family.

Sarah contacted Sam and let him know she was coming the next day and he said that was fine.

Then, (in a bizarre turn of events that makes perfect sense in hindsight because Sam and Samantha do not operate on the same plane of reality as the rest of us), Sam claimed that he had no idea she was coming.

He was absolutely livid when Sarah arrived and accused her of showing up unannounced and trying to steal his time with the kids.

When Sarah went to leave, Katie was in the car and wouldn’t budge.

She wanted to go home.  She was not happy about Samantha’s appearance on the vacation and she refused to get out of the car.

There was yelling.  There was wailing.  There was probably gnashing of teeth, for all I know.  It was quite a scene, with Sam calling his mom to come over and Sarah getting her sister Carrie on the phone to talk with Katie.

Carrie is calm, thoughtful, and wise.  Both Sam and Sarah depended upon her counsel during difficult times, as did the kids.

Sam stormed out to the car, demanding to know what was going on, and Sarah handed him the phone.

“Talk to Carrie, please.  Katie told her how she feels but she does not feel comfortable talking to you.  She wants to go home.  You promised Samantha would take a backseat to the kids but you went back on that promise.”

Furious, Sam let it be known just where his priorities stood, as he barked:

Samantha will never take a backseat to anyone

That was that.  

Chris was desperate to leave too, so with both kids in the car Sarah drove away. Chris and Katie wouldn’t see their dad for a year after that broken promise and drama-filled day. 

Looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing Sam in a sobbing crumpled heap on the ground she wondered,

“Did I ever really know him at all?”


PS: Darling readers, this morning I was informed Samantha has filed a bar complaint against me.  This should be fun!  After all, we know how much I enjoy answering bar complaints, don’t we?  In case you have forgotten:

Dotson v. DesCamp


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Darcy

    You can’t make this stuff up!! Has Sam/Samantha been evaluated for split personality or schizophrenic tendencies? That would explain a lot of her erratic behavior. I am shocked that it was not insisted on by any of the therapists or doctors that prescribed (still prescribe?) the hormones and other drugs. She sounds very paranoid and maniacal. A judge didn’t make the children see him during that year? Was there something else going on? Did she have an alcohol or drug problem, maybe?

    Why do you take so much time between posts? What are you going to do about the complaints against you? What are they specifically? Has Samantha contacted you directly?

    How is Sarah doing? How are the poor kids? We talk about this family a lot at my house. It has made for some interesting conversations with my three oldest children. They have a different perspective than I or my husband do, so it has been very eye opening to us.

    Keep up the good work and please don’t take so long in between posts!

    1. Robin DesCamp

      I won’t comment on Samantha’s mental health or evaluations because I don’t have that information, and even if I did, I wouldn’t publish it.

      HOWEVER, I offer this example of Samantha’s alternate reality:
      Sarah recently offered an olive branch to Samantha. Because Samantha filed a bar complaint not only against me but also against Sarah’s lawyer for using an incorrect pronoun, and because Samantha’s lawyer also filed an obscene motion against Sarah’s lawyer which he now found himself having to defend, they both agreed his continued representation of Sarah would be fraught with a host of petty personal bullshit that had nothing to do with her case.

      Did I mention he used to be a partner at that firm and left with other partners at the same time? Poor little Hooker got left behind – nobody wanted to take her and I suppose it hurt her feelings.

      Sarah’s olive branch to Samantha let her know she was starting fresh with a new lawyer in hopes that would tone down the rhetoric and that she was making a priority to schedule the now-court-mandated therapy sessions for the kids. The email was hopeful they could begin repairing their relationship and very friendly.

      Samantha’s response was not. It was snotty, snide, condescending, and demanding. In fact, Samantha again demanded that Sarah make me stop writing the blog. In frustration and worry that things may never get any better and could possibly get worse, Sarah forwarded the portion of the email referencing me to me and asked if I would reconsider publishing on the series any further.

      I said no, sorry, and suggested that if Samantha wanted to talk to me she could. But she won’t, of course.

      She doesn’t have the balls.

      And here’s the thing that is totally nuts:

      Not only did she make a rude ugly comment about Sarah’s lawyer “dumping” her, something that absolutely did NOT happen, she used as proof that Sarah and I are still in communication Sarah’s email to me.
      There you have it, folks! Samantha demands Sarah make me stop writing, Sarah tries by sending me an email, Samantha freaks out that she contacted me.

      I have no idea about drugs or alcohol and won’t speculate.

      This series is draining, both physically and emotionally. There is a lot of paperwork to review and I take this very seriously. That is why I haven’t been posting one right after the other, but I will do my best to speed things along.

      I will address the bar complaint in the next installment of the series. If you thought I was hard on Jennifer Dotson, you aint seen nothing yet. Plus, this gives me the opportunity to ONCE AGAIN put into the public record all sorts of fun stuff about Samantha’s attorney, her Diversion Agreement, and what I view as her continuing violation of that agreement and the utter lack of monitoring by her babysitters. Ah, the laws of unintended consequences!

      Sarah is fine. She is taking good care of those kids and they will be fine. Thank you for your readership!


    A bar complaint? Are you fucking serious? LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Is Samantha unaware of how you handled the last one? OMG I am so excited to read that so you better post it! And now that Samantha has put your name in the public record and you will certainly be blogging your response, I assume we will all found out who she is! What a dummy.

  3. Bud

    Samantha filed a bar complaint against you for what? For NOT practicing law and talking to Sarah six months ago? I assume the complaint is not using these pseudonyms, right? So when you post your response to the complaint we will all know who Samantha and the kids really are?? Is that yet another example of dad putting herself before the kids? What a shit show.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      You’ve heard of the Streisand effect, right? Hey, Samantha, give it a google.

      I’m used to this by now and in fact it will be a fun diversion for me. As I stated in another comment reply, this just gives me another opportunity to put all sorts of fun things about that firm into the public record.

      So, will Samantha’s identity be revealed via this dumb-fuck move of epic proportions?

      Not by me. I’m not going to give her the satisfaction. A drama queen can’t exist without an audience and she clearly wants me to out her so she can continue to play the role of the victim and cry (and cry, and cry, and cry) about it.

      Not gonna go there. Sorry, Sammy.

  4. tamsen

    Wow, he/she sounds like a real piece of work. How anyone wouldn’t know that pulling “Samantha” out of the bag on a vacation like that, with kids that age, would be hugely problematic is beyond me. WTF did he/she think would happen? They may love their father, but Samantha, at least at that point, wasn’t their father. You can’t make people accept a change like that, especially not kids that age. He/she was clearly thinking only of him/her self.

    And then, of course, he/she throws a personal pity party because they don’t accept/love Samantha. REALLY?

  5. IHJLS

    What is the subject of the bar complaint and why won’t you be naming Samantha when you publish it? Are you going to handle it yourself or hire an attorney to do it for you? How are Sarah and the kids?

    My two cents: Samantha is missing her kids terribly but is going about things in exactly the wrong way. I can’t imagine being estranged from my children so I feel bad for her but it sounds like the estrangement is her fault, not Sarah’s. Then again, there are two sides to every story.

    This series is great. Keep it up!

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Please see today’s post for a description of the complaint.

      I’m not naming her because I think she wants me to and I won’t give her the satisfaction and ability to further wave her victim flag.

      I’m not naming her because I stated at the beginning I would use pseudonyms for this series and being annoyed at Samantha for her bar complaint theatrics isn’t going to change that promise.

      Hire an attorney? LOL – no. Did you not see my epic response to Dotson? I would never hire an attorney to respond to this complaint. Unlike some attorneys who hire the tall and lovely Steve E. when they face bar complaints, I have no doubt I can resolve this under my own brain power.

      I agree Samantha must be missing her kids terribly. Who wouldn’t? I think about my own son and how much I need him in my life and this situation makes me very sad. I believe it will get better and someday if Samantha changes her approach and her attitude her kids will have a relationship with her. I could be wrong but I certainly hope I am not.

      My advice to Samantha is very simple. I wonder what would happen if she took it? It goes like this:
      Write a letter (not email or text) to your kids. Tell them you are sorry about the Vacation from Hell and that you love them and will always love them. Admit you may have been selfish in the past but part of that was likely driven by your inability to live an authentic life for so many years. The clincher? Ask your children in that letter what they need from you to further your reunification goals.

      I’ve seen a lot of litigation and forced therapy in this case but what I haven’t seen (although it may exist, mind you) is Samantha asking the kids what they need from her, rather than the other way around (her repeated demands that they do what she needs).

      Samantha, if you are reading this, drop your anger towards me and consider for five seconds that I could be right. Try it. See if you get a positive reaction. If you do, will you then start to believe that I actually am rooting for everyone in your family, including you?

  6. Pingback: I Found My Daughter’s Birth Control: Now What? | RobinDesCamp.com

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