Just one week ago, U.S. marshals took away country singer Mindy McCready's five-year-old son after she fled with him from Florida to Arkansas. But now, McCready says things are finally going her way: She is pregnant with twins, in a committed relationship with the twins' father and believes she will get her son back.
"Everybody makes mistakes. I understand why I've made the bad choices I've made, and how not to make them in the future," she told ABC News' Andrea Canning.
In 1996, McCready was a rising star in the country music world, singing the no. 1 hit, "Guys Do It All the Time," and selling millions of records. But the years that followed saw the singer trapped in a downward spiral of substance abuse, arrests and reported domestic violence at the hands of her then-boyfriend and Zander's father, Billy McKnight.
McCready left McKnight, but not before the relationship, she said, took over "every part of my brain and my heart."
"I was an idiot," she said. "I was completely and totally love-struck and insane over that person and over what he was doing to me. A person that hits you like that controls you, and he controlled every part of me. I stopped singing. I stopped socializing with my friends, with my brothers. I stopped living."
McKnight later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and served 30 days in prison.
McCready's mother, Gayle Inge, was given temporary custody of Zander in 2007 while McCready served six months in prison for a probation violation related to an earlier drug charge. After leaving jail, she appeared on the reality show, "Celebrity Rehab," which she said saved her life.
Her reason to live, she said, is Zander.
"I couldn't imagine loving something so much that instead of wanting to just lay down and die, I wanted to stand up and fight," she said.
That fight included trying to win back custody of Zander from Inge, whom McCready has accused of abuse.
Zander, McCready said, "says that Nana -- that's what he calls my mom -- is so mean that her heart is black, and that she's so mean she doesn't know how to be nice anymore."
McCready also claimed that Inge has exposed her son to a bizarre religion, "Treasures of the Snow."
"My mom believes that she can astrally project herself, meaning she can be at five places at one time," McCready said. "They were encouraging my son to go around with them to churches and stand up on stage and, you know, scream gibberish, and then everyone act like it was something amazing that he said."
Responding to McCready's allegations, Inge told ABC News: "I have been Zander's guardian for four-and-a-half years. There has been all kinds of scrutiny. He has never been abused in our care."
McCready said she grew so desperate to get her son back that during a visit to the Cape Coral, Fla., home of her father, she took her son and left. McCready's father, Zander's grandfather, is divorced from Inge and has visitation rights with Zander.
U.S. marshals found McCready and Zander at the home of McCready's boyfriend in Arkansas.
Zander is now staying with a foster family in Arkansas, but there is a silver lining for McCready. She said she was pleased with an Arkansas circuit court judge's custody ruling this week. Details of the ruling have been sealed.
"There were so many things that were good that happened," she told ABC News, "but everything is sealed."
McCready believes she'll have Zander back in time for Christmas. In the meantime, she's writing new music inspired by her experiences.
Hear McCready sing and learn more of the singer's story tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET.Also Read