It’s over.

12 02 2011

I went through a period of depression following that first post. I didn’t want to do anything, see anybody. I stayed inside and gave up on everything but my son.

My son was placed with my ex by CPS for two months. They were the longest days in my life, and I never want to go through that again. I complied with everything, no matter how silly the request.

Within a week of sending that e-mail in to the capital, I received a new case worker. She was truly in love with her job, wanting to keep families together, loving children. My son was home with me within two weeks. I had another psychological evaluation where I was again cleared of bipolar disorder, and various other drug UA’s. My ex had again reported me as a drug addict, but failed to realize that they would test me within 24 hours of the accusation every time. Each time coming up negative. Within a month of having my son, two or three more calls were made to CPS about my “negligence.” A diaper rash, very mild and under control by his doctor, had been reported as “an oozing, bleeding sore” on his behind. A pimple on his chin was reported as an infected spider bite. CPS was at my door one day, a new investigation had opened. They had to take pictures of his diaper rash and pimple, and it was embarrassing. I don’t want somebody thinking I abuse my child. When people are at my door every day with paperwork and cameras, you know the neighbors see.

A condition of my safety plan was no unsupervised contact. I couldn’t be in the same room alone with my own child, and they would show up randomly as little as once or twice a month, to three or four times a week. I had no way to know when, so I was at the mercy of the safety plan. I was reported for abandoning my child to go out daily and that I wouldn’t come home until the middle of the night on the weekends. I didn’t understand this. I wasn’t allowed to have my child alone. I absolutely had to leave him with my mother when I went to run errands. I used to take my son to class with me and I wasn’t allowed to anymore. Once I explained to my worker exactly what I did every day, she excused the accusation. I just couldn’t seem to win, every day it was something new thrown in my face.

I had one more psychological evaluation (two wasn’t enough, I guess?) and a final UA before I received a letter in the mail clearing me from all abuse charges. But that didn’t stop my ex from reporting me. He eventually reported me half a dozen times to APS for abusing my parents and elderly aunt (all of which I was cleared from). I don’t know what went on in his head that told him this was okay, but I would gladly take a punch to the face than ever be faced with losing my child again.

This case worker turned out to be an amazing life saver, I owe her everything. She didn’t see me as an awful person like the first one, she saw me as a single mother trying to make a life for my son. She set up services, took me to my appointments, talked to me like a friend, and even came by in her off time just to see my son and me to make sure we were alright. She’s truly in this field to help people, she loves children. She’s an amazing person.

After six months, several reports, several evaluations and drug tests, I’ve been cleared. My son turned one under the supervision of CPS, but now I won’t have to worry about it again. He is a happy, healthy, little boy and I’m so grateful for everything. I also have to thank my amazing attorney for keeping me strong and stepping in for me when I couldn’t talk. I scraped up every penny I had to pay him, but it was so worth it. My son is home, my ex is running for the hills now, and I’m left alone. I can have a peaceful day now, and I’m so appreciative for it all.

With a little patience, fight, and faith, it will end. Don’t just roll over and let them beat you down. You are strong, and you have a right to fight.

Difficult to write…

5 07 2010

My son was born November, 2009. He was a beautiful, happy little boy at 7lb, 20″ despite being nearly six weeks early. He was the light of my life. After nearly five days of labor and an incredibly irritating c-section, my one true love was finally in my life. What I didn’t know, however, was that on May 25th they would come for him.

My ex had taken him for a visit the weekend before, but decided I wasn’t “sane enough” to care for my child and insisted on keeping him. Kidnapping, is what I call it. I waited a week for him to return my son. The police couldn’t do anything. Finally, I had to trick him into bringing my son home at 2am one night. The next morning, CPS was at my door.

Never in my life have I met such an infuriating case worker before. Twice as a child somebody had called CPS on my mother. Both false accusations, and both nearly ripped our lives apart. Both workers were incredibly sweet, and did their jobs quickly. Upon knocking on the door, and waking my six month old son up, the woman was rude off the bat. “I’m ___ from Child Protective Services and I need to come in to ask you a few questions.” I stood there, appalled. Who could do this? I was dumb founded, and just stared for a moment, trying to catch my breath. I apologized and she commenced patronizing me. Speaking slowly, and emphasizing her words as she reintroduced herself. I told her, very politely, “I’m well aware of who you are, thank you.” She proceeded to tell me that she needed to come in. I’m a young mother, and have never even fathomed the thought of CPS being called on my family, so I allowed her in thinking that I absolutely had to.
My son was crying. It was about 9am, and he had gotten up about 7am so he was ready for a nap, but this woman woke him up. The problems began immediately. I was scolded for leaving him in his crib crying, being in another room, being on the computer (checking my grades for the semester, mind you, so it was only a moment). She cursed at me and had no tact whatsoever. She went into my bedroom, where my son was rolling around his crib. I was reprimanded for the crib being dirty (I had just cleaned and changed his sheets, he was dry, and his clothes were spotless). She didn’t give me time to check his diaper, so I had to quickly squirrel him away in his swing.
She wanted to check his food supply, so I graciously (biting my tongue, of course) escorted her to the cabinet where his food was. There was only one jar of solids, as he had -just- started on them the week before my ex had kidnapped him. She reprimanded me for not having him on more water, more solids, more juice, etc. I asked her, politely, if she had children of her own. I was following doctor’s orders on solids, water, juices, everything. I didn’t stray from a single recommendation his pediatrician made. She never did answer me, so all I could think was “I didn’t think so, you really just enjoy reading the poorly written pamphlets at your office.”

My house was in a fluster. There were things on the floor, batteries I’d just dropped, pieces of my paper homework (remnants of scrounging through my backpack for papers necessary for a final grade in one of my classes). It wasn’t tidy, probably couldn’t even say clean, but she deemed it “inhabitable” (really? I don’t get it) and began cursing and patronizing me. My mother was in the hospital for a mass found on her stomach, and my father was at work, so I was alone in the house. I hadn’t had time to really clean up to my mother’s standards, and a rescue pup I’d found on the street was making life a lot harder by destroying everything he got his paws/teeth on. She told me I had 24 hours to get the house up to her standard. “Phew, I have time to save myself. She won’t take my son,” I thought. She made it clear that she knew of my previous record at a rehabilitation hospital. I had gone through a pretty fantastical childhood, and as a teen I was angry and scared of everything. I was admitted into the hospital at 17 and diagnosed bipolar, as most of us were. I never knew this would come back to haunt me.

Then I heard the dreaded “But, since you’re bipolar, we’re going to have to place him somewhere else for a few days. Decide, or we’ll send him into state care. Sign these.” Again, I never thought I’d be faced with this issue, so naturally thinking if I didn’t, the police would quickly take him away, I signed my son over to my ex.

I had no time to change my son, change his clothes, or anything. I put him in his car seat and grabbed his diaper bag. I tried to hold him, but she kept rushing me. I sobbed and cried into my son. I didn’t want him to go, but she was persistent. She took him by noon that day.

I have complied with all directions.
1. Clean house within 24 hours – I even shampooed the carpets.
2. Take a UA – I was vomiting, and running a high fever by 4am (I stayed up all night cleaning) but I still made it.
3. See a doctor to be re-evaluated for bipolar disorder – The doctor I went to wasn’t good enough, so she’s demanding I see another one.
4. Comply with all other directions.

Since she took him, I have seen my son three times. I had no other choice but to place him with his “father,” and that was an awful idea. He always comes up with excuses about why I can’t see him this time, and maybe next time.
I have spoken with the case worker .. less times than I can count on one hand. I have called her office and left a message, I have called her cell phone and left messages. She never calls on her own, she never returns my calls, she never comes by.
I have been waiting for a re-evaluation of my house since she took him. She told her supervisor she showed up June 2nd and nobody answered the door. Want to know the funny part? I get up at 6-7am every morning, vacuum the floors, tidy up the kitchen some more, and open the door as wide as possible and wait for her until 12:30pm (when she apparently stops doing house investigations). There is no way she came by and I missed it. I wait by the door.

There was an open APS case on my disabled mother (apparently I abuse her?) that CPS needed closed before I could finish my case with CPS. The worker tried and tried, repeatedly, for two weeks to hand in his report, but this woman would not take it. He eventually had to turn it in by hand to her supervisor, that’s how hell-bent this woman is on destroying me, I swear.
I eventually contacted the state via their website and was told I’d be contacted by the region supervisor, blah blah, but I was just contacted by her immediate supervisor. She took it upon herself to call my ex, the guardian of my son, and tell him that I sent in a report to the state on him and scared him into thinking that if I complained again, then the state would take my son into foster care. She told him that I was cursing, complaining about him, being generally disrespectful, etc. Because of this, my ex refused to answer my phone calls and texts (like he would anyway) and became furious with me. When I sent in the e-mail, I hit the ticker to have it CC:’d to my e-mail, and I showed it to him. This is what I said:

My name is ______, my son is ______. We’re from _____. My son was taken May 25th without much warning. I was scared into signing the documents and have not been given any information since. I know who he’s with and that person is not answer their phone or giving me any information at all. The case worker I have is incredibly rude and refuses to answer her phone or call me back. I’ve called her supervisor at least twice. I have complied with ALL directions. I have cleaned, taken the UA, gone to the doctor, and waited. I want my child home. It’s already been a month and this woman is not helping my case any. I’m fearful of losing my child all together. I was told he’d be placed with my mother and I would be able to see him with 24 hour supervision, but that was two weeks ago. This worker has NOT done her job and has NOT helped me in the least. Please let me know what can be done about this matter. I’m not trying to be abrasive, I’m trying to get my son home as soon as possible. Thank you.

It became painfully obvious that this woman takes great joy in pitting my ex against me. This woman wants something. There is a fire under her that’s fueling her to attack me and take everything away from me. Because of this woman, I have missed my son’s first tooth, his first swimming pool experience, his first attempts at crawling. There is nothing in this world that infuriates me more than this woman. I am not angry because I’m bipolar, I’m not depressed because of it. I am angry and depressed because this woman took it upon herself to play Judge, Jury, and Executioner at my trial and ripped my life away from me.
I went to see my son the other night and he didn’t recognize me. Everything I had done for him, the schedule I had put him on, the independence I had taught him, all gone out the window. He wanted my ex’s mother more than me. The light in his eyes was for her, not me. That hurt me more than anything in this world. He was being coddled and spoiled, and wasn’t on anything that I had set up for him. I will have to revert my son back to the way it was when, if?, I ever get him back. That will hurt my heart and soul to see him cry for his mommy to hold him 24/7. Unlike my ex’s family, I don’t have the time or help to hold him all of the time, they don’t understand this. For all intents and purposes, I’m alone. I have to clean, go to school, and eventually work (it’s hard to find work here). My son can’t even soothe himself back to sleep anymore. This will break me. They don’t realize that every little thing they do against my wishes will kill me.

The sad part about this story is that this is the annotated version.
My thoughts are scrambled, but this will do for now. I may share the background story on this.

I just want people to be able to read this and get some strength from it. Whether you’re facing prejudice because of a mental illness, or you’ve been falsely accused up and down the board of some fantastic things, you’re not alone, and you can be strong. I don’t have anybody to hold my hand through this, but I can hold yours.