Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End The Silence On Domestic Violence

That is the name of the show that is on Dr. Phil today and what his concept for this coming year for the entire season.  Here is the link:

Since I am a survivor of Domestic Violence I am asking that you all check out this link.  Listen to his plea.  End the Silence.  Abusers want silence. They want their victims to stay quiet, keep it hidden and behind closed doors because it makes what they do so much easier for them. Stop making their life easier.  I know that there are others who are uncomfortable hearing about abuse.  They would rather have the opinion that what happens in the home stays in the home.  In this day and age that is not something anyone should do.  By looking the other way you are not ignoring the problem, YOU are part of the problem. 

No one deserves abuse, No one is asking to be abused.  END THE SILENCE TODAY!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Good and The Bad

Today has had both good and bad.  Isn't that always the way it is though.  Today I had an awesome surprise.  I have had a terrible week.  First getting sick with a stomach flu, then wrenching my back.  I am not a happy camper.  And still waiting on the department to let me know if we will get to see the kids for Christmas.  The main highlight to my day was checking the mail.  I LOVE Christmas Cards.  And have been receiving quite a few this year.  I have strung them up around my home and they have helped to bring in some Christmas cheer.  Well today I went and checked my mail and their were 3 new cards.  I decided to oped the big one first(doesn't everyone?).  Inside was a musical card.  And when I opened it out fell a check for $100.  I was in shock.  The note with it said this is for your family to purchase some Christmas presents with and also have a Christmas dinner.  I started to cry.  We had no money for Christmas dinner.  We were most likely going to have Kraft dinner.  I couldn't believe the kindness that this person had shown us.  I showed the check and card to my fiance and as he read it tears came to his eyes as well.  This check means more then just presents and food.  it meant someone felt my pain and empathised with me and my family.  Someone extended a part of their heart to us.  Talk about an angel in disguise.

Even hours later I still get choked up thinking about this act of generosity.  But with this good of course has to come bad.  I also just received an email from the department about the request for a visit with my kids this week to give them their Christmas presents.  My request was submitted at the beginning of last week. They have denied it. Said maybe next week. They also told me that all communication now will have to be done via phone calls or in person. No more emails. My lawyers had advised emails in the fall of 09 because of all the lies about who was denying/refusing visits, accusations about what was said during phone calls and such. They know I have saved all the emails. So now want to take away that form of protecting myself.

I thanked them for again denying me yet another holiday with my children, especially since they have not allowed me to see them since the end of October. And I also refused to end the email communication. On that I will not give an inch. I am not going back to giving them the power to create all sorts of stories anymore. When I can again try to appeal(if I can ever get the money together) I need that proof to show they are the ones denying visits and lieing.  I had a feeling they would do this but it still hurts. And I can't imagine what my kids are thinking. They thought I hated them the last time the department refused me to see them for so long.

So today has been a good and bad day.  I discovered an angel and also saw the cruel side of someone.  I have one request for all those that continue to read my blog.  This holiday season please hug your kids tight, even when they are being naughty.  For there are those out there like me that can only dream of being with out kids again.

Update: December 23.  Got even more wonderful news.  My fiance came home from work on his supper break and told me he had his yearly review.  Said that they gave him a raise.  Things are finally on their way up.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is There No Hope Left?

Today we went to the court house and picked up the papers to file the appeal.  While there they explained that there are no costs to filing the appeal but there are costs to get the transcripts of the trial and that has to be submitted at the same time as filing the appeal.  We went home and called the place that we need to get the transcripts from.  They calculated at 3 days(Lenght of the trial), 8 hours a day at .0052 cents a character.  They said based on just that the cost will be over $6000 for the transcripts.  I was in shock.  And that did not include the 30 minutes of the verdict being read or the 2 days we went over in time by at least an hour or more.  I am on disability.  My fiance is working 2 part time jobs.  Even with that we make just enough to live day to day.  There is no way we can come up with the money needed for the transcripts.

Now I see why so few appeal a PGO.  Not because they don't have a case.  It is because they don't have the money to get the transcripts.  None of our friends can afford to help.  And we can't get a loan.  Is this how it ends?  Is all options now stopped just because I am not well off enough to pay our $6000 in the next two weeks?  How is that justice?  Where is the justice for my children?  Is there only justice for the people that can pay for it?  Is that the system we live in?  That the poor or disabled have to suffer just because they do not have the money to fight back? 

I have less then 30 days to submit this appeal other wise it will never even be considered.  I never thought I would have to consider just walking away and allowing my kids to suffer at her hands.  Is that the ending to the story?  The abusers get to continue the abuse with no end in site?  I need options and ideas.  I don't want to stop.  Someones eyes must see what is going on and can stop it.  Or am I wrong and the abusers really do have all the power?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Angels In My Life

Someone pointed out that it seemed unbelievable that everyone in my life would be this against me.  The truth is I have had many angels in my life.  Many people who have been there for me in so many ways.  I have yet to write about them because I was needing to get some of the crap out first but they deserve to be mentioned.  And I want them mentioned as most of them are still very important parts of my life.

The person who had the biggest influence during my youngest years was my first step dad.  And he has already been mentioned in one of the posts.  The next person was someone I called Nana.  She was an older lady I met when I was 21, in a play and newly pregnant.  She was living with her father and caring for him.  She had no husband and two grown sons.  And she had the worlds biggest heart.  We were not related in any way.  But she took me under her wing.  She helped me in so many ways.  When I had my daughter she would show up with a trunk full of groceries or take us out to lunch.  She told everyone my daughter was her granddaughter and treated her as such.  She was the closest person I had to a mother that I ever got.  She was always they for a shoulder to cry on, vent too, help with baby sitting and so on.  She was the type of person that always gave and asked nothing in return.  She loved to love people.  And I wanted so much to be just like her.  When I got married and she saw some of the abuse that was going on she tried to convince me to leave.  My husband was doing all he could to keep her out of my life but we still managed calls and a few visits a year.  I should have listened to her advise.  Sadly she got Cancer and passed away in April of 2005.  But in my home where we have pictures of our parents I do not have a picture of my mother.  I have a picture of Nana.  She will always have that place of honour.

Another big influence in my life was a friend I made when I first moved to this province.  He and I became fast friends.  Tried a romantic relationship for a few months and found out we are better friends then anything.  He is the type of friend where we can go without talking for months at a time and then will call each other out of the blue and take up where we left off.  He is the type of person that if I ever am in a bind I know I can call him and he will do all he can to help me.  And he knows he can and has done the same with me.  He is the type of friend that while I was with my husband, and my husband was trying to keep me isolated, he ignored it.  He would show up randomly to not just check on me but also visit the kids.  One memorable experience is when he showed up with a fire truck.  A real one for my kids to explore.  I will never forget that day and neither have my kids.  I found out that while I was with my husband there were many times my spouse tried to threaten him to keep him away.  He never listened and for that I will be eternally grateful.  He is a single dad and has been for a long time.  He son is incredibly intelligent and mature for his age.  I feel so privileged to have both of them in my life.

Another big influence in my life is a dear friend that I met on a forum I am on.  I have known her for many years.  She was a shoulder to cry on and a place to vent.  She is someone who offered unbias advice that was heart felt and good advice that I didn't always listen too.  I made so many wrong choices even with having people like her and Nana trying their best to give me good advice.  I just refused to open my eyes.  This person knew some of what was happening but I kept a lot of it from her for fear of loosing her respect.  She tried so hard to help me deal with my husbands addictions and to not blame myself for those addictions or his choices.  When things went south in the marriage and I had no money for gifts she asked her friends for donations and showed up one day with a box full of toys and decorations.  That was one of the best Christmases though I don't think she knows it.  I could never imagine my life without her in it.  She is like the older sister that I can always turn too.  I try my best to reciprocate. 

There are many others I have met this past year.  All of these ones I have known them for only a short period but they have been such a support to me.  The feeling of acceptance is wonderful.  And they all know what my past was like and they treat me no different.  The support I receive from them is incredible.  They are cheering me on in this project and also helping in the wings of it.  For them, and they know who they are, my life would not be complete without them.  There are others not mentioned that were a support through the years.  Some of the puppy adopters, the rescues I worked for, some people in the LDS church.  I could go on and on. 

All of these people mentioned and not mentioned are angels in my life.  I have many.  I am sorry that almost all of my posts are so negative.  I needed to get the big nasty stuff off my chest first before I could share some of the wonders and joys that were hidden under them. 

And one last thing.  Some people(only a handful compared to the people supporting me and have contacted me) feel that some things are better left unsaid.  Hidden away so others do not have to deal with it.  Maybe it makes them uncomfortable, maybe they can't accept that people can be that cruel to not only adults but children as well. I don't know. But just about all of it is verifiable. So it is not just my word people are accepting.  And this story has not just been my story of suffering but also the story of the step kids and my children as well. 

It is there and continuing because it is part of my therapy. It is there and continuing because it is helping me to get it out there and it might help others. I have received many responses from others who have suffered thanking me for not only getting it out there but for giving them the strength for having a voice as well.  Yes some things should be kept private. but never abuse. Abusers want silence. They love silence. It gives them the ability to continue what they love. I will no longer be their silent victim. I will no longer be silent.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Trial Part Four - The Final Verdict

The PGO was granted. Because I was not allowed to submit my defence there was no proof to counter what the department was accusing me of and what my mother was lieing about. My 6yr old son will now be placed on medication that he does not need so that my mother can continue to abuse him. My mother will now submit her claim for private gaurdianship removing all chances of me getting my kids back or ever seeing them agian. My lawyer informed me that my legal aid has now run out so I have no money to fight for an appeal. This woman who has destroyed so many lives is now free to destroy my kids lives. She has won and there is nothing I can do to stop it.


To all those who are reading this blog please do not be quiet about it.  Pass the link to everyone you know.  Send it to any newspaper, newsroom, or anyone who can make this be heard.  My kids are not safe.  instead they have been legally kidnapped and handed over to a known child abuser.  Please do not be silent.  Pass it on.  I don't want to give up but I have no other place to turn and my kids will now become her silent victims.  There will never be a real Merry Christmas for them as long as they are with her.  She will drug them legally with medication that cause halucinations and strange thoughts so that if they say anything about what she is doing no one will believe them.  Please make your voices heard for these 3 children and help put a stop to this in any way you can.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Even Church Leaders Are Not Safe

I learned that even church leaders were to be feared and not trusted.  After my mother left her third husband and after being raped church became a place that I feared.  Having to see my rapist every Sunday was something that I was forced to do.  And if I ever tried to get out of going to church then my mother made sure to lecture me on how it is my own fault and that I have to attend church because it was my only chance at redemtpion.  I tried to keep my head down and tried very hard to never be alone while there.  I would usually find some missionaries to hang out with.  They thought it was because I had crushes on them.  When it was simply so that I would not be alone.

When I was about 14 we had a new branch president.  Our church had to few members to be called a ward and have a Bishop so we had a branch president.  He was very hands on with the young women.  To understand what is going on you have to know how Sundays work.  For Mormons there is 3 hours of church.  The first hour is usually everyone in the chapel for sacrament and talks.  The next hour is Sunday school where all the girls and boys are together.  The second hour the girls and boys(once teenagers) are then split up for Young Women's and Young Men's.  I had never seen a branch president so involved in the young women's classes.  Almost every Sunday he would be there.  Usually a Bishop or Branch President would attend only once a month and even that was not regular and only for a few minutes.  So this was very unusual.  Then it changed that any time the teacher could not attend then he was teaching us.  This was fine at first.  He stuck to what was in the book.  But then a few minutes at the end of class it would switch to him talking about art.  OK that is fine. We all enjoyed art.  He talked a lot about Greek statues and pictures.  Then he started to bring pictures.  At first they were not very graphic.  But then one Sunday he brought a picture of a completely nude statue of a man.  One of the girls asked him if we should be looking at that.  His answer was that it was art so it was OK.  We had always been taught that any kind of nudity was wrong so this was confusing for us but we didn't question it.  He was our branch president after all.

Several more weeks went by and during this time more and more time was being devoted to talking about "art".  Then he brought in some photographs of people nude.  The same girl again questioned him on it.  Asking him why this was OK but pornography was not.  He said that standing nude for art photos is not the same thing.  One was OK and one was not.  Again a few weeks went by of him telling us this and bringing in more and more photos.  We were curious so we did check them out and ask questions.  Then he started bringing pictures and younger and younger people till they were young teens like us.  All the time telling us that this was OK because it was art.

 I was getting increasingly uncomfortable about it and tried to discuss it with my mother.  She told me to stop spreading lies.  That the branch president would do no such thing.  And that the church taught us that a leader would be removed by God if he tried to lead us astray.  I was confused.  At this same time though my mother was having an affair with a missionary.  This was a big no no.  And I did not know at the time that the branch president knew and was hiding the info for my mother.  This missionary ended up being sent home from his mission disgraced because of their affair.  After talking to my mother I didn't know what to do.  He was a leader and I was taught to never question my leaders.  Then my mother invited the stake president over for supper one day.  During dinner he asked my sister and I how we liked our classes.  My sister was older then I was so was not in the same class as me.  My sister told him about some of the things she was learning.  Then he turned to me.  I immediately started to describe the "art" lessons.  The Stake President looked alarmed but said nothing.  He asked for some descriptions of the pictures and some of the things the branch president was saying to us.  My mother started to act shocked.  Saying she had had no idea and she wished I had informed her sooner. 

After the Stake President left I got a sound beating for talking behind an adults back like that.  That I had no right to spread such filth and so on.  And she said I would look like a fool when the truth came out.  She went on to say how ashamed she was to call me her daughter.  That Sunday the branch president never showed up for church and we never saw him again.  I later learned he was exed from the church.  And when my mother learned of this I again got a sound beating for leading another man astray and for causing him to think such impure thoughts.  I could never figure out how I was causing men to go "astray" so I started to spend more and more time alone and in my room.  I hated everything about me.  Hated the "effect" I seemed to have on people no matter what I seemed to do.

Then a year later when I was 15 an adult man in our branch became interested in me.  At first it seemed normal.  He had a daughter that went to school with my sister.  He was married also.  He talked to my mother about driving us all to school and back home after.  She was fine with it.  After a few months of this he started driving me more and more alone.  I trusted him since he was a member of the church and had callings.  His reason was that my sister and his daughter always got rides with friends and preferred that then driving with the old man.  He would ask me tons of questions about my day and me.  I never had my mother interested in any thing I did so I talked and talked.  After a while he started writing me letters.  This seemed fine at first.  It was basically just the same as our conversations.  Then he started signing them Love *****.  I thought of it as more of a father daughter type thing because I saw him as more of a father figure.  Then he started turning the conversations to be about polygamy.  He said our church still believed in it and that to get to heaven that a man had to have multiple wives and the wife had to accept the other wives for them to get in as well.  This became a constant topic that he would go on and on about.  Then one day he handed me a letter after he had drove me up to my house.  When I went in an read it my blood ran cold.  He was telling me that God had told him that I was to be his second wife.  This scared me to no end and I ran to my mother crying.  She read the letter and then slapped me across the face.  Demanding what he and I had been doing.  Screaming at me for again leading another man down the wrong path.

I don't know what happened after I talked to my mom but he never came to pick me up again.  Though he did follow me for weeks after and even left me love letters.  I started throwing them out because every time I would give one to my mother I would get a sound beating for them.  Luckily we moved a few months after that to another province.  But for years my mother took pride in telling people that I was such a whore that I could not leave branch presidents alone or even married men.  I constantly felt like I was being watched and hated.  Being alone became my only option.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trial Part 3

This is about my day in court.  I was suppose to have 2 days to present all my witnesses but as you will read I was unable to present them all and was able to do it all the first day. 

The first one that testified was my psychologist.  He went up and testified about how he has been working with me for close to 2yrs.  That I worked hard with him and everything he had asked me to do I did.  He talked about my improvements and also my huge improvements since I was taken off the medication.  He talked about how some medication can cause adverse side effects including sever depression and suicide.  He talked about how I have stabilized since being off the meds and how much better I have been doing now that I have a good support network with friends and also my fiance.  He stated that in his opinion my mental health is now in a place were I can parent again.  He did have to testify that there is always chances of relapse and that is the truth but he went on to say that as long as I keep working hard and keep my safety nets in place(therapist, him, my friends and fiance and so on) that I should be able to get the help I need when I need it.  Basically what I thought he would say.

My therapist was suppose to testify but she told my lawyer that her boss would not let her.  So instead she sent a letter that confirmed all my psychiatrist had stated but she did not get the letter to my lawyer in time so it could not be submitted.  The next to testify was 2 of my friends.  A long time friend that I had met over the Internet when I was going through so much abuse from my husband.  She and I had met up and remained in contact over the years.  So she got up and testified about what she knew about my home and about me from our conversations and the times she had visited.

Then another friend who is a single father and I have known since high school also got up and testified.  He talked about how my husband had shut all my friends out of my life but that he would not allow it.  He talked about the kind of parent he knew I was because we used to let out kids play together when I was a single parent and also he would stop over randomly to check on me.  He talked about how much my husband hated him but he stuck it out.  He talked about the improvements he had seen in me when I separated from my husband and also when the medication had stopped.  He also talked about how stable my life had become since all those changes.

Then the youngest step child got on the stand.  She and her sister(the oldest step child) were scheduled to testify.  The step son would have as well but my lawyer didn't think he was pessary with the other two able to be there.  The step son would have had to travel a long way to do it.  She got on the stand and my lawyer asked how she knew me.  Asked how long we have been in contact recently.  Asked if she had met my kids, been to my home and so on.  Then he went on to ask her if she knew my mother.  Then he asked what life was like with my mother.  This was shot down by the other lawyer before the step daughter could answer.  The line of questioning was then instructed to be stopped.  The judge said that this was not about my mother so that could not be submitted.  That this was about me.  My lawyer was allowed only one other question and he asked her why she stopped living with my mother.  She said she was kicked out at the age of 12.  That is all she could testify to.  My lawyer then told the oldest step child that it was pointless to put her on the stand since the judge would not allow it.  The final nail in my coffin was firmly in place.  All of my defense was refused before it was even presented.

Then they put my fiance on the stand.  They asked him how we met, when we got engaged, started living together and so on.  They asked him about his children.  They asked him if he had met my children and what that relationship was like.  They asked him about our home, rules and so on.  They asked him if he thought I could parent or if he could.  They asked him if we would both consent to a supervision order and so on. 

Then it was my turn.  My lawyer had made it clear I was not to go on the attack of the things the department had accused me of.  He had said that it would look bad.  So when I got up I just answered the questions asked.  I was asked about my mental illnesses, my marriage, my rules, my home keeping, my relationship with the department and many other questions.  But I knew without the emails being submitted that it came down to a he said she said.  Without the tapes to prove the facts and the pictures that since I had a mental illness I would automatically be seen in a bad light.  I remained calm the entire time on the stand.  But I was also not stupid either.  If I was the judge without the proof I would most likely push the PGO through because there was nothing to prove the truth but the department just has to give their words and it is enough.

In the closing arguments the department said as much.  Stating that it was doubtful that the department would refuse visits and ignore requests.  That it was obvious that I made no effort to see my kids till a trial date was set and it was basically clear that I made little effort.  All lies but what did I have to prove it without the emails.  My lawyer presented case studies and also the rules the department is suppose to work with and tried to make it clear that the whole mandate is to bring families back together as soon as possible and do as little intervention as possible. 

The date for the verdict was set for the 19th but was then post poned to the 24th then and now the 9th of December.  In the mean time my lawyer told me to keep the visits going.  So I requested one the same week the trial was over.  When I got a reply back they told me that my visits had been cut from 6hrs to 3hrs and that I could no longer take them out of the town they were in.  I was in shock.  I sent the email to my lawyer.  He demanded to know why.  They never gave him a clear answer as to why.  Just said the kids are very confused by all of this.  There was no way I could have a visit with them in the town they were in.  Even the worker stated that there was nothing to do and no place to take them.   And they were stricked about what we could and could not doing.  Saying they have to have a meal and a place to play.  This is a very small town.  My lawyer was angry but he said there is nothing we can do.  We can't even tell the judge because nothing can be added after the trial is over.  So since the trial I have not been allowed contact with my children.  They are eliminating me from there lives, before the verdict is even given, and there is nothing I can do and this is what they have done all along. 

My legal Aid runs out when the trial ends.  I am on disability.  They know I am unable to afford a lawyer to fight it or force visits with my children.  And it has already been stated that my mother will get private guardianship as soon as the PGO is granted.  I have no idea where to go from here and it breaks my heart.  This woman has hurt so many children and now is raising mine. I never hurt my children and I have lost them because of her lies.  Where is the justice?

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Trial Part Two

Next up that first day and the last to testify that day was the children's assessor.  Now I have to be honest.  She gave an honest evaluation based on the info she was given.  My mother gave her a list of many false symptoms and behaviours and also got my daughter to do the same.  The assessors report is based on that info and unfortunately they can only work with what they have.  If they are getting false information then they will only be able to give a false report.  Her job was to try and determine if the children were being made to say the things they did.  Unfortunately I don't think she was truly able to get the whole picture because of how good a con artist my mother is.  If she had been able to speak to me in person and also speak to the step kids I know she would have gotten a totally different picture.

She got up and testified that on several occasions in April she and I tried to set up a meeting.  We ended up playing phone tag a few times.  We were finally able to set up a meeting for a day that we were going to be in the area for a visit with the kids.  Unfortunately there ended up being a blizzard that day and the visit with the kids had to be cancelled because of it along with us seeing her.  She then testified I tried to set up to see her the following week but she was booked.  So we had a phone conference instead which was less then ideal.  She wanted to see body language and so on.  Which was important for her assessment of me.  She then explained about play therapy and such and then told of my daughters experience with the doll house.  She asked my daughter what she was doing with the dolls and my daughter said that she was doing what happened at the last visit.  She put the two boy dolls to bed.  Then put the little girl doll on the couch and a mommy and daddy doll under a blanket on the floor,  She then said that they are wrestling while I watch Jurassic Park which is not an appropriate movie for me.  Now remember in October it was said that my fiance and I had been on the couch making out.  Then at the JDR the judge had said that even if we had been doing that that it was not wrong to do or a reason to remove visits.  Neither scenario happened but after the JDR then this new scenario of us under the blanket came out.  As for the movie I looked in my log that I kept and that movie was never watched.  She watched Harry Potter on one day and the two Nights at the Museum movies over that weekend.  I did not learn of this new scenario till after I received the reports from my lawyer in June.  Obviously my daughter had been coached very well on what to do and say.

Then she went on to how my mother report the visits, me refusing to see them on holidays, rarely  visiting or calling and no presents for b-days or Christmases.  My friend who got the presents for the kids that first year will prove differently in her testimony.  Then she went on to saying that I had no interest in my kids schooling at all.  That even during our conversation I had stated that I ask but no one tells me anything.  She said that did not sound right to her because she was hearing that the info was being offered and I just didn't care.  Luckily I have the emails to show that I would ask for medical reports, info on health reports and also requests for school info.  Sadly though all those emails, that I still have, were not submitted.  My lawyer didn't think they would be needed.  But they would have proven the truth to so many lies in a lot of the testimonies of the department and my mother.  So another key to my case was not included for the judge to consider. 

Then she went on to talk about the abuse I had told her about when it came to my mother and growing up.  She said that she was doubtful of a lot I was saying because even when I talked about what was going on during my marriage that my version and my daughters didn't match but yet my daughters and my mothers matched.  So she was more included to believe my mother then myself.  If the step kids could have given their testimony that would have corrected that.  But they were not able to.  So another main key to my case was gone. 

Then she went on to talk about what my daughter told her and my mother told her of the routine in the house and then my version.  They said that my daughter watched the kids 24/7.  That they rarely if ever had clean clothes and I rarely cooked or cleaned.  That I only cared about the man I was with or my dogs.  That the kids had tons of chores and so on.  She said when she talked to me my version was totally different then my mothers and daughters.  Well of course it was.  In the abusive situation I was in there was no way my house could have been in the situation they described without me getting a beating.  I kept it clean the majority of the time and I did all the cooking.  I make everything from scratch, always have because it saves money.  The kids did have chores to do.  My daughter had to make her bed, put her dirty clothes in the hamper and tidy her room before she could have breakfast.  Then she had to clean the litter box before leaving for school.  She was 9yrs old.  Her lunch consisted of either soup, home made stew or sandwiches.  Along with a fruit and some baking for snacks.  After school she had to have a snack then homework.  Then it was off to play outside if the weather was nice or the play room while I prepared supper.  After supper she was responsible for putting her dishes in the dishwasher and then if was play time till bath time then bed time.  On Saturdays she had to help sweep the kitchen so I could wash it and also had to help do her laundry with my supervision and all the kids had to help organize the play room on Saturday.  My younger son was 3.  His main chores was learning to make his bed himself(I was still redoing it after his attempt) putting his clothes in the hamper.  He was also responsible for dust busting the kitchen after breakfast.  I found this was a great starter chore for kids because it is fun in their mind.  He saw it as an attack and destroy operation.  lol.  He also had to put his dishes away after breakfast and he was responsible(with supervision) for feeding the dogs.  I liked to instill in my children to care for someone other then themselves and a good start to that was helping with the pets.  He also like to help collect the laundry from each room on laundry day.  This was the extent to the chores.  And part of their routine.  It was a totally different version then what my mother and daughter told.  But the smoother the house ran the less angry my husband was.  I do like my routine that I had but for me sticking to it was a matter of survival, not just to help the kids learn.  If we had lived as my mother described then my life would have been more of a hell then it was.  And the only time my daughter would watch her 3yr old brother was when I was making supper. 

At the end of her report she stated that I need to take ownership for my daughters feelings and the fact that she wants nothing to do with me but yet has no problems being around there father.  She testified that the kids did not have the nightmares after seeing their dad and that they didn't get sick knowing they were going to see him.  That they enjoyed his visits and being with him.  To me I would really wonder about this.  In every testimony they had to admit that I never abused or neglected my kids but yet in every report their dad had.  Yet the kids want to be around their abuser and not the one who defended them and never abused them.  This makes no sense to me and would put a huge red flag that something is wrong here.  But it didn't for her.  She testified that the kids mental health would be in jeopardy if they were returned home to me and that they should remain in the loving home of my mother. 

The next day I was way more stressed.  We dropped my dog off at the daycare again and went to court.  This time it was my assessor who was on the stand.  My lawyer was told earlier in the week that he was going to give a very damaging report so I was honestly very nervous.  His written report was very positive for me and showed that I had done all he required and had a sever change.  His report also did not state to not send the kids home.  It stated that if they were sent home that there were some requirements that would be needed to be set up.

He surprised us by sticking to the report.  He talked about my first assessment and the differences from the second and all the positive changes.  He also stated that the medication could have been the cause of such a bad assessment when I had the first one and that the sever spousal abuse could have been a huge factor as well.  Neither of which was an issue now.  He did say that if the kids are going through what my mother stated they were then the courts had to take their mental health into consideration.  He also stated that my bi-polar could be find for years and then I could hit another sever low or high where it affects me badly again.  That there were no grantees.  That was about the worst thing he stated.  All in all it was a very positive assessment for me.  I was unsure how much my mothers fax to him had had an affect on his report.  I saw him a little bit later in the court yard during a break.  I thanked him for his honesty and his help.  I have a lot of respect for him.  He was always frank and honest with me.

The next and last testimony was the social worker that I had been dealing with for over a year and a half.  Right from the beginning he was lieing on the stand.  He testified that he regularly tried discussing the concurrent plans with me.  Concurrent plans are plans that the worker and the parent are suppose to come up with together and discuss every 60 days.  In over a year and a half he only contacted me twice to discuss the plans.  And I only received the plans 4 times.  Always a large stack of months of back plans that I never received.  He also never went over them with me.  He would just hand them to me and tell me to sign them.  I told him I was not signing anything unless my lawyer approved it first.  So then he put in all his reports that I was refusing to sign the plans.  There was a lot of misinformation in the plans.  Hence why my lawyer had to look them over first.  The last couple of weeks prior to the trial he kept emailing me trying to convince me it was my doing for the plans.  I was frank and told him I was not taking responsibility for his not doing his job.  I still have the emails.  I repeatedly asked him why he never contacted me every 60 days.  Or asked for a meeting to go over them.  He was seeing me regularly from the visits so there was no excuse.  He ignored the questions.  I wish the judge had been able to see the emails.  He would have seen the truth then.

He testified that he did all he thought was required.  That maybe he could have done more but I was always making it so difficult for communication since it had to either be done via email. with my lawyer or taped.  He said I made it so that there was no comfortable communication between us.  He also said my move had interrupted the mental health treatment they had set up yet did not say what that was.  Simply because there wasn't any.  He went on about me refusing visits, going for long spans with out visits and basically not caring about visits.  No mention of his ignoring requests or refusal of visits.  And when asked by my lawyer if he ever refused visits he stated that only when there were other plans that conflicted like a camping trip.  Total bold face lie.  Again if the emails could have been submitted this would have been proven.  He said I never informed him of suicide attempts or the breaches.  Again false.  I told him myself but can't prove it because that was prior to me making all communication be via email.  So that was done through phone calls.  He stated that I should have made it easier on them for working around there schedule for visits.  And that I refused to see the kids sometimes on Thursdays when that would have been easier on them.  Yet he did not testify that every Thursday morning was my women's group therapy for domestic violence at the women's therapy.  When asked if he knew that he said that he thought visiting the kids was more important then group therapy.  Which then begs to ask why my visits were refused for camping with my mother when they camped regularly with them each summer.  So a camping trip is more important then group therapy that ended up saving my life?  Makes no sense.

He then went on to testify that my mother had done all she could to communicate with me and her home always had an open door policy for me to see the kids any time I wanted.  No mention of the summer of 09 when I was refused for 2 months 2 see my kids because her requirement of a 3rd party.  He then went on to explain about the kids reactions to visits that he had been informed of by my mother.  Everything always had to do with my mother.  He went on that she did all she was told to do.  Taking all the courses provided and suggested.  But then my lawyer caught him and asked what courses had they suggested to me.  He had to admit that he didn't suggest anything other then parenting courses.  My lawyer asked if the parenting courses that my parents had taken if they had been offered to me and he said that they could not be offered to me because it was for only kinship caregivers.  Then he said I should have taken courses for kids of high needs.  My lawyer asked if that was suggested to me.  His response was I should have thought of that myself.  So my question is if no one is telling me these kids are high needs and no signs are being shown that they are when they are in my care then how would i know to take those courses?  Then my lawyer asked him if anyone had suggested I get counseling for domestic violence and he responded with another lie.  He said he was positive he had.  The only thing I was told was to get counseling that was it.  Not what type.  My therapist suggested domestic violence counseling.  He also testified that he knew of the abuse and the assaults but yet no one offered me any help or suggestions. 

He then went on to lie more saying I refused to see the kids after thanksgiving of 09.  Yet my emails will prove that this is a bold face lie.  I put in requests and they were ignored.  I was then told that I could not visit the kids till the JDR.  Where they tried to take away my visits.  He then kept on lieing.  He testified that he requested the children be assessed when in fact I begged the judge to get them assessed in the hopes that it would show the brainwashing.  He then lied about there being a supervision order that was being placed on the table.  He said this idea was only hashed out with the lawyers just to see what kind of scenario it would be.  But that it never went past a discussion and was never a consideration.  This was completely false and again the emails would prove it. 

He then said that I still show no consideration for my kids feelings.  That in the summer my youngest was showing fear of my dog and that they brought this concern to my attention and that I totally ignored his feelings and forced him to be in the car with the dog when we brought them back.  No mention that I provided video and picture proof that this was not how my child honestly felt and that he begged for the dog to ride back with us which they did regularly.  No mention that that same day that they told me this concern that we showed up at the house and he ran to the door calling her name and I provided pictures of him hugging her.  He went on about how I refused to see that my son needed the medication for school and that I was not taking his well being into consideration.  Yet no mention of the research I sent him in the email where I sent the list of side effects and also things they could do that would help these supposed symptoms.  No mention of my repeated requests for them to do a CAT scan on him to prove conclusively that he had it.  Nothing.

My lawyer tried to ask him if he knew what Battered Wife Syndrom was.  He testified that he was no expert but he had read some on it.  So my lawyer asked him if he realized that alot of what had happened could be contributed to that.  Before he could answer the departments lawyer asked the judge to stop that line of questioning.  And the judge agreed stating that it really had no place in this trial and he could not see any importance as to bring up that issue.  So that stopped all questions pertianing to that which was another big part of my case.  I truely  felt like I was not allowed to give my defence or proof.

He repeated a lot of what my mother had stated in his testimony as well.  Again if my emails, that i still have, had been submitted that all of this he said she said would have been thrown out the window and it would have destroyed their case and all the lies.  During those two days i remained calm.  I didn't say anything.  Anytime I thought of something I wrote it down in my book for my lawyer to see.  But when I was alone I broke down crying.  If I was the judge with the limited info he had I would not send the kids to me.  Yet if he had my proof it would have changed the whole picture.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trial Part one

The trial lasted 3 days.  It went from Nov 4-8th.  I will post this in 3 segments.  The first day, the second day and the last day.  I can tell you right off it was very stressful.  The first day was more stressful then any of the others.

Our day started out the night before.  My fiance worked till midnight that night and then we were up by 5:30am so we could be out the door by 6:15am at the latest.  We bought some 5 hour energy drinks to be able stay awake and alert.  Not those sugar fill things.  The little shots.  When we got to town we dropped my dog off at a really good doggy daycare for the day.  Then we headed to the courthouse.  We met up with my lawyer and he prepared us for the coming testimonies.  The department got to present their witnesses on the first two days.  On the first day The departments supervisor was the first to testify.  Then one of the workers that we had had only for a short time.  After her was my mother and after her was the psychologist that did the assessment on the children.  The next day would be the main worker we had had and as well as the psychologist that did my parental assessment.  So here we go.

The supervisor was the first to get on the stand.  She was not a supervisor when we first met her.  She was a worker and she was the one that came to the house with the police in February of 2008 to take the kids.
The Supervisors testimony.  She got up and testified that when she arrived at the house it was a mess, that there was cat and dog urine and feces everywhere and this was the cause of the smell.  She attested that the kids were not dressed and were dirty when she arrived.  She attested that after the sewer backup that my daughter was still made to stay down in the basement.  She said I did not contact anyone for any assistance.  She said I moved away from the mental health treatment that they had set up for me.  All of this was false.  Facts take and twisted and facts removed to make the case look worse then what it was.  The truth was there was no cat or dog urine or feces in the house.  I am a published dog trainer.  I am know for teaching dogs to use a potty pen outside instead of using a yard.  I also am known for teaching dogs to throw up in tubs or showers instead of on carpets or beds.  Why would I train my dogs to do this yet allow them to get in the house?  It makes no sense.  As for the cats for 13yrs previous to this I was a foster home and volunteer trainer for rescues.  They would not allow a foster home to be in that condition especially since they provide all the food and litter the cats need so are there regularly.  Was my house spotless?  None.  I can be honest.  I own a German Shepherd or otherwise known as a German Shedder.  I did keep it reasonably clean.  But when she arrived to pick up the kids the whole upstairs was filled with all the things from my daughters room, her bathroom, the playroom and so on.  So did the house stink? Yup.  From the sewer letting go.  Proven by the insurance records.  I also have hundreds of pictures and videos to prove the usual state of my home.  Lived in but clean.  As to the kids being dirty and not dressed this was a total lie.  They were dressed.  The baby was in a onesy and my son had his PJ's still on when they called.  I was dressing them when they called and finished getting them ready along with packing a bag when they showed up.  My daughter was not even at the house when she showed up.  The night the sewer backed up I woke her up and took her upstairs.  The next day she was at my mothers.  So she never had to be down there after it was discovered.  AS for asking for help I had called the LDS Social Services for help because my husbands Aunt worked with them.  They offered no assistance on what to do with my husbands temper and trying to make things work or help my daughter.  So I did ask for help.  I also asked my own church as well.  My home teacher knew some of the stuff going on.  No support was given to me.  As for the mental health treatment there was nothing set up.  And I was the one that got it all going within a few months of moving.  This small town offered nothing in the way of counseling that I could access because of my Service Dog.  The big city I moved to offered so much more in the way of help, therapy and assistance in parenting.

The next person to testify was the worker we had that went behind our backs and got the temporary guardianship order.  My lawyer was not to interested in her because it was really a non issue as far as he was concerned.

Then my mother got up and testified.  My mother got up and as soon as her mouth opened she was lieing.  She was very animated.  Loud and moving around a lot.  Her first lie was about when my daughter moved in with them.  First she attested that my daughter had to walk back and forth through the sewer stuff for days and had to sleep down there still.  Then she said that my daughter moved in with them on February 10th.  The Insurance records show that the back up happened on the 23rd of February.  My daughter moved in with her the very next day the 24th.  Then she testified about how she tried to offer assistance to me by taking the kids for the week starting on the 14th.  So that my husband and I could have some private time.  This can be proven false as well because on the 14th I was at home with the kids and that night I tried to kill myself.  When I left the kids were home and in bed.  The next day I was in the psych ward in the city 30 minutes away and was there till the next day.  So that whole story was made up and can be proven.  Then she went on about how it had been so long since she and her husband had parented and that it was a totally different world now and that they took tons of courses that the department advised them to take on parenting.  She then went into what programs they have the kids in, all the activities and fun they have and so on.  The truth is that 6yrs previous to my kids ending up there she and her husband had kicked the youngest step kid out.  So it was not ages since she had had kids.  And of course she took all the courses.  She had taken a ton of courses about home schooling and parenting when she had the step kids.  She was one of the main people to go to on homeschooling while she was abusing the step kids.

Then she went into how healthy the kids are now compared to how they were.  The first one she started with was my youngest.  She said that he stank when he arrived and was paranoid about eating.  Screaming till he was fed.  Said that he was overly clingy then and that he had spots all over his body.  The truth is that those spots appeared 2 weeks after the kids were taken.  And I was the one that complained during a visit with them to social services about the spots.  AS for his screaming for food he was still adjusting to formula after being on breast milk.  I had had a few months reserve in the freezer that I had pumped when I stopped breast feeding him.  It ran out the middle of February.  He didn't like the formula so there was that adjustment going on.  As for clingy of course he was.  He stayed with me all the time.  Even sleeping in his crib that was right up against the side of my bed.  So he went from being with me all the time to suddenly no mommy except for visits at 5 months old.  Then she started to say that he is now hyperactive and has been diagnosed as ADHD.  He just turned 3 by the trial.  They can not diagnose a child that young as ADHD.  And when we had him for overnights and for visits there was no sign of this hyperactive personality she was attesting too.  He learned quickly and concentrated on things very well for his age.  His only issue was always needing his security blanket and not being potty trained yet.  He was a typical 3yr old with the energy of one.

Then she moved onto my oldest son who just turned 6.  She attested that when he came to live with them he could not talk.  That he could only bark like a dog.  That he would have 2 hour long temper tantrums, was aggressive to others.  All of this was untrue.  When my oldest son was born he swallowed a lot of the maconium.  This caused him to not be able to make any sounds for the first month of his life.  After that he had a hard time learning sounds.  He could talk he just had a speech impediment.  So you had to work with him on repeating words.  The only time he would bark was when he was pretending to be a dog and this was when he would play with our dogs.  As for two hour temper tantrums this worries me.  He never did that at my home and I have never witnessed anything like described during any visit.  He was the typical child.  When he would do something wrong he would get a time out.  The first part of the time out he would be angry and verbalize that like most children do.  half way through it would stop and he would be saying sorry mommy and so on.  His time outs were always 1 minute per year of age.  So 3 minutes when he was 3 and now he is 6 so 6 minutes.  If he was throwing temper tantrums that bad or that long I would want to know what my mother and her husband were doing so that it lasted for that long.  As for violence he had never shown any violence.  Maybe a shove here or there at his brother when arguing over a toy but that would be it.  I highly doubt her description of this behaviour.

Then she moved on to how she says he is now.  He has had to redo kindergarten.  She says he does not retain information.  That she can't remember names of people he meets, that he can't remember numbers or letters, that he has no concentration or patience for doing written work of any sorts but that he loves puzzles and is good at them.  That he gets angry very easily and that he can never sit still.  The truth is my mother is lazy when it comes to working with my oldest son.  The summer of 09 she kept trying to convince me he was color blind so that she had a reason that he didn't know colors or letters or numbers.  He couldn't even print his name.  I doubted this diagnoses just like I doubt all of them she comes up with.  So I worked with him.  All it took was us working with him on visits and with in 2 visits he could print his name(though sometimes some of the letters were upside down or backwards).  We worked on him with his colors and with in a few weeks he knew all the primary colors and many others.  We started to work on his letters and numbers with him more this year and have noticed that the only time he gets frustrated is when he has to read the letter or print it.  Same with numbers.  So I started using techniques for kids that have dyslexia.  He was picking it up fast this fall till the visits stopped.  I begged for them to have him tested for dyslexia.  I have had it my entire life and he shows all the same symptoms.  He has a great attention span for all other actives.  He is not hyper active at all.  He does have a lot of energy but only what is normal for his age and he easily takes direction.  Sadly I am seeing the same in my youngest when it comes to not being taught the basics.  My youngest is 3 and he has no idea the names of most every day animals let alone the sounds they make.  He has no idea about colors or the ABC's or any of those things.  This is not because he is ADHD.  This is because he has not been worked with.  We were spending 30 minutes of each visit at home working with him on these things and also working with my older son on the things he needs worked with.

She next started on my daughter.  Said when she came to stay with them she was withdrawn and scared of people, that she would pee her pants at school and began acting out my the first summer by peeing in her closet.  Said she had no friends and was not allowed to do any school activities.  Said her grades were bad and she was failing and that she had missed a ton of school while in my care and that all changed.  The truth is my daughter did have some issues but basically the opposite my mother stated.  She was not withdrawn.  We were actually dealing with issues of her bullying other children.  Twice she kicked another child for no reason so as a punishment I required her to write an apology and also give up one of her favorite toys to that child so that she could see if she put her hands on another child in a violent manner then she would lose something dear to her.  She was not scared of people and was no way withdrawn.  In fact in her report cards it tells of how popular and chatty she is and that she needs to learn to do her school work more instead of wanting to chat with her neighbouring student.  I have no idea what she means about her peeing her pants at school.  Never happened in my care and if it happened in my mothers I would want to know what was going on at home to cause that.  As for the peeing in the closet again I have no idea what they are talking about but if she was then what was going on in that house at that time.  She had been living with my mother for several months by then.  As for friends she had tons of friends.  I have many pictures of her with her friends at the house, the large b-day parties I would throw for her.  Activities we had her in were swimming, a skating club and also sparks.  So she had activities she was in.  As for missing school her report cards that I have show that she missed less school when she was with me then she has had since she moved in with my mother.  My kids are more often sick now then not.  And this worries me.  They were rarely sick when they lived with me.

She then moved on to visits.  Saying they rarely happened though she has always made her home available and always begged me to come over or call.  She said once they went camping and I showed up at the camp site on a few occasions and told the kids i was not there to see them but to see her husband.  Supposedly I talked to him for a while and then left without saying anything to my kids though my mother testifies that they were begging me to see them.  This in fact never happened.  I don't drive.  My mother testified that I showed up alone and the only way to get there was to drive.  I have never had a license.  So that right there shows the extent she is lieing.

Then she stated that on all the visits the youngest would scream and cry saying No Mommy No Mommy.  He never said those words to me.  And only on 3 visits did he cry.  And that was the visits surrounding the supervision order.  Prior to the announcement of the supervision order there were no issues and once it was removed from the table this behaviour stopped.  Which led me to figure that he was being made to be scared.  Within minutes though of being with us he stopped crying and we have video that shows this.  He would be happy and laughing and playing the whole time with no issues.  Again pictures and video prove this.

Then she went on to her lies about the phone calls the thanksgiving visit and so on that I have explain in previous posts.  Then she went into her spiel about how much she loves me and has always been so concerned about me.  How she has always had an open door policy with me and has always helped me when ever I need it.  That she has always been worried about my mental health and my ability to make up these stories and seriously believe them(hmm I guess the step kids have the same mental issues too since they can back up so much of it).  She said she always wished that I would get well enough to parent but knew that would never happen and knew that I was a danger to any child and that for the sake of the kids mental and physical well being they should stay with her.  That they get physically ill 3-4 days prior to me picking them up and have terrible nightmares for days after.  That I have been violent since I was young but present as normal. 

I sat there the entire time and just stared at her with a straight face.  I did not look away.  I wanted her to see that I had over come her control over me even while she was doing her best to destroy me and ensure I lost my kids.  I didn't break till I was alone with friends after court let out and then I cried and shook.  At this point in the trial I seriously felt that my mother might win with all the lies.  I felt it was her last means to hurt me and she was doing all she could.

My lawyer tried to question her on her past but the departments lawyer stopped it and the judge backed her up.  He stated that this was not about my mothers fitness or history of being a parent but whether I was fit to parent and whether the kids would do better in my homes or if would affect them badly mentally.  So nothing was allowed to be submitted of all she had done prior to children.  Not her record, nothing.  So there was no way for him to see how she can brainwash kids to say and do anything.  Or how she could convince professionals or anything.  A huge part of my case was destroy in those few words. 

Right now I have a huge headache and this is already fairly long.  I would put the children's assessors testimony in the next post so I can have a break.

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Going Through Puberty

That is one time in life you really don't want to be in my mothers care.  I will start with myself.  When I hit puberty I had no idea what was going on.  My mother never discussed anything with me.  I was 12 and I was at home alone.  My sister was off with friends and my mother was out with her friends.  I felt these awful pains and ran to the bathroom.  When I saw all the blood I freaked out.  I thought I was dieing.  I ran to the phone and called my mother at the restaurant she was at.  One of the people working there picked up and I asked for my mother saying it was an emergency.  Luckily her table was right next to where the phone was.  I told her what was happening.  She started laughing and then announced it to the whole group she was with.  Telling them what an idiot I was because I was crying and thought I was dieing.  They all started laughing.  I still had not been told what was going on but because I was so embarrassed I hung up the phone.  I grabbed a towel crawled into bed and curled into a ball and cried.  I was scared and in a lot of pain and alone.  I had no idea what was wrong with me and people thought it was funny. 

About an hour later my sister came home.  She asked me what was wrong.  I told her and she took me into the bathroom to show me how to use a tampon.  Holy Cow that hurt to use.  I was in so much pain from it that after 10 minutes I had to take it out.  My sister said it was a couple of sizes too big for me and that I would have to wait till my mother got home to get ones for my size.  She got home about an hour after that.  First she walked up to me and slapped me on the face.  I coward in front of her.  She told me that if I ever hung up on her like that again that she would beat me senseless.  She told me about how I had embarrassed the crap out of her by hanging up on her in front of her friends.  She then asked my sister if she had taken care of me.  She said that hers didn't fit and I needed a much smaller size.  My mother then said tough.  She was not going out again and I would have to wait till tomorrow.  She didn't give me anything for the pain.  Just told me to go to bed for the rest of the day.  The next day she did get me the small size.  It was still uncomfortable but I could handle it.

I didn't understand that periods could affect moods.  I seemed to cry at the drop of a hat.  For no reason at all.  A few days later I got home from school and was looking in the fridge for a snack.  There were only apples and I didn't want one.  I wanted an orange.  I started crying.  I didn't know why.  I just did.  And my mother walked in demanding why I was crying.  I told her there were only apples and i had wanted an orange.  She then started hitting and kicking me around the kitchen.  Accusing me of telling her that she was not providing well for us and that I should be thankful for what ever I had.  She then grabbed me by my hair and literally dragged me to my room and tossed me in so hard that I slammed hard into the bunk bed my sister and I shared.  My side hurt for weeks after that any time I breathed, moved to fast or twisted or lifted something.  There was a huge black and blue bruise that formed there and remained for over 2 weeks. 

I was not the only one that suffered while going through puberty.  When the oldest step daughter was going through it was when she was made to live out in the barn for over two months.  And when the youngest step daughter was going through it she was residing alone with my mother and her 5th husband.  She basically was made to live in her room.  Only coming out to do cleaning or for meals.  My mother took great joys in telling teachers, therapists and others all sorts of lies to convince them that she was trying hard to work with her but that she had mental issues and was acting out badly.  In the end she was kicked out when she was 12.  My mother told people that she had taken all of her photo albums to the basement and set them on fire.  She accused the step daughter of tearing them all up and putting them in the trash.  Neither story was try.  The albums didn't exist.  When we had moved from the east coast to the prairie provinces we traveled by bus and had had to leave a ton of items behind.  Including the photo albums.  My mother had said they were not worth it to bring because there were so many bad memories.  She only brought one album with us.  And when this was going on with the step daughter I had that album in my possession.  A few years later I returned it.  The accusations were just a way for her to have another excuse to kick another child out.  Luckily her dad though had remarried and came to get her. 

I truly fear for my children when they start to go through puberty.  It is hard enough to go through it in the best of places but around my mother it is even more confusing and at times scary.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family Counsels & Chore Lists

My mother loved to take actual good ideas of parenting and twist it to her own sick needs.  Take for example chore lists.  Chores are a good thing in teaching children responsibility for not only them selves but for their environment.  Chore lists are a good idea for reminding them what their responsibilities are and keeping them organized.  People probably wonder how you can twist that.  Well someone like my mother could.  The step kids and I didn't have a chore list.  We had a chore booklet each.  Yup I said each.  Mine of course was the thickest since I was the oldest then came the oldest step kid then the step son and so on.  My mother of course didn't have a list.  She was management.  Her husband Mr. Fix It.  So my mother was the only one that didn't have to do anything yet took all the credit and would constantly complain about how hard her job was.

The list of chores were insane and all had a time limit.  If you missed your time limit then the consequences were bad.  For example the step son was responsible for feeding the dogs.  One was a very big black dog named Bear.  He was always kept chained to the Quonset.  If the step son did not place the dish just right then bear could knock it over.  If the dog did then the consequence of it would be he had to eat the dog food.  I remember once the dog threw up the food.  My mother told the step son it was because he didn't clean the dishes good enough.  So made him eat the thrown up food.  He cried the entire time.  If he argued or made too much of a fuss then she would yell at him and smack him on the back on the head. 

Perfection was the key to do the chores and everything had to be done just the way my mother dictated.  For example dishes.  The water had to me the temperature she required.  Which meant scalding.  Your hands would be red as lobsters withing minutes of starting.  To this day I can handle hotter water in the sink then most because of it.  If she caught you adding cold water then she would refill the sink and stand behind you.  On most occasions, unless you were a favorite that week(and this could change from week to week) she would find fault with every chore you did.  Requiring you to do it over and over and over.  Yup her house was spotless and her kids were always clean.  But not by her hands.  By our own.

Family counsels happened every week.  And yes family counsels are an awesome parenting tool in the right hands.  It gives everyone a voice and a chance to air grievances and so on.  Not in this house.  It was a change to single one child out and humiliate them in front of the others.  It was also a time to unleash fear and threaten.  On many occasions my mother would look at all of us and tell us that they could drop us all off in the middle of a large city and no one would notice or care.  There would could be murdered or raped.  She also would tell us on many occasions that she could kill us and no one would notice.  She would also tell us that we should be thankful to be living there because if we left we would be put into foster homes and they like to rape children there and a lot of the time kids go missing and no one cares or notices.  We were always fearful of losing our only home.

The restrictions were also crazy and fanatical.  No music or radio unless it was Mormon or church music.  No TV ever and no movies unless they were church movies or g rated.  All skirts or dresses had to be below the knee, no vee necks ever, nothing even lightly tight.  All the girls had to have long hair and the boys short.  No friends allowed over ever.  No calls.  No dating.  I was not even allowed salt on my food.  And since I have a salt deficiency this really affected me badly health wise.  Up by 6 for scripture study.  I also had to write reports on the scriptures read.  We were totally isolated and had no access to anything that would tell us that this was not legal or right or even how to seek help. 

It was like a totally different world.  No one had to tell us what Hell was.  We lived it every day.

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How Far Will They Go?

After the threats I was nervous to say the least.  I felt like they could do anything they wanted when it came to stopping me from seeing my kids and that I had no rights or ability to stop it.  We put in another visit request for August 20, 2010 First request made on the 12(no response), also put in a standing request that all visits be made weekend or over night visits. Second request made on the 18. Received a confirmation was told in same confirmation that the visit for the 27th was a go. Had a great visit.  We were already informed that the 27th visit was also a go so we waited till the next visit.

Was informed on the 20th that that day would not work and to switch to the day before(26th). Also the department requested to put my oldest son on ADHD meds. I denied the request because I do not believe he has it and if it is proven he does then the last resort is meds. I would try other alternatives first that are safer. We were emailed the name of the drug that they wanted him on.  THe side effects were crazy and are listed in one of my other posts.  I sent them a reply listing a slew of alternatives, if he was ADHD, that they could do to help aleviate the behaviour without meds.  We confirmed we would pick up the kids on the 26th. Had visit. More accusations were made against our dog. This time that she had jumped up and scratched my oldest sons eye lid. So we provided pictures to show that just before we dropped the kids off there were no scratches proving that this did not happen in our home or with our dog but after they were dropped off at the departments building.  Requested the next visit for September 3, 2010 First requested visit on the 30. Received confirmation on the 1st. Had visit.  Requested the next visit for September 10, 2010 First request made on the 6. The worker tried to reduce this visit to 4 hours but I had to make sure it was 6 hours to ensure a visit since the weather has been so cold and wet. Asked for confirmation on the 8(no response). Asked again on the 9. Received confirmation. Had visit.

From this point things seemed to be getting easier to get the visits.  Requested the next visit for
Sept 17, 2010 First request on the 14. Request confirmed on the 15. Had visit.  Requested the next one for
Sept 24, 2010 First request made on the 20. Visit confirmed. Had visit.  Requested the next one for
Oct 1, 2010 First request made the 28. Received confirmation on the 29th. Had Visit.  Requested the next one for Oct 8-11, 2010 First request made in August(no response). Second Request made Sept 23(no response). Third request made on 1(no response). Received a reply on the 5th. Denying a weekend visit(so no b-day or thanksgiving with the kids). Was told the visit would be Friday for 6 hours as normal. No reason stated as to why. I asked them 5 times in the days leading up to the holiday weekend as to their reason to denying the holiday with me. They ignored all requests.  That weekend was also my oldest sons b-day and the following weekend was my youngest sons b-day.  We had requested the weekend for Thanksgiving so we could have a party for my oldest son and also have thanksgiving together.  So far ever since they were taken I was only allowed one holiday visit with them.  All their choosing not mine.

The next visit we requested for was the weekend of Oct 15-17, 2010 Made first request in August(no reply). Made second request on Sept 23(no reply). Made third request on Oct 1. Received a refusal for the weekend. Made fourth request on the 14th for the 6 hours. Got a confirmation on the 14th. Had the visit.  Agian because of this we were unable to do the party we had planned.  I could not understand why they would not allow over nights or weekends.  They never gave a reason though I asked multiple times.

From there we had to say no to the October 22 visit because both my fiance and I were sick with the flu.  But we did get to have what became our last visit on October 31st.  I have not seen my children since then.  We had the trial(I will give details to this in my next post) and immedately following the trial they cut my visit hours in half.  Telling me we were only alottedOUr gas for the whole day was only $30.  We always prepared home made hot meals at the house.  And being home meant that the kids were safe and warm and could play board games with us, make crafts and play with their toys.  They are young and can't focus on one thing for 3 hours.  My own lawyer even stated they are going against the rules provided to them to follow and are making their rules with no thoughts to the welfare of the children. 

I miss my kids so much.  I know my oldest son is probably thinking he has done something wrong.  I sit here crying as I write this because I want to be with my children and they are already doing all they can to eliminate me from their lives and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  My legal Aid runs out with the verdict on the 9th of December.  After that I will have no funds or way to fight this or appeal if the PGO is granted. 

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A Toddlers Suffering

At the beginning of April a very good friend gave us the ability to see m kids when ever we could.  In exchange for some work he gave us a car.  With this car we were able to see the children for a lot cheaper.  So more requests were put in.  They went like this:

We wanted a visit for May 7th.  Request made on 29th. Received confirmation on the 30. Had visit. Was informed that my youngest would see an eye doctor in early May.  My lawyer then informed me that we were making head way with the department.  They were considering a supervision order and as such was going to start allowing me over night visits.  This would be a lot easier for us.  We were having visits at our home so that weather could not affect the visit.  So it was a 90 minute drive there to get them, another 90 minutes back to our city.  Then a 3 hour visit at our home and then a 90 minute drive to drop them off and then another 90 minutes back home.  It was a very long day for us with all the driving so at the end of it we were always exhausted.  So this excited me. 

We put in our request for our first over night visit for the May 21-22, 2010 Request made on the 7th. Received confirmation on the 13th for an over night visit. When I changed my youngest for a bath I Discovered that he was 35 inchs tall, 2yrs and 7months old and only 25LBS. Took pictures and forwarded them to the lawyer.

You Can View The Pictures Here

His knees and elbows were huge compared to his stick like arms and legs.  You could see all his ribs, his spine stood out prominately.  All his bones stood out.  There was not an ounce of fat on him.  At dinner that evening my fiance and I worked hard to get him to eat.  After 2 bites of food he said he was full and wanted down.  So we played with him with his food and succeeded in getting him to eat it all.  My oldest son asked why we were doing that. He said at home playing at the table was not allowed and that when his brother asked to get down to play my mother let him down.  All kids go through growth spurts and times when they eat very little.  It is the parents/gaurdians job to ensure they get the nutrition they need for their growing bodies.  It angered me a great deal that my son looked this way.  None of my children were ever this skinny.  Lawyer sent in request for my youngest to see a paediatrician along with forwarding all pictures and measurements to all other lawyers.  I did not want to return him in that condition because by the next day he was out eating me at the table.  But I knew I had no choice.  I was a mother wanting to protect her children and was not permitted too.

We made the request to have another over night visit for the May 29-30, 2010 First request made on the 22(no response). Made second request on the 25(no response). Third request on the 26th(no response). Fourth and final request made on the 27th. Got confirmation. Had visit. No change in Ronan’s weight. Asked repeatedly also if Ronan had yet been seen by a doctor. No response from the department.  Also when we picked up the children both my mother and her husband did the exchange.  Here is a copy of the email I sent to the department about what happened when we picked them up, names have been removed for privacy:

"From: ****

To: ****

CC: ****

Subject: Nicole

Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 14:13:16 -0700

.Just wanted to let you know that when we picked up the kids we told my mothers husband and my mother that we had the cell and it was recording. They immediately started to try fighting with us. Even to the point where they were yelling at us and threatening to press charges. All of this in front of the children. My fiance and I kept calm and everytime they yelled, threaten or made accusations about them not agreeing to be recorded I calmly answered with the fact that we have it recorded from one of the previous visits that we had told her husband that all interactions would be recorded now and he had agreed to it. He then said he works for the cops so will have us charged. They just kept yelling about it having to be in writing (verbal agreements are just as binding) and that they would have us charged for illegally recording them. So I finally told them to go ahead. I was not going to fight with them or yell at them in front of the kids so I took the kids to the other side of the car. Her husband then demanded my fiance to prove he had a drivers liscense. My fiance said he did. My mothers husband demanded he show it to him. So my fiance opened up his wallet and showed him it. Her husband then demanded he hand his wallet over. So my fiance gave him the wallet. After it was proven that he had a liscense her husband then demanded to know if the car was registered. My fiance said yes. Her husband demanded to see proof. So my fiance got it out and showed it to him.

I am not comfortable with how they behaved in front of the children in this situation. If they no longer agreed to being recorded they should have informed you and you in turn would have then informed us. Yes this interaction was all recorded. Since they are behaving this way and refusing to now being recorded and threatening us in front of the kids I would appreciate you arrange someone to else to do the transfers of the children that does agree to being recorded. With the false accusations that have been made in the past I have a legal right to protect myself by recording these interactions. If they are refusing then someone else has to handle the transfers.

The one for Sunday is the last one I will agree to with them. I will not have them yelling and threatening us in front of the children. So please arrange someone else to do the transfers for next weekend when we pick them up on Friday and bring them back on Sunday. I appreciate your attention to this matter.
Nicole "

I never did recieve a response to this email.  We had a fun visit.  I weighed my son and there was no change in his weight.  I had yet to hear from the department about him seeing a pediatrian.  And I was getting the feeling I wouldn't.  When we dropped off the children the next day there was someone there for the exchange which I was very glad to see.  We wanted to have the kids for a weekend this time so we put in the request to have them for the weekend of June 4.  First request made on 30(no response). Second request made on the 2(no response). Third request on the 3(no response). Received a response on 4th. Day of visit. Visit was denied. No reason given as to why. Still asking for a confirmation on Ronan’s doctors visit. No response on whether he has been or not.  I was getting frustrated by this time.

In the mean time my lawyer forwarded me a copy of the potential supervision order.  We agreed to every condition except two that pertained to my mother.  All phone calls between my mother and the children would be done at the social services building in our city with a worker present also all exchanges were to be done there as well.  After her threats the last time I was cutting all contact.  I had to take this woman out of my life completely because of the effect she had on me and the damage she could do.  My lawyer sent in a revised plan and our agreement to it.  The next day she was informed that the supervision order was off the table.  And that they were still going for the PGO.

I put in another request for a visit for the weekend of the 11th.  First request made on the 4(no response). A 4 hour interview(web cammed) was held at our place on the 8th. No reply as to whether we were getting that weekends visit or not during the conversation. Was finally told my youngest had seen a family doctor(not a paediatrician) 10 days prior to the meeting but no response as to what was discovered. Requested the visit twice on the 10th(No response). Requested again twice the morning of the visit. Visit was finally denied late that day. No reason as to why.  After I would find this out I would break down.  I wanted to see my kids.  There was no reason I should not be allowed to see my kids.

I sent in another request for a visit for the weekend of the 18th.  Made first request on the 11(no response). Second request made on the 15(no response). Third request made on the 16(no response). Fourth request made on the 17(no response). Finally heard the day of visit. Visit denied and was informed that all visit was now being changed to 4-6 hours. Only reason give was because of the application for PGO.  I was stunned.

I wanted to see my kids so I would take what I could.  I sent in a request to have a visit for June 26th. 

First request made on the 18(No response). Also again asked for the doctors report on my youngest sons evaluation. Second request made on the 22. Received a response confirming the visit on the 23rd. Had visit. The doctors report that I was promised was actually just a sentence on a prescription pad saying he had been in the doctors office and appeared normal. My youngest son's weight had actually dropped from 25lbs to 24 when we weighted him this visit. Because of his weight drop and no response to this concern we felt our only option was to speak to the police about it. We informed the department that we had and we also phoned the emergency contact number that Social Services had given us. The department then requested a criminals records check on my fiance.  So we were a step further and did the one that people who work with children would have to get.  We faxed a Criminal Records check (24th) to the office as requested. It was clear.

We then put in a request for the next visit for July 7th.  First request made on the 25(no response). Finally received a response on the 2nd asking us to change the date. Could not due to work schedule. Visit was denied and we were told that no visits could occur till after the 14.  The reason given was the kids were going camping with my mother.

Our next request, due to movig to a bigger house to assits my fiances mother(her rent had increased and her ability to do some things at the age of 77 was getting very difficult).  The next visit was request for August 6.  Made first request on the 1(no response). Finally received a response on the 4th confirming the visit. Had visit.  The kids loved the new house.  And we had a ton of fun.

We put in the next request for August 12.  First request made on the 6(no response). Finally received a confirmation on the 11. Had visit. When we arrived the worker and his supervisor said they needed to talk to us beforeallow the visit.  I was not comfortable with this idea without my lawyer but I wanted to see my children so agreed.  They then proceeded to threaten that if I took the children to the police, hospital or doctor that all my visits would be taken away. Also was told that more accusations were made. This time against my dog who is a trained Medical Alert Dog. She was accused of biting my youngest yet there were no marks. They said my youngest was presenting as fearful of the dog. So I provided pictures and videos of him and the dog playing together. To show that these thoughts are being placed in the child’s head and is not actually the fact.  I then told them if I provided more video and pictures of todays visit showing that there was no fear and it was all made up like the other false accusations to please check the source of the accusations.  I provided the videos and pictures.  They did not say anything.  I knew that my mother was having a hard time agianst my proof and ablity to protect myself from her lies so she was trying to not only make my home sound unsafe but also take away my supports. 

How was I to protect my kids with them threatening to take away all visits if I contacted athorities?  The question is I couldn't.  I was being forced into a corner and I could see no way out for me or my kids.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Truth Does Not Always Win Out

After the JDR I went home a lot happier.  I put in a request to see my kids for Christmas.  They of course did not send me a reply.  So a week before Christmas I was invited to spend Christmas with the mother of the man I was dating and his adult daughter.  I went there and spent a wonderful two weeks.  I called my kids a couple of times but still had no word from the department.  A day before Christmas I went back to my home and found 3 messages from the worker asking me when I was going to have my Christmas visit.  I had been checking my email daily and he replied of course by phone instead of by email.  I emailed him back letting him know that since he had gotten back to me via phone I had not gotten the message and he was to communicate by email.  I keep all the emails I send and receive from the department, my lawyer and my mother so that I have proof of what was actually going on.  I never got a reply back.  No surprise.

I did get a wonderful surprise though.  The man I was dating proposed.  I accepted.  My kids really got a long well with him when he was with us for visits and this was very important to me.  I emailed my lawyer right away.  Her reply was that this was great because one of the things the department was using against me was the fact that my ex and I kept getting back together and they wanted to convince the judge that I would go back.  I had not been in contact with him since the March prior.  She announced it to the department and to the other lawyers on the 6th of January because he also moved in with me that month.  The department needed to know all the people residing in the home.

Neither of us had a car at the time and times were very tight so there were no extra funds for visits.  I called and told the kids the second week of January.  My daughter congratulated me and my oldest son screamed with joy.  He loved "Donald"  the kids called him this because he could talk like Donald Duck.  AS my son was excitedly talking to me about all the things he and my fiance would do I heard whispering in the back ground.  10 minutes later my daughter came back on and said she was not comfortable with him.  I asked her why.  She said because she didn't know him.  I told her that only time would do that and he was very excited to teach her to play her new guitar.  He asked her to list some of her favorite songs for him to teach her.  She listed off several church songs.  Then my mother called her away from the phone.  There was more whispering.  Then she came back on and said she was not comfortable with him because she had seen him hurt the dog when she was that during thanksgiving.  I asked her what she saw.  She was quiet for a minute then said that the dog would not stop barking so he had grabbed her mouth and squeezed till she cried.  My fiance and I both knew this was not true.  My dog is a service dog and trained to only give one or 2 alert barks and then stop on command.  I told her that she knew that did not happen.  She got angry and said it did.  She said she saw it with her own eyes.  I reminded her that he was only ever at the house during dinner time and that he was never alone in the home so never had a chance to do that.  She kept saying it happened.  I decided to do something that I had learned from love and logic, one of the parenting courses I had to take.  I told her I loved her too much to argue.  And then tried to switch topics.  She tried to lie again.  So again I said I love you to much to argue.  I did this 3 more times and then the phone went dead.  I thought maybe one of the younger kids pressed a button so phoned back.  My mother husband came on and told me I could not talk to the kids till I learned to listen to them and do as they say.  So I asked him if that meant I was to condone lieing and he hung up.

A waited two days and then called back.  My daughter then said I was not allowed to argue with her.  And i repeated the phrase and then asked about school.  She again stated that I was not allowed to argue with her and had to do as she said.  I asked what she meant.  She then said that I was not allowed to have any more babies.  I was dumbfounded.  I told her that is a decision that an adult makes not a child and that I didn't know if I wanted to have any more babies or not but it was a decision I would make with my fiance.  She told me that I was not allowed to argue with her about it.  I again repeated the phrase from Love and Logic.  And the phone went dead again.  I then contacted my lawyer who contacted the department.  They in turn contacted my mother who said I phoned up my daughter yelling and screaming and calling her names.  That all my daughter was trying to do was explain her feelings and I was telling her she was not allowed those feelings.  They said that when I started swearing is when they hung up the phone.  The department chose to believe her.  So my lawyer advised me no more phone calls to keep everything done via email so we have proof as to what was said.  Sadly though I was informed that my daughter was refusing visits unless they were supervised and only if my fiance removed his tattoo and other crazy rules that pertained to religion and house hold duties to prove I had changed.  I refused to have the visits supervised.  It was just my mothers way of trying to control the visits through my daughter.

Finally at the beginning of March I was able to afford the gas for a visit.  We sent in 4 requests over a 2 week period to get a visit for March 5th.  All request were ignored till the 4th.  Then we received a confirmation.  We had the visit.  We audio recorded the visit with our cell phone.  After the accusations of the last visit we were protecting ourselves.  After that visit we sent in a request for the Easter Holidays.  This is how it went.  Sent in the first request March 9th(no reply), requested again on the 18th(no reply). Both requests were done through my lawyer. Lawyer sent in another request on the 26th(No reply), I sent in a request on the 29th(no reply), lawyer sent in a request on the 31st. Lawyer was told that disturbing allegations made meant that only a 4 hour visit could be granted. The allegations were proven false with audio tape. They never requested my proof.   My Lawyer was never told what the allegations were through she repeated requested what they were.  They took the allegations as fact and I was only allotted 4 hrs for Easter.

The next visit request was for the Easter 4 hour visit which we wanted on the 9th.  Requested it the first time on the 31st. Did not receive a reply till the 6th which was a confirmation. Had the visit.  Again audio taped it.  Just prior to this I went and had my new Parental Assessment.  Also we were audio taping the exchanges as well.  We made sure to inform all parties first that we were.  Against the lieing we had to protect ourselves.

The next visit request was for April 30, 2010 Request made on the 10th, also requested that my youngest
 see an eye doctor for a lazy eye. Received a confirmation on the 16th. Was informed on the 29th that the visit was still a go but that the boys had been throwing up and had the runs. There was no way I was taking them out when sick so I cancelled the visit for their health. Asked if my youngest ad seen an eye specialist yet.  Was told he was not seeing one till some time in May.  At this time I also received a disturbing phone call from my Lawyer.  My mother had faxed the psychologist that had done my parental assessment a bunch of lies.  These are the exact lies she sent from a copy of the fax that I have:

1)  Terrible mood swings sometimes lasting 3 or more weeks.  Even now if my husband of I say or do something she does not like she will not phone or email for weeks on end.  Then she fabricates a story that is untrue, however she believes it and expands on it.

2)  My husband first met Nicole and her daughter in the spring of 2001 when I began dating him.  We went to her place and her house was over run with cats and a blue heeler cross dog.  One only had to open the door and you could smell her house from the basement.  That still seems to be the case because the children carry that smell with them when ever they have a visit(musky, garbage).

3)  Nicole has sent her youngest home with a peed diaper after every short visit, She does not change him after a short visit so what would happen full time.

4)  I am concerned that Nicole will disappear with this children if she gets them back.  She has told me that if she gets the kids back she is not telling the department where she or the kids are at.

5)  These are 3 high needs kids, what is going to happen if she goes into a deep depression.  Who is going to care for them then>

6)  I feel her anger towards me is unfounded and is a smoke screen.  Many times she will ask for help and when it is given she will twist it around and accusations follow.

7)  Her notes on her facebook are full of accusations towards me.

8)  The manner in which she has dialogues with her daughter shows she is incapable of handling these three children.  The two boys can be a handful especially when the oldest boy decides to have a temper tantrum.  Then the youngest will follow and then the daughter and it becomes a  three ring circus. 

9)  Her daughter has displayed that she does not want anything to do with her mother because of the inappropriate way she treats her.  She has told them that if she gets them she is having another baby.  Her daughter wonders why she would want another baby when she is incapable of caring for them. 

10)  I understand Nicole had another sever mood swing from the middle of December to the middle of January.  Cutting off contact from everyone again for about 3-4 weeks.  Refusing to answer her phone or email.

All of these were lies easily proven with pictures, video tapes, audio tapes, witnesses and so on.  But the department didn't want my proof.  They took everything my mother stated or got the children to say as fact.  But sadly for them regardless of the fax, I passed the assessment with flying colors.  The assessor even stated that I had done all the requirements that he had given me at the first assessment and showed amazing improvement. 

Still I felt like a dark cloud was hanging over this and felt like something was still going to stop me from getting my kids back. 

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