After stopping the medication I felt like I was waking up from a bad dream. My mind was no longer cloudy. I could see problems and plan for the solutions with no feelings of giving up. I felt like my feet were finally on firm ground again. At the end of May I requested a visit for a Saturday. Wanting to see the kids all day. I had a way to get there every week. The department told me that visit would be easier if they took place at my mothers and to arrange them with her. They said they talked to her and that she was wanting the visits at the house.
So I called her. She told me that the only way a visit could occur at her home was if I provided a third party witness. She said she had court documents stating that this was a requirement. She said it was a restriction the department requested after what happened the previous fall. She told me not to worry about it and that she would arrange a third party person. I asked her to get someone for that Saturday and she said OK. During this time I was phoning the kids every day and they were even calling me several times a day. The day before the visit she called me up sounding upset and saying that her person cancelled and that we couldn't have the visit because of the requirement but that the person confirmed for the next Saturday. I said OK. The phone calls continued. Then the next week the same thing happened and then the next. Finally at the end of June I was asking her what was going on. So she told me to phone up the social worker to get the restriction lifted. I did. For 4 weeks I would call the social worker multiple times a week after talking to my mother requesting the removal of the restriction. He would always tell me that there was no restriction and that this was a requirement my mother was placing. So I tried to get her to agree to one of my friends being the third person and she said it had to be someone the department agreed on. I was hitting a brick wall and it was over 2 months since I last saw my kids. My frustration level was increasing.
Finally I had had enough. I told the department that someone was lieing. And since I could not prove which one I was going to have my visits at the social services building. The next week the visit was arranged. As soon as my mother found out I got a call. She was angry and spent over 30 minutes yelling at me about how I was undermining her and making things so hard on my kids and so on. When I could get a word in I reminded her about the issue of the third person requirement and how the department kept saying over and over that it was not required. Finally she admitted that she and her husband required the third person after the accusations in the Fall. I said that is fine but to make it easier on all the visit would be at the social services building. She got so angry that she screamed at me and then slammed down the phone. All this time she and her husband had been telling me that they had no intention on keeping my kids. That they just wanted me better so that I could then parent them. I was starting to get a different picture all together. As I talked to my mental health team they made it clear that I needed to set up boundaries with them and keep fighting to see my kids.
In August I started to see them again every week and some weeks two or three times. I was still talking to them on the phone every night. Though my mother stopped them from calling me. At every visit my kids would ask me when they were coming home. Ask me if I still loved them and wanted them. I always reassured them. We always took plenty of pictures and videos. By the middle to end of August the worker was talking like there was a good chance the kids could come home. So I put in my notice at my one bedroom place and got a 2 bedroom place. I wanted to make sure I had the room for them. My daughter and I would share a room and my two sons would share the other room. I had saved all their bedroom sets, toys and so on. So got it all ready. But during my last meeting with the worker the last week of August he had changed his mind. Instead he told me I had not completed the things the department had listed for me to do so they were applying for a PGO(Permanent Guardianship Order). I was in shock. I asked him what I had not done. He refused to answer. So I took out the concurrent plans and showed them to him. I showed him each thing on the list and showed proof that I had done it. So I again asked him what I had not done. He still refused to answer. Finally he said it was too little too late and even stated this on the court documents. I walked out of there and cried all the way home.
My lawyer was shocked as well. She and I both knew I had done it all. But she said we would go to trial so not to worry and to keep doing the visits. She said now that the medication was solved that I had to show that I was stable for a period of time. So I continued to visit the kids every week. My lawyer was able to convince the judge to remove the supervised visits. So I was able to see my kids without supervision. Which meant I could take them places.This made visits a lot easier and a lot more fun. At this time I had two friends coming to the visits with me as not only drivers but also witnesses.
The visits were going so well that my lawyer was able to convince the department to allow me to have weekends with the kids. Starting on thanksgiving weekend I would get the kids for every third weekend. Then at Christmas I would have them for the whole Christmas Holiday and then after I would get them for every other weekend. Then I would have them for the Easter break and then every weekend after that till school ended. Then the plan was they would finally live with me. I was so excited. It went so fast from them going to apply for the PGO to them agreeing to this plan. I was so excited for the first weekend. It was a long weekend.
Two weeks prior to this weekend my mother did another lie. One of my friends and I had asked my daughter if she would like us to bring some nail polish to do her nails the next time we came. When my mother heard this she decided to tell the department that I was planning to cut and dye my daughters hair. At this time the main part of the visit was at a park. I told the department the plan was to do her nails not hair. That there was no way we could dye her hair even if we had wanted to since we had no access to a shower. So the whole thing didn't make any sense. They refused to believe us and told us that in no way were we allowed to dye her hair. At this time also my daughter started to show the fanatical brainwashing my mother was doing to her. Any time we gave her a barbie or any toy she would color the barbie so that it was no longer "naked" and would tell me that it was an inappropriate gift unless it was colored. She also would throw out or rip up any clothes for the dolls if the dresses were above the knees, the shirts were to low or so on. She also saw my one friends tattoo and told me to make him remove it because that was bad and evil. It was a tattoo of his families Irish Crest.
The department brought the kids to my place at 6pm on the Friday. I had supper ready and on the table. I had been informed previous that my oldest son had an intestinal bug so had to stay on a liquid diet. So I prepared for that. The kids were very excited. I had a friend there when they arrived as a witness and had organized to have friends stopping by at various times as witnesses to how the house was kept and the kids moods. We had so much fun that weekend and I took video and pictures. I made a thanksgiving dinner for myself, my kids, and several friends. We all enjoyed it. I also kept a very detailed log of the whole weekend.
AS soon as we took them back I went home and emailed the department about visit and requesting the next visit for 3 weeks later. I was excited. I was happy. All communication with the department was now done via email after what had happened the summer previous. This way I had a written record of what people were saying and visits requested. This was started in September of 2009. I called my kids several times the next couple of weeks but didn't hear back from the department. I sent in another email requesting the visit. Still no reply. After 3 weeks, just prior to the visit date, my lawyer called to tell me that there had been some disturbing allegations made about the visit. I was shocked. I asked what they were. There were several:
* The guy I was dating was there all day and all night every day and all we did was sit on the couch making out(in January this story changed to him and I laying on the floor under a blanket wrestling)(He also was working nights, 10pm-6pm at McDonalds at the time and he was renting a room across the street so was only at the house during supper hour and to help put the youngest to bed)
* That we were swearing all the time
* That my sons were on time outs the entire time
* That any time my daughter asked us to stop swearing she would get a 2 hour time out(times outs were the as many minutes as they are in years. So my oldest son was 5yrs old so that meant his time outs were 5 minutes long)
* That the whole time the kids were cleaning because I as too busy making out
* That the kids had to make all of their own meals
* My daughter had to change my youngest or else he never had his diaper changed
All of it was lies easily proven with the pictures, video, log that I had kept and my witnesses. My lawyer asked the department if they wanted all of that to prove that it didn't happen. She got no reply. I put in more requests for visits. They were all ignored. Then my lawyer asked and was told that until the JDR in December that all visits were cancelled. I couldn't believe they could do that.
At the same time I had reduced my use of my Service Dog as my mental health improved. When the JDR came I traveled by bus 2 hours away without her. All by my self. There was a judge over seeing it. More lies came up as their reason for refusing visits. They wanted the judge to agree to take away my visits and put me back on supervised visits. The newest lie was that I had called my daughter 5 days after the thanksgiving visit yelling and screaming at her because of the lies she had supposedly told. My lawyer squashed this. She told them that this phone call didn't happen and she knew for a fact it didn't. The judge asked how she knew. She let him know that I had no idea about the accusations till 3 weeks after the fact and that she had been the one to tell me. The judge said it was obvious that someone was lieing. He also said that even if the accusations were true( and he acknowledge that I had proof that they weren't) that they were not enough to take away my visits. Their next point was that I had failed the parental assessment in April of 2008. He told them that they could not use that any longer because it was over a year and a half old and that my situation had totally changed. He told them that it would be best to have me do another one. He told them to allow my visits and that they were not to be supervised. I wanted to kiss the judge but refrained.
After hearing all the lies told by the department who was convinced by my mother I knew my struggle with my fight to get my kids was only going to get worse. But I was not giving up.
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