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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