Reassurance

Alex has continued to try to reassure me that we20120615-110017.jpg will figure this out for OUR family. He even looked into whether or not we could get married while in Alaska later this month. I am trying to look at everything positively. I am doing better since Monday, but I still have my moments of negativity.

It doesn’t help that CPS has put no definite “if you [A], then the girls can go back to the 50/50 schedule.” Alex told GM that he wants the three of us to sit down and figure out what needs to happen for GM to feel comfortable with them coming home. He also suggested that maybe we include the social worker in on the conversation. I told him that he needs to call the social worker, he left her a message yesterday.

20120507-183719.jpgI did the orientation and signed #2 up for the Boys and Girls club. The community organization that I called finally got back to me yesterday and scheduled an assessment for #2. We decided that since #3 and #4 are not showing any distress over the situation and seem to be fine around #2, we are not going to get them into services because we do not want to stir anything up.

I have not called the group home yet. I am just not certain about that one.

Birthdays start next week. I cannot believe my “baby” will be 6.

I love Alex. I love our family. I just feel like I have failed them.

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Ramblings

I have so much I want to type, but I have no idea where to start. I know that Alex once told me to just start typing and even if it isn’t coherent, it will all come out.

20130303-182320.jpgAs far as the situation with #2, I called the police, they will not be doing anything, but did suggest I call CPS. I also called our local community organization that handles this type of thing. I called CPS. We switched up bedrooms so that #2 is on the main floor. The social worker wants A1 and A2 to stay with GM for now. She also wants us to make sure that if #2 is around any of the kids, they are in lie of sight. She gave us a door alarm to put on his bedroom door at night so that he cannot leave his room at night without us knowing. She told me that we are doing everything that she would suggest. I don’t know how many times I heard that the situation is normal for his age. That doesn’t make it ok.

I don’t know what will ever ease GM’s mind about A1 and A2 coming home. I don’t know how long the social worker will want the A1 and A2 to not be home with us. This is something I have never dealt with.

#2 is staying with my mom for the week. This way A1 and A2 can come home for twpid-images.pnghe week. I don’t know what we will do after that. Someone suggested that I look into a group home for him. Yes, that gets him out of the house, but what additional problems will it cause? While I am in school he will attend the Boys and Girls Club so that he is not at home with the other kids.

20130217-215016.jpgI don’t know how long Alex will handle A1 and A2 not coming home on a regular basis before he gives up on us. What then? At times, I can’t even handle to think about the wedding being in 83 days because I don’t even know if we will make it that long. I know he loves me and I love him, but we both know that love is not always enough.

I am scared. What if he does give up? I can’t afford a place big enough for the five 20130414-092216.jpgof us, especially not giving #2 his own room. I gave up on my housing so I can’t apply for help with that. I do not get near enough student loans to support us. I would probably have to leave school. I hate this. I don’t know what to do anymore.

20140102-083304.jpgI feel like whole world is exploding around me. I feel like I am 20131208-225406.jpgjust a viewer in my own life. I am tired. I am back to taking my medicine every night before bed and still feel like I am not getting any sleep. I am worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. I can’t concentrate on class, my reading, or much of anything else today. I feel like I don’t know much of anything right now. Tears well up at the drop of a hat today. 20130317-194810.jpg

I love Alex. I love our kids. I am just scared.Again, I feel like I have no control over my life and no idea what is ahead of me. 20130404-223859.jpg

What a year

Every where I look tonight, I see year-in-reviews, New Year’s resolutions, and other things related to the new year that begins in less than three hours (Pacific time). This post is going to be a little bit of all of the above.

It is 9:15 PM PST. All four of my kids are asleep. I am sitting in my bed, trying to get through this nasty glass of Alka Seltzer Cold, thinking. Thinking about the year that has passed. Thinking about the upcoming year.

My Year in Review

KD gave #1 a bloody nose in February. CPS stepped in an stopped contact between the two of them while requiring KD’s mom to supervise his contact with the other three kids. The police investigated and could prove nothing.

I finally had enough documentation to file a child custody modification in March. The commissioner granted me adequate cause and placed the CPS safety plan on record as the temporary court order. Beginning in May, KD began to get visitation with #1 every other weekend. In June, CPS closed their case because the safety of the children was in the hands of the family court. However, before they closed their case, they stated that if KD’s mom is unavailable, the burden of caring for the children falls on me. Beginning at the end of July, KD’s mom began to be “unavailable” to supervise KD’s time Monday through Friday. This gave me full physical custody of the children. However, legally he can still have them anytime during his designated residential time. As you can imagine, this gives KD a ridiculous amount of control and he knows it.

#2 participated in an outpatient treatment program for his behavior and finally got a diagnosis of borderline Autism spectrum, ADHD, and intermittent explosive disorder. This came after a fight with KD, an investigation by the newly appointed GAL, and a court hearing.

All of the above has taken its toll on Alex and I. We have broken up multiple times. Most recently, we broke up this weekend. The control that KD has is a large part of it. The kids are another part of it. We are trying to work on that fine line between being lovers and then being friends. We are struggling with this. What is too much in a friendship?

In late spring, I decided that I wanted to go to law school so I signed up to take the LSAT in October. I took the test and applied to my only choice of school, Gonzaga University School of Law. A couple of weeks ago, I received my letter of acceptance and letter offering me a $20,000 a scholarship. I start in the fall.

My 79-year-old grandmother decided that we (me, my mother, my aunt) were too much stress and not there for her enough and ran away from home in August. She returned home in October.

The Year Ahead

Our custody modification trial is set for March. I am asking for full custody and sole decision-making. The report from the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is due next week. This will have a high level of effect on the outcome of this modification.

I am requesting that the children be allowed to go to public school next year. I am hoping to move to a cheaper, nicer apartment in another part of town. I will be starting law school in September at Gonzaga University.

I am going to do my best to be a friend to Alex. It may be painful and confusing at times, but I will do it because I love him and I want him to be happy, even if it is not with me. Maybe things will eventually work between us, maybe not.

He stopped by to drop off some cold medicine for me tonight. I again invited him to come over tonight. He was on his way to M&M’s house. He briefly touched my hand and the tingles came accompanied by goosebumps. There I went, crossing the invisible line again. I just don’t know where it is and how I am going to deal with it.

year in reviewAs I sat here and created this image, I was also texting with Alex. He told me I should have yes, whether he was drunk or not. Looks like I am alone because I didn’t listen to my heart. I love him. I miss him. I hope that its not too late for us.

Happy New Year. Hopefully this one will be better.

Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.

Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. Those are the feelings most prominent in me lately. I love my kids. I love Alex. I love Alex’s girls. Those are the only things I feel like I know for certain right now. 20130303-103325.jpg

So much has been happening and I have been so busy trying to deal with it all that I just have not had the time to post. I ended up at Alex’s on the 18th. He texted me to come out, and I did. I know, you’re shocked. The next day, I had court…it was continued. Went to Alex’s after work and things seemed normalish.

Then Wednesday came. This was the day of our Family Team Decision Making meeting with CPS. Just like the last one, it was KD, his mom, and his attorney trying to shift blame onto me. KD wouldn’t even answer a question without referring to his attorney first. My mom and my grandma were both there. Both of them did a nice job keeping their mouths shut. I was impressed. KD did agree to CPS’ action plan of not having any contact with #1 until law enforcement completes their investigation. He also agreed to have all of his contact with the other three supervised by his mother until law enforcement completes their investigation. The social workers wrote me a declaration stating that they recommend placement with me because of the safety risk to the children when they are with their father.20130303-165529.jpg

In all of the calls that I made, it was suggested that I call the YWCA and see if I qualify for their legal help. I was told that I needed to approach it from the standpoint of the verbal, mental, and emotional abuse that I did an still do endure from KD. I met with them, but unfortunately, I did not fall under their grant. She did tell me I could call her if I have any questions and she told me to see what her husband (a family law attorney) would charge to represent me.20130303-182320.jpg

#1 and I had a pretty good week. We had dinner with Alex Wednesday and Thursday night. We had a girls’ night at Alex’s while he had class Friday night. It was just me, her, pizza, and Netflix. We hung out at Alex’s all weekend. We had A1 and A2 Saturday night. GM took all three girls roller skating on Sunday while Alex and I spent some much needed time together.

Monday morning began my week with the kids. Since KD’s mom’s work schedule did not allow her to supervise KD with the kids, they were at daycare all week. School conferences were Monday afternoon. #2 is doing okay in most of his classes, but has a D+ in math and social studies. The math grade is because he needs to work on his multiplication fact memorization. The social studies grade is because he needs to work on his states and capitals memorization. #3 is doing great. He has a B- in math that could go up to a B or down to a C. This isn’t because he is struggling. It is because he consistently turns his assignments in late. KD had to leave before #1’s conference was a student-led conference. I did video tape it for him, but vew32mmmm[pp (this was #4 “helping” me type, isn’t she sweet) I just have not gotten the chance to copy it to a disk for him. She looks like she is doing okay. It is hard to decide if her struggles are because it is her first year of middle school, or everything else.
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Tuesday we finally had our hearing for my contempt motion. The commissioner denied it. He said that in order to find KD in contempt, the court order must be clear and our parenting plan is not clear enough. As far as the telephone contact, 3 times a week (when I am lucky) is reasonable. Wow!!

I also met with the attorney that CPS asked me to meet with. Paula is amazing. She does not take private pay clients (county contractor), but was more than happy to answer any questions she could. She told me to try the ex parte restraining order because the action plan guarantees me nothing. She also told me to file it when our commissioner is on the bench in ex parte because he used to be an attorney for CPS. She also stated that she was surprised CPS was not doing more. I told her that CPS told me that they could not because KD and I have joint custody and so I am the protective factor that kept them from doing anything. She said they were wrong.

Then Wednesday, I woke up to #4 coughing like a barking seal. Really?? Took her to the doctor, but they said it is just viral and she would be fine in a few days. When I called my supervisor, she said she felt bad for me because I just couldn’t catch a break. This gave me the opportunity to try to get some more of my stuff for the modification done.

On Thursday morning, #1 had her interview with the detective. I liked this one. He was very nice and straight-forward with me. He said that since KD did not leave any marks and the bloody nose was just a trickle, not gushing, it probably would not be pursued criminally. He did say that the history would very likely come into play as it was considered. 20130303-211418.jpg

After the interview, I dropped #1off at daycare and went to finish the modification paperwork. By the time made it to work, I worked for about 2.5 hours. I was up half the night trying to fax a copy of all the paperwork to dickweed’s KD’s attorney so that I could show that I notified him I would be presenting the restraining order in ex parte first thing in the morning.

Got up Friday morning, dropped the kids at daycare, and headed to the courthouse. After sitting in the court room for what seemed like forever, it was our turn. The commissioner immediately denied the restraining order because the harm was not “imminent” enough for that setting and if CPS truly felt the children were in that great of a risk, they were obligated to remove them from his care. I explained what the social workers continued to tell me about it needing to be dealt with in the family law arena. He essentially told me that the social workers were wrong. If they feel the children are in imminent harm, not only can they, but they have to remove them from his care. I immediately filed my modification.

When I dropped a copy of all the paperwork off at CPS, I asked tomeet with the investigative social worker. Yes, I had already left a message for both social workers letting them know what the commissioner had said, but I wanted to talk to her about it. She came out and told me that she did not have time or me to deal with it at the moment and she would get back to me next week. I was heated. Essentially, she just told me that she did not have time to protect my kids.
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When I left their office, I made some phone calls. The first call was to the office of a local state legislature representative that I have been in contact with. He was in a meeting, but his assistant knew who I was. He told me that he would be making a few calls and get back to me with some possible resources. 20130303-213410.jpg

Then, I called a legal aid program and went through their screening process again. Now that I filed the modification, it is a new case (even though it is under the same case) and I might be able to qualify differently than I did with the divorce. The lady told me that someone would call me back by Tuesday to see what the could do for me. The called me back and referred my case to the local office. I should hear from them tomorrow. I figure I will call them if I have not gotten a call by my lunch.

I also called Paula (attorney CPS referred) and left her a message about the hearing. She called me back and sent an email to both social workers, their supervisor, and the CPS attorney to figure out what their next step might be. She called me back when she got a response. They will be staffing the case and will probably file a dependency petition this week to get the kids out of his home. She also told me that if they do it this week, she will be assigned to represent me. I do not want to go that route, but if that is the only way I can protect my kids, I’ll do it.
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Then, there is Alex. I do not know where we stand. I fear I have already lost him. I know the stress of my life is too much for him; even if we break up and stay friends, the stress of my life is still there. So, now what? He has been getting his migraines again. They mellowed out quite a bit when he move out of his and GM’s house. Now, I wonder if he is getting them because of me.

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Alex has been looking at houses to buy for the last few days. I want to be happy for him and part of me is, but it is hard. First of all, I see it as a final jab from life that says we will never make it together. Second, I am jealous because I have no clue when I will ever be able to buy again. He is trying to include me by showing me the pictures and I do appreciate that.
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I have not taken my anti-depressant in quite a few days. I am out of refills and am due to have it refilled last week. I think I still have one or two left in the bottle, but why bother if I don’t have the money to goto the doctor, or have it refilled? I guess I will work on natural methods.

Payday is Friday, but I don’t even know if I worked 20 hours i the last two weeks combined. I have about 1/4 tank of gas and might be able to scrape up $3 in change for gas. There is one friend at work that told me to let him know if I need help with gas, I just hate admitting that I need the help.

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Well, start to finish, this post has taken me about 12 hours to write. No,not straight through, but still.I guess it is time to call it a night since I have to get up and try to work tomorrow.

First, one final statement, KD cares so little about his kids that he went to church this morning knowing that it meant his kids could not go. I seriously wonder where my brain went in 1998 and why it took until 2011 to come back. At least I have my babies.

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Rough day

The last few days have been really rough for me. I am so tired of not being able to provide for my children. I am tired of these innocent children being punished because their father wants to make my life difficult. Even they have complained about the comments that KD and his parents have made about me. I went off this morning. I know I should not have and I am going to try to have a sit down conversation with the three older children tonight and discuss that some of the things I said were disrespectful. However, I was honest with them.

I am tired of working my rear off and not being able to give them what they need. #1 admitted last night that she is doing poorly in school because she is having a hard time concentrating because she keeps thinking about everything. I feel really bad for her and I wish there was something more I could do for her. All I can do is be there for her when she needs to talk and encourage her to talk to her counselor, principal, and/or teachers.

It was decided yesterday that GM is going to fill out one of the CPS background check forms so that she can take #1 for the afternoon one day.  I think that having her might help also. Another positive female role model in her life.

Well, I know this is a short post, but I have to get back to work.

Where is the protection?

A Crane for Each Child; Students Seek End to C...

A Crane for Each Child; Students Seek End to Child Abuse (Photo credit: ct senatedems)

On my way to take the kids to KD on Monday morning, #1 told me something that bothered me, and #2 was willing to back her up on it. She told me that when she gets upset with KD or one of her siblings, she walks to her room and lays on her bed. In reality, she stomps to her room and throws herself on the bed, I have seen her do it before. I think it is okay because at least she is learning that it is better to walk away than to yell, scream, and fight. What she told me was that when she does this, KD follows her to her room, grabs her by the hair and slams her head repeatedly into the bed. First words out of my mouth were to tell the counselor. She said no. Then said, “Please don’t tell Dad I told you.” Then, #2 said that if she doesn’t tell the counselor, he will. I debated about what to do with this information.

Yesterday, I decided that I needed to call the CPS social worker, but she called me first. She was calling me to find out what the kids’ schedule is so that they can do their health and safety check in order to close the case from when I went to jail. I took this as a good time to tell her what was going on. I know how it looks to them. They are looking at this as a custodial issue. She told me to call the intake line. I did. I also called the kids’ counselor to let her know what was going on.

I do not know exactly what I expected to happen, but I surely did not expect the social worker to call me today and tell me that they were not going to open a new investigation into it. They will, however, talk to #1 alone when they do their health and safety checks. She had the nerve to tell me that I had more power in this situation than she did. Basically, despite the history, since KD is not dumb enough to leave marks and #1 is too scared to talk, there is nothing that can be done. I, however, guarantee, that I will report everything those kids tell me. I will also continue to push them to talk to the counselor. I just hope that the kids start to realize that no one can help them if they do not speak up.

I told the social worker that I am outraged, not just as #1’s mom, but as a community member. I cannot use what my children say to me because they are not yet 18. If I report it, it looks like a custodial issue. If I don’t report it, it is neglect. I cannot get my kids to open up to a professional because they are scared. What am I supposed to do to protect my kids?? The courts won’t help me. The state won’t help me. How am I supposed to protect these kids??