Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fighting For My Children

As parents, we have many things we do on a daily basis; loose sleep, hug and kiss, yell, laugh, and the biggest is dream! Why do we do these? It’s pretty simple…our children! They are a gift as well as a hindrance at times, but they are the definition of who we have become as well as the world’s greatest teachers. I’ll admit that my road as a single parent has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but I feel that I have at last conquered that last mighty hill, leveled off, and am in high hopes the ride has turned into something enjoyable.
As a single mom, hopes of a real family always lurk in my heart no matter how hard I try to fend it off. As a result, I have not always acted upon gut instinct, but instead shoved it aside for wishful thinking in the hopes of making a relationship work. What’s my type? I no longer know, for I have tried them all…jocks, cocky, meek, fat, thin, manly, girlie, country, city, and my least favorite is the dominating psychotic, abusive, mind-controlling jerk. This last one seems to dominate all categories and for some reason seek me out in hopes of destroying all hopes and dreams.
It is not with pride that I admit to having three children with just as many fathers, all of them unsuitable and dangerous for the safety of my kids. Of course that’s not how it was upon meeting them, but tables turn and true colors blossom when hopes and dreams falter. Their identity has been kept a secret from all authorities over the years in the effort to maintain a healthy life for my children. Putting myself at risk, I was led to believe by the authorities themselves that there was no other way. I denied myself medical coverage and income at the risk of causing myself future trouble with the authorities.
Upon the circumstances you read about in my previous post, I was being forced to disclose the identities of these men. I have had an open relationship with a case worker that has done her best to help me over the last year or so with all of these technical issues. When push came to shove and I was losing ground, I finally confided in her about the repercussions of disclosing the names. It’s sad when you are forced into placing your children in danger just so you can ensure your ability to care for them, but that is where I was at. Mad is an extreme understatement, and they knew I was terrified of the outcome. But then my case worker told me I could file for ‘Due Cause.’ I would have to provide documentation to support it, but that would be no problem.
Finally, after 11 years of worrying, I had a little bit of hope. I made a phone call to a friend that just so happened to be a detective and he was more than willing to help. Then I sat down and wrote out my life with each man individually and what damage it had already done. Unfortunately I only had ten days to get the information in, an impossible feat. So the detective made a call to Child Support Enforcement, the lady in charge of my case told him we had time and it was up to my case worker, she had already approved an extension so we should be ok. Wrong! She failed to notify him that she had already sent out a letter to the most dangerous father of them all. He immediately called in Child Protective Services on me and had started back in on the harassing and stalking. I was left no choice but to go and get a restraining order.
I made a very heated phone call to the lady at CSE responsible for the disaster and informed her of what she had done. After explaining to her what kind of situation she had placed us in, she wasn’t feeling quite so happy about making that decision. Within 24 hours, I had all the gathered evidence faxed and hand delivered to everyone possible and all cases were closed and all testing cancelled. In gathering all the documentation, I learned a few things about them also and can’t help but wonder how I came to be with such low-life people. One thing that saddens me is that I have had to live with the guilt and fear of keeping everything listed as unknown for so long when I didn’t have to.
People in my situation are not told of the alternatives that they have that could drastically turn the tables for the better, ensuring them health, safety, and prosperity. The fight I have had over the last month alone to keep my children safe and my family intact has been intense and heart-breaking; and yet I know that there are many cases out there worse than mine. I encourage those who are fighting for their children to not give up, ask many questions, and turn to the people of power in their lives to find that extra link that pushes the limits and throws it all into your court. We are the only ones that can fight for them, and in turn they will now just how far we will go to protect them and what it means to love and fight for your kids.
There has been much emotional abuse, disappointment, and broken promises in my children’s lives already; but I am finally making all the changes physically, emotionally, and socially to provide us with some stable ground. It’s unfortunate that I did not see it all earlier, but it’s never too late to make a better life for all involved. And although my fight has not yet ended completely, and the possibility of danger will always be there, I have to thank my family and my friends, especially the detective, for all of the help and support. I could not have gotten this far without them and have been reminded of their purpose in my life.

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