Fleeting Thoughts.

oooLast week, I received another one of those insanely embarrassing manila envelopes in the mailbox; you know? – The kind that make all of your neighbors, as well as the postman dropping it off to you, start to wonder about your status as an upstanding, tax-paying citizen in the local community…

The sender of such an obnoxiously UN-funny joke in the form of ‘official court documents’ pertaining to my daughter’s very life and future; or more accurately: lack, thereof – could be none other than the Department of Family & Children’s Services, pretending to be busy.

These paper-wasting packages of meaningless legal jargon infuriate me without fail; I have gotten into the habit of putting them aside until a time when I already am in a fit over something, or at least – ready to be in a very bad mood for a while. These postal coverings of the social worker’s ass always feel similar to what receiving a “progress report” from Satan must feel like; upon reading them, I am systematically thrown into a frenzy of anger and disgust that become so all-enveloping and consuming to me, that I can sadly report to the regular experience of true WRATH and REVENGE, and all things that accompany such ugliness.

 THIS IS WHAT’S LEFT OF MY “LIFE”……..

 I haven’t shown up on time to a court date for over two years; I intentionally wear the most impossible ‘metal-detector-friendly’ clothing I can scare up without fail; I chain-smoke the entire way there in the car with my windows rolled up and Sepultura blasting as loud as my one functional ear can stand it – tears of frustration streaming down my expressionless face. I harbor a hatred for the so-called ‘professionals’ within this particular corner of the Juvenile Justice System that is like no other emotional low I have ever known or even imagined humanly possible. When I do get there, and finally make my way through the ever-teeming ocean of pond-scum in the lobby to the courtroom, I am intrinsically aware that it’s only a matter of moments before I will be in handcuffs, escorted to the Deputy’s cruiser out back – where I will wait for about an hour in the caged backseat until the session is over, and anyone else who’s been held in ‘contempt’ will have been led out to the car as well.

My life has been left in shambles of shambles, as a result of the JOKE of the legal process supposedly in place to protect my daughter from the harm and permanent traumas of her own growing mental illness. As her eighteenth birthday draws nearer; and I am nearly able to taste the bile that’s building in my esophagus for all of these years now – as I anxiously anticipate the God-forsaken day that the Department becomes legally “unbound” to her and in turn: throws her to the wolves to fend for herself in world only made uglier for her by its total lack of concern for her general well-being; my blood begins to boil combustibly under my crawling skin. The light left the tunnel years ago; and I gave up on holding out any hopes for a happy (or even, acceptable) outcome when it comes to Boo.

There’s a technique used by the Department (DFCS) to help its evil processes run smoothly: Parental Alienation.

By executing this long and emotionally torturous tactic within the context of a Juvenile Dependency or Delinquency case, the Department can typically estrange a child from his/her parent(s) permanently within a matter of months. The legal process designed to accompany this procedure on an “official” timeline is systematically applied to ensure the Department’s success in such destruction to a family unit. The children in the system are flat-out LIED TO by assigned case-workers; and the court-appointed attorneys are negligent as Hell, to say the very least.

I will NEVER understand exactly how and/or when the Department supposedly intended to respond on behalf of my daughter, upon her being sexually assaulted by a sub-contracted “counselor” at a court-appointed placement for her behavioral issues.

I will NEVER comprehend how the Department’s collective ignorance to the truth and avoidance of what’s right and just to a child’s welfare and future disposition has continued to go overlooked by all and any involved.

I will NEVER accept the fact that there are people being PAID for the despicable things that Boo continues to enabled to be akin with, to grow accustom to.

I will NEVER forget. Until I am cremated and thrown from an ugly urn somewhere – this REALITY will remain singed into the carbon of my DNA; and will not be painted over with fresh coats of comfort – not for me or anyone else – outside of the ONE AND ONLY relevant one involved: my Boo.

Justice for Boo Part III: The Secret “Settlement”

In 2012, nearly four entire years after Boo had been sexually victimized by an adult sub-contracted county employee at the residential “treatment” facility where the courts had ordered her to reside, another child at the same facility came forward with allegations so similar to Boo’s, that the “professionals” in charge of monitoring those in close contact with the Juvenile Wards in that facility were forced to finally take it seriously. This time, the nine-year-old victim had been under the predator’s consistent “care” for the essentially the entire duration of time that filled up te period of time between Boo’s allegations against the scumbag and her own – four long years (which means he had been preying on her since she was approximately five years old).

This girl’s story was so eerily consistent with details from Boo’s accusations from years prior – from a time before the second victim had even been court-ordered to the facility yet – rendering any collective conspiracy theory between the two girls as obsolete. Boo and victim #2 never met. Boo had already been shamed and exiled from the facility before victim #2 arrived.

For me, the first thing that stabs unfailingly at the backs of my eyeballs upon adding up these variables: is undoubtedly a sense of absolute disgust… most notably because every single one of the victims behind the very first one (Boo) was TOTALLY avoidable and DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN. We all know too well, the ways in which childhood sexual trauma can change the course of one’s life forever – creating darkness that casts it’s shade across every existing space and time for the Survivor; we all know how this crucial pivoting point in the collective story of abuse and recovery has the power to steer the rest of the victim’s life in one direction or another, solely based on the initial reaction and response.

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  • Had Child Protection Services, the Police, and/or the Courts actually handled the “investigation” in a more appropriate manner when Boo spoke up in 2009, forensics would have likely put the animal behind bars back then – BEFORE HE WAS ABLE TO ASSAULT AND PREY ON ANYONE ELSE!
  • Had the Department of Family and Children’s Services acted appropriately during such a traumatic and life-altering instance for Boo, i.e. given her any kind of treatment for sexual abuse/trauma as is consistent with widely acknowledged psychiatric and medical care, done a “rape kit” for collection of forensic evidence immediately upon the allegations being stated openly (this NEVER happened at all), offered support in the forms of psychiatric and emotional follow-up treatment as is consistent with widely practiced sexual assault treatment globally, Boo’s chances of recovering from such a horrid experience would have naturally been much better in the long run. As it was, Boo was not only discredited and discounted by officials in control; she was also ridiculed and punished for bringing a pedophile to the attention of the courts that employed him.
  • A disgustingly lengthy list of other victims was enabled to grow during the time frame between when Boo (Janey Doe AKA Victim #1) was silenced sent away, and the time when “Janet Doe AKA Victim # 11” came forward with a story almost identical to that of my daughter’s – from almost a half-decade earlier. I don’t need to emphasize the fact that every single victim on that list after Boo was essentially assaulted by the Department of Family & Children’s Services and juvenile courts – given that these entities had been made fully aware of the Pedophile on the county payroll, but had chosen to ignore such knowledge and continued to employee the sexual predator.

Around the time “Janet Doe” came forward, and the Pedophile was finally arrested and taken into custody, preceding a slew of official questioning and arraignments, I was successful in retaining a high-profile lawyer who specializes in child sex crimes. He had literally just buttoned up a case in which he had publicly exposed an entire string of U.S. Olympic Swim Team coaches for sexual crimes against Olympian child swimmers that went on for decades back through history. He assured me that he could help despite the legal bindings tied around my life through the disposition relating to Boo’s status as a “ward of the court”; and quickly set to work in doing so. Unfortunately, and for reasons still very vague and unclear to me (because the laws that define juvenile courts nationwide – are unintelligible – even to those who write them), he and I quickly realized that the pending lawsuit was to be unjustly short-lived because of this very element.

I was not allowed to go after the county Department of Family & Children’s Services for the absolute negligence and cruelty that this agency displayed throughout such a heinous ordeal – one that was cultivated and enabled by the Department’s very own procedural outline. Technically, I was not allowed to go after anyone at all from a legal standpoint: I was not Boo’s legal guardian any longer by that time, despite my continued iron-clad grip on what are described as my lingering “parental rights” in this courtroom (a concept that is painfully hilarious in hindsight, as such “rights” never exist at all in this pit of legal Hell). The next road-block of Boo’s justice appeared then: in the form of legal constraints set forth by the code that determined Boo as “UN-representable” in the eyes of the Superior Court. She had been deemed a Ward of the Court, wiping away any legal standing I formerly held in regard to my ability to protect her situations such as the one we were glued into. In such circumstances, there is no one at all in a role to seek justice for the child victim – when the child victim has been victimized by one the county’s own. STAND STILL.

After several months of legal research and regular daily complaints to varying county officials about the total injustice being done to Boo right under everyone’s noses, some reference files I had assembled from another county’s online procedural handbook (as my county conveniently provides no such documents for public use) finally broke through and Boo was assigned a Guardian Ad Litem through the juvenile courts. This was something that it turned out – should have been done from the beginning of the lawsuit, but such information was never outlined or defined by the juvenile court judge who allowed the lawsuit to begin (certainly not an omission by mistake, as the result was another lengthy thwart to Boo’s very justice). Months had passed by during the waiting and judicial red tape; the DA had been building what he describes as an “airtight” case in criminal court at the same time that my private lawyer was jumping through lawsuit hoops as well.

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In the end, here’s what I know to have happened for sure:

In the end, Boo’s GAL (Guardian Ad Litem) (assigned by the same courthouse that was responsible for denying justice a child victim of sexual assault thus far) filed a suit against the residential facility organization in which Boo resided when she was groomed and preyed upon by a grown man on its staff – a sub-contracted agency that can be legally disconnected from the Department of Family & Children’s Services in regard to any liability. After this step in the process, I was blocked completely out of the entire thing from that point on, and, in fact – was intentionally avoided and legally restrained from any future information of the lawsuit’s outcome as well. Over a year passed by without any word from anyone, including the attorney I had hired who was now working with the GAL only – on Boo’s behalf.

He refunded my retainer, asked me not to contact him any longer about Boo’s pending case, and never contacted me again – except for one time, about one more year down the road: when he emailed me and said that the case “had settled” and he thought I might want to look into a private treatment option for Boo that was closer to home “because she should no doubt be able to afford any treatment facility of her choosing from now on…” When I replied to ask him if he could elaborate any further – In order for me to have a fucking leg to stand on in following his suggestions regarding a transfer for Boo to somewhere that might actually help her somehow – somewhere she wouldn’t be looked at as “the enemy” by people under the same umbrella as the man who violated her at age 13…?He said he could not give me any more information, and that I could not contact the GAL directly either, of course (That would be too easy and make far too much sense in the big picture of Boo’s justice, after all). The whole circus came to yet – another STAND STILL.

As of now, two years AFTER the lawsuit settled on some mysterious ground – agreed to by mysterious and elusive representatives of people who are mysteriously kept in the dark against all rhyme or reason – Boo has no knowledge or information regarding this supposed “settlement sum” that theoretically could have afforded her countless comforts, including the basics of support and acknowledgment of the tragedy that she has endured at the hands of a child molester and his professional posse. I am not even sure that a lawsuit took place at all. I have no way of finding out because I have been black-balled in the files, if they exist and am repeatedly shut out by any door on which I knock for answers. I have no legal standing, despite the full awareness on everyone’s part that I am the ONLY PERSON WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT BOO. They all know exactly what’s been going on behind the curtain, and behave as if it’s acceptable – on even the most fundamental levels of humanity – by enabling the sickeningly broken system to keep me from seeking justice for Boo. Justice is intrinsically warranted when it comes to children, everyone knows that, naturally –children are innocent; even children who are troubled and struggle with authority and who have behavioral issues are innocent to the ways of the world as they are young and inexperienced – unable to properly fend for themselves. That is why nature is sure to give the young a set of parents to watch over them. Often, children are faced with life under the watchfulness of a single parent, but nature always gives an innocent young creature a guardian to protect them until they are grown enough to be solo.

The processes of this court are unnatural. The lack of safeguards to the fundamental rights that define parenthood is preposterous and absurd.

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The laws that define its code go against the very essence of natural intuition and any common good. The procedural format of this failed vision of child protection creates an arena in which the single, although loving and very capable parent of a high-maintenance and behaviorally challenged child – is systematically put on trial before a “judge” and the entire county Department of Family and Children’s Services with no legal support or guidance (despite an entire section of funding being spent annually on the so-called “court-appointed attorneys that are “provided” but who serve no purpose other than standing around and looking stressed beyond the point of being able to answer your questions), beaten down psychologically, mentally, financially, and spiritually – and being thrown to the wolves as her child is whisked away to another state. The actual outcome of this court’s interloping is sheer demolition to countless lives without a second thought about it. What the process has done in my own case and that of Boo has been to take her away from a worthy mother and replaced that worthy mother with the sickeningly inadequate surrogate of the “court” for guardianship and supervision and daily interaction. Why would anyone with half a brain cell have ever really believed that such a process would serve an already struggling child well? You’re telling me that the lawmakers and politicians who call the shots behind the laws that govern Boo and I’s personal dynamics aren’t more knowledgeable regarding the fucking things that they are passing laws on? Really?

While, in reality, any parent or guardian who responded to his/her child’s allegations of sexual assault in any way remotely similar to the ways in which the Department and the courts have responded to the allegations made by a “legal ward under its care supervision”, would be put in jail for accessory to such filth and exploitation. Also notable, is the court and social services’ long history of persecuting a parent based solely on a past accusation – validated or not; tell me why then, was it “acceptable” for a man who had been accused of sexual assault against a minor ward of the court to continuing working with kids for years afterward…who’s really the perpetrator here? Any mother who knowingly stood by and allowed numerous kids to be violated would be undoubtedly strung up from a tree and lynched publicly. Similarly, any parent who allowed their teenager to repeatedly go missing for months on end without actively searching for her would be considered as disinterested and uncaring, then possibly charged with neglect. But since the system is so obscure and confusing and hopeless, it’s perfectly okay AND legal for it to execute such traumatizing and despicable acts in its role as a child’s replacement guardian. There is no one to stop the courts from continuing the bullshit facade of “juvenile justice and child protection”; and unsurprisingly, this corner of the Superior Court is completely closed off to the media due to the “privacy laws that protect the information belonging to minors involved”. Whose got the bloodiest hands?

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Justice For Boo – PART I – The Discovery – 2009

BOO’S STORY:

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The restaurant was dimly lit and the mood was calm and easy, hushed voices whispering stories to one another throughout its interior. It was the place where we had celebrated my daughter’s past few birthday dinners, at her request; she had taken a liking to seafood as she grew up. Personally, I don’t care for it too much, but like most things in motherhood, that factor washed out the window with my child’s stated wishes. There we sat, talking about school and her wide array of “frenemies” there; her face randomly becoming lit by the shadows of light dancing around the archaic candle at our table – her increasing beauty affecting a slap in my face from Good Ol’ Father Time, I recall.

“Can you believe you’re already thirteen?” I teased her across the table, snickering and rolling my eyes in an effort to provoke her into a response.

Our relationship had been heavily strained leading up to this night: her thirteenth birthday – an estrangement that happened as a result of the local courts and child welfare agencies. We had been separated for nearly a year at that time, the very first year of our two-unit family’s still unrecognized, yet inevitable demise; the very first of a long string of years lost down the drains of time.

An imposing wedge in the form of a gavel had been forcibly squeezed between us with a shoehorn. We had suffered a trauma to our daily lives when she had been court-ordered to “residential treatment” at a nearby facility for children who suffer from behavioral issues (which Boo most certainly did).

“No…..it feels like I should be turning sixteen already…” was her response from across the heavily lacquered shine of a redwood tabletop, her large, hazel doe eyes shot up again to meet mine “…feels like I’ve been gone forever…”Boo’s reply was not one of anger or bitterness, as is often the case when it comes to the things Boo says.

And so it goes: A simple observation of Boo’s reality regularly and innocently transforms into a crushing blow to my own.

I reached over and grabbed her greasy hand, locked my fingers tightly around the little fingers so likened to my own, and said, “This’ll all be over before you know it, Kiddo…hang in there, we’re almost done.” Boo smiled, a smile that has the ability to melt away every bad notion that’s ever entered my mind, body or soul, and simply said, “I know, Mom.”

The rest of our dinner had been eaten without incident; and when the waiter and some random servers from other tables came around with a slice of cake topped off by a candle and an obnoxious level of un-harmonized singing, she happily accepted the attention and dessert offering. It was during this last part of her birthday meal that everything changed forever.

She began to talk about her counselor, a man with whom she had grown very fond of and close to over the time she had been at the facility the judge ordered to go to; a man in whom I had always secretly harbored a deep distrust for and could not put my finger on exactly why that was. The details remain blurry but the end result stands out like a black sheep among newborn albino lambs:

–         My daughter proceeded to absentmindedly and unintentionally (by attempting to show off how mature she was becoming while away from home, I believe) spend over twenty minutes describing to me in a bragging-like manner (because she was not yet old enough to even comprehend that a crime was being committed against her) – the gut-stabbing realities that defined a new direction being taken in the “relationship” between she and her “one-to-one counselor “at the facility, and it was anything, but acceptable.

This was the true beginning of my own Living Hell, making the time and ALMOST the life I had lost to Boo’s father pale in comparison to the grief, despair, hopelessness, helplessness and injustice that accompanied this night’s discovery of a pedophile on the county payroll, counseling children in a facility to which 90% of them are court-ordered to be.

 

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