Children and (in)Justice.

A very fitting ending to my week might have been an explosion that swallowed my entire section of gridlock in rush hour – nowhere to escape to – no matter if you use your blinker, or not; another fitting scenario just as easily could’ve been something along the lines of having my limbs tied to four horses that were subsequently giddy-upped four different directions; or I maybe should have ended up asleep in some dirty crackhead’s tunnel inside of that horrid “sculpture” thing that I spent several days of last week staring at from a cush hotel balcony…that would have sucked.
The ten days leading up to yesterday seem like a dreamscape to me now, somehow – in a surreal and foggy kind of way; the entirety of the emotional expenditure on my part has left me drained, and sensing a question mark floating above my head when I try to think too hard about why that is. I have decided to let it roll off my back for now – all of it; it’s too diabolical and dramatic for me to wrap my head around, anyway. All that I know for sure is that I have lost my focus lately, despite my progress in therapy and my expanding comfortable environments (good sign!), it is suddenly clear to me that I have been quite “functionally” dissociated and detached throughout.
It’s the final “other shoe” that needs to be dropped before I can possibly breathe again like I used to. The tension and anxiety that are attached to Boo’s upcoming 18th birthday and release into a distant community, on her own and without any preparation or real world social skills – well…the underlying dread and fear have rendered me bassackwards on pretty much a daily basis for so long now that it has come to feel “normal”, almost acceptable on some days. But in truth, this ongoing stress factor for me has done a good job at riding me hard; and these days, I guess it’s time to try like Hell to put me away soaking wet.
The darkness that my life has gradually resigned to, as a result of the past six years of Living Hell in a Waking Nightmare that is directly attributed to, as well as executed by – the local courts and government funded agencies – remains as a hue that my words cannot possibly describe with any justice or worthy depiction; the needle went off the vinyl so many years ago and there has been only the hideous, brain-aching sound of the resultant scratching ever since. The professionals charged with protecting my child have collectively gang-raped me (metaphorically speaking) in succession for over six years – legally, and without shame. They have broken my pockets through repeatedly relocating my Boo further and further away in distance, and then denying me the agreed upon (prior to any of the relocations, of course) financial assistance with the lodging/traveling expenses required to maintain any kind of real “relationship” with her afterwards. These so-called professionals have been the CRIMINALS more often than not, the in the grand scheme of it all.
Yet – nobody gives a second fuck about it…because it is unbelievable right? It only happens to people on TV or in a different state than ours, right? Sadly, anyone you see in the news with similar stories is only even shown on the news because something irreversibly tragic and impossible to sweep under a carpet somewhere has happened to that person’s child(ren). I would love it if someone – ANYONE – could successfully show me any form of lasting justice in the Juvenile Court System, nationwide. I search and search these days for any documentation that sways an opinion in the direction of such a notion; one thought of Boo, and my blood starts to boil, naturally. Yes – Boo has FINALLY seen a small piece of the justice due after the Living Hell that she has been forced endure for the last SIX PLUS YEARS…but it’s hardly enough.
Notably, these crucial and trying years have been spent being forcibly separated from each other by the very same individuals and agencies that set Boo on top of the burner to begin with all that time ago. Notably, the tragic and disgustingly long line of events that have transpired as direct (and indirect) results of the Judge as well as the local DFCS’ initial fuck-ups through Failure to Protect/Failure to Act/Failure to Follow Procedure continues to be swept aside to all corners by every “professional” involved. Notably, anybody with any empowerment to have helped Boo receive said justice when it still might have meant something to her – as a child victim to a Pedophile on the county Payroll – has opted NOT to exercise such powers in the sake of a child’s fundamental human rights to be unmolested while under the COURT ORDERED “care” of an institution.

Justice is Burned.

IMG_4423

“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.”   – John Keats

 

I cannot blog about my current state of ‘scarcely kicking’ as of yet – because of legal constraints – but let’s just say that a trial is FINALLY underway now, and Boo is to be on a plane to fly home for six hours to testify on behalf of not only herself, but for the rest of his victims, also. This is because Boo is officially documented as “Janey Doe #1” – his first legally acknowledged victim in a long string of them who came after she tried to tell everyone about what he is. I am surprised as Hell that they haven’t found a way to disallow her testimony because of the horrid implications that her truth screams behind the broken ass child welfare system.

Boo didn’t ask to be sexually preyed upon by a man who was her “counselor” at the “treatment facility” to which she was court ordered to reside; she never asked to be steamrolled and labeled as a liar for telling on him – way back in 2009; Boo didn’t look to become the cynical, dissociated, unruly and self-loathing creature that she has been molded into because of these very things, either…so, Boo definitely struggles with the notion of her burden to testify now, after all this time and all the lies and bullshit that she has been force-fed in the time between then and now. Boo comes and goes as she pleases – physically and mentally. THAT is how she has evolved herself in order to SURVIVE.

Each time it comes up (which is often, and always has been), she shrugs it off and says stuff like, “I don’t even want to think about it after all this time, let them [by ‘them’, she means the subsequent line of girls younger than she, who fell victim to her abuser as well, after she tried to tell everyone what he’d done to her] deal with it.” We have gone round and round about this element of the bigger picture…a debate that I argue passionately from either side – depending on either one of our mind states at the time.

On the one hand, I feel it is intrinsically necessary that Boo testify in summation and on behalf of ALL of his victims; she is ferociously honest and raw when it comes to shock value, she enjoys triggering people – she feeds off of the collective stunned reactions, it’s the only form of reaffirmation that she’s ever been able to scrape up off the fucking floor from these despicable “professionals” charged with her “care”. I am of the opinion that with Boo on the stand, his justice will be served much more unanimously and without further delay (for lack of a better description, as there is no such thing as justice in this circumstance at all).

On the other hand, I agree with Boo when she says, (verbatim):

“Mom…it’s been like five years…I just want to forget about all that already, he’s not even my biggest problem anymore…”

And she means that – she has grown up quickly since she was preyed upon by the man on trial now…she has been involved in much more dangerous and lastingly traumatic situations since age thirteen, She is currently also a “star witness” in TWO additional court cases as well…one of which is EXTREMELY HIGH PROFILE and has caused me to start sleeping with a loaded pistol nearby because she witnessed a fucking murder/robbery and the men in question are out on bail with my contact information – thanks to the courts. Boo has bigger fish to fry…which is a sad thing in itself. Tick tick tick….next week shall be the climatic catch to the cliffhanger in regard to Boo’s decision to testify or not.

And, if she flies out here to testify, she will likely take off afterward and be missing again…thing is: as much as Boo hurts me and as much as I brood over her well-being and safety when she disappears, it’s not very different from the ways I worry when she is locked away to rot in a different state without her Mommy, she’s being fucked up either way…I keep hoping one of these days, instead of running away to the cesspools again to hide and feel safe, she’ll just come home and let me hide her instead. Yeah, I might end up in jail again, so what? I’d do it. I’d do it to send a message to Boo, that she’s safe with me despite her lack of ability to feel safe anywhere. Criminal charges added to my file for protecting my own kid…done it before, I’ll do it over and over again. That’s what a Mom is for.

It Is What It Is.

Last night, at around 8pm, my phone started ringing in my pocket; I was surprised to see Boo’s name brightly lighting up the screen through the dimness in my lap, playing the custom ringtone “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd loudly to the vibrating beat. It made so many wrong things feel right to talk to Boo on Christmas, last night…

It has been since our dog Ozzy died in late June, that we last spoke. Since we have seen one another, she had a birthday…our relationship truly couldn’t be any more estranged and alienated. The more time that passed by without any contact, the more guilt was stacking up behind each minute spent separated from each other like we have been forced to be. It’s been so, so long this way…inhumanely long. She writes to me often enough, robotic letters that hold no meaning – just words that she thinks she’s expected to write to her Mom at a given point in time. I admit, I have been withdrawn from her; which is inexcusable, so I won’t bother with coming up with any excuses behind this fact; it is what it is.

Last night, we talked for 37 minutes straight! This is by far the longest I can ever recall having a conversation with Boo (in person or on the phone) without some type of major drama or explosion on her part. We are typically like fire and water; and the older Boo grows, the less often have we been able to even remain in the same vicinity for very long without combustion. She is very different than I am, always has been. She thinks that I am a “goody-two-shoes” somehow; this is a truth that still just blows my mind. I’m not sure where she ever got that from, but that’s her perception of me. It is what it is. I think she is a disloyal and conniving, beautiful and intelligent little blonde, long-lashed, doe-eyed creature; who has unfortunately come to epitomize the poster child for the self-imposed cycle of traumatic experience; she wouldn’t even begin to know how to break down that label into anything that made any kind of sense, though…she barely reads. It is what it is.

We talked last night about all kinds of stuff that I wouldn’t have expected to talk about with her. She has decided that she’s gay again – which is a song and dance that she has played with me since she was thirteen years old – for a reaction that I can’t believe she hasn’t learned by now, she isn’t gonna get from me on that score. I always tell her without fail (and I mean it, too) that she can be with whoever she wants to be with and have my approval so long as it’s a healthy and somewhat “normal” relationship. I couldn’t give a shit if she’s gay. It is what it is.

We talked about her caseworker and how useless she is, which led to other conversations that got my blood boiling, as usual, in the context of that good for nothing, stinky bitch caseworker assigned to my daughter’s gig. Boo said, “I wish I could just get myself arrested somehow so I would get a probation officer, instead (of the caseworker)…”; a remark which at first made me cringe, until I remembered having once said the exact same words from a juvenile holding cell…damn…it is what it is.

That Way is ‘Up’.

2014-12-02_22.17.44It is December 5 today; 20 days away from the worst day of every year. In twenty days, I will spend another Christmas holiday alone, without anyone considered as family – without anyone who really cares one way or the other about the status of my presence – by 20 days from now, I will again be wishing for death, fast or slow.

All of the days leading up to that day will be filled with bad feelings and experiences, triggers and recollections that make me on edge and cranky as Hell; not a single day between then and today will leave me feeling even semi-complete, as I shop for gifts for the normal people in my life who celebrate the holidays like normal people – pretending.

All of the nights in between Christmas and last night will suck just as badly as the days, no rest for the wicked…or broken-hearted. I will dream of things that will never be and never could’ve been – wake up with that gut-empty feeling and feel afraid for three straight hours with each sunrise – never learning to put my finger on the source of these feelings to stop it, despite my frustrating efforts.

And Christmas Day, itself:

I will sleep as late as I can in an indentation at the edge of my cold bed – between it and the cold wall – I will force my tear-singed eyes to remain closed for as long as I possibly can because I won’t want to open them on that day, I promise. It feels as if the vicious cycle of my existence always gets close to erupting at this time of every year; everyone knows to leave me alone, everyone knows that there’s nothing they can do for me – there’s no solutions to offer or insight that’s worthy – everyone knows.

If I were stupid or lonely enough to expose myself to my extended family on that day, I’d regret it rather quickly; and eventually wind up saying something fucked up to a member of my own family in an over-anxious, depressed and defensive state, before storming out in tears. Been there, wrecked that. I call this entire song and dance “The Circle of Holiday Death” – it happens over and over and over and over. Each time that my heart, mind-state and blood pressure begin to “normalize” after the re-opened wounds, it’s Christmastime once again, and it all starts over.

People will ask me if I am okay until I will begin to respond with anger and irritability; they will not understand. Even my closest friends will avoid me because they simply CAN NOT offer me comfort in any way and they know this (the friends who have not already become totally overwhelmed by my reality and disappeared, altogether, that is).

I will seethe will anger at certain thoughts during this time of year: the people who have created this Living Hell for Boo being able to happily celebrate around a table with their own loved ones, their own precious children; my baby spending the day alone in a locked cage while being told that she’s unimportant and that everything that’s happened to her is her own fault.

IT HURTS ENOUGH TO MAKE ME DERANGED…

And through it all, I MUST keep my grip on composure; for I am NO good to the (Gods willing) older Boo if I end up in prison or dead before she turns 18. I do not plan on abandoning Boo ever again – – no matter how fucking bad it hurts me to follow through with. SHE NEEDS ME; even if she doesn’t know it yet. I have long been aware of the fact that I can’t undo whatever it was that did Boo; I can only build from where we stand, upwards. Our “relationship” is so far gone that I don’t feel as if it’s even possible for us to grow any further apart anymore.

So I guess there’s just one direction to go with it all, when it comes to Boo.

Samhuinn

As the “Dark Side of the Year” quickly approaches, my ‘psychological overdrive’ kicks into  ‘Beast Mode’ – every year now, without fail.The holidays are especially difficult for me these days – it was the holidays last year that prompted me to begin a blog here, as a matter of fact – the pain and emptiness has gotten nearly unbearable.

When I was still a Mom, I was no different from most: I obnoxiously over-decorated the house and dressed up in micro-detailed costumes for Halloween with Boo every year since I came home from the hospital when she was almost five. At Christmas, we ALWAYS went and picked out whichever tree she chose (even if it was terribly hard on the eyes for any being with aesthetic ability) before decking it out beyond recognition with the shiniest and near-blinding ornaments and tinsels…some of them even flashed or blinked, it was insane. I spent hours and hours each year wrapping up her fuckloads of presents and stocking stuffers with the girliest wrap I could find (typically, waaaay overpriced stuff that I had spent an arm and a leg on during one of her previous school fundraisers), and baked so many cookies and treats for class parties that I couldn’t even try to count all of the batches in and out of the oven.

Christmastime was when I would finally get to buy Boo things that I had socked cash away for since the prior holiday season; it was always a chance for me to see her happy, even if that happiness was in the temporary form of watching her gaggle over a gift she had opened, and loved. I don’t know…I guess the holidays were the only time that she and I were ever able to feel close enough to one another to let go of the trauma between us, that defined both of us somehow. She always openly missed her Father at Christmas; some of her ONLY existing memories of him are enveloped by the holiday season and everything that’s associated with it. I always told her stories about what he was doing where he was – the most despicable piles of bullshit that I have ever uttered to my daughter – I would tell her about the way “he missed her so much and planned to have her with him again for Christmas someday”, even if it was without me, I assured her that he wished she were there with him. I have no idea if she bought those stories or not, but at the time it was all I could come up with in response to her queries about him. I didn’t even know where he was for a few of those first conversations.

Anyway, yeah…well now days – I’m alone every year. My isolation over the holidays is mostly because I choose to be solo; I prefer to be alone in solitude for whatever reason to endure, as opposed to attending any of the meals or celebrations that I am invited to by various people who probably feel sorry for me. I won’t even spend my holidays with Jack the EMT anymore; I am the wettest of wet blankets during this season – can never wait for it to come and go so that I can begin to recover once more. It’s a recurring wound – a reinfection – a rip down the seam of my mending soul…I know the hollowness and sense of loss that bleeds the brightest, freshest blood from my heart this time of year will never cease to reappear with the Harvest Moon, despite my efforts to ignore Christmas lights and Halloween parties and New Year’s fireworks; I can lie to myself all I want and pretend those things don’t exist anymore, but that hasn’t worked thus far because here I am.

Alone.

Empty.

Embittered.

Spent.

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The Price

This past weekend, my parents went to visit Boo out of state for Boo’s seventeenth birthday. I could not go. I did not want to go. I knew that something bad was going to happen by the way that she has been talking to them on the phone leading up to their wasted and painful trip…I don’t want to be used anymore by people, not even my only child.

“You guys need to buy me a nice little dress that I can wear; not something too dressy, something I can get dirty in…” is what she had declared over the line just a few days prior to their departure flight at the airport to see her. I told them as soon as that phone call ended that if they bought her a dress that she can get “dirty in”, she would bail out on them and run away to be pimped out by some disgusting grown man, as she always does when given the slightest opportunity.

YES, my child is teenaged prostitute by choice. YES, she does things that scream loudly how miserable she feels about herself, she displays the worst type of PTSD: the kind that continuously undoes any “progress” she’s able to forge in her own “recovery”. YES – my only child is a train wreck…and it breaks my heart too much to bear most times, but I know that she is nowhere near ready to begin to heal; therefore, I have chosen to keep my distance from her so as not to antagonize our already crumbling “relationship” to one another.

Point in case:

When my parents arrived and picked Boo up from the locked facility in which she has been court-ordered to reside indefinitely past her eighteenth birthday because of worsening mental health issues, Boo seemed to be happy to see them and they picked her up without incident and continued on to their hotel room. It was Friday night, my mother and step father had been traveling all day and were exhausted of course.

Within an hour, Boo was itching to go to Wal-Mart because she claimed to need some toiletries for a shower etc. My step father (who has been Boo’s ONLY consistent male presence throughout her lifetime, might I add bitterly) finally broke down and agreed to take her there, against his own better judgment of course. She bolted from him in the parking lot and ran straight into a mini-van full of strange, grown men on the expressway. My stepdad, needless to say, diligently chased the vehicle in his rental car for several miles.

During this time, Boo apparently had told the men in the van that she didn’t know my step dad and that he had been chasing her with a gun and trying to kill her. The men, who had no clue what was going on, were concerned for her safety and pulled over to the side of the road, where all six of them got out and waited for my step father to pull in before proceeding to beat him senseless. Boo watched the whole thing happen from inside the van, too.

He is lucky he wasn’t beaten to death…my heart feels so torn by this latest piece of unbelievable heinousness put forth by my own flesh and blood…

Her own grandfather, someone who’s been her staunchest ally and always had her back, even when her grandmother and I had given up on her and said it was no use to keep hurting ourselves by trusting her or believing her, he has stood by her and not wavered. It breaks my heart what he has had to go through this past week, recovering from a violent attack on his already degenerating body. It makes my blood boil to know that she sat there and watched him be beaten almost to death, based on a lie that she told in order to serve her own warped needs and desires…

I can’t apologize enough to my stepfather, it’s hard not to look him in his eye now, with every word that I speak to him…I feel so deeply bad and regretful whenever I look at his swollen and disfigured face – hoping to see a glint of anger or betrayal or realization when it comes to Boo and what he has just endured…

Yesterday, he burst into tears – full blown grown man tears – and says, “I just wish I could protect her…”

I know exactly what he means, how he feels…

Justice For Boo – Part II – The Reaction

The next piece of this tragedy is one of the MOST UNBELIEVABLE aspects to the entire nightmare; it is the point in which everything slipped from my control permanently; the point in which I lost Boo forever I was still too fucking blind to realize it.

I remember after taking her to the facility (I had already been arrested for not returning her when I said I would and been held in contempt of court orders etc.) and making certain that the pedophile would not be on shift, going to my parents’ house and unloading my fears and giving them a recap of the conversation with Boo.

Within an hour, I was sitting at my laptop, writing an email to the facility’s supervisor, director, clinical director, house manager, therapist and Boo’s case worker – describing the conversation and its details in full. I closed this email with the demand that:  1) the individual in question be separated from Boo totally until further notice, and 2) that my concerns were immediately addressed.

RED FLAG #1:

I heard nothing for 2 days; and when I did finally hear from my daughter’s therapist from the facility, it was to be informed of the sexual assault that had occurred the day before. (The sexual assault against my then 13 year old daughter, one executed by the VERY SAME MAN that I had sent warning about only 2 days prior.) The incident had taken place in between the time that I had emailed the warning and the time that I received a response, in the form of a “formal investigation” that was quickly deemedunfounded” and dropped.

Boo had, like many, many child victims of sexual assault end up doing during the investigatory stage, recanted her initial allegation – she suddenly claimed that the person with whom she had sexual intercourse with over the previous weekend – had been a boy from school that she had supposedly snuck into the facility through her window; a story that I NEVER believed for a nano-second. My feeling has always been founded solidly that she was trying to protect him from being in trouble; and that she immediately experienced and saw the way in which the few people she had confided the truth in had reacted to her allegation of a grown-ass male employee having sex with a thirteen year old child “client” on grounds – and was essentially intimidated into changing her story (she now claims that this was an accurate assertion on my part).

RED FLAG #2:

EVERY SINGLE “professional” involved with my kid’s so-called “treatment” and “rehabilitation” was perfectly okay with accepting Boo’s sudden change of stories, without question or a second thought towards further investigation of what had the potential (and sadly, ending up becoming) a huge breach of the children’s safety – Boo was “Janey Doe AKA Victim #1 of 17, years later, in court documents that came way too late.

Secondly, the facility (nor a single one of its handfuls of legally mandated child abuse reporters) didn’t find it necessary to involve the local police, and wanted to handle things “internally” along with the concurrently running CPS “investigation”. The police would not have been brought into the scenario AT ALL, had Boo’s school principle (who was incoincidentally already a stationary figure in Boo’s middle school career) not taken his own role as a mandated reporter seriously, and reported my report to him – “out of legal liability to do so”.

RED FLAG #3:

Location! Location! Location!

Upon the allegation being made and the police finally being dragged into involvement, Boo was consequently asked to leave the facility within seven days of police involvement. Her social worker claimed that there wasn’t time to find a “placement” that was legally in-line with the court’s order regarding her specific treatments needs and goals – that the only option we had was to send Boo four hours north from home. Once again, the case DFCS omitted details as serious and life-changing as sexual assault and harassment against the very child it was claiming to protect and rehabilitate. Again, I had to get myself arrested in order to be heard by anybody who had any power (the judge). Unsurprisingly, the judge claimed no knowledge of the events unfolding outside the courtroom, despite the fact that she is technically my kid’s legal guardian while Boo’s on her caseload.

(Way to go with follow up!)