livingnowsc

Living Now By SC

Over looked..

I have a open case with Division of Social Services (DSS). I have been fighting to get my little girl back for over a year now. I have done everything they have asked me to do.. I have done all the classes that have been required of me, plus some. I have passed every drug screen that they have given me, and I haven’t given them any reason to keep my baby. I get over night visits and they are suppose to be increased to 2 over night visits. I go back to court in April, and hopefully they will do a trial home placement with her.

At first, I tried to buck the system.. I read all their rules and regulations, I read state laws, I did everything that I could to make sure that I knew what I was dealing with and what they could and couldn’t do to me. DSS can do anything they want, it is all a case by case basis and most people think that they have to have a reason to take your kid, and that isn’t true. They can take your kid and then find a reason to keep your kid. That’s how our wonderful system works. It isn’t right but there isn’t anyone doing anything about it. They can legally kidnap children. Before I started dealing with DSS I was a person that thought that they were there to help families and get children out of bad situations, but going through it, it feels like they are there to keep your kid, not help you. Going through the system your not allowed to make mistakes, there is no room for error. If you get a flat tire on the way to one of your visits, they will report that in court and it will be held against you. If you are a addict and you have a relapse you loose everything and start completely over. You can’t call your caseworker and talk to them when your having a problem. You can’t go to them for any kind of help at all, otherwise it they will make it look like your doing something wrong, can’t support your child, or can’t care for your child. There have been many of times going through this that I just wanted to be able to turn to them for help, but I can’t because I loose my child and everything that I have worked for. It feels like you can’t make mistakes, life can’t happen, its not allowed and if life happens when your going through DSS, you loose your kid. Everything is centered around you loosing your child. Everyday, I live in fear, even though I am not doing anything wrong. I am trying to get my life together and make it better, and they make it almost impossible. Instead of being there to help you they are there to test you, to see how much they can put on you, to see if you will crack or not. They waste taxpayers money by keeping children in foster care, even when there is no need to. They waste taxpayers money by requiring children to be in state paid childcare, even though they have a stay at home parent.

I have a baby that I have missed out on so much of, because I haven’t been allowed to be there. Being through it I personally think that if the parent(s) are doing well, they should have their child back in their home. Why keep a child in foster care while you monitor the parents, and make sure that they are going to keep doing what they need to be doing. I think a child should stay out of the parents home for the least amount of time possible. As long as the parent is working with the system, and they can provide a safe home for the child, why keep the child out of the home for a year or more. How is that fair to the parents or the child? How is that best for the child?

Why take a baby from someone, who didn’t do anything wrong. Why take a baby from someone that didn’t test positive for drugs through out the pregnancy, didn’t test positive for drugs when the baby was born, the baby didn’t test positive for drugs, the parents had everything that they need for the baby when the baby was born, and the parents had a stable home environment for the child when the baby was born. The only reason that they took my baby was because of my past and what they thought I was doing, even though I had passed hair follicle test and UA’s for them. The only reason they had to take my child was my past.. Because two years before I had the baby I had another child removed from my care, and he had lived with my grandparents.. for several reasons I had decided it was best mostly for them, but him to that he stay living with them. They wanted to adopt him, so I gave him to them, and decided not to “work” with DSS, with him. I still did hair follicle testing every three months though, I figured that way they would know that I was staying clean.

My daughters foster parents, are the best of the best. I couldn’t of asked for better people to care for my child, while DSS decides to keep her out of my home. They are just really great people.. They are down to earth, they aren’t fake and they love her. The love her part can get some what sticky, loving her to the point that they feel that they are loosing a child when she gets placed back in my home can cause the issues. It makes it easy to look for things wrong to report. It makes it easy to not want to give her back and to try and find reasons to keep her. Even though the foster parents and I get along great, they weren’t in the foster care system, to take care of kids and give them back. They were in the system to keep them. They never hid this fact, so why was my daughter placed with them? Why was she placed in a pre adoptive foster placement? A good part of me believes whole heartily that they were told not to worry, that we wouldn’t get her back and they would get to keep her, in order for them to take her. A big part of me believes that they are still being told that she is not going to be taken from them and that they are going to be able to keep her. Its like they don’t want me to have her back. The sad thing is that her foster parents have suffered emotionally too, because of DSS. I am sure that they feel like they are being punished for something, and I am sure that when she is placed back with us, it is going to hurt them horribly. They are going to have to feel the loss of losing a child. How is that fair to anyone? I don’t understand most days how a very important system like DSS, is so flawed and so over looked. Most people don’t know that DSS (family court) is civil court and there isn’t a whole lot of rules and regulations to make it fair like criminal courts. Everything goes in civil court there aren’t any guide lines in civil court to protect the individuals going through it. When it comes to something this important should it be very well regulated to make it fair?

I didn’t deserve to go through this, and everything is all wrong about what I have been through and my case, but in a positive light it has made me see and understand things I didn’t understand before. It has taught me how to be strong and to stick with things and not to give up. It has taught me how to fight, without fighting. It was taught me to stay on my toes, and that comfort in life isn’t any good. When you get comfortable in like, that’s when most of your mistakes are made, (big and small) and it seems like that’s then things seem to go wrong. We are suppose to stay always looking among us, stay on our toes, ready to act, (not react), ready to handle the things that we need to handle, not letting things sneak up on us and surprise us.

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See Yourself..

My son is 9 and he is what I like to call my mini me. He loves to sit on XBOX 360 live and play all day. This kid can play for several hours at a time.. It is crazy some days, I thought, until a little bit ago. I have been sitting in the same room as him playing and I am hearing myself. I hear myself and the way that I like to control others. He tells everyone what to do and gets mad and aggravated when they don’t listen to him. He is and wants to be in charge of everyone he is playing with. He has his mind set that he has to do all these glitches, and he gives out orders on what everyone is suppose to be doing. I hear him talking and I think how awful, I wouldn’t want to be playing with someone that talks to me that way.. Well, I would be that person.. I hear him and then I look back on different things and I hear myself, no wonder why I have very few friends, no one has wanted someone that tells them how to do everything. This is why I have friends who don’t have anything, or have major problems those are the only people who want to be around someone like me. It is amazing sitting here in the same room listening to him talk on this stupid game how much he has taught me about how I need to start treating others. I never was able to hear it before, I guess because it was coming out of my mouth and I didn’t really want to hear it. Now, I can hear everything I have said, and I don’t want to be that way. I am seeing how I can’t control everyone, and everything. Sometimes I just have to let people be themselves and just be me. I have to let them be who they are and stop trying to control everyone around me. The other day I was cleaning the house and it was the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that I wasn’t barking orders at everyone around me. In being that way, you end up making yourself incredibly rude and putting everyone around you down. I don’t want to be like that I want to be better than that. I know what it is that I can start working on within myself. Not everyone wants to do what I want to do, and if someone is nice enough to help me, I have to start excepting the way that they are willing to help me. This is part of my recovery, and what I need to do so that healthy minded people will want to start being around me. When you are seeing things in your children that you don’t like, we need to look inside ourselves and find that same behavior.

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The unexpected..

Unexpected.. Last year in February of 2012, I had a daughter, the day after she was born as I was waiting for her to get released from the hospital, I was informed that there was a court order to remove her from my care. It wasn’t because I had tested positive for drugs when she was born, it wasn’t because I didn’t have a stable home environment for her, it wasn’t because I didn’t have the things I needed for her, and it wasn’t because I was unable to care for her. Division of Social Services (DSS) took her from me because of my past. In 2010, I had a little boy removed from my care because of drug use. I had tested positive for marijuana and opiates, and even though I didn’t test positive for meth, and I hadn’t done it in the last couple of weeks, I had still been doing it for a year. They took him that day and I was suppose to go to inpatient treatment, so I went and after a week I decided that I was healed and that I didn’t need to be there anymore, so I left. My PO violated me for leaving and made me go do a 120 treatment at the woman’s state prison. When I got out in January of 2011, my grandparents had my child and they were his foster parents. I tried to do what I needed to do in order to get my visits with him, but every time I would complete what I needed to complete in order to get my visits, my case worker would always have a reason not to give me my visits and she would always come up with something else that she wanted me to do. I gave up, my grandparents had him, and they were already really attached to him, attached enough that they were already saying that they would adopt him, and part of me was afraid that if I fought and got him back, then it would hurt them, and something would happen to them. The other part is that they are retired, they have money, and they are able to give him a really good life, and he had gotten use the type of life that they could give him. I didn’t want to take that away from him. So it not only was best for him to stay, but I felt that I owed it to them also. (They had raised me, and I was awful to them and I had hurt them really bad, many times, it was my way of making it up to them.) In June of 2011, I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter, I still went to all of the court dates for my son, while I was waiting on the paperwork to get ready so that I could sign and they could adopt him. At these court dates I was always made to go do a UA and a hair follicle test, which always came back clean. My last hair follicle was done in August of 2011 and it was clean, the paperwork giving up my parental rights, so my grandparents could adopt him, was signed in November. Even though my case worker in the one county had promised that she would find a way to take my baby, the case worker in the other county said that she couldn’t do it, and that she had no right to, as long as I stayed clean, and made sure I had a stable home environment for her. Well, come February 2012 I had my baby and the social worker that said that she would take her no matter what I did, made good on her promise. It has been over a year now, I love my daughters foster parents they are really good people. I hate what has happened and I know that none of it was right. I know that they should have never taken my baby from me, but then since it has already happened and there is nothing that I can do about it now, it is done did, so the only thing that I can do is to find the positive in the situation. Part of me wishes that someone would hear my story and be able to help me, fight and make DSS make right the wrongs that they have done. Going through getting my child back I have meet some really great people, and my daughter has the best foster family that I could of ever asked for. I don’t know how I know, but I know that her foster parents were made to believe that they would be able to keep her, and even though I have done everything that has been asked of me for a year and I haven’t done anything wrong, DSS looks for reasons not to give her back to me. I know that the DSS system is not fair, it is ran by people and people have feelings and emotions. I am lucky because I was able to get a foster family that even know I know that they want to keep my baby, that they do everything that they can to help me get her back. They are the most unselfish people, and I know what it is like to loose a child, and when I get my daughter back, for them it will be like loosing a child. I really hope someone that can make a difference reads this post, and can help others realize that the DSS system is extremely flawed, it is ignored and needs to be fixed desperately. These are families lives at stake. There is no room for error. Most days being in the system, I feel that I am not allowed to be human. I am not allowed to make mistakes, and I can’t afford for anyone involved to make mistakes. I live a life of fear everyday, that even though I am not doing anything wrong, one of my drug screens will get mixed up and it will come back wrong. I live in fear that they will find anything just a little wrong, they will not give her back to me. I cannot afford to make mistakes and I cannot afford for people to make mistakes, or I loose my child forever. Most days it is so overwhelming, I feel like I have to live the perfect life, have the perfect answers, and have the perfect behavior. I am scared everyday that something is going to happen and I won’t get her back. I am scared that if I answer on question wrong they take her forever. My heart drops every time DSS calls me or comes to the house. I live in fear. I don’t get to make mistakes, I can’t afford life to happen, if life happens for me I loose my child and possibly even my new baby that I just had. The only thing that I have most days, I do have a great support system, and I do believe that my daughters foster parents are part of that support system…

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A little Past..

I was thinking about what to write tonight, but my thoghts were soon answered when I recieved a phone call from my ex husbands girlfriend. I know that sounds weird but we talk almost everyday, she was my “friend” that introduced me to dope and became my using friend. People ask me all the time, “Do you think that she is still using?” To tell the truth I don’t honestly known if she is or not, I know that I am not using with her, but to tell the truth she has become a good friend despite of our past history. She is the reason that I get to see my children, she is the reason their dad finally started leaving me alone, and even though we used together and I hated her for a while, she has improved my life. So she said to me “I got a wake up call today…” I asked her what happened and she had found out that her older son had found his dad on facebook and had been texting him. She said that when she found out she was really mad and she had told her son to get him on the phone.. she said when she got on the phone with him (their dad) she let him have it, cause he had been gone out of the boys lives for the past couple of years and that he had picked a woman over his own children and so forth. I had to tell her that she was wrong and I was no better than he was, yet she has always
supported me and she has always took my side and not my ex’s that even though I screwed up, I had the right to see my childrden, as long as I was doing what I should. I asked her how that was any different, and thats when she said at least you came to your kids and pushed to be apart of their lives , they didn’t have to come find you. She said that she felt like it was wrong cause her son was the one that looked for him and that he was so wrong for not looking for his kids and he hadn’t come to them, so to say. It was then what I realized that i could write about that today… which is… “when you are in addiction and something happens whether it be that you loose touch with your children or they get taken away, in addiction and even in recovery you beat yourself up quite a bit, about what it was that you did or what it is that you’d still doing, you have abhard time forgiving yourself, so you figure that everyonenelse is not going to forgive you either. 5o tell the truth, that isn’t true. Once you are doing what you should they have more than likely already forgiven you. They usually forgive you the moment that they know that you are serious about getting your life together. Being able to reach out to those that you lost in your addiction , willncome with time as long as you are willing to take that step eventually. It takes that time because it takes a recovering addict time to be able to handle strong feeings again. It is something that does get easier… And for those of you that have someone that you were really close to that you had to let go of, or that backed away from you because of their addiction, and you have heared around town that they are doing good and trying to get their life together and you feel hurt causenthey haven’t called you, I am letting you know don’t feel hurt, know that they are mo3e than likely scared and reach out to them instead. And if your the addict or recovering addict know that everyone forgives you and more than likely they will more than likely forgive you faster than you can forgive yourself…

That’s my quote for this post:

It is easier for those we hurt to forgive us, than it is for us to forgive ourselves..

By: SC… Me, myself, and I

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