Growing up, I, my siblings and foster brothers & sisters were the victims of horrific child abuse. At the ages of 8 and 6, my sister and I ran away from home, eventually telling the police of our abuse when we were picked up. The officers promptly returned us to our mother (who was really our grandmother, who never officially adopted our biological mother) and informed her of our outrageous accusations of abuse. As soon as the police car pulled away from the curb we were beaten mercilessly and we vowed never to tell anyone again. A short time later our mother became a foster parent and other abused children came to live with us. After several gruesome years of torture, CPS finally stepped in and removed the state foster children from our home, yet left me and my maternal siblings there. The foster children taken from our home had suffered multiple broken bones(skull, nose, arms) and contusions. We were questioned by the Police and CPS workers, AGAIN in front of our mother. Obviously, as children facing our abuser inside the walls of our tiny living room, we were too afraid to say anything and eventually the case was closed and we were left to survive the aftermath, alone. Nothing ever came of it and we went on with life as best we could. This experience with the Police and CPS forever altered my view of authority.
Fast Forward. I'm a 42yo mother of 3, ages 23, 20, & 15yo. My childhood experiences, as well as counseling and education, helped make me the mother and person I am today. I'd sooner throw myself from a cliff than hurt my children or anyone else s' for that matter. My mantras to live by: "Mother UP!" and "Leave this world a little better than you found it". I live my life by trying to do good, and reverse the negativity that plagues our world. I'm proud of my life, in spite of my up-bringing. I've never gotten into drugs or crime, I have a clean record, served my country in in the US Naval Reserves, counseled women in recovery and volunteer, just to mention a few.
When my youngest daughter was 2 1/2 yo I suspected her father was molesting her during their infrequent, unsupervised visits. Her then babysitter alerted me to her suspicions as well. One night at the dinner table, while her older siblings talked about their day at school, she began telling us what she hated about her visits with daddy. Her innocent declaration landed on us like a bomb. Filled with shock and horror no one knew what to say or do. I tried to remain calm as to not alert her to the horror we were all feeling. I didn't want to scare her, I wanted her to feel free to say whatever she wanted without letting on that I desperately needed to know everything. That evening as I wept in private I thought of all the things I wanted to do. I decided then and there, dragging her through the legal red tape and endless hours of interrogation and physical inspections was not an option. I picked up the phone and called him. Through clenched teeth and tears I told him that I knew what he'd done to our daughter. I told him if he ever tried to see her again I would drag him into court where everything would come out into the open and everyone would know what he was and did. He did not protest, he did not make excuses, he simply said o.k., and we never heard from him again. My beautiful daughter is now 15yo. She's a wonderful student and I couldn't ask for a better kid. One day at school she had an emotional melt down and broke into tears. One of her teachers sent her to the counseling office. She told them about her social and academic pressures, her issues with weight and PMS. They asked her about her home life and her parents. Where was her father and when had she last seen him? She explained she didn't know her father and hadn't seen him since she was a baby. They asked why. She told them what she'd learned from her siblings, she had been molested by him, though she didn't remember. They called CPS and filed a report as if it were currently happening! Two officers with badges showed up at her school soon after, unannounced and pulled her from class. They escorted her through the crowded halls and lunchroom of her school, in front of all her peers, twice! She heard the kids whisper and gossip, she faced endless questions from friends and acquaintances. She felt humiliated, embarrassed, and regretted talking to anyone about anything. She repeatedly told them it happened before she was age 3. They didn't listen. CPS investigators showed up at my house and told me I was under investigation, commenting that I hadn't had a case with them before, and why hadn't I reported this when it happened. After what seemed like a million questions, which they already had the answers to, they left and told me they would be in touch. About a week later I received a phone call, the case worker informed me that they were closing the case. Great. Except now my squeaky clean record shows that I've been investigated and have a case with Child Protective Services. With every background check I am forced to explain this horrific story and convince my innocence. CPS has willfully and without cause tarnished my reputation. I've tried to put it into perspective, chalk it up to; 'they're just doing their job'. But I can't help feeling victimized all over again. Moreover, it's not just CPS. Abuse of Power runs rampant in our society of bullies! If you lack the money, resources and mental stamina to fight back these bullies can and will destroy the lives we work so hard to build. Thank God there is a place to let it out, like steam from a safety valve, so the pressure doesn't build into explosive consequences.