This week, I learned the results of the latest Child and Protective Services (CPS) investigation.
Because of allegations made by David, we believe he was attempting to manipulate the system to get to live where he wants rather than at home, there was a complaint made against me. The complaint said that I “was exploiting my son, that I threw him to the sidewalk, that I hugged him too much, as well as told him “I love you”, and that I was antagonizing him to provoke a response.” I wrote about it when I first learned of the investigation. Remember? There was an investigation before that regarding washing David’s mouth out with soap.
Initially when the complaint in October came out, I met with a detective from the Sheriff’s office. From that meeting, I stated that I would change my son’s name to David for the purposes of this blog. That the whole purpose of writing was to get help for him, and to raise awareness about the mental health care in our state. At that point, I thought that the whole thing was over. Evidently the Sheriff was a separate investigation because CPS called and arranged to meet me.
Now, I have no idea for certain who made the complaint, though I do have a pretty good idea. These are the people we turned to for help when David was threatening to kill me. People who told us that we weren’t doing enough at home to help him.
See, when someone files a complaint, as required by law, the complainant remains anonymous. In a court of law, I have the right to face my accuser, but not in the court of Child and Protective Services. I understand why that is. I understand the need for mandatory reporters.
I don’t envy the job of the investigators who work in that department. Seriously. The things they must see.
Anyway, we met with the investigator more than 10 days ago. We were told that my case would be staffed 8 days ago, and that I would hear back from them on Monday, this week, whether or not services were required. If services were required, I would then be placed on a list of people who abuse and/or neglect children. I would be on that list for a period of 10 years. I could appeal the decision. If I had been on that list, I wouldn’t be able to work with or around children for that whole period.
Any way. Monday came and went with no call. Tuesday came and went with no call. Wednesday, I called their office and asked about the decision. I was told “I was just getting ready to call you, it was determined that no services were required, though we recommend that you not use pressure point holds on your son.” They further went on to state that they would send out a letter regarding this investigation, that the results would be on file for a period, and that they would include recommendations on things to do instead of the pressure point holds. I use the pressure point holds when I felt that David was becoming violent or aggressive. I never used them for longer than necessary to calm the situation. Usually seconds, in which case he would drop whatever he was holding in his hand that could potentially be used as a weapon.
I have not received the letter yet. I imagine it will get here in the next ten days.
Investigators, if you say that you are going to call on a certain date to inform someone of the results of the investigation, please, make every effort to do so, or have someone from your office do it for you. I should have been able to get the results of your investigation the day that your agency made the decision that services weren’t required.
I get that your job is difficult.
You know what? So is parenting a child like David.
Part of me feels like I should just be thankful that this investigation is over.
On the other hand, I feel like I have been targeted or harassed because I speak out against what I see are injustices in the mental health care system. If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it. If I am inaccurate in what I write, let me know the inaccuracies, the corrections you believe should be made, and I will look into it. This part of me also wonders, “how long before they bring more allegations against me? or his mom?”
Don’t make me feel like a failure because the system fails the mentally ill more than it helps them. Help me change the system so this blog is no longer needed to raise awareness of the injustices of the current system.
I would love to never write another word about the mental health issues as they are. I would love to write about parenting issues of another type entirely. Like what to cook for dinner, or how to clean pet stains out of a rug.
I find it incredibly sad that there are people in this world who make an agency like CPS necessary. See, as a kid, I was abused. And I swore that I would never do that to my kids. And I haven’t. No child deserves to live in fear.
I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t understand David’s fear. A fear that makes him express so much hatred toward his family. Such is the world of the child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. It isn’t enough that we love him and call him our son. I never claimed that we were the perfect parents. Many times over the life of this blog, and our son’s life we have asked for help.