As a warning… this is an emotional story that may be uncomfortable to you.
There’s no violence or anything, but it’s a bit overwhelmingly sad.
You may want to consider skipping it.
For a reason on why posted..
One year, on my birthday I get a message from mom online that I need to "clean my act up or I’m going to get Boo taken away".
Completely out of the blue.
Nothing I ever do is ever good enough for mom… but especially on parenting… so the thought was nothing new…
In her world, babies never cry and you can keep them completely happy at all times even if you are exhausted from working full time and having a kid that didn’t sleep through the night until she started school. And of course ADHD kids don’t have meltdowns…
My mother is a perfectionist who always thinks her house is filthy so I’ve long since gotten used over the idea that I’m ever going to meet any of her standards. (I have, once. There was literally nothing in my entire living room other than a desk with absolutely nothing on it and a side table with a lamp. With being a working single parent, that’s never going to be something I can keep up. I prefer to actually live in my house, and leave the unused hotel room look to my brother)
so I basically blew it off.
So then she gets specific and tells me that she called the state child services on my cousin (the heroin addict who had mom upset because he leeched off my grandma his whole life), and so when the state investigated they were probably going to guess it was her and try and attack Boo in return by calling the state on me.
Ok, whatever… wrote it off as drama queen unlikely scenario.
She was sure they would take the kids away from him and then without the kids in the picture my grandma wouldn’t have the pity card to keep helping him.
Well, what happened wasn’t quite what she expected to happen…
You see, the cousin didn’t have a previous case against them… so it took about 3 weeks for child services to investigate them.
But.. since I did have a previous call against me… a case where Boo had run out the door at night and I’d spanked her on the way home and the cops were called by a neighbor over the noise… and a big fuss was made….
The report against me, that had been made 4 days before my birthday message from mom, was investigated long before the report against them, even though the allegations were much less serious. The report that I apparently was supposed to assume had been made by the cousin, thus relying on the fact theirs would be check out first.
But it gets better.
The child services person somehow had my address wrong, and somehow ended up going down to my mom’s house first thinking it was my house.
Oh, and they also happened to have my phone number wrong when they confirmed it later… and the wrong number that they happened to have was my mom’s cell number, that she’d only changed since the last incident.
Oh, and they knew where I worked and what days I had off, when it was a fairly new job and not the same one I’d had last time I’d had contact.. and was something that few people knew…. certainly not my cousin, or my neighbors who were the next people she tried to suggest….
Her last theory was that Boo’s school had been the ones to call… and that they must have been the ones to give the info wrong, because they were the only ones that would have had her new number and know where I worked… but they didn’t know what days I worked.
For the sake of family sanity, we pretend that this school theory is actually what happened.
But there was a bit more….
You see, one of the allegations was that there was cat poop on the floor. Which sometimes happens. But… it actually only happens as a territoriality thing when both of the white cats are in the house.
As it happened… the older white cat hadn’t been in the house at the time that the report had been filed. Or for a couple months prior.
It had been staying with mom for several months, because it had kittens, and was attacking the other cats just for being in the same house while pregnant.
Mom had sent the cat back two days before my birthday…. so two days after the report was filed… knowing that the two white cats do the territory thing.
Not something the school would have had the foggiest idea about, or that had been a problem for several months before that point because the cat wasn’t there.
Child services came…. looked around… and there happened to be one cat mess directly outside the box.
There was also a banana, still in its peel, on my ceiling fan. I have no idea how, so don’t ask.
Everything else was normal. Yes, a few dishes in the sink etc, but normal.
They’d already interviewed Boo at school that day, which I was mad about not getting notice about, but nothing came from that either.
That was the grand total of their report.
They requested I get a covered litter box, which I did.
They did a second surprise inspection 2 weeks later, and found nothing that time. I agreed to let them do surprise inspections for the next 6 months, and they only came by once, and nothing that time either.
Again, I got a letter stating that they found the claims to be unsustanciated.
But mom started making statements this time that I needed to file paperwork and have her listed as a second legal guardian for Boo so that they wouldn’t take her away. Which made just as little sense as the idea of signing over custody to her just because she was married had the last time that we’d had an incident.
Mom denies calling… and acted all offended and wounded when point blank asked.
I’m not stupid, and still think there’s way too many coincidences for it to not have been her… particularly with the drama queen statements beforehand.
Am I really supposed to pretend that I believe that it was just an amazingly weird timing thing that days before her message was when the call was made? And the mixup of info was just the school not knowing where the kid that rides the bus actually lives at when making a report of suspected child endangerment, but manages to get the right one for all of the school mailings?
But there’s not a point in fighting it when I can’t prove it.
Meanwhile, some time earlier, mom had decided that she no longer wanted to watch Boo on the weekends when I had to work, and so we paid $40 a week to my aunt to watch Boo on saturday. At the time, my aunt lived with my grandma, and so did my cousin and his family, though they lived in the basement.
As my mom had spouted her mouth off too many times in front of Boo about her actions, and so Boo informed them at some point during that saturday that her grandma "had called the cops on them so they would get taken away".
And so they had two weeks notice to prepare for their investigation to happen.
So child services found nothing with them either. All that drama for nothing….
Even so, ever since then, when Boo is acting up, mom will make comments that they "said you were on your last chance, and next time they get called you’ll be taken away."
Which wasn’t what was said at all. And occasionally she’ll say it to me, and I’ll point that out.
And I’ve made it very very clear that if there are any future investigations that would ever result in any sort of removal for any reason, that I will object to a placement with her.
And so we’ve have no further calls or incidents.
(Again, I’m not stupid. Just in case, I save voicemails that she leaves for me when Boo is in meltdown mode… because mom doesn’t deal with those, she calls and makes me deal with them… so I have her verbally admitting that she can’t handle Boo and that Boo makes her blood pressure go too high and causes her physical pain, that she refuses to listen to her or cooperate with her, etc etc etc)
Sometimes, in some things, my family is supportive.
Yes, my mom lets me borrow the lawnmower than my brother gave her, and sometimes borrow her car to go to work for a day or two when mine is having an issue.
And when Boo is down there in the evenings she does me the honor of allowing me to use her kitchen, to prepare the food that I’m the one that purchased, to allow her to eat with us as well instead of making her fend for herself on meals for a single person when I’m cooking anyway.
(Yes, that was actually the best examples she could find last time this discussion came up, over the dishes not being done.Yes, you can actually complain about a regular free meal being cooked for you if it means you have to wash the pans afterwards.)
But, it’s never something you can actually really count on.
It might be there, or it might not.
There’s a whole ton of other small stories that could be added.
But with the chance of support, is also the chance of a knife in the back.
Funny how that makes you feel less than supported.
Somehow, intermittant support that has a decent shot at not being there ends up leaving you feeling just as on your own as knowing for sure that it’s not there.
Either way… you have only yourself to depend on.
It has a way of making you feel rather alone.