I have decided I don't need to dumb myself down or pretend I'm mentally ill in the way that the state suggests, for this case.
I thought about it this morning and then off and on through the day.
I realized I've been wrong to even think about negotiating a mental illness just to make state workers happy, in "exchange" for more time with my son and our reunification.
They have lied so much and so often, I felt it was my only hope. I felt I've been given very few options, and these options were stated to me clearly. I thought, of the options, just trying to be a single mom and going along with the whole "severe mental illness" thing would be, maybe the right, or only possible thing to do.
But I was wrong. I thought about the times I've been falsely accused of other things, and even pressured to go along with the idea that I've committed misdemeanors and things, when I've not. Under the pressure, I have come extremely close to just giving in.
With my son, because I've been blocked from recording my visits with my son and what's going on, the state has lied more freely ever since.
I have also discovered certain medical records have disappeared or changed. Not that I haven't made additional copies of some things, but I have not only had even police delete and erase videotape of my visits with my son (when it was permitted),I have had others stealing my memory cards, or doing other things.
So, with no one helping me, I thought I would try to "give them something". I figured I didn't have options anyway, and that I should just go along with the idea that I am extremely and severely mentally ill, and when questioned about it, I was telling everyone I would, just to jump through hoops, satisfy the state, and have a chance of still getting my son.
But this was wrong. I think about "strategy" and what I could possibly do, to be less of a "threat" and make CPS happy and feel justified, and I think what can I do to just get through this as easily as possible, and there isn't anything.
There is nothing I can do, that will really help me in the end, except to be honest about the fact that, yes, I DO believe I have some "issues", but they are not the ones the state and others want to say I have. My issues are anxiety and some PTSD or adjustment disorder because of the trauma of things I've been through.
If I am disabled, and may well be in certain ways, in trying to advocate and represent myself fully in this case, that would be why and to what extent.
Can I work? yes, and I've sought work. Do I have a right to housing? yes, and yet the federal money that's being obtained by grant application here isn't helping me to get into housing, even when I've been requesting assistance for over a month and half. It's been one and a half months, and no one will get me into proper housing, even though I've applied and qualify.
If I had taken the first things I was being pushed into--studios on one year contracts, I wouldn't have been able to even show the Judge I HAD anything for my son to move into. The state will not allow studios for a child and mother. I would have been stuck in a contract for a year and this would have effectively blocked me from even claiming I had a place for my son to stay.
The grant money received through federal funds, is absolutely risk-free. It covers full deposit and rent for up to 18 months. There is no risk to any landlord. If I were working and needed to break the contract, it would put me in a position of having to pay back all the months I didn't live there. And the state wouldn't pay for me to break a contract anyway.
I've been asking for a 1 bedroom or, my lawyer said a 2 bedroom would be better. They're out there, but I'm still being denied housing and strung along.
My lawyer said I have to "jump through" their hoops and yet I have seen for myself, no one is even setting up an evaluation for the head exam they claim they have to have. It took them over 8 months or more, to get me in to a psychologist and find someone who wasn't going to back out last minute.
Now, I have discovered the soonest I could be seen in Wenatchee by a neurologist is the end of December and no one has done one thing about getting it set up. I was the first one to call, and I did this myself, a few days ago. But then I was told I'm not "allowed" to schedule it because they have to make payment arrangments with my lawyer. My lawyer just needs to confirm scheduling, but payment comes from the state. However, the state hasn't done anything about scheduling me in.
I told my attorney I need motions to be made and filed for an independent psychological evaluation, for increased visitation, and for the removal of the ban on audio recording visits. My lawyer argues against all of these things, even though any lawyer can see this is in the best interests of my case. He did say some lawyers in town recommended some other DSHS state-contracted psychologist, but I kept asking him why he had a problem with the idea of having my own truly "independent" evaluation? And why does he need to ask for separate monies when this should come out of his budget for public defense cases? I told him we need to make a motion for how much money the state saved while I was deprived of public defense or a lawyer, for over a year. I told him, at $90/hr, even if the lawyer was only working for me 20 hours a week, over the course of a year, that adds up. That's a savings, to the state, of $1,800 a WEEK. So, for one month, a savings of $7,200. For one year, a savings of $76,400.
Now, let's say a lawyer only worked on my case for 10 hours a week, or that they were paid a little less than $90/hr. Let's cut that savings in half. It would come to $38,200 that the state saved, in a year's time of depriving me from public defense and telling a traumatized mother to be "pro se".
But for SOME reason, hmmm, the state and my own lawyer, think it's touchy to request or use public defense monies for a $1,500-$3,000 independent psychological evaluation?
I don't think the state could fairly claim justice has been done in this case, to either me or my son, and in fact, it would appear that if anyone owes a debt, it would be a debt which should be paid to Oliver and his mother.
There is a legal right to public defense for this kind of case, and I requested reasonable representation, and after railroading me and lying, and blocking my ability to even prove people are lying, or have representation, I have people who want to punish me further when I was even WILLING to have false things put on the record about "severe mental illness".
After all this, I was willing to go along, in return for a small bit of evidence that there was good faith in the attempt to "reunify".
I was going to allow them to say, without any argument, that I am "paranoid schitzophrenic", "psychotic", "delusional", and "a drug addict". I was willing to go along with the full and absolute defamation of my character, just as long as my son got a few more hours with his Mama.
Even THAT didn't work. I wasn't even going to ARGUE I needed an "independent evaluation" if the state had been willing to do what was reasonable and right, and just move forward and increase a FEW HOURS.
Instead...incredulously, they refused. For every hoop I jump through, they cinch the noose tighter.
So I feel I learned a lesson. In the past, I stuck to my guns about what the truth was. I didn't give in to pressure that I had committed crimes I hadn't committed, and in the end, things had to be thrown out. It is impossible for me to believe CPS would just throw this case out and give me back my son, but I see that I took the low road this time...I willing to negotiate my own integrity.
"You want me to be crazy? Okay, I will do it." That's what I was willing to do to myself. Just on the off-chance someone would feel the pressure was off and got to punish me by ruining my life and discrediting me, and in return, we could all pretend I then "got help" or "treatment" and become a new person and got my son back.
But no, they want to tear this all the way through, without giving my son anything. Not only that, my own lawyer didn't even tell me they went so far, his secretary said, to block my son from getting visits made up that were missed because someone besides ME didn't show up.
I thought about it and I don't want problems. I don't want a big war or fight and I don't relish the idea of anyone being punished or in my being avenged. I just realized that I don't have to degrade myself by going along with something that's not right and not true, out of fear and intimidation. I have to be who I am, and be that person honestly. I wasn't defensive on my MMPI or other tests. If anything, I was trying to give them something to use for their benefit. In general, I was honest. But, I was willing to be DISHONEST, and make a frickin' false confession to "severe mental illness" out of pressure, threats, fear, and intimidation.
I'm not angry at all. It was my fault. I am the one to blame for telling people that I was willing to sell my soul, on the off-chance I might have my son back. When I was threatened by public defense to take a plea bargain for something I didn't do, or, they said, have my baby born in "jail" and taken from me, I suffered from such horrible anxiety and panic attack and pangs and headaches, and yet I decided no, even though I was being threatened with a full year in jail and the removal of my son, I had to stick to the truth, which was that I was innocent.
I don't have anything to "prove" now. I am not trying to get anyone else INTO "trouble". I have no desire or intention of "getting even" or even in hoping someone gets caught. I am not in control, at all. All that I am in control of, is my own life, my own heart and soul, and my integrity. I am also in control of trying to see that certain things are done in this process, to protect the rights of myself and my son. That's it. I cannot control housing, or delays on unemployment, or being blacklisted or blocked from employment. I can't control people who want to take everything but give nothing, when everything they want to take is the one thing an innocent woman has in this world--her son. I cannot control the motives or desires of others to punish me and I don't understand and can't fix hatred.
What I can do, is say, "No, I do NOT agree to this" and do my best to document what I can and make it clear I'm not wearing out, giving up, or getting down. I am not interested in proving others are wrong as much as I am interested in just protecting my own civil rights and the rights of my son.
Everyone knows I don't have any of the severe types of mental illness that are alleged. Most people probably know I'm fairly normal. But yes, I have a few quirks and hang ups because of what has happened in this process--I won't argue against that. I knew that I WAS "disabled" from defending myself pro se when I was so traumatized. I also know that I didn't get mail on time, or at all sometimes, and that I was jerked around and the process delayed purposefully.
Why in the world putting me down or harming me and my son is such a big thrill, or big deal to some, I have no idea. I have no idea why I am important at all.
But someone said to me tonight that my son might never know or think well of me, after all my attempts. As if someone could turn my son against his own mother, when my son knows the truth, and will know it very well when he is older.
For my son's sake, I should not have been willing to degrade myself for anyone. I should be setting the example of a strong woman who has some problems that have never put him "at risk". I should be an example of doing the right thing even when pressured to do the wrong thing. I should be an example of someone who is willing to admit when they are wrong and that they have faults and flaws, but also, someone who is not a doormat or willing to sell out on the offchance that someone might stop lying long enough to give my son a chance at being reunited with his mom.
So I was wrong. For that, for my dishonesty and my own poor example of someone who was willing to trash her own integrity and character, I apologize to my son.
I could even say I haven't tried hard enough, or that I've been unreasonable, or that I've been lazy, and that some of what's happened is my fault, but that is not the truth. I am willing to be humble. But I am not going to lie.
There is no valid reason for keeping my son from me and there is no valid honest reason for not increasing visitation.
Do I need to be properly diagnosed with something? Sure. Perhaps. But it's nothing even CLOSE to what has been claimed, and it's also not anything that is a potential risk to my son.
I love you Oliver.