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PPD and CPS - BIG UPDATE post 156 - Page 3

post #41 of 164
post #42 of 164
You really need to find out what he said to the pediatrician. Tell the social worker that he and his mother are emotionally abusive and have been gaslighting you. It sounds like he pretty much gave the baby to her and threatened to take the baby from you if you protested. Tell her that you need her help and that you understand that postpartum depression is normal and that you hope she can help you. Tell her that he's been threatening your every move with taking the baby. Anytime you don't like what he does. Can your teachers vouch for you? I think your counselor will be able to help here a lot.

Can you take the child to the pediatrician yourself? Get copies of the records and find out why he called cps? If I were you, I wouldn't wean right now. If you wean, that just gives bf more power to take baby.

I'm rooting for you!

Also, I agree with seeing a lawyer. YOu need to know your rights here.

My brother had an issue come up where CPS pretty much gave him custody of his son. The mother wasn't supposed to be in the same house. CPS can do that, apparently. She had to get permission from them before she could move back into her house. You really need a lawyer and counselors on your side.
post #43 of 164
I would NOT leave the area with the baby without first going through the courts. It's all well and good to say that you have custody, as you do, but being seen as unilaterally removing a child from a parent who has been involved in his life is not a good move in a custody case. I would consult with a family law attorney, and document everything you talk about with the social worker. There are cases of mothers who have been forced to return custody to fathers in other states or countries because they left without the other parent's permission. However, I would talk to your social worker and see if you can access resources to find a new apartment. Is your name on the lease? Is his? You need to be away from these people! Emphasize to the SW that your mother is flying out, and talk about any other supports you have, to show that you're not just going to be doing this on your own.

I'm so sorry to read this thread, I hope everything turns out well for you.
post #44 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by guestmama900 View Post
I think that leaving would almost be worse - it would look bad wouldn't it?

I don't know what to do. Right now, baby isn't going out of my sight but I'm constantly around xBF's family.

I left a message for the social worker, we'll see if she calls me back.
Only if you took off and disappeared, if you went with your mom and a plan for treatment (make Dr appts in moms city before leaving) then it should be ok.
post #45 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
Only if you took off and disappeared, if you went with your mom and a plan for treatment (make Dr appts in moms city before leaving) then it should be ok.
If it involves taking a child out of reasonable distance for visitation, it could result in the child being placed with her father, as he is the one who will appear to have been cooperative with the courts, and with not blocking his ex-partner's rights. If not, it could involve the OP needing to pay for and arrange travel back to her current location for visitation. This is not an uninterested father; he sounds like a lousy person, but he also sounds good at painting himself as a good guy to outsiders. He probably wouldn't be OK with the move, and that means the courts probably wouldn't be OK with it, treatment plan or no.

Again, the OP needs to get out of the apartment, and it's great that her mother is coming to help. The ex-bf is actively trying to make her act and look unstable, and she needs to be away from him and her MIL. But taking the baby far away is unlikely to end well, especially with the system already involved.
post #46 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by guestmama900 View Post
I think that leaving would almost be worse - it would look bad wouldn't it?

I don't know what to do. Right now, baby isn't going out of my sight but I'm constantly around xBF's family.

I left a message for the social worker, we'll see if she calls me back.
Don't worry what it looks like, as long as its not against the law, do what you need to do to be well and take care of yourself and baby, that is what is going to look best in the end. You know your situation best and what is best for you and the baby. Just don't let fear of your bf, his mom, or CPS keep you from leaving if that is what is best for you. That is the fear that keeps women stuck and abusive men know how powerful it is and they use it to their advantage.

If you decide to go to your mom's, I wouldn't ask CPS for permission to leave - they don't have jurisdiction, they are just investigating and there are no charges filed. I would be concerned that the worker may tip off the father as well. Sometimes social workers mean well but don't get abuse (BTDT). If necessary they will just contact the CPS in Mom's area, but hopefully they will see that you are doing fine there with some support.

I agree that should you decide to leave, do not tell anyone that may tell BF or the family. It can be very very scary emotionally to leave an abusive man who has controlled your life for a long time. Can you contact the DV shelter and ask for advice? They will be aware of the laws in your area and may be able to help you with a safety plan.
post #47 of 164
Do not take the baby across state lines or far away to your moms. I know someone who did this and full custody was granted to dad in an emergency hearing because she went to her mom's out of state (they were not married either). You don't want to do anything without checking the law for your state first!

I just want to offer hugs and support for your PPD. I've been there and it was the lowest time in my life. I quit cold turkey BF as well for medical reasons related to the PPD. DD did fine and I started to recover much faster. You just need to do whats right for YOU and not worry about what everyone else thinks. Document everything! Each threat your ex makes, each time your MIL steps in, the care schedule etc, basically everything. I know you and your ex are no longer together, but I'd highly reccomend couples/marriage counseling. You may not want to be together but it would be a good idea to talk to a professional together and have someoen there to run interference and set some ground rules. I did this with DH when I was going through PPD and it helped a LOT. He was basically my ex at the time because I just couldn't stand him. But the therapist gave us the tools to "fight fair" and lean how to talk to each other and listen. I also saw the same therapist, on my own, for my PPD. You may not want to be together, but you'll have to have a relationship of some sort because of your child, why not be able to be able to at least get along to make things go smoother?

MIL has GOT to go. No other words there. She is not helping and is making things worse. I hope your mom can come soon and help out, even if at least for some emotional support!
post #48 of 164
Is the father listed on the birth certificate? Did you fill this paperwork to get hom listed at birth? If so, he has rights. If not, he still needs to prove paternity before he can do anything. Check her certificate.
post #49 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quick update:

First, YES he is on the birth certificate. I had no idea at the baby's birth that this was gong to happen or he wouldn't be.

So, I am meeting with the social worker (and her supervisor) tomorrow at 12:30 (please think good thoughts!!!!), and then meeting with the SW, supervisor and xBF at 2ish.

I just called the SW's cell phone, talked to her about whats been going on (briefly, I couldn't say too much since I had limited time alone) and told her that my xBF and his mom are emotionally abusive, and that they are trying to take my son away from me. She reassured me that she is not trying to take him away - I think she misunderstood me. I'll make that clear tomorrow.

I told her that he has said that my parents are not allowed to stay in the apartment, I also told her that I need to move out with my son. I REALLY hope that she and her supervisor believe me. I think xBF is going to flip out when he finds out that I'm meeting with them behind his back, but thats ok.

Ok, What are the MAJOR points that I NEED to touch on tomorrow??? Obviously there is only so much that you can say in that much time - they will have questions obviously, but I'm unfamiliar with how to proceed, and I need to know what HAS to be said.

Thanks!! Think good thoughts!
post #50 of 164
I really cannot believe that a mother would lose custody solely on leaving the state. That sounds like a court decision made with punishment in mind rather than doing what is in the best interest of the child. There is likely more to that story than meets the eye. Custody is usually established based on maintaining status quo - whomever is the child's primary care taker usually gets physical custody to maintain continuity for the child. That is clearly you, the mother, in this case, your bf wouldn't help with the baby. And while I suppose it varies state to state, where I live, unmarried fathers are not granted automatic rights to the child - they must petition the courts.

I still don't think it is a good idea to make decisions based on a perceived fear of the legal system. A healthy respect, yes, but not fear. You have rights too. The priority here is to get you well. It is a good idea to check the laws in your state before you make a big decision so that you aren't breaking any laws. I was able to talk to more than one family law attorney over the phone for free as I was deciding what to do. Call around and get someone whose willing to answer a few questions. It does not make sense to me that the law would require a new mom suffering from PPD to stay with her abusive ex-bf rather than go home to a loving mom and support because otherwise she'll lose custody. You are not leaving to take the child from the father. I would hope the court system could see this for what it is.
post #51 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by guestmama900 View Post
Quick update:

First, YES he is on the birth certificate. I had no idea at the baby's birth that this was gong to happen or he wouldn't be.

So, I am meeting with the social worker (and her supervisor) tomorrow at 12:30 (please think good thoughts!!!!), and then meeting with the SW, supervisor and xBF at 2ish.

I just called the SW's cell phone, talked to her about whats been going on (briefly, I couldn't say too much since I had limited time alone) and told her that my xBF and his mom are emotionally abusive, and that they are trying to take my son away from me. She reassured me that she is not trying to take him away - I think she misunderstood me. I'll make that clear tomorrow.

I told her that he has said that my parents are not allowed to stay in the apartment, I also told her that I need to move out with my son. I REALLY hope that she and her supervisor believe me. I think xBF is going to flip out when he finds out that I'm meeting with them behind his back, but thats ok.

Ok, What are the MAJOR points that I NEED to touch on tomorrow??? Obviously there is only so much that you can say in that much time - they will have questions obviously, but I'm unfamiliar with how to proceed, and I need to know what HAS to be said.

Thanks!! Think good thoughts!
We posted at the same time. Good update! The ball is rolling, you are doing great mama.

I think what you said on the phone is great start. Here are the main points I would address. I would be open about the PPD and the care you have been seeking and yet how the emotional abuse by the bf/MIL has made it harder to recover. Make it clear that despite the PPD you have been able to care for your son and have never neglected or harmed him. Tell them that your bf and your relationship was ending and that you feel this move (contacting CPS) was a retaliation by the bf to get custody (this is fairly common tactic by abusive men and won't be a new scenario to CPS) Apologize for your words at your first meeting and explain the circumstances (emotionally distraught by bf abusive behavior). Explain that you are afraid of bf now and that you feel stuck. Ask what your options are. Be clear that you are not wanting to take the baby away from his father, but that you need a safe place to be away from bf/MIL for your emotional well-being and recovery. If there are ANY issues with bf mistreating/neglecting baby, bring them up. I remember you saying he didn't help with the baby and he took a hands-off approach, wouldn't get up at night, etc. Communicate these things and make sure they know you are the primary caregiver and have been since birth, changing all the diapers, feeding, getting up at night, etc. Let them know you will cooperate fully and just want to get to a safe place for yourself and your son.

It helps me to make a general outline of your main points and questions in a notebook and bring it with you to a meeting like this. You can write down any info or phone numbers they give you. Good luck - I will be thinking good, calm, communicating vibes for you. Monday is a good day for this as its the day of the Moon and a strong mother energy.
post #52 of 164
I agree with the PP. I would also bring up the issue of his being controlling. That he doesn't 'let' you have time to relax while the baby is awake even though other adults are playing with him. Tell them that you are the only one who feeds the baby or puts him to sleep, etc., and that if you don't do it, instead of stepping up to the plate and feeding the baby himself, he berates you and calls CPS on you.
post #53 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by guestmama900 View Post
Ok, What are the MAJOR points that I NEED to touch on tomorrow???
Be open, admit to having PPD, list what you've been doing to seek help, be clear that you have never had any thought of harming the baby. They probably aren't going to change anything from the safety plan until they have heard back from your caregivers, which is why you need to be open with who they are and sign the relevant forms.

I'd try and view it as a two stage process, though in one meeting you can't get all the above fully resolved, but make sure you go through what will happen when all this is done, essentially if they are happy you are safe to look after the baby things return back to how they were before. The problem is, how they were before isn't good, so once you've gone through that being theoretically what would happen, you then need to give your "but", which may well not be something they can even help you with, but you do need to explain how you have separated and you feel they are being abusive and threatening and can the SW help you make a plan to deal with that.

I haven't been quite where you are now, but I have been involved with CPS, I ended up going to the ER due to my PPD and there was a social work on who didn't listen to me at all and called the county mental health people, the ones who can get you admitted involuntarily for 72hrs, they very quickly decided I didn't need that, but that happening is a mandatory reporting situation, so along came CPS, at the time I wasn't sure whether I would stay with my husband, but he was at least wanting to move forwards, so he wasn't saying anything against me, but it happened on a holiday weekend, so an emergency person came round and I wasn't there, so they just spoke to him, they told him I shouldn't be left alone with the kids, but at that stage it wasn't a signed safety agreement. Then the regular SW couldn't see us until the Friday and we signed a safety agreement, knowing full well that on the Monday he'd speak to my psychiatrist and it would be over. A few weeks later I got some kind of case closed letter, it stays on record in case there was ever another case with me, but when it's resolved like that it's not information that is made available to any of the checks that can be done on you.
post #54 of 164
I would ask them their thoughts on going out of state to stay with your mom, and ask them to set you up with cps over where she is, ask about treatment programs for ppd in that area, etc. You could present this as a temp measure until you get better, and ask them to help with visitation arrangements as well. I think at this point, when they are already involved, making full use of their resources in a way that benefits you & baby seems like the best thing to do. It sounds like your ex and his mom are contributing to your ppd enormously, please do share that with cps. It is great that the sw said they are not trying to take your baby away.

Lots of strength to you, momma!
post #55 of 164
Thread Starter 
Ok, thanks!

I did tell her last night that I wanted to move out with the baby. I STRONGLY believe that this is a FALSE allegation - which if I can PROVE that I get custody. Period. End of discussion. xBF gets visitation, but I get custody. So hopefully I can prove that.

My therapist is planning to call the social worker tomorrow, I'll sign waivers today, etc.

There is NO SIGNED SAFETY PLAN right now. NONE. And Bf left the apartment (me alone with baby inside) for 45minutes the other day to make phone calls (presumably to her, his family, and possibly a lawyer).

I did share with the social worker last night that I believe the reason my medication isn't working is that xBF and his mom are contributing to the problem and aren't being supportive. I have plenty of examples of things that they've said - but don't necessarily have the dates and times.

Thankfully my mom was here for a month in sept/oct (by THEIR request) and WILL come testify in court if she has to - even on a moments notice.

I'm really nervous, but I think I'll be ok. Hopefully everything will work out. I'll ask if I can go temporarily home (the problem is that visitation would be VERY difficult - its at least a 5hour flight).

xBF has also basically told me that if my family comes to support me that he's going to move out of our apartment and go to his moms, and then he'll get the baby there for half of each week - which is like telling me that if I get support he's going to limit my time with my son.

Ok I'll try to update tonight
post #56 of 164
I am very sorry that you are going through all of this.....with that being said, I have read some of your other posts(name change didn't help all that much ) I have suffered depression my whole life and after baby is no different, I have been in tough, tough situations before and you now what I needed some of the time?? A kick in the A**! As hard as life is it is not just about you anymore, it is about you AND your son. If you feel terrible and like the world is crashing in on you Do Something About It!
I am not trying to be harsh but you made the decison to keep the baby and now you need to do what is best for him. If that is staying with his Dad then so be it but that doesnt relieve you of the duty of being his mother. If you feel suicidal admit yourself to a hospital and get help. There is help out there!! CPS is not tryig to take away your son they are there to try to help you, they have a ton of resources. Everyone on this board has been offering you love, support and resources and from what I got out of your posts you havent done anything about it since a week ago. If you resent something or dont like it....change it! The only one in control of your life is you.
So again not trying to be harsh but do what you need to do for your son, he did not ask to be born and he needs a well mama who will love him and take care of him!!!! I pm'd you last week to offer any support I can, I extend that offer again, I am only an hour away from you.
post #57 of 164
Quote:
Don't worry what it looks like, as long as its not against the law, do what you need to do to be well and take care of yourself and baby, that is what is going to look best in the end. You know your situation best and what is best for you and the baby. Just don't let fear of your bf, his mom, or CPS keep you from leaving if that is what is best for you. That is the fear that keeps women stuck and abusive men know how powerful it is and they use it to their advantage.

If you decide to go to your mom's, I wouldn't ask CPS for permission to leave - they don't have jurisdiction, they are just investigating and there are no charges filed. I would be concerned that the worker may tip off the father as well. Sometimes social workers mean well but don't get abuse (BTDT). If necessary they will just contact the CPS in Mom's area, but hopefully they will see that you are doing fine there with some support.
I disagree. If I were a CPS worker on her case, it would look VERY bad if she decided to up and leave with the baby, after the things she has said (to her social worker) and with the allegations of abuse (even if they are not true, cps must investigate and it will look extremely bad if she takes the baby out of state).

OP, I hope the meeting goes well.
post #58 of 164

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Edited by GoestoShow - 1/3/11 at 12:10pm
post #59 of 164
Strength momma. Lots of strength. You are doing many 'right' things.

Please get a lawyer as well. You need someone to represent you legally and who can advocate on your behalf.

Also, the last time a momma on MDC was in this situation, she was urged to just take her kids and leave and it did not turn out well--she lost custody. While several things about her situation were different, the dynamics with her ex remind me of your ex--the ability to consolidate a power base and use it against you in particular.

Don't follow internet advice GET A LAWYER to protect yourself and your babe.

Good luck.

V
post #60 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by guestmama900 View Post
xBF has also basically told me that if my family comes to support me that he's going to move out of our apartment and go to his moms, and then he'll get the baby there for half of each week - which is like telling me that if I get support he's going to limit my time with my son.

Ok I'll try to update tonight
Good, let xbf go to his mom's, then you can have some peace. Just because he wants 50/50 time doesn't mean he'll get it. That is called "Defining Reality" and an abusive techinique. He is not god, or a judge, he cannot tell you what he is going to "get". He sounds very narcissistic and controlling.

Are you the child's primary care giver? Are you the one who gets up at night with him, or stays home with him when he's sick? Changes and feeds him? Here is a really good article on how custody is determined by primary caregiver and is decided long before the parents breakup http://www.divorcerecovery101.com/kass21.html Based on your posts I say dad's ship has sailed on that issue. Too little too late. Your biggest hurtle to custody is the allegations and the PPD but you are addressing that. Don't let him bully you. I know its hard.
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