I am a longtime senior member here at MDC but have chosen to post about our situation under another name because it is so intensely personal and difficult that I don’t choose to have it linked with my regular user name and I don’t wish, if at all possible, to have it be used in the investigation against us. What I would really appreciate is some advice. We have several good friends who are supporting us and giving us wisdom but the community here is so broad that I am hopeful of getting some new thoughts and insights. I’ll try to keep this short.
I am a homeschooling mom of two young girls. One of them has significant health problems. I have an anxiety disorder that is controlled well right now (for the last nine months or so) with therapy, medication, and exercise.
Three months ago we were contacted by CPS under suspicions of Munchausens-by-proxy. I was no longer allowed to be alone with my DD who has health issues. It was very painful. We endured ugly accusations, home visits, a 12 hour psychological evaluation for me, and the inconvenience of the restrictions on our lives. We began to keep detailed records of DD’s health symptoms, unsure how anyone could think we were fabricating or exaggerating them. We got DD’s medical records ourselves so we could show the clinical proof of her illness (for the record, no one thought I was causing her illness only “exaggerating or fabricating”), but we continued to hear that she was not really sick. We couldn’t figure out how anyone could say that given the proof in the records.
We finally had the meeting at the end of the investigation period two days ago - present were DH and I, my therapist, a forensic pediatrician from the hospital, and our CPS worker. They said that I had been absolutely cleared of all Munchausens charges BUT there was grave concern about my ability to parent DD with her health issues with my anxiety disorder. I admit that some of their concerns were valid about a year ago. I am certain that DD ended up at the hospital sometimes when she didn’t need to be there because of my fears after seeing her so very sick in the hospital at other times. I was hyper sensitive and hyper scared. It’s one of the reasons that I went into therapy and things are very different now. At their worst, however, she was subjected to some unnecessary ER visits that led to admissions for observation. Now however, I think these things have been resolved.
But despite all that they are going to take us to court so that we can be supervised. They want to make sure I am continuing therapy and meds and they want DH to be more involved in DD’s health care (which we had already moved to also). They admitted that it was obvious that DD did have real issues (and basically said that repeating to us that she didn’t was a tactic of sorts) although I felt they were minimized just a bit. All of this, being taken to court, being supervised because I am not felt to be a competent parent, my dirty laundry strewn about for general viewing, as well as my mental health up for discussion was demeaning and degrading but the stipulations were liveable and things we were doing anyway.
But they told us that we couldn’t homeschool anymore. That both DDs needed to be enrolled in public school by the end of the month because of reasons that my therapist as well as DH and I find totally bogus. They want people to be able to keep an eye on the girls, they want adults who can model healthy behaviors around them, and they are worried that I might not be separating from them as well as I should. Now, no one has ever talked to either of my girls - they are bright, social, well adjusted, and independent. Evidently that doesn’t matter. DH and I objected and after it became clear that our idea of homeschooling is not sitting at a table for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week with me standing over them and that we are not in fact hermits and the girls have other adults and kids in their lives, they said that they will soften that before they take it to court. Maybe making it so I’m not the primary homeschooler or who knows what? I don’t know what exactly they mean by that and I’m not sure I all together trust them. They also told us that we had to vaccinate but that’s another story and another forum.
What would you do? On top of DD’s health issues which are present but better, this has been nearly unbearable. We cannot afford a lawyer. We can get a court appointed lawyer but do we trust that? We’ve talked about contacting HSLDA but should we? I mean, they have said that they are going to “soften” that. I don’t want to stir up trouble that we don’t need to when these people hold the power to take our children. But homeschooling is non-negotiable for us and I want to be prepared. Our court day is probably two months away still, and I am allowed now to be alone with DD but only in small amounts of time (which has also not been spelled out).
This has been incredibly painful and feels humiliating. If you are still reading then kudos to you. If you have advice I would be so grateful, anything would be welcome. I’m happy to answer questions. We are just so unsure where to go from here. Thanks.
Edited by GuestMama42 - 11/25/10 at 10:18am