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post #21 of 95
Can you call your mother and tell her that you feel you need to distance yourself from her and why? Can you tell her that you love her and hope for so much more in your relationship? Can you write her a letter explaining how grieved you are at the distance that has happened as a result of her treatment of you?

Trust your instincts and let natural consequences occur. By no means, pretend. But there is a part of me that wants to encourage you to tell her how you feel and how you experience her. Tell her the truth, in love, and let her think about it for a while as the distance plays out.

Just my thoughts.

Your responded well to CPS and you were very lucky. :
post #22 of 95
I´m so sorry you had to deal with this mammal_mama. I will join the rest and say that I think you handled the whole situation really well. How gracefully!

It´s such a tough situation. We were there a few years ago when some neighbors called the local child services on us. Basically the complaint had started because we were up too late at night (doing building projects nonetheless!)....ugh.
The guy we spoke to was understanding, and saw that ds was well taken care of, so he closed the case.
But in so many ways the time afterwards was more stressful. I felt we were being watched by the neighbors and I was constantly wary of making too much noise etc. Add to that the fact that we were never able to determine exactly who had made the call. The guy didn´t have the liberty to tell.
I think it was the old couple above us. : They are still there and now seem friendly enough though...

Anyway, enough on our case - didn´t mean to hijack your thread m_m. It must really be hard when the people making the complaint are your family.

Lots of hugs your way!
post #23 of 95
I'm sorry this happened but so glad it turned out ok!
post #24 of 95
I am so sorry :
post #25 of 95


What you do educationally (or otherwise) with your children is fully NONE of your relative' business!
post #26 of 95
Thread Starter 
Pia, Serendipity, and any others, I'm so sorry you guys have had to go through this, too! Please don't feel you're hijacking, share whatever you like here!

hotmamacita, I will be telling my mother that we need to break contact with her -- I'm not sure if I'll say it in a letter, or just tell her point-blank the next time she calls. I kind of feel like doing absolutely nothing to contact her myself. She no longer drives long distances, so it's not like she drops in here or anything (we live 30 minutes apart).

I will tell her I love her -- but while I'm not usually one for giving up hope, I've tried numerous times in the past to help her see how she's hurting me by her constant criticisms and attempts to undermine my relationships. It just goes in one ear and out the other with her.

She sees herself as a kind and reasonable person, and acts like I'm crazy and over-emotional (and dramatic) when I try to explain why I'm so upset. She acted sad when we stopped letting her have one-on-one time with our oldest 4 years ago (and this was after I'd talked with her and made it clear that she needed to quit, and gave her another chance) ... anyhow, she just seemed sad but not remorseful, it was like she didn't see how her behavior caused us to feel the way way did, it was all just me being "emotional."

When I've had these conversations in the past, Mom has said stuff like, "Yes, honey, I understand," in a calm and soothing voice like I was crazy so she just had to humor me. I'm now at a place of just needing a clean break. I see no point in continuing to attempt another one of these "conversations. "
post #27 of 95
Wow mammal_mama, you seem to have described my mom perfectly.

I constantly have to remind her of my boundaries -- things mellow for a while, then there is a blow out.


Having a relationship with this type of person can be exhausting.

I totally believe you are making the right choice in cutting off contact or severrrreeelly limiting it -- especially given the details you have provided.

It is a huge, huge betrayal to have someone call CPS (especially for no reason!!!!!!) and it is the nightmare of many loving parents. To have someone who you believe loves you and who you should trust call is just very hurtful and cutting contact does seem to be the best choice at this point.

I have come close to cutting off contact with my mom a few times due to behaviors you have described but if she called CPS on me or encouraged or supported someone else in doing so, I seriously would have no problem cutting her out of my life forever. This is not to say I would have no emotion surrounding it, just no problem doing it -- and it sounds like this is where you are at.

Prayers for you and your family mama.
post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
When I've had these conversations in the past, Mom has said stuff like, "Yes, honey, I understand," in a calm and soothing voice like I was crazy so she just had to humor me. I'm now at a place of just needing a clean break. I see no point in continuing to attempt another one of these "conversations. "
I'm so sorry you had to go through this. It sounds like you did great.. I totally would have frozen and been a wreck.

The above sounds like my mom.. I tell her how she comes across, she says, "Oh, no, I didn't realize that. I'm sorry" but then pretty much forgets our whole heart-to-heart 20 minutes later. Thankfully, our issues are minor compared to what you're going through, but I understand how tough it is to feel like you're talking to a wall, to just not get through at all.

Good luck having that conversation with your mother.. I'm sure it'll be tough on you, but probably for the best not to have to deal with that anymore.
post #29 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by pia View Post
I´m so sorry you had to deal with this mammal_mama. I will join the rest and say that I think you handled the whole situation really well. How gracefully!

It´s such a tough situation. We were there a few years ago when some neighbors called the local child services on us. Basically the complaint had started because we were up too late at night (doing building projects nonetheless!)....ugh.
The guy we spoke to was understanding, and saw that ds was well taken care of, so he closed the case.
But in so many ways the time afterwards was more stressful. I felt we were being watched by the neighbors and I was constantly wary of making too much noise etc. Add to that the fact that we were never able to determine exactly who had made the call. The guy didn´t have the liberty to tell.
I think it was the old couple above us. : They are still there and now seem friendly enough though...

Anyway, enough on our case - didn´t mean to hijack your thread m_m. It must really be hard when the people making the complaint are your family.

Lots of hugs your way!
Someone called Cps on you for staying up late??!! ::
In whose mind should the government control our bedtimes?? Unreal. Glad I live in the country with no nosy neighbors!

Its sad we have to be so scared of cps. I dont let the kids swim in thier babypool naked just in case someone drives by and calls cps. THey are five and under, it shouldnt be a big deal. Anyway.

I had cps called when my oldest was a baby. Pretty sure it was the old couple next door. THey said they heard him screaming. Sure they did, he was cutting teeth and the day the first onebroke through, he screamed like someone was killing him and would accept comfort, arched our of my arms...so i sat next to him and cried too!! So ironic as everyone who actually knew us thought we were ruining him by NOt letting him cry! My then mil said he'd neverdevelop his lungs cuz i picked him up at the slighest whimper!
The case worker caught me just as he went to sleep for his nap, in my arms and i didnt put him down the entire visit,my heart was pounding, she was nice, looked around the house, looked in thefridge for milk (why? he was bf?? fortunately we had some!) and asked for some contact numbers which i gave. By the time my x got home, i was ready to pack and head for canada! But we never heard back, not even a letter. My exmil said the caseworker told her that it was the most useless call she ever went on.

To the OP: read the book Toxic Parents, it helped ;me a lot!
post #30 of 95
what a nightmare to have CPS knock on your door! As many said before, you handled it amazingly well. I would have turned into a salt pillar unable to move or speak. I once had a bully cop knock on my door in the evening requesting info on a car outside whether it belonged to me, etc. The tags were overdue and the registration didn't connect, he said. I was 9 mo pregnant and ended up with BH contracions due to the stress. Sorry, I didn't mean to be OT here, but I just admire your bravery in handling the situation.

It seems like a clean cut with your family that betrayed you is the best option, as you must protect your own little family. Your freedom is the most important thing.
Hugs to you mama!
post #31 of 95
mammal mama
post #32 of 95
Thread Starter 
Thanks again, everyone!

Early this morning I did a little checking into Missouri homeschooling laws, to find out when and how the school board might get involved.

From my understanding, it happens when, during a CPS investigation, it's determined that the only concern is possible educational neglect. In this case, CPS is supposed to send a report to the local school board, and the school board is supposed to send the report immediately to the prosecuting attorney.

So I guess if that happens, rather than someone showing up at my door, I'd be getting a subpoena to appear in court. If found guilty, I could face a fine or jail-time (but the judge could choose to suspend that), and my 8yo would have to be immediately enrolled in a public, private, or home school (I guess this third option means we could have another chance to do it "right," if they determined I hadn't been doing it "right" up to this point).

Now, I don't think this social-worker visit actually qualifies as an "investigation," since the social worker said, upon arrival, that the report had already been downgraded from an "investigation" to an "assessment" (because they'd been able to clear me of the physical abuse charges right away -- presumably by checking with the hospital where the girls' fractures were treated so long ago).

So, by the time the worker arrived at my home, educational neglect was the only concern. Which I guess means they didn't "have" to come to the house, they could have just passed the report on to the school district.

But maybe, after finding out the physical abuse charges were totally bogus, they thought they'd send someone in person to assess things, rather than automatically involving the prosecuting attorney? In case those charges were totally bogus, too, maybe they didn't want to jump the gun and put my family though any unnecessary hassle. If so, then kudos to them!

And, also, if this is the case, then it may be a good thing I followed my hunch (and went against what I'd previously heard), and let her come in and complete her whole assessment. Otherwise she may have had no choice but to pass it on to the prosecuting attorney.

In any case, as I've thought about it, I've started to believe it's unlikely that this was my sister's first call -- it's just the first call CPS decided to follow up on. If they hadn't come to house this time, I would have gone on bringing my girls around my family, totally unaware that people were picking us apart, gathering whatever information they could to build a case against us.

I firmly believe that God chose the perfect time to let this all come to my attention, and He chose the perfect social worker, one who would be understanding and open-minded (as she seemed to be), and who actually seemed eager to wrap things up.

Of course, I don't want to get too comfortable, or be too sure that all this is over. But the more I look into things, the more I think it's all going to be over soon.

I've been working on a letter to my mom. I'm also trying to get a hold of the one aunt and uncle who I don't believe have been the least bit involved in all this. It's hitting me really hard, realizing that our poor girls have basically no extended family (dh's only living relative is his elderly mother who lives far away).
post #33 of 95
Wow, what a difficult decision. I am glad that you were able to handle things so well (and so calmly!). I am sorry about what this means for the relationship with your family But I would do the same thing in your situation. It is hard to know you can't trust them (we let the ILs watch DS once and a few weeks later found out some info that they should've told us at the time but purposely withheld, they were never able to admit that what they did was wrong so we had to tell them that we couldn't leave DS with them anymore--it was really difficult and MIL is still angry with me over a year later, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do).

I'm glad it looks like things will go no further, and I hope you don't have to mess with a subpeona or a court appearance. It sounds like the case is closed so that shouldn't be an issue. And thank you for sharing this info. It's good to be aware of state laws and that's a good reminder on me to check on that when DS is closer to school age (especially since we are a military family and I anticipate quite a few moves through the "school" years).
post #34 of 95
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I have no doubt I'm doing the right thing by breaking contact, though it is very hard and upsetting for me (and I worry about how it's bound to upset my girls). I talked with my aunt this evening (the one who I know had nothing to do with this), and she entreated with me not to break contact, or totally sever contact between Mom and the girls, either, because it would just break my mom's heart.

She kept trying to get me to see that we all make mistakes sometimes, and said she knew my mom's desire was just to make sure my girls had the very best in life. And she said whoever called must have been doing it out of love and concern.

I understand her desire for me to forgive as Christ forgave me (we're both Christians). I do agree that forgiveness is essential -- however, I think I can decide not to harbor resentment against them, and even genuinely love and pray for them and wish the best for them, without choosing to put my girls back in harm's way.

Anyhow, I kept trying to write a letter to my mom, but finally just gave up and called her this evening. I told her I loved her, but said dh and I felt it was no longer safe to bring our girls to see her, and explained, basically repeating many of the things I said on my first call.

I did add that even if she apologized, I knew she disagreed so strongly with how we were raising our girls, that she'd continue to talk badly about us to others, and eventually someone would feel a need to make another call. And the next social worker might not be so nice.

And I said a bunch more. I kind of rambled more than I'd intended to, but I finally stopped to give her a chance to respond.

She just said that she respected dh's and my opinion, and she knew there was no point telling us anything otherwise. And that she really didn't have anything more to say. So we just said goodbye. I'm guessing she meant she respected our opinion that she wasn't a safe person ... that was how it came across to me in the context of our conversation.

Later it occurred to me that she may have been trying to say she respected our opinion on the best way to raise our girls. But I don't think that's what she meant. Even if that's what she was trying to put across, I've been disrespected by her too many times to believe she's really serious about "respecting my opinions."

Thanks again, all!
post #35 of 95
That must have been awful getting that visit, mammalmama.

I think you're right to be optimistic that the worst is behind you. It sounds like the social worker has no neglect, educational or otherwise, to report to anyone.

Wishing you and your girls peace
post #36 of 95
What a horrible few days you have had The call you made to your mum must have been hard to do but at least you know that she has understood where the line has been drawn.

I hope you can find peace with the decision not to see her and that all this can be put aside and not fill your mind in the months to come.
post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

I understand her desire for me to forgive as Christ forgave me (we're both Christians). I do agree that forgiveness is essential -- however, I think I can decide not to harbor resentment against them, and even genuinely love and pray for them and wish the best for them, without choosing to put my girls back in harm's way.
!


I am glad you called your mom and told her how you felt. I hope she calls you and you keep talking about this with her over time.
post #38 of 95
I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm glad that the social worker assigned to you was nice and reasonable. It sounds like you needed this little "kick in the pants" to break off contact with toxic family members, which has been brewing for a long time, now you got the final nudge to go through with it without doubts.

I went through a similar experience with CPS about 2 years ago; fortunately without the accompanying family drama. In my case it was my mom's therapist who turned me in, after my mom vented to her about her concerns of my homeschooling. She still disagrees with my decision, but truly respects it and doesn't fear for the girls' safety. Plus the fact that DD1 is so organized and WANTS to produce "academic progress" helps Mom feel better about the whole situation. We've already done a number of things this year (started a timeline project, done 2 chapters in a math textbook, she's started going through an Earth Science text on her own) that resemble the work done in schools.
post #39 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm glad that the social worker assigned to you was nice and reasonable. It sounds like you needed this little "kick in the pants" to break off contact with toxic family members, which has been brewing for a long time, now you got the final nudge to go through with it without doubts.
Yes, that's it exactly, Ruthla! I'm really convinced that I do need to read Toxic Parents. It seems like so many people are like my aunt -- feeling I should assume this all has come from a place of love and concern.

I guess, for people who don't have toxic parents/relatives, it's hard for them to wrap their minds around the concept of a mother being motivated sheerly by an urge to get control, where real love has nothing to do with it. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around it, too.

But a few years ago I realized something: For all these years, I've been feeling guilty for not enjoying "hanging out" with my mom more. I always felt it was my fault that we weren't great friends like some of my friends are with their moms.

Then one day as I was helping my mom in her garden, I realized it's not me: Mom doesn't enjoy hanging out with me (or maybe with anyone) ... the more time I spent with her, the more occasion that gave her to find stuff to pick at.

I started wondering what Mom did enjoy, since it obviously wasn't relationships, even though she's very focused on her children's lives. I still don't get it, but maybe reading Toxic Parents will help me to move forward from here.

I'm so sorry you had to go through something similar, Ruthla! I'm glad that in your case, your mom wasn't really trying to make trouble for you.

In my case, my mom may not have made the call, but she clearly thought it was a good idea for someone to do it. When I said the social worker didn't find any concerns, I could tell from Mom's reaction that she thought they should stay involved.
post #40 of 95
I'm sorry that this happened but I'm glad it went well. Sometimes we need a push to have us do what we know it right. It sounds like cutting ties with mom it the best thing. It maybe hard at times but it sounds like you have put much thought into this. I cut ties with my not so dear dad several years ago and it has been a blessing. I wish I had done so sooner!!


Good luck to you and I am happy to hear that you are acting in the best intest of your children. I really wish more people on this earth would do so!!
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