sorry for no paragrahs, my enter key is broken. Basically, I need advice on whether I should suck up my situation as it is and get it together on my own or go through the "system." I really have no idea what to do. Ds and I have been staying at a domestic violence shelter program. WE moved several states away to here because my FIL was threatening to kidnap ds, and we believed he was serious. He did actually show up in my old state after I left, So i believe he meant what he said....thus why I got out of dodge. I had no place really to go, but i knew some people here and they encouraged me to come, so I did. Never mind that now it turns out they can't help me.Well, the day after I got here I had met this guy who was looking for work at the same place as me. We got to talking, exhnaged numbers, and had been talking on and off since. On monday, we decided to get together to look for work, since I don't know my way around the buses here yet. on monday we got all the way ont he other side of the city looking for this daycare that was hiring and then the bus was late, so we missed the connecting train, and had to wait 45 minutes for another one, and couldn't make it back by 7PM. This is entirely my fault, I know, for not planning better. I called and explained to the shelter that i was job hunting, didn't know th bus system well, don't know my way around, etc. I could have been back by 8PM, but they told me to just come pick up my things in the next couple of days. So last night and Monday night, I spent the night in a hotel. I have a week paid for at the hotel, and my "friend" has started working again and will be able to pay for another week for me most likely. Within 2 weeks I should have a job and a paycheck, since I have been interviewing by phone all yesterday and today. We can stay at the hotel until I save enough (a couple weeks at most) to move into an apartment. There is a $99 move in special right now that I will hopefully be able to get in on. Apartments are very very cheap around here. I know how awful all this sounds. Ever since I left my dh, things have just spiraled out of control, getting wors and worse. I can't seem to get back on my feet. I get up every morning, get dressed, and look for work, and have been, even when I first left my dh and was staying with my mother. I have no childcare, which limits me to working at daycares. I am dependent on someone I have known less than a month, and while he is really nice and kind to my ds and I, he is not a whole lot better off than i am and can only help so much. I really want to go into Social Services and ask for assistance...I have food stamps, but maybe some kind of emergency help, like TANF, housing, childcare, I don't know? But telling this story is so embarrassing because I have completely screwed up and look like a horrible mom, and i'm afraid they will take my ds away from me because we don't have permanent housing. I don't know what to do. i'm not sure i can make it without some kind of help, but i'm afraid to go looking for help and bring them into my business. I could just use some advice. Please no flaming me, I did what i thought was best by getting away from my stbx and I get no help from my family. My mom is controlling at best and very manipulative. I have ahd to do everything on my own and I was jsut trying to protect my ds by coming here. I know if my mom finds out, she will do something extremely dramatic, like call the police or CPS on me (she ahs before). It doesn't matter what for....she enjoys the drama and will create a problem that requries her "solving" it. Then she gets to be the good guy fixing everything and rescuing me and telling her friends that I am screwup and a no good mother. I swear, my ds's life was good up until i got back with his father. i never should have done it. All of this is to ask, is it a bad idea to involve the "system" in my life right now? I could use the help, but after reading that other CPS thread, I'm worried.