Right so here's the story morning glory...
A note to the reader... I started out having this be a message to one of my blog friends from Open Diary, guide dog lists etc on facebook. However once I got started I couldn't stop and I passed the amount of words you are allowed in FB p.m.s a heck of a long time ago. I've been meaning to explain this bit in my blog anyway and rather than tell the story for the umpteenth oo Mr. Macky sais umpteenth is spelled right but Mackey is not. Huh? well anyway...
So I'm just going to copy all the gobs and gobs of text I have in the message box and transfer it to my blog so I can just tell folks to go read this thing in my blog. I don't mind telling it and I am planning to expand on some aspects of it but. For anyone who wants my back story for what it is worth. Go read it on the blog for yourself. smile.
On the 18 March at butt ass early a large number of armed FBI, local PD, U.S. marshels and customs Came into our house, yelling about a search warrent and more or less being loud. They didnt bust in with guns drawn, I don't think and they didn't, despite what some neighbor in the news paper said, kick the door in.
Anyway Scary scary stuff. Just thinking about it sends chills through me. Long and short of it is. They had reason to believe Larry had been producing having and trading child porn... They cought some guy in Aussi, down under, and he turnned over his contacts list and they tracked the ip first to the U.S., then to our service provider, then... To us. September first of last year somebody at yahoo on flicker saw some pix on Larry's account I guess. that weren't good. and they put a track on his our internet, his ip or whatever.
Well. If that wern't bad enough the pictures date back, as far as they can tell, to September of 08. The month my Benji was born. God... But wait! There's more! Act now! Larry. Was. using. Skye and Benji. In his nastyness. It's something I try not to think about. A two year and a new born? WTF! I just can't wrap my mind around it. I seen some of the pictures of Skye and Benji. There's this stupid befrigged assclown of a website that he posted to that *STILL* has the pictures up for whoever to see.
I'm ringing my aftercare caseworker Monday to see if maybe she can't do something or better yet tell me what I can do to get this horror off the net. I know they say once stuff is up on the net it's up there forever. Really? It sure would be nice if I could recover the countless number of pix, I've lost over the years. Well anyway...
They took everyone's cell phone and all the computers. Save for oddly enough mine.
They didn't take my iPhone. They didn't take my MacBook. They didn't take my T drive. They didn't take my video camera. I let look through all the pictures on my iPhone and told them those were all the ones on my computer. I told them I didn't let anybody touch my equipment as it is pretty much my main link to the outside world and means of communication. Larry must of made it clear that I a. had no clue what so ever about his actions and b. nobody other than me has ever touched my equipment. I had nothing to hide and was straight up with them.
My friend Shane said they didn't take my stuff because I was so straight with them and it was clear I had nothing to do with it.
I'm so thankful that I did have my stuff because I couldn't of fought the fight I needed for my kids without the iPhone and laptop. It sounds dramatic and dumb but it is what it is.
So here's my bit in all this. The house was horrid. I had got so depressed and numb by that point that I couldn't function well I could take care of my kids but the house had got quite away from me.
No one helped me keep the place up. They did some but it is like trying to clean up after a dog race with a tiny little poop bag.
The girls didn't listen to my rules and Larry didn't back me on having them. They ate all over the house, just threw their trash down, left food all up in the house. And while I tried to keep up best I could there always seemed to be heaps and heaps more, things I missed and all.
The basement was just aweful Larry had the basement and it was downright dangerous. It looked like a hell house that you would see on hoarders only about a thousand times worse. He didn't let the kids or I down and even if he did I would let them down there as it was just a big hot mess.
I told the cops, the SRS, that I tried, I really did, but I couldn't manage and nobody was helping enough to make a dent. It was some small comfort to know that when we went back in the house with the cops and the SRS they both admitted that it was clear I had been trying the best I could.
The house on it's own was enough for the state to yank Skye and Benji. I knew that and that was what I was always telling everyone. The state will take the kids if they saw. x,y,z...
Larry would not let me get any outside help. He disregarded suggestions from family about agencies that would be able to help me learn to manage everything. My main focus was on the kids. But with a house like that y'aknow. I claim it I am a crap house keeper. I can be a great house keeper but I had treaded water so long to try and do my best that I just drowned.
Well. There was the sex abuse and if the house had been perfect the state would of yanked the kids, as they should. I believe the state did the right thing by getting my kids up and out. I used the time they were in out of family foster care to get straight and figure out what we did next.
A few days after they went from protective custody from the cops and into their foster home their KVC caseworker called me and said she had to report an alert to the SRS abuse like as the kids had unexplained marks and brooses.
Later on I was told that the SRS suspected that the marks were burns. Burns? No one smoked who lived with us. The one friend who did always took it outside and never left her things down where the kids could get it...
The two or three things aginst me, the horrid house and neglect and sex abuse and all that they finally ruled unsubstanitated.
Larry has now been labled a child abuser, a sex offender, a child mulester is forbiden to be around children.
Thank. God for that.
Well as the kids were in care I hit the ground running even before our first time to go to court, just days after this happened I was already devising ways I could, with support at first mind my kids and give them shelter. I asked that the kids have educational screenings. Larry, well I'll get to that in time I guess. I had worries, especially for Benji. I also requsted that they be brought up to date on any shots and that Skye see a dentest. Which reminds me. I've got to ring gracemed and set up a time for her... Also gotta call their school and set up or find out where we can get a followup edcutional screening as requested...
Both kids were borderline well Skye was. Benji, as I had thought was very far behind in his speach and ability to well talk, which is redundent. Well when this happened I asked if there could be some way to teach him signs. And I started looking into special needs programs here in Wichita. I already knew the place I was going to seak help from first because I knew they helped disabled kids with delays. I knew and had a few friends from school that had received services from there. So they were my first call.
It took a little phone tag and some red tape but by early May I had secured services for Benji. What took for friggen ever is because infant toddler services, the ones who tested Benji took for ever getting their report out.
Additionally another of my first requests, and it might of been the one I said first. I requested that my babies get into counseling. Like yesterday. What they had gone through were going through was hell and I wanted to try and do as much as I could so they wouldn't be too messed up over it all. Skye got a few play therp. sessions before we came down here. I think they helped. God I hope so. Benji of corse was too young to test
After our first time in court and prior to any court orders being given I signed up for and did 24 hours of parenting classes. I set up therp for me up there and down here and know where I need to go if the kids ever do need help. I looked for housing options. right now we are living in my mom's house, my dad passed away in July... I got in touch or tried to and finally have with voc rehab again so I can get services through them. I was able just a few weeks ago to get us help with foodstamps, my aftercare worker has pushed for and received the green light for paying for Skye's preschool and ben's day school for the next year. Benji is receiving services twice a month at school, Rainbows comes in and works with him.
I even have a few options in mind if and when we need help with education, daycare whatever.
My question to SRS every time I met a case plan goal was what else can I do to help you help me and the kids? I even joined a support group for mom's who had their kids in care and it helped a lot.
On May 10th we went back for court to see what we did next. My parents were cleared to be kinship care for Skye and Benji meaning they would have custody sort of. The state holds over all custody for now. The D.A. was willing to accept the SRS ruling that I didn't hurt or abuse my kids. Rare in a lot of cases like this I've been told. Well at court the judged granted KVC, SRS children services contractor to place the kids with my folks and said that I could be there too but needed 100% supervision. I got it. To the black and white law side of things I failed to protect my kids. I needed to earn trust tha I could. So we went with it. My friends all got background clearence so me and the kids could get out and so they could drive us places we needed to go.
I'm in therp now and on meds. I've ditched the sleeping pills I was given in favor of OTC stuff and the anti deprecent helps.
My first real act of reclaiming my life was to ring GDB and make application for a third guide dog, Fleming having retired in August of last year.
I think my dog is going to be the thing that will let me feel confident and whole again and safe and will be the thing, it's not a thing but you know, that will pull us up out of this befrigged black hole Larry put us in.
In September we went back to court. This time it was to see if KVC could get the right to place the kids back with me and that the supervision thing be lifted... When the judge addressed me she said that I should be a postermom for how to do right by your children. Everyone is just impressed to heck and back over how far I've come. I, just didn't see any other option. I did the right thing.
Oh about the whole importance of the guide dog thing. Larry would not take me and the kids out. Last year for example we remained in the house from the day after thanks giving of last year until the second of feb this year. And this was normal. I took the kids on the deck and everything but as far as going out he said it was too much of a bother and I didn't need a third guide dog. He said I couldn't be trusted with the kids alone outside and he never walked the neighborhood. The girls did but they went such crazy paths I couldn't sort it out. Besides that I didn't have any way to get two kids outside and supervise them.
He sapped every last ounce of self-worth I had.
I didn't walk out because he told me he didn't care if I walked but I was never getting custody of the kids, he'd fight me in court. And he'd win. He'd make it look like I was unfit. Also I beleived in our family and that a child needs their mom and dad in the home. I also put his poor treatment of me off to he is just stressed out and everyone gets like that and takes it out on the close ones to them. He isn't abusing the kids, in the way of treating them bad or hitting them. He never ever hit me. Words hurt just as much. He had me thinking I was the crazy one and just you know sucked me out 'til there was nearly nothing.
He didn't restrict hwo I could talk to, I kept in touch with friends and family. I also didn't walk because I didn't want to come slinking back home with my kids to my folks. To me that was fail. No good. I had faith that things would get better and in a way I guess they did and are...
The same day I got my kids back Larry got nearly 22 years in federal prison. He has no visitation with any of his kids...He's manned up finally and is doing what little he can to see that the kids and I are supported. They get SSI checks via his SSDI and that is enough.
I'm not cutting his rights off or making a big hairy deal out it because if his rights went so would the checks. Besides that. What does it matter? He's effectively physically gone. For good.
You know, one thing some people get and others don't quite get is. I am not mad at him and I don't hate him. I hate I can't say how much, the things he did to our kids, I hate that he as so selfish that he didn't care he was at risk of and did losing his family. But I know there to be some good in him. I tell Skye and Benji that their dad did very bad things but he himself isn't a bad person. He's just ill and it makes him dangerous to be around us so he's in a place where he'll get help. It's like timeout for grownups.. The big bad grownup timeout cage. Skye, when you ask her, knows her daddy is in prison, only she says it prisonit and I think she's stopped confusing it with A. the hospital, or b. heaven which is the two places she thinks grandpa is currently.
I've told her and Benji none of this not one part of it is their fault. What was done to them was bad but they are not bad. I won't let anyone badmouth their dad infront of them and will never say anything bad on Larry.
Skye and Benji deserve to and have the right to come to their own ends regarding daddy. I'll tell them as much as I can in the way they can understand it. If, when they are of age, they want to see or write Larry I am behind that. If they want to write him off all together. I'm behind that too. He took away something from the kids he had no right to in that they and only they are to be the ones wo desides with whom they share their bodies. Not him. So to my way of thinking, he gets no rights to see them. I've agreeded to in time once I've healed more to keep at least a thread of contact with him, to tell him what the kids are doing but never detailed details. I do this because I hope in time Larry can answer for himself. I don't wish any harm upon him, but I know there'll be some.
What I wish for Larry is that he can go to a place where they have therp. and treatment program for people with his problems...I hope he gets the help he's needed all these long years and that he can put paid the hell he grew up in. I've learned several things now that explain so much but don't grant innocents. I hope and beleive he can change and learn how to cotrol his inpulses or whatever the hell it is that drives him to do this shit.
I hope that one day his side of things can come out and that he'll be able to take up his life such as it is and just. Live. Just to reach out to others who have been where he has been and help them get help or talk to abuse victims? I don't know. But I believe that from all of this can come a great good. But he's the only one who can make it happen. I beleive in him and that if he is true about wanting to change that he can. He can and hopefully will learn to control his sickness. He's never going to be cured. Never ever. But I send him all my best, lord only know that he's seen me at my worst... So bye bye larry and good luck to you. I've got life to attend to...
People say I was just as much a victim as the kids but in a different way... Maybe I *WAS* but refuse to be now. I'm not letting one bad event in my life define who I am or how my life is going to go. Right now I sometimes feel like I have to explain my back story and in time this too will pass.
I'm not going to look back. I'm going to do whatever it is I have to do so me and my kids "normal" is a good but different normal. They aren't victims any more either. This is part of their life but so is having blind parents, brown hor blonde, Skye and Benji respectively, hair or any other thing, sure this has marked us but it is only a small part of the big picture.
Today, thankfully. Skye and Benji show no signs of what they suffered at the hands of their dad, and to some extent me. I should of known. I should of been mentally stronger. I should of done up the house.
But it is what it is and that's all it is...
Skye and Benji have just blosemed now they are getting out into the world and learning and playing with kids their ages. Benji is signing and trying to talk more. The other night I gave him a bite of my soup. He wanted another so he tapped me and when I was looking at him and could see what he was doing he signed "more please." He even said it but it sounded like muh beeeeez. He is trying and he can say the named of some things and can find body parts eye ears like that They both seem to be moving on and that's what I'm doing. Like I said, We are no longer victims. rebuild, renew, recover! We will rise above this.
My plans are this... I'm waiting to get services going with Voc Rehab, they are slow and so I'm not expecting a heck of a lot now... But when I do get things going I want to get o and m training on the bus system here. I want to see everything old and new that will help me care for my kids. Things like a way to measure their medications. Keep track of them outside, currently I have a sighted friend go with me to the park or playground. I have supervised them in public but I've not done anything more than go for walks around the neighborhood... When I get my dog though we are gonna fly, er whatever you do when you ride the bus. Wait mostly, I guess as our transport here is suposed to suck?
Bassicly first things first I need to get my personal things in order. That's the foundation. Hopefully by the time I get back from GDB or soon there after I can start working on the whole job thing.
As I am rebuilding a new life I've desided to tell them all exactly what I want to do. I want to work with helper dogs. I think I could train the dogs that help wheel chair users and such and if I can do that grand. My true wish though is to work for GDB. I don't care what campus but to work there would be...
This may sound stupid but oh well... GDB is my favorite place in all the world. I just love the vibe there everyone is so positive. Oh I know there are things which will suck, or people I won't get on with or whatever, no place is perfect. But the times I was at GDB for training I felt respected and like a member of the human race, not a blind member, just a member. With a dog and with some special for lack of a word ways in doing things. I want to say alternitive but according to Mr. Macky, I name my macbook, that plus probily half the other words in this thing are not spelled correctly....
I'm happy there. I'm doing stuff I enjoy and am good at. I know I'm a good handler and with some training and knowledge maybe I could work in the kennels or in AGS or as an R.A. for the dorms when instructors or whoever aren't able to pull overnights. Not sure what I'd do with Skye and Benji but for now I have to focus on getting the training and knowledge and experence and what ever.
I've also got to prove to my mom something so epic that I wonder if I can do it. I have to prove I'm not a screwup she has said "I'm not gonna bail your ass out of california. If you move there you can't take your kids." Well I call bullshit on that. I get where she is coming from I really do, but I can do this and things like that just assuming it will go crap like everything else i my life does nothing but pull me down.
My other interest is oddly enough television or radio or something like that.
In the past I agreed to try and be a phone drone in a cube farm. It is something I could do, I've had some training in it and am good. But do I just want to get a job that will pay the bills but suck my life out or do I really as scary as it sounds want to try for what I really want? I want to try. May not get there or might end up some place I didn't think on but we are going to be fine. It will be hard and I'll be straight about it. Times this whole befrigged thing just sucks but you get good days for the bad days and I have to have faith that it's going to get better, that our lot in life is going to get better. I gotta do it, I'm the only parent my kids have and they are the spark for all I do and will ever do.
I wouldn't be here though if it wern't for my family. Despite some of their rather bummer qwerks, they have stepped up and taken us in and support us, they've been great and I am lucky to have them. Some days are better than other but sometimes that just how it goes. And my friends. My blog friends and email support group friends this is support for stuff like guide dogs for the blind grads. and my FB friends. I may not know all of them in person but the ones who reached out to me with an encourage word or thought mean a lo to me and then there are those folk who have the rather questionible honor of actually knowing me in person. Some of them I can't see in person because they live too far away but they've all been wonderful and supportive and just. Wow. If it wern't for them I would not be where I am now.
This is going to sound dumb but music also got me through. Ben Folds and Sufjan Stevens mostly with some coldplay and soul coughing and about a zillion other bands.
Oh totally random, silly random brain of mine. The girls. Well I wish I knew better how they are. I keep in touch with them on FB and I share as many pix as I can and messages and I will do what ever I have to to keep them in some contact with Skye and Benji. They miss us and God how I miss them. No matter what they are always going to be my girls.
Second random but not as random as thought number one... uh oh right My silly stupid favorite just for fun wish is to actually meet Mr. Ben Folds. Just to tell him thanks for all the music. The good times nad the bad. He and Ben Folds Five have been a part of the soundtrack, a big part of the soundtrack of my life for years and has seen me through some friggen hard times. And I just want to thank him. Ya know... And no I am not a demented dangerous stocker. I wouldn't do things like shreak and throw underthings at him or try to get some clothes off him or whatever those fans that do that stuff do. Look I admire him a hell of a lot. But really. He's just a guy, like everyone else and it is really weird to my way of thinking to do things like collect thousands of pictures of him off the internet. Googlemap where he lives, send him a ginormous amount of tweets on twitter or P.M.s on FB though I follow him both places, I guess the digital version of all those dead heads. Are they still around? I guess so. There are hoards of Elvis fans that go crazy over elvis and he's been dead, God what. 33 yeare? I was about eight months old in August of 77 so I don't remember...
Anyway, Okay I'll admit, Ben Folds provides many of my ringtones on my iPhone and... I do have a raggedy old torn and stained T shirt Larry got for me the one and ounly time I saw Ben Folds in person.
That was crap! They sold out of Ben Folds ture shirts faster than a teenager texting down the freeway at some ungoddly speed. You would think. Oh we have x number of ticket sales or wher ever we are playing has blah number of people so we should have at least whatever number of shirt plus extras but I guess hossin that stuff all over the place is hard. So I got a Rockin' the Suberbs T which is fitting cuz that was the CD I played over and over and over and over when Larry asked me out. I still regard that as a good time. I'll post about how we met and ll for anyone who wants to know Right now however it is two in the morning and despite it being a long day the kids will still be up way too early of a Sunday and gotta get some rest...