January 7, 2012

Fight Or Flight: Behaviors Of The Accused

Before August 27, 2011:
When someone was accused of doing something wrong, I thought there was usually some bit of truth behind it. Even if it was just a small bit. And if they left the country, confessed, or tried to commit suicide then that sealed the deal. They were definitely guilty.

After August 27, 2011:
Rational and irrational thought plagues the accused. For this post, I will concentrate on what was going through my heart and mind in the time period shortly following the initial investigation of Kira's broken collarbone. CPS was investigating my husband and I for maltreatment or child abuse. The Sheriff was investigating Second Degree Assault of a Child, a felony offense.

The Body Soul Connection describes the physiologic response to stress as this:
The "fight or flight response" is our body's primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to "fight" or "flee" from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.
Necessary Details:
I didn't start out feeling attacked. I took Kira to the on-call pediatrician on Saturday morning because I felt a bump midway between her neck and shoulder. Because Elliott has had some issues with his elbow popping out of joint and I have hyper-flexible joints, I thought Kira's shoulder had popped out of socket. It didn't really seem to bother her, though. I don't even know when it happened since she didn't cry very much. And certainly never in a way that would have drawn my attention to it in the moment it happened.

I was surprised when the x-ray showed the collarbone was broken. Because I had no specific incident to tell the doctor about, he said he had to report it to CPS and that they would do an investigation. I was okay with this. I thought they'd come out to our house and talk to us. We'd tell them we didn't know what happened, they'd see Kira is well cared for and that would be the end of it.

Primitive, Automatic, Inborn Response:
I started feeling uneasy when I talked to a friend of mine who had a bad experience being trapped in the hospital with her nursing twin daughters because one had fallen off the bed and broken her leg. She was forced to do every test under the sun on her daughter and was told that if she refused or tried to take her daughter away then they'd report her for kid-knapping.
After consulting with Tymon, we decided that we would not take Kira to Children's Hospital's emergency department for further testing as the pediatrician had suggested we do. Any investigation could be done from our home or in a CPS office. Away from high-tech, cancer-causing, radiation-saturated equipment.

Less than two hours later a CPS social worker and two sheriff deputies were at our front door intent on taking Kira into protective custody.

Anger and Defiance:
It was a STRUGGLE to stay calm at this point. We tried. Hard. They could see that Kira was fine. She was happy and cared for. The social worker threatened to get a court order to get custody of her if we didn't take her to Children's Hospital immediately. One deputy was visibly angry. The other more reasonable. After about an hour of back and forth exchange between us, the deputies, the social worker and both of their bosses, we got a guarantee that if I took Kira to the hospital we'd only have to do x-rays and no CT scan (likely to cause childhood cancer when done in infants).

Later at the hospital, after the full skeletal survey, the doctors wanted to do a CT scan. I refused and started asking more questions about what would happen next. Would they take custody of Kira and do the test anyway? Who would pay for that? I certainly wasn't going to.

Before going to the hospital and during the several hours in the ER, I was busy doing research. The need to know everything was great. What causes broken clavicles? What laws compel me to comply with a suggestion from a doctor?

For computers, technology, iPads, Google and the internet. For the easy flow of information.

Mama Bear:
There is NO WAY are you going to take away my baby!

I took my blog down. No one but me could read it. What if CPS found it? What if they read about some of the crazy things my children do? Would it incriminate me? Some of you noticed this and emailed me about getting an invitation to keep reading. Thank you. I so appreciate the love and support of my family and friends.

My blog was down for less than a day. It weighed heavy on me. I prayed to know what to do. In church a speaker was telling a story. I don't remember what that story was about but while listening I had the distinct impression that shutting out my blog readers was not the right thing to do. I needed your support.

I put my blog back online, disabled the search feature and told my story. You wouldn't believe how many of you have also had run ins with CPS. Tons. You came out of the woodwork. Truly. It got to the point where I couldn't even follow up on the phone calls and messages left for me about it. While being investigated by CPS or the Sheriff is incredibly embarrassing, making our struggle public was right for our family. We weren't judged. You helped us. Gave us names, lawyers, and resources that might help us. Thank you!

This. Is. Not. Happening. But it is. To me. Right now.

No one would take our case. Only certain family law attorneys regularly work with CPS. CPS did background checks on us. They found out that our son Evan died three years ago. They opened up a case on him. Now our referrals were directed at criminal law attorneys. And most of them don't have any experience with CPS. No one can help us.

We told our story. Several times. Over and over again. They didn't believe us. And asked the same question a little differently. Should I just agree with whatever they said? Would they believe that? What was the truth? Did events happen as I remembered? Or did my imagination create the picture I thought they wanted? What is real? I don't know anymore. What can I say to make the questions stop? Why don't they just stop? I don't know! If I knew how it happened, I would tell you. But I don't! Please, please just leave me alone.

Loss of Control:
We couldn't control what was happening around us. Not CPS. Not law enforcement. Not medical practitioners. The government was essentially threatening to break apart our family and all we could do was stand back and watch.

What's wrong that I don't know when Kira has a broken bone? Wasn't I there? I shouldn't even be a mother. I don't feel comfortable holding Kira. My arms tingle. Maybe I'd drop her. Life is hyper-sensitive and we tip toe around each other. Afraid to move. Afraid it will be wrong.

My children would be better off in a foster home. And why do I care if they learn to love vegetables or not? They'd just eat junk in a foster home. Nothing I've taught them matters.

What would life be like if our children were given to another family? How would a foster parent be able to care for our Kira? She doesn't take a bottle. She has a congenital heart defect. She has cardiology appointments. A foster family wouldn't know what the warning signs were if Kira was in distress. Would we ever get our children back? Maybe dying is the answer...

A New Life:
We're leaving. Where could we go? I don't care about our house, our business, our things. They aren't important. We must take our family and build a new life. Somewhere else. Where they'd never find us. That would work, right? We were never charged with a crime. They don't have any evidence besides an x-ray. That doesn't prove we hurt our Kira. We didn't hurt her. Will we ever be able to come home?

Where I'm At Now:
I'm extremely grateful our family was never split up. I'm glad we didn't leave. I'm happy we're alive. I'm pleased the investigation is over. The self-doubt is gone. The anger has subsided. But the stark reality of how much power the government has over our family haunts me. I do not trust them. Our story ended well. But not all stories do.

I feel betrayed by our representatives both in the house and senate who enabled Obama to crap on our constitutional rights for due process last week (even though he had "serious reservations" about doing so. When we were being investigated for Kira's injury, it was very difficult to get any information about what was going on. The unknown is dangerously frightening. As in Kira didn't gain any weight for a month because I was under extreme stress and not producing fatty milk. I can't imagine how the "terrorists" in Gitmo must feel. No charges. No trials. No evidence. And now American citizens can be treated the same. Our politicians need to be fired. Today.

1 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. This is scary stuff! I agree 100% government has way too much control and it isn't right!


Go ahead. Comment.
You know you want to.
And I love hearing from you.

Design by April Showers