Categories
child death child welfare reform, foster care abuse cps domestic violence drug abuse family foster care government medicaid psychiatry

Special thanks to Former Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn

click here to read the Texas Medicaid Fraud News Reports and Investigation Findings on Its Almost Tuesday’s Medicaid Fraud Page.

In working with abuse cases, government systems, and foster care, there are many obstacles & tragedies on a daily basis.

We fight a system enormously large by comparison (to a single mom on aol) who has the money, resources, and capabilities to win, much moreso than the mom on aol. In the nastiness of red tape, lies, cover-ups, confidentiality excuses, conspiracies, money driven mistakes that cost lives & much more insanity than one would ever expect out of our own government systems

( particularly one in place to “protect children”.)

We see very few rewards.

Many advocates burn out.

By August of 2004 they finally, after much pressure, told me 3 of the medications they put him on. I had requested, demanded, and begged to know what they were giving my son who was coming to visitations acting different.

One visit he would be hyper and non-stop talking – rambling, so fast his mind would be thinking ten thoughts ahead, and he’d get stuck in a stutter from not being able to keep up. The next visit he’d be so groggy and sleepy, despondent, falling asleep mid-sentence, and unable to communicate or think clearly.

I knew it was drugs he was receiving by the foster care system he was thrown into… but which ones? and why? He’d never been on medications prior to foster care (and hasn’t since – to my knowledge).

I began writing letters. I wrote letters to everyone.

I wrote to the news station, the inspector general’s office, the local media, the CCHR, the medical board, the courts, etc., etc.,

Anyone and everyone received a letter from me. I wrote, last time I recall, approximately 1500 letters in the first couple months, begging for help with my fight for my son. But I kept getting no response. I kept seeing this happening to my child, and other children, and my pleas for help falling on deaf ears.

Except for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. She listened. I just didn’t know it … yet. I had written her, among the masses, and she actually wrote me back, herself. I was so proud of that letter, and valued it as it was the only effort I saw return to me. As time went by, and I saw little results of my efforts, my hope dwindled, and my case closing and not in my favor.

I had put up a webpage in November/December accusing the Texas county & cps of medicaid fraud and overdrugging our children; and by the end of my case, my son’s name was changed, I was placed under a gag order (now lifted) and I haven’t seen him nor talked to him in over 3 years.

Needless to say I fell … headfirst… into a deep despair & desperation. I had to figure out life without my son, and I’ve never succeeded in that. I doubt I will. The pain is as fresh when I let it come out to the surface as it was then, only difference is I’ve learned how to numb my emotions by separating my memories from myself, and it doesn’t really work, only helps.

Then I look at a page and I read one more article I run across about the work the Comptroller’s done in Forgotten Children, from April 2004, the time my son was taken from me. Although I run this blog and a few others, I do not dive headfirst into the work as I did before – I burnt out. Sometimes I read another CPS case, and I get sick, literally, and throw up.

The trauma its cause my family, my daughter and our relationship, and my entire life and that of my children’s’ is unimaginable. IT cannot ever be repaired; ever. So when I read the Medicaid Fraud investigation concerning psychotropic medications given needlessly to foster children for profit, launched December 16th, 2004 – it hits me hard – considering it was that time when I was writing to Carole Strayhorn begging for help.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn helped.

Foster Children: Texas Health Care Claims Study — Special Report is available as a PDF file (3.8 MB). If you do not already have it, you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the PDF file.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn listened.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Grandma Strayhorn!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You made me realise that everything does, in fact, happen for a reason, and that our pain may not have been in vain…. for the 2008 implementation of the changes in the system for providing health care to foster children is proof that something changed. Something.

I just pray we made a difference for the children.

I fought and fought & because I had gone into despair so tragically after losing a losing battle, I left the state of Texas for a long while, and never turned on ews, internet re: cps, or anything related. It was far too painful. Now, nearly 4 years since this nightmare I lived through was written by my fingers on this very same keyboard I type on today, my letters reached – and were read…. and I am reaping the feelings of that one little reward in my work, and it is good. It is real good. So good I cried and laughed at the same time.

I only pray we made a difference and continue to make a difference for the forgotten children I’ll always remember – because one of them was mine.

Again, thank you, to everyone who read. We needed you & you listened.


Categories
abduction child christmas cps health holiday

Christmas – 3 Years Stuck

If you haven’t read my story, you can find it here –Its Almost Tuesday, The True Story.

This is my 4th Christmas without my son. The first was Christmas 2004; but it is as devastating for me today as then… if not more. It just doesn’t show as much.

I have not spoken to my son, nor have I seen him, received any reports on his well-being, no pictures, no correspondence, nothing. I’m supposed to talk to him on the phone and get supervised visits. But my mother never did play by the rules.

Why? Is she punishing me for acting out against her as a teenager when I ran away from home with my “first love”?

Her persecution of me has gone on so long that at this point, i think she truly believes her exaggerated recollection of my past and her vision of me has been stretched and skewed into another person than who she once remembered as her daughter. I am many things according to her, but those things are based on lies… but to her, they are truths…

The truth is, I AM many things… the ultimate ‘product of my environment’ … but I am not what she says me to be (and she tells everyone – the dog pound, hairdresser, potential mates, grocery store clerk, mailman, that her ‘mentally ill drugged out daughter abused her grandson so he was taken into foster care and she saved his life” (now praise her – praise her, give her the attention she desperately wants to make it worth it)…

It wasn’t worth it … and I never hurt my children…

I’m not here to talk about the merits of my case, its long over, she won – or did she? Nobody won, it was a total loss, mostly, for the children… my son is bearing the brunt of this nightmare.

She didn’t save him… she stole his childhood… she was maliciously revengeful towards me after I fought with her one day and wouldn’t back down and the police were ultimately called on her.

Being 8 years old at the time he was taken, I know my son remembers living at home with me, unless he has blocked it out. He must.

I have tried to get messages to him to call me, but he never does. I am told he is given those messages. I don’t know the truth. I just know that he doesn’t call.

From what I understand, he doesn’t want to talk to me, see me, nor have anything to do with me. I’m told that he does not so much as talk about me.

At all? But we were once so close.

I don’t understand what is going through his little mind. I only survived this from my place, which was barely, not from the child’s point of view. Maybe he’s doing what he must to bide his time and just survive – like me?

Or maybe he is truly confused? Being told over and over again that he was in foster care for being abused, but having good memories of home without abuse… it doesn’t make sense to him.

Maybe he’s blocked it all out and doesn’t remember any of it? He’s repressed it all? Is that possible for an 8 year old?

Then I wonder, does he love me?

Does he miss me?

Does he forgive me?

Does he know the truth?

Will he end up like me? Will he be a mentor to other foster children one day?

Will he self-destruct? Will he turn to drugs? End up in prison? Does he know how hard I tried? Will he believe me if I ever get to tell him one day? Will he hate me forever? Will I live long enough to see him again?

Do I want to see him again and risk his anger coming out on me, being blamed… would I endure it with strength or would that be the straw that broke my back…?

These are questions that haunt me every day of my life.

My sadness is overwhelming. I love him more than I can write, there are no words to describe that love… it keeps me alive. But, my suffering is so strong, I

My coping skills have struggled against themselves, and I’ve found myself retreating into myself, my memories, and my writing, as my self-therapy. It has been so long now that most of the people in my life have never met my son. Most people in my life now have not seen me with my child, he is merely a boy in a photograph. I rarely speak of him as its too painful. I don’t want the questions. I don’t want the confusion on another person’s face as they try to understand what happened. I don’t want to hear “They can’t do that….” anymore. They can, and they did.

I don’t know why I’m writing about it now, except to say that I am in a lot of pain these days, inside my soul. I’ve gone through the gamet of phases, tried a variety of techniques to make it through this, read, written, talked, and meditated… none of it has worked… there is no pain like that of losing a child, and knowing he’s out there, one or two counties away, with my own mother, who knows the truth, that i loved him and cared for him with my life, but whose anger is separating us irreparably.

No matter what, if she were to give me access to him back today, there is a significant loss of several years, taking my child from a boy to a teen that are gone. They cannot be replaced or given back. They cannot fix this for me, ever, no matter the therapy, retribution, justice, forgiveness, revenge, or healing. There is nothing to give back what was taken from us, his 8th year, 9th year, 10th, 11th, and 12th year, and however many more… I will never hear his voice as a child again, and I didn’t get to be around while it changed, to adapt to it.

My mother forever stole my child and I’m sorry, but I cannot get over it. I cannot pick up and move on. I can only do what I do, this blog, and other small activities that keep it at bay inside of me, hopefully by helping others.

Someone asked me the other day how old my children were (they were 8 and 13 when he was taken) , I said to my friend, “my children? Oh, my daughter is 17 now, and my son is 8”.

No wait… he’s not 8 years old anymore… except to me….

I write a check, and put the year 2004. I dream of him, and he’s 8 years old. I’m stuck.

I saw a picture of my son’s step-cousin on myspace yesterday, she was the same age as him, and the last time I saw her, she was 8 too. Now she’s photographed on myspace playing guitar in her own rock band on stage. Woah – SLAM – i thought, how long has it been? Nearly 4 years? No it hasn’t, it was yesterday, its not over, its still happening, the pain is just as strong, and it hurts, losing my baby boy… 4 years – gone… you can’t fix that for me… you can only hope, as I do, each day, that I find the strength to keep breathing for another day… sometimes I don’t know if I can…

Sometimes I don’t want to.

I guess Christmas is still magical for many, but to parents who have lost their children, its dreaded torture. To them, I give you my heart and prayers, and say to you that I understand, I really do… its killing me too…

To the parents that have their children this Christmas, be blessed, plentiful, and not in presents, but in love. Kiss and hug your children two more times each night in remembrance of the lost children who don’t have their parents to show them love. Let them stay up a little late, who cares, Santa’s coming!! Take not for granted that your children are home with you, you are the luckiest person on earth if you are with your child.

For those who are acting out against another parent, alienating children, stop what you’re doing, quit justifying it to yourself, get help, listen to your conscious, resist the anger, and go to a counselor, before the child suffers harm that can’t be fixed…. or before the other parent can’t cope anymore and commits suicide…

it happens…

If you know someone who is abusing a child or other parent this way, seek intervention, and do it soon. Don’t turn a blind eye, deaf ear, or put your head in the sand. You may be able to save a life this Christmas, and what better gift could you give a child but the love of a parent, and the ending of a nightmare that could otherwise cost everything….

Bah Humbug…

I miss you my son – more than you could imagine. Call me. I pray our family steps up at some point to end this suffering for us. .. i pray for that… to save my life…

I pray for a reunion…

Categories
General writing

If you haven’t read it – Go Read It – This Poetry Moves…

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The Day He Came

Running
Jumping
Playing
Safe

Giggles
Laughter
Fun
Loved

He came

Screaming
Shouting
Swearing
Fear

Tears
Cruelty
Pain
Hate

Desperation

No escape

Desperation.

The day he came

Childhood
Freedom
Joy
Life

Taken away

Where did our childhood go
Has it been kept safe somewhere unknown?
And one day together
We can finish those wonderful years
Where we had been given so much love

Secure
Care free

Allowed to be
Children

Until
The day he came

Christopher Wellbelove
30 September 2007