If at any point, I completely disappear from all areas of life and you haven't heard from me, and you start to get worried ... try looking for me under a pile of legal ease, rhetoric, and insanity. This past week has been a series of ups and downs that have slowly made me lose my love for the legal system. It has been many years since I've worked in a law firm, and until recently I've really missed it. I love the smell of a law library. I love to be under a pile of cases. I love being able to look someone in the eye and know that I was a small part of helping them find justice. But lately? I'm finding that I'm angry that the legal system is built on nothing but weasels trying to get blood from rocks.
I guess maybe I should have warned you that I'm quite bitter this morning. Although, you've figured that out by now.
We had three legal events since I wrote last week. The first was Red's pre-trial hearing on Wednesday. I had it in my head that there was going to be more to it, but I was quite wrong. The judge asked Red for his name and age, asked if his attorney had kept in touch with him, asked him who else was there (me), and that was it. So very glad that I rushed all the way back from Fluffy's appointment in Jacksonville for that (insert exaggerated eye roll here).
The second was a case plan conference with DCF. I was agitated during the entire meeting. They just kept attacking me over and over. They say they have paperwork from an old psychiatrist saying that I suffer from extreme depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Neither are true. It was horrible. I held my own for the most part, I was somewhat snarky (there's a shock), and tears were silently falling down my face by the end. When everyone left, it was just me and my attorney, and I let loose. For the last month, I've gone through a lot of emotions, but I haven't done a lot of actual major crying. I fell apart. I cried, I screamed, I almost hyperventilated. It felt good, I won't lie. I'm just so very frustrated at this entire system. I'm being punished for not being able to get my son help, when all I did was try and get him help. This is ridiculous. The case plan isn't actually too detailed, which surprised me. I have to undergo both a psychological and a psychiatric exam - I suppose to prove I'm not depressed or bipolar. I just hoped extraordinarily stressed and annoyed doesn't count. No arrests (I commented that there went my bank robbing plans for the weekend. My attorney snickered.) ... proof of income ... proof of housing (maybe if they'd actually come to the house like they're supposed to, that wouldn't be an issue) ... and a domestic violence assessment. According to my attorney, that's going to show that I'm a victim and then they'll teach me how not to be a victim. Of my SON, people. My :::special needs::: son. How about, I don't know, getting my special needs son help? I'm just sayin.
The third was the hearing this past Tuesday when we had to take the case plan to the judge. The judge reviewed it, made sure I knew what was in it, made sure I agreed to it without being pressured, etc. Then, he griped at DCF *again* because they still haven't set up a visitation for me and Red. All went well. Then, on the way out the door, the DCF case manager was snarky to me. Even my husband was insulted by it, and he just lets most things go.
The events that have taken place since then have added even more frustration and stupidity. This is a bottomless well of frustration and stupidity - there really is no end to how annoying this is going to get. Tuesday night, Red called my dad to tell him that were a few things that he needed, and that I had to call the youth shelter to take care of them. I needed to give them permission to have his hair cut, and he still needed new shoes. DCF promised me last Wednesday she would call with his shoe size, but that hadn't happened yet. So ... I called the youth shelter. A gentleman answered the phone, and I explained that I was Red's mom and that I had received a messaged that I needed to speak to the director about giving my permission for some things. The gentleman said, "He's right here, would you like to speak to him now?" Well, yes. And then the gentleman put Red on the phone. So, we spoke for a few minutes about the haircut, some medications, and schoolwork. And then Red asked where the director was and I spoke with Mr. R. Mr. R and I had a wonderful conversation about the different needs that Red has, and then we discussed whether or not there is a no contact order in our case. If there is a no contact order, I'm not supposed to talk to Red. But there isn't. But everyone thinks that there is. The DCF case worker said she'd make sure they understood that, but apparently she had not had the chance to.
Later on in the evening, my dad and I were reviewing the events of the day when he mentioned that Red had also asked when he would be receiving the toiletries I sent to him last week. I took a bag of toiletries to the case plan conference with me on Friday. Security at the courthouse wouldn't let me take it upstairs with me, so I had to leave it with them, and asked the case manager to pick it up on her way out, and take it to Red at the shelter. But, apparently, Red had not yet received the package. I called back to the shelter and spoke to Ms. L. She and I discussed the package, she said that she didn't think the case manager had yet brought it to the shelter. We had a great conversation, she's very funny. We discussed Red and computer issues, and his schooling, and that I had spoken to Mr. R earlier in the day, and that we should probably both touch base with the case manager.
Pretty much sounds like all should be well, right?
At 10:30 last night, my phone rang. I hesitated answering it, because I was tired and in a foul mood, and didn't really want to deal with anyone. Then I noticed the caller ID said it was the case manager. With that feeling that only parents know, I was terrified that something had happened with Red and that's why she was calling so late at night. I answered. All I could hear was her screaming at me. Apparently, she was under the impression that I had called the shelter pretending to be a case manager in order to speak to my son. I tried interrupting her, she just kept yelling. I tried telling her that I would never do such a thing, she just kept yelling. I finally broke in enough to tell her that she had it wrong, I told them exactly who I was, and it was ::incredibly:: inappropriate for her to call me late at night to scream and yell at me. She started to scream again, and I told her she needed to stop yelling or I was going to hang up. She started in again, so I hung up.
Needless to say, I did not sleep well last night. I was too busy seething.
I have no idea what is going to be the outcome. I've talked to a couple of people today (but my attorney and I keep missing each other), and the general consensus is to not call the shelter again.
But what is that going to do about what transpired? It is NOT okay for her to scream at me. It is NOT okay for her to call me at 10:30 at night. There has got to be an end to this madness at some point, there's just got to be.
You know, here's the irony ... they want me tested to prove I'm not crazy. But, with all of this madness going on, I'm sleep deprived, cranky, snippy, quick to jump, moody ... Honestly? It will be a wonder if I'm *not* insane by the time this is all over.