One of the more amusing sentences in the original CPS report states: “Mrs. Reed says she must always control the situation.” Well that’s certainly a very creative interpretation of what I said! While sitting outside of the women’s shelter at a picnic table with the original CPS worker discussing our case, I explained to her that I hated feeling so ‘helpless’ and ‘out of control’ because of my ‘current situation.’ I further expounded upon these thoughts by telling her that I am used to ‘taking control of a situation’ and ‘making things happen’ for my family as I was very ‘motivated and goal-oriented’ especially when it came to ‘making decisions [such as schooling] for my son.’ Additionally I emphasized that my ‘current situation’ was a ‘setback’ not an ‘insurmountable obstacle.’ I reiterated that my priorities were ‘getting counseling for Adam,’ ‘finding him a quality school as soon as possible,’ ‘entering the workforce immediately if not sooner,’ and ‘giving him extra love and support as we settled into our new routine.’
I remember this exchange as clear as day because I chose my words carefully: I wanted the CPS worker to understand that despite these obstacles we’d come out on top….and I wasn’t about to become a statistic who never got back on my feet after a traumatic event. In essence, the message I wanted to send to her was that I was a strong, college educated woman with intelligence, numerous strengths and skills, extensive job experience, almost three years as a single mother under my belt– and this one event would not define my family because I refused to allow it to– and I would use the helplessness I felt as a motivating factor to hit the ground running and make the most out of an unfortunate series of events. But of course that entire exchange was reduced down to the “control the situation” sentence.
I’ll give you a moment to stop reeling from the shock and compose yourself. The mere prospect of CPS so distorting my words astounds even me. An organization with such a commitment to facts and thorough investigative reporting– an organization who upholds professional and ethical integrity free of bias– surely this semantic snafu was an honest mistake.
While I cannot remember the exact context in which it came up, I know that my attempts to “control the situation” have been referenced at least twice by my current social worker. I’ve long since abandoned any attempt to correct such distortions but I am pleased to announce that I finally have an example of me deliberately attempting to “control the situation.” So naturally I wanted to share it with you.
Adam will NOT be present at the hospital for Tatum’s birth. This upsets me greatly but it is truly for the best.
While there are countless reasons for this decision, I’m only divulging a few [in no particular order]:
- The idea of Adam being in a hospital unless it is absolutely necessary doesn’t thrill me.
- Neither does the idea of somebody having to ‘babysit’ Adam during our family time.
- I don’t want anyone from Will’s family there. While we have worked through our differences and are united for the common good of Adam– and in any other scenario I would eagerly welcome them for Tatum’s debut– I am apprehensive to allow his family members to be present for fear that it will seem like I am being ‘too soft’ on Will and trying to wiggle around a restraining order.
- The wording within the Holy Grail [a.k.a. the ‘parenting plan’] means that Adam’s presence at the hospital ensures I will be faulted for noncompliance, thus keeping Adam away from me longer and giving them a reason to snatch Tatum. If I am not to “be under the influence of any drugs and/or prescription medications” around him, how can he visit me after I give birth? I’m going to be gutted like a fish during a major surgery– of course I’ll have an epidural and other forms of pain management. What’s to say CPS doesn’t take Tatum too because I’m ‘using drugs?’ As preposterous as this may sound, if you had any idea….I’m covering all my bases and taking every word, every phrase literally. There are no exceptions.
- Heaven forbid this sounds too ‘controlling’ but in many ways I prefer to introduce my children to one another outside of a hospital setting when they can actually interact. Adam can take an active role as my helper in caring for Tatum. Together we can read to her, cuddle with her, and play with her.
13 days until Tatum arrives. ❤
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,