Former Foster Child

People who have been in the foster care system can network here.

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Chelsea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 am

Former Foster Child

Postby Chelsea » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:46 am

I am a 6 year survivor of foster care in Franklin County Ohio (FCCS). Although I am a survivor of the Big Pharmaceutical initiative to drug children of 19 years. I was an exceptionally bright child, genius in fact, and I'm not boasting. At the age of 32 months I had mastered reading at an Early Childhood level (Dr. Seuss, Danny and the dinosaur, et al.) and I was picking up adult subject matter from context. I began writing short stories about Princesses and Fairies. My dad was deployed to the Philippines as an officer in the US Airforce and my mom was busy finishing her BA of English. My dad returned unexpectedly from his deployment on a Dishonorable Discharge due to a Cocaine addiction he had obtained while overseas (to this day we think he was drugged by someone over a period of time before accepting the drug without reservation). In either case I was only 1 at the time. My parents had my sister a little after my second birthday and my first memory in life is that of my mother (pregnant with my brother) being pushed down our flight of stairs by my dad and her pleading with him not to take the last of our money.
It was one of the many times he disappeared.
Understandably by the time I entered Kindergarten, I was plagued with demons, and emotionally unstable. The school pushed for my parents to put me on medications for ADHD and then threatened CPS is they didn't. So I was sent to a myriad of psychiatric facilities over the following 7 years. My dad left our family permanently when I was 8. My mom developed depression and panic attacks and eventually Munchhausen Biproxi concerning my medical treatment. I was shipped to these residential facilities for the first time at the age of five after an adverse reaction to the Ritalin I was prescribed. They kept me for what was supposed to be an overnight medication evaluation. I was pocked and prodded; blood draws at all hours of the day and night, urine tests, and a stint in a locked down facility for teenagers. The first night I couldn't sleep and got out of my room several times crying because I was a 5 year old who missed her mommy. The third or fourth time around they took my teddy bear from me, two grown men tackled me into a restraint and they locked me in isolation for the rest of the night. The next morning when my mom showed up they told her I needed to be transferred for "further evaluation". I threw a typical, everyday, child tantrum demanding to leave with mommy. They restrained me again and gave me a shot of trazadone because I was "exhibiting unsafe behavior".

We will just say that this got worse over time and I was on 14 medications by the age of 12. Including Zoloft, Clonidine (for sleep lmao!), midrin for the migraines, and long-term long-range antibiotics for my kidney (I was only born with one) because it was acting up after the extensive doping. At this point my mom was a complete advocate for my "need for medications" and would regularly throw me into these systems where I was physically, emotionally, medically, and on one occasion sexually abused. The reason CPS stepped in? Because after a 13 day bought of insomnia my 12 year old brain snapped into psychosis. I hallucinated and tried to kill my mom (but given the number of drugs, their side effects, and the lack of sleep it's not suprising!). The police were called and I was placed in Juvenile Hall overnight, which was actually more lenient than the treatment facilities.

The next day I went before a judge in ankle shackles and handcuffs to learn my fate. Without a single mention of the 13 days of insomnia, without a hint of knowledge about the medications I was taking, and with a gusto not unlike 4 year old girls playing candyland she labeled me unruly and relinquished my custody into the hands of FCCS. This was April 2nd of 2001, I had turned 12 less than a month beforehand.

I didn't grasp what had happened, blinded by hatred for my mother's disinterest in my sufferings, and still high on the elation of the medications, I didn't protest. I smiled at my mom and flicked her off as I was led out of the courtroom to wait for my transporter. I arrived at my first placement in the clothes on my back. The Foster mother embraced me and reassured me with comforting words of acceptance and understanding how "difficult this transition is." I was then invited to play outside with my new 11 year old foster sister while she and the caseworker discussed my placement. After my caseworker had left the change was immediate and frightening. I was stubborn though. The medications that had caused this whole episode, sat there on her kitchen counter and she started to count out my dosage. I gave her an incredulous look and absolutely refused. She said we could do this the "easy way or the hard way". And I smiled and said, "I'm not unfamiliar with the hard way." At which point she knocked me from the stool I had been sitting on, slammed my head with brute force against her kitchen floor and "restrained" my arm behind my back until I had to fight not to scream in pain. That was the beginning of hell. The rules were authoritarian. The cereal was in marked containers and labeled for the day of the week we were allowed to eat it, when we cried we stood in front of the mirror and said "I'm pathetic" 100xs, Painful restraints were a norm and if we were busy doing something we were ordered to and had an accident in our underwear she would make us wash it in scalding bleach water until our knuckles bled and then crumble potato chips over them or just flat-out pout salt into the open wounds. When we fought she had us stand out front in suggestive poses with each other for the neighborhood to see. Some major offenses like attempting suicide, running away, or skipping school were punished by having us stand with our knees locked grasping out ankles for 5 hours or more at a time and if we didn't the oldest foster sister would either beat us until we complied or we would have our shoulders dislocated and reinserted. We usually took the 5 hour torture without question. She took our possessions and reminders of life back home and threaten to destroy them whenever an allegation of abuse or a threatened allegation of abuse came forth. When I finally met with my caseworker the day of court I had been instructed to say that my mom was an alcoholic and sign the paperwork. I was in the courtroom when this was presented to my mom and she basically just gave them custody of me. I had tried to tell her everything she wanted to hear but it was a feeble vise. I went back for more fake hugs and comfort and began 2 years of hell that ended when I finally ran away, in November, snowing, no coat, no shoes... I ran for miles through plowed frozen cornfields slicing my feet into oblivion. I had run away once before to no avail. The worst part of this is two-fold; for one this woman was able to adopt my then 13 year old foster sister with MRDD and once the foster system stipulations were gone with her the poor child was beaten on a daily basis. Back handed off her chair at dinner and slammed into the wall until her nose bled. I fought like hell to convince the police who had picked me up and then the DHS agnecy they dropped me off at of the abuse. She was a licensed foster parent until a few years ago due to health issues.
The next home wasn't any better. The woman was really old and bitter. There was never any food in the house and she would keep our $30/month allowances for anything we missed while detailing her house each day as she sat in her kitchen chair reading. She ended up putting a 30-day notice of removal in for me after two months and I was placed with a really sweet lady only to be told that my runaway attempts made this a temporary home and I would soon be moved to a familiar residential facility, the one I was raped in, because I was unruly. I saw my caseworker for the first time since the relinquishment of custody 3 years prior as I entered the facility. I flicked the whole staff team in charge of my "care" off as they strolled in to discuss why I was there. And I was shocked when they said it was because I had slit my wrists in a suicide attempt! I protested and ranted pulled up my sleeves to show that I didn't have so much as scratch on them. I knew it was pointless in the beginning but I was angry! These facilities are a joke and a half! We are placed on level systems based on performance of menial tasks and following rules for several weeks. Saftey 1 and 2 are total lockdown statuses. You either spend the entire day being monitored (bathroom and shower times as well) or in the isolation room for 2-4 weeks. Then you are moved into Level 1 where you can have a crayon to write with and napkins to write on/ you may shower in privacy. Level 2 you can watch tv and participate in gym and card games etc. Level 3 allows you to have a pencil/pen and paper to use. Level four allows you a radio in your room and off campus trips. To reach level four, if it's done perfectly, would take 3-4 months. And I refused my medications so it took me six months. Safetys are used for stupid things like passing notes at lunch or taking extra shower time (the purpose in their statement is to moitor after a major episode if you're a danger to self or others.). You regain your level after a day of isolation basically. Saftey 2 voids your level status and you work your way back up. I was restrained and refused my prescription glasses then forced into a 40 minute isolation term for not taking a shower on a safety. The worker there told me to bark like a dog and do other stupid demeaning things to get out of isolation. There is no therapy. It's groups of why we were there and how the group thought you could change your behavior. Most kids would disrupt it out of pure boredom and fights were daily. We got an individual counceling session each month with our clinician (if she had time and you weren't on safety) and for me it was about admitting that I had cut my wrists and needed my medication. When I got out the next few homes were a blur of mundane control. Then I got sent to a guardianship with a super religious evangelical family that forced me to go to church 3-4 times a week, told me how my spiritual level with Jesus would never be that of their daughters, tried to do a few exorcisms on me, and eventually accused me of trying to sleep with the father of the family who was 40 years old/having had lewd contact with their daughters. They locked me in the basement until they were ready to shuffle me back to FCCS.
I was a 4.0 high school student, I was doing summer school to graduate at 16, I was on ensemble, and placed in our track and cross-country teams up to district finals and states. I didn't smoke, drink, use profanity, and had had sex with one boyfriend twice a year prior. When they sent me to another residential facility I played the ultra-religious card to my advantage, moved up to off-campus trips, and walked from the East side of the city to the West side of the city where I lived with my boyfriend and his family until I aged out. I completed my online high school courses at this time and ran from the police trying to get me back into the system. I graduated with my class vs early, went to college and got a 4.0, we married, have three kids, and then found out that I have complex PTSD and it's the reason I can't hold a job for more than the first few weeks-3 months. We are now fighting to get SSDI because I will likely never be functioning enough for a full 8 hour shift with the rate at which I have panic attacks , social anxiety, and flashbacks. And now that I need help, now that I'm the one calling the shots over my own life, now that I am trying to move forwards with everything I've had to stop trying because Social Security wants to have CPS make sure our children are cared for in such an "Uncertain Atmosphere.".


CPS needs to be abolished and needs to be held accountable for the lives it's ruined and taken for the past 30 years!

User avatar
Eljay
Posts: 2645
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:01 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby Eljay » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:40 pm

Purely heartbreaking. :( I'm so sorry. Imagine how different your life would have been had someone been a little more understanding, asked a few more questions, looked for the root of the problem.

So wrong. :(


If you don't mind, I'm going to put this in the "former foster children" section.
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

----<>----<>----<>---- BREED WITH CAUTION ----<>----<>----<>----

Chelsea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby Chelsea » Wed May 01, 2013 9:41 pm

I've gone over that in my head over and over again. But I'm doing what I can for my kids and I am horrified by the idea of my kids going to foster care. My worst nightmares as a child have been multiplied 10-fold as they are everything that happened to me, but happening to my kids, and me either being unable or unwilling to help them. I love them, I hug them everyday, I make them laugh, I hug them and they know every day that they are special. That they have someone who will always be there to listen. They will never feel like I did. My first words to my oldest son were, "Don't cry mommy's here. I'll never make you cry." and he looked up at me and stopped crying :)

nodramamama2k
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:40 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby nodramamama2k » Thu May 02, 2013 6:42 am

That is insanity and madness! It is every parents nightmare come true and a living hell for you. You are a worst case scenario, but I think every parent dealing with CPS needs to realize this is a very real possibility!

I think you are incredibly courageous for being able to write this all down and face your abuse. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will be able to share it with many more people. This nation needs to see what crimes it allows to be committed by our own governments and their agencies.

It was a part of your life, but it does not define who you are. It is amazing that a person with so many things stacked against them can still turn in to a decent person and loving mother and wife.

nodramamama2k
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:40 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby nodramamama2k » Thu May 02, 2013 7:15 am

Oh yes, I would also like to know, what happened to your bio siblings?

Chelsea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby Chelsea » Fri May 03, 2013 6:57 pm

I fought since the beginning, when they started medicating me, and I'm not going to stop now that I actually have a voice. I've never wanted anything more than to tell the world what they're actually doing to kids and although they've tried everything to shut me up, I'm still here :).

My biological siblings stayed with my mom until they turned 18.

FreedomNow
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:29 pm

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby FreedomNow » Sat May 04, 2013 10:42 pm

Wow. Thanks from me, too, for telling your story. Intellect is one of the many things that cannot be extinguished!

As a long-range goal, how do you feel about going completely off-grid? for example, this could be via relocating to another country... or it could be in *this* country, i.e. making the desert your home, etc.

I ask b/c I've only gone through a fraction of what you've gone through in life, and I am already looking at maybe staying connected to the government-matrix a little while longer... and then dissolving most if not all bonds... and soberly, starkly, preparing myself for the idea of living in a very naturalistic way... which definitely won't always be romantic, the way it sounds now in my head. Time to toughen up, stat. But many of our ancestors, to carve out this country, had to do it. Why not us?

And back on a personal level, most importantly, this type of transition has appealed to me for a long time anyway. :-D

Chelsea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby Chelsea » Tue May 07, 2013 5:18 pm

I'm planning on moving my family to El Salvador. My husband's parents are citizens of El Salvador, residents of the USA, so He can literally walk into their consulate, show a few documents and he and my children have automatic dual-citizenship. I'll have residency for a period of time and then be applicable for citizenship.

FreedomNow
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:29 pm

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby FreedomNow » Tue May 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Chelsea wrote:I'm planning on moving my family to El Salvador. My husband's parents are citizens of El Salvador, residents of the USA, so He can literally walk into their consulate, show a few documents and he and my children have automatic dual-citizenship. I'll have residency for a period of time and then be applicable for citizenship.


that... is... AWESOME!

plus Latin-Americans are so warm-hearted <--- *thumbs-up*

I know we are just strangers, or maybe e-acquaintances heheh, but hearing that has just made my night!

when you do get there (I know these things take time... plus cool, collected planning and perhaps even some stealth/quiet)... would you mind posting on here and letting us know how you're doing? That seems like it will be the coolest kind of "completing the circle"

Much love to you! <3

Chelsea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby Chelsea » Wed May 08, 2013 12:47 pm

Oh yeah I'll post when I'm finally out of this country turned fascist state! I know that our financial futures may never be stable out there but we aren't much better relying on aid from the government that ignores their children and elderly! Plus my inlaws have property out there and my brother-in-law is a police officer (which makes him and his family "above the law") so we have a little bit of a headstart on that. Not to mention they use the US dollar as currency and everything relative to living (housing, utilities, and most foods) is inexpensive. A car would cost us a pretty penny but we are planning on leasing a new one here before we head over there (good luck finding it in El Salvador ha!). I know that seems horrible but hey, citizenship over there means a clean credit slate over there anyways.

FreedomNow
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:29 pm

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby FreedomNow » Thu May 09, 2013 11:21 am

Wow! Man, how exciting! This is making me generate some mental planning here, hehe! We have a connection Sudamericano... with a little bit of family connections too (always good). Once again, if I as a mom have still been having the occasional sleepless night and anxiety over the thought of imagined LE and Warrants showing up at our door, and we lawyered-up with one of the best in TX and nipped their racket in the bud at the "investigation" level, I can't even imagine what you might be feeling sometimes! :-0 So no judgments from me (I know I'm supposed to insert one here, or at least advise differently), am all in favor of some stealth if it ensures your safety, y'all just do what it takes to GET THERE.

Chelsea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby Chelsea » Sat May 11, 2013 1:40 am

Yeah it keeps me up at night that's for sure! But I know that someday I'll get over it and be their worst enemy :) that makes me smile.

keldi
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Former Foster Child

Postby keldi » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:12 am

I know that your experience was horrible, Im so glad you are living a happy life now. Although I dont know who you are.. Im so proud of you !!! from the bottom of mu hearth !!!


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