Jill’s Words: “I died that day as my family was ripped apart”

This picture showed up on my tumblr dashboard right after I’d finished reading all the new things in my inbox this morning. It feels like it belongs here. Today, I woke up to a few stories from women who have been in similar situations as Shanesha Taylor. In every story, if someone had offered help and a real solution the outcome would probably be vastly different.

This is Jill’s story:

 

  Several years ago when I lived in NC with my 3 kids, ages 6, 8, 11, I was working 11p-7a. My live- in boyfriend worked 3p-11p.(at the same place)We had one car. The kids were in school through the day and I would drop the bf off at work at 3 and come home to do supper homework and after school activities. Kids went to bed around 9 or 10. I then left the kids alone while I went to work and boyfriend drove home. They were alone less than an hour. My neighbor knew this and would watch the house.

But one night when I was working my boyfriend called me to say that police and CPS were already at my house when he got there and were taking the kids. I was devastated and my life hasn’t or will ever be the same. I died that day as my family was ripped apart. I left work and lost my job. I fought with the boyfriend and he moved out, taking the car. There I sat in my 1 br house ,brokenhearted and broke. Kids went to foster care but eventually went to my mothers because the judge said I was unable to care for them with no job and no transportation.

I started using drugs and attempted suicide multiple times. I fell down a huge black hole and only recently pulled myself out. Today I realize that I should have taken the kids with me to work, or begged the neighbor (who was the one who actually called CPS) to stay at my house until the boyfriend got there. But I didn’t. At the time it seemed like the only choice I had and it had been working for over a year. But it wasn’t enough. If only I could have afforded another car or a babysitter, or could have worked another shift. But I couldn’t and that’s what happened. I did the best I could with what I had and CPS ruined my life instead of attempting to help find a solution.

This story doesn’t have a happy ending. I never got my kids back and they don’t even speak to me to this day. And our lives will never be the same. We used to be a close loving family. Now we are broken souls living miles and miles apart because of a decision to go to work. So, fuck CPS and fuck poverty.

 

I was an Early Childhood Educator for years and therefore, a mandated child abuse & neglect reporter. I was required by law to document and report when neglect and abuse was suspected. Clear cases of abuse went unfounded while struggling poor families, often headed by single mothers, faced scrutiny from CPS on a regular basis. Sometimes, the report was made by someone whose goal was to be vindictive. Always, there was something that could have been done to help the family. Many times, poverty is mistaken for neglect. The system of poverty…that IS most definitely child abuse, but not at the hands of parents who are just trying to do the best with what they have and making hard choices.  Blame is always put on the parents making the hard choices. People will always have a solution that starts with,”She should have done…” or “If it were me, I would have….” , which are never real solutions, just judgements. I can’t be outraged at the choices poor parents feel forced to make while living in poverty. I’m more outraged at a system that ruins families and people’s lives.

7 thoughts on “Jill’s Words: “I died that day as my family was ripped apart”

    1. How can cps take children from there home under false allegations and noteven work with you and lie about everything they destroyed my life and my family is going crazy there was no reason for them to take them

  1. This is so true and I agree with everything you are saying… so refreshing to have you put this into words that people might begin to understand what sympathy and empathy really mean. People who have never experienced the terror of the electricity being shut off, not getting a dime of child support from the ex-husband, the blame that society unfairly puts on only poor moms, the questions and surprise that some people don’t have a close relationship because their parents are terrible to them, the lack of ability to defend oneself against falsehoods, lack of money for attorneys, etc. Protecting your kids from your abusive family members and then being blamed for not allowing them to abuse your children or be around toxic evil family members, having stupid judges make the most unimaginably cruel visitation/mediation plans with people who have seriously injured you. All of it sucks. And someone who has never experienced poverty or domestic violence on a grand scale has no clue how miserable a person can become when faced with either or both of these situations.Thankyou for this. It really helped me to read this right now.

  2. I am so sorry. I to am going through this with my family. Dhs and cps lie to the to judge and the judge believes every thing. Only death can save me from this pain.They have destroyed my family. The nurses I work with say over and over again dhs always take children from good parents and let the little crack babies go home.. When will this stop?
    Heart broken

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