I Walked Out

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Janna, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Janna

    Janna New Member

    of the meeting today at CPS for difficult child 2.

    I was bombarded with negativity, hostility and anger the minute I walked in the room. I took as much as I could handle, I lasted about 13 minutes, and I walked out. Didn't return.

    The meeting was at 8:15, but I was a little late. I got there around 8:35. They knew I'd be late, I live a distance.

    difficult child 2 was there, sitting, beside an older woman (no offense to the ladies here), probably in her mid to late 50s. The CPS worker, her supervisor, the foster care caseworker, difficult child 2's attorney, my attorney.

    I walked in, put my hand on difficult child 2's head, said "hey buddy" or something like that. He moved his head to the side, pretty much brushing me off, and didn't acknowledge me.

    I sat beside my attorney. CPS started off with what to do with difficult child 2, I said he could come home.

    What interventions are in place? Well, we don't have any yet, let's talk about that.

    They want us to, again, do family counseling. difficult child 2 is against this. difficult child 2 lives 40-50 mins from me. I cannot go from work, pick him up, get my other 2, go to a 30 minute counseling session, bring difficult child 2 home, and get home in a decent amount of time. It won't work. I would be willing to do this if he was living with me and cooperative, but not in the current situation.

    Foster mom starts talking about his individual counseling. I knew he was doing it, but didn't realize he was going to the same place he was. She says (very rudely) "don't you talk to your son and ask questions when he comes over?".

    Then, few moments later, I ask who she is (I still didn't know who she was). Rudely, again "I'm the foster mother". I apologized, said I didn't know, and her response to that was (rude, loud, again) "that's because I don't feel like dealing with your attitude" :smile: Yes, she was speaking to me.

    She requested two weeks ago difficult child 2 be removed from her home. He's too much for her. Guess now she's changed her mind?

    difficult child 2 sat there. My attorney said the foster was bad mouthing me the whole time before I got there. difficult child 2 sat there, with attitude, saying really nothing at all.

    It was a circus.

    I, emotionally, cannot deal with this. I cannot believe this foster parent. I just simply cannot believe this.

    I left. The foster mother started arguing with me about the current (illegal, because they didn't get my signature) IEP. She is insistent an IEP meeting wasn't held. Yes, it was, I have the papers. Still, she argues, I left.

    I have no idea where this is. Nobody wants him to come home. My lawyer thinks he's manipulating. I am not strong enough to handle this. My emotions and thought process are not clear. I keep changing my mind, send him home - no, don't - yes, do - no don't. He's doing good now. 3 weeks worth. That's not enough. I miss my son. I'm scared.

    I'm sitting here at work, I'm crying like crazy. I have no idea what is going on in my head. I don't even know what to think, or where to go, or what to do.

    I just want all this stupid dramatic nightmare to end. I wish one of you, just one, could have been there with me today. Your mouth would have been on the floor. And I cannot relate everything to you here, because it's just that unbelievable.

    My poor lawyer, chasing after me, got me as I was on my way out. He told me to be quiet, let him do the fighting. I just can't shut up. Why? I am so tired of hearing everyone lashing out at me. All the stupid accusations. Foster mother said I said difficult child 2 wasn't supposed to be on the internet. I never said that. He was to be punished for his last 3 day out of school suspension, no internet, one week. She took it as forever. Started yelling at me why I let him on his MySpace account when he's at my house. Huh? I logged onto his account with him there, to add photos. That was it. She made this huge ordeal out of it. What?


    I'm so sorry. I just had to get all that out.

    Thanks.

    Janna
     
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Oh Janna, I'm so sorry this "person" was doing this. I know the people involved in your team aren't the most cooperative amongst themselves but did no one say anything to her before you got there or during her little self righteous speech???? OMG. Who was the one here showing attitude??? What a *****. I can't believe someone like that would still have their license. (Sorry, I'm getting pi***d right along with you. Good thing it wasn't ME in there with you!)

    Leaving was probably the best thing you could have done. There's no way I would have put up with any of that and don't blame you at all for doing it. Your lawyer sounds like a putz for trying to get you to stay.

    Hopefully this will open some eyes as to what you are dealing with in respect to this woman and the next meeting will go better.

    I don't really have advice but I'm/we're here for you. Try to do what you can to calm down (Yeah, easier said than done, I know) Sending you again, hugs and a shoulder. Sorry you had to go through that.
     
  3. TYLERFAN

    TYLERFAN New Member

    I'm sorry Janna.
    We all can understand what you went thru. How dare they!!!
    That being said, I have found that the best way to handle accusations and negative comments flung at me, is to remain silent and if I have an attorney, he better speak up and speak up distinctly! I'm not saying you don't have a good lawyer, I am sure he did (hope he did). These things are always an attack on the parents it seems. So unfair.
    Try to calm down, regroup and speak to the attorney.

    Blessings,
    Melissa
     
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{Janna}}} Wow, I would have wanted to leave also! When you arrived, everyone should have introduced themselves before getting any discussion underway. At least, that's the way it's always been for us at our meetings. I am surprised that you're the only one who viewed the FM's comments as being rude and condescneding, not to mention detrimental to difficult child's progress.

    Those are some points you should direct your attorney address at the next meeting. Work closely with your attorney to create an outline of sorts that both of you can refer to at the next meeting so that these type of non-helpful confrontational situations are avoided.

    Many gentle hugs, Janna.
     
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...sigh.

    Doesnt sound like a productive meeting.

    I have been at meetings such as this and they are hard to handle but you have to keep your wits about you. What I always did was take a legal pad with me on which I had some facts jotted down. These were things I wanted to make sure I got across. Then I could always make sure I took notes about what was talked about in the meeting too. I could also doodle to keep cool.

    The foster mother attacking you sounds like she was defensive or coming from a position that she doesnt know all the facts. You have to rise above that and not argue back with her...keep cool and just state the facts. If necessary, just address your comments to the social workers or the supervisors.

    I would bring up your sons reunification goal list that he wrote up. That was a good thing and gives you a starting point for a plan. Talk about his wanting a job, and whatever else the good things are in his life. The positives. How you want to foster those things.

    It doesnt surprise me that your son acted the way he did in the meeting, he is 15 and showing emotion is just not cool. I cant tell you how many times my kid acted like that in meetings but was his lovable self when we were alone. They have to act like things dont matter to them when around other people.
     
  6. Wishing

    Wishing New Member

    Janna-I am so sorry you had this negativity. If he has had 8 placements so far to me that indicates he is difficult to adapt to. I just think whoever was running this meeting should be held accountable for setting the rules of conduct at this meeting and I hope the lawyer brings this to their attention.
    I can full well understand why you don't want to take on responsibility for him if it means you almost have to give up your job or compromise your childrens welfare for this difficult child. Somehow getting him to counseling should be up to the social worker. It sounds so draining I just wish I could have been in the court room with you.
     
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janna

    I'm so sorry, hon. What a load of crap.

    I wouldn't worry much about difficult child's behavior. Janet's right. At his age they act that way around other people.

    If it were me, I'd be speaking to my lawyer about the hostility in these meetings. You shouldn't have to put up with it. Foster's current attitude is not conductive to cooperation, either. I'd see about not having her present if there is another one.

    (((((hugs))))))
     
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Just a thought here: Have your lawyer (or someone else) take notes. This would take the pressure off of you to respond to these attacks. When FM makes comments have them ask for clarification. "Excuse me, you believe Mrs. X doesn't know that information because she isn't quizing her son enough?" This would draw FM to the lawyer instead of you. Also, have everyone sign the notes. This might cause her to think twice about those ugly comments. CPS should be considering her comments infront of difficult child as verbal abuse. At least the courts here count one parent bad mouthing the other parent in front of the child verbal abuse of the child. You might get a kick out of the look on her face when her comments are put into the spin a good lawyer can do. Having a battle plan might help you face another meeting. Good luck and I'm sorry she is so awful.
     
  9. Janna

    Janna New Member

    No, my attorney didn't want me to go back into that meeting. He actually kept walking out the doors to the building and down the street LOL! I said to him "are we to go back in". Nahhhhh. I think he was equally disgusted. But my anger, I'm sure, makes his job 10x harder.

    Janet, I swear, I try and try to keep my cool and stay calm. I walked in there so happy, said hi to everyone individually. And I got blasted. This has been going on so long I just have no more tolerance. I felt like I was under the bright lights being interrogated. I just cannot deal with that at all.

    That foster mother is totally inappropriate. I'm sorry, but you know, if I had it to do all over again, I'd have put myself in the hospital sick over putting my kid in foster care. I know there's a few of you here that are fosters, and I know you guys totally rock, but the sad truth is, there are really awful ones too that ruin it and leave a bad taste in your mouth, and we got one.

    And you know, I know difficult child 2 has to be the tough guy, yeah I understand he's a teen and all that. But we discussed that he HAD to voice what HE wanted to these people. And the FM was bashing me, difficult child 2 just sat there with his face in his arms, looking bored and caring less. I'm sorry - that bothers me. Ok, maybe I'm immature. But that bothered me.


    Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I'll try with the notes. It's a good idea.

    Janna
     
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Hugs}}} I know this is the last thing you want to hear but you need to make sure you are the first to arrive at the next meeting. You need to head FM off before she gets started. I understand how difficult your schedule is, but being late fed into the "Mom doesn't care" attitude. It's not the truth, we all know that. But unfortunately you are going to have to figure out a strong strategy for reunification and stick to it. :warrior:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Janna</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I wish one of you, just one, could have been there with me today. Your mouth would have been on the floor. And I cannot relate everything to you here, because it's just that unbelievable.</div></div>

    I'm sure any one of us could have come up with some choice for FM. I know I had a litany running through my head as I read your post. :nonono:
     
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Oh my gosh, your post not only angered me it made me cry... I feel so mad at your situation.
    I have no experience in any of this so I can only offer my support and a shoulder. I am really impressed by you right now!!! You are doing what you can and fighting for your children to have have a better life...the b-llsh--!! attitude that woman treated you with is no way for anyone to speak to a Mother in front of her son! You had every right and were justified in walking out... probably saved you from saying something you would regret!!! I know I would have...

    Many hugs...
     
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: tiredmommy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">{{{Hugs}}} I know this is the last thing you want to hear but you need to make sure you are the first to arrive at the next meeting. You need to head FM off before she gets started. I understand how difficult your schedule is, but being late fed into the "Mom doesn't care" attitude. It's not the truth, we all know that.</div></div>

    Yep, I totally agree with this. My schedule is really difficult, and in fact, I almost lost my job by attending an IEP a long time ago...but it's true. You have to be there first, before everyone, be waiting for them, to head them off. It's a sad truth, but there it is. They will use anything they can, lame or not, excuseable or not, against you whenever they can.
     
  13. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Yeah I know.

    They always make the appointments without me. Always. So, they made this for 8:15. Well, heck, I live an hour away and can't drop off the boys until 7:30 AM. I mean, what am I gonna do, keep them from school ?

    So, I said to my attorney about making it 30 minutes later. He called me back and said that everyone said it would be fine if I was late, and it was ok.

    My mistake.
     
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It stinks that they don't even try to accomodate your schedule. I have to say that my district is pretty good about doing that. Only that. This situation just stinks all around for you and difficult child. Teen or not, he's hurting you and I'm sorry, but I think he knows it.
     
  15. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janna,

    So sorry the meeting was such a fiasco :grrr:

    Hugs to you this afteroon.

    Sharon
     
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Janna,

    I have walked out of my share of meetings.

    And only once did it make an impression on anyone. Having said that, while FM is a royal PITA, she stands between you & your difficult child. She has more "pull", if you will, just because of the fact that she has physical custody of difficult child.

    Honey, this is a game....you have to learn how to play it. Everyone in a meeting of this type has to flaunt their knowledge; express their opinions. In the end, there should be a common agreement on the best interests of difficult child & the rest of your family.

    Fall apart after the meeting - go home & kick the wall. You need to be a rock with all of these people present. Politely listen to the pontification, respond & hope these people heard what you had to say.

    In the meantime, difficult child seems to be pitting all of these adults against one another. It may be time to call a meeting with-o difficult child being present. Given his level of aggression & presenting symptoms, he isn't capable of input of his treatment or placement planning.

    Hope you aren't taking this as a criticism. It's not meant to be.

    Sending you calming thoughts & hugs. :flower:
     
  17. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    What a nightmare, sorry you went through it. I can't always control my emo tions either... I cry and tremble. It doesn't help strengthen my impression. You are an awesome mom living a really difficult experience. I hope you get heard.
     
  18. Loris

    Loris New Member

    I am so sorry you had to go through that. Some of these people need to quit abusing their power. I am glad your lawyer was so supportive of you. I hope also you never have to suffer FMs garbage again!
     
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Janna, I've got some suggestions for you. TM is right, this is a game. You have to learn to play the game better than them.

    I've not been there with a foster situation, but I HAVE been there with this level of hostility, aimed at me. I HAVE experienced this. ANd for me, too, it was a game they were playing to undermine me, to humiliate me, and most important of all - to discredit me. I had to work fast, after i walked out, to make sure that it rebounded on them and not on me. As it was, I was almost too late. (more details privately if you really want to know).

    So here goes:
    You need to draft a letter, NOW. Run it past your lawyer, maybe have him reword it so it's coming from him. (by the way, where was he in this? Why wasn't he insisting this woman show respect to you, especially in front of difficult child 2?)

    Keep the letter calm, but firm. Points to mention:

    1) You were on time. You had been told that the time you were able to arrive would be soon enough, therefore you were on time. (For future reference - if they say, "It's OK for you to be late," don't accept this. Insist the official start time be logged as the time you expect to be there, not the time that is set without you having a say.)

    2) It is inappropriate to make personal attacks on the mother, especially in the presence of difficult child 2. If FM is talking like that about you, at such a meeting, in his presence, what worse is she saying in the privacy of her own home? (For future reference I would have asked her to stop the personal remarks, or ask SW to ask her to curb her temper, while difficult child 2 is in the room. I would also ask, at the meeting, if this is an indication of how she talks about you in his presence at other times. Do not address her personally, but instead ask someone official from CPS to control their hired foster worker - the "hired help").

    3) Certain issues should be on the agenda. The IEP paperwork is beyond doubt. Maybe the FM was unaware of official protocol and exactly what constitutes an informal chat on the schoolroom steps, and an IEP meeting. (At meetings take a helpful, condescending approach - teach her the difference, gently and politely because she's clearly not bright enough to work this out for herself). These matters should be dealt with, still need to be dealt with and must be raised in your letter - "We need some resolution on these matters; antagonising me to the point where I have no choice but to leave a meeting which has degenerated into a slanging match is no way to sort out these issues. I have to wonder how difficult child 2 is ever going to learn appropriate behaviour if he is exposed to this sort of inappropriate behaviour from adults who are supposed to be setting him an example."

    4) Now you mention why you had to leave the meeting. You should be able to deal with personal attacks, you've got to not seem to be too thin-skinned. However, pointing out that the meeting had ceased to be productive due to the inappropriate attitude of FM and the failure of CPS etc to curb this bad behaviour (which implies they were endorsing it) is one important reason to walk out. You made a special effort to get there as soon as possible, to a meeting which had been scheduled for a time which was impossible for you to manage (and they must have known this, your lawyer told them). If you were a drug-using, violent, abusive and neglectful mother you STILL would not have deserved to be treated this way. And you are not any of these - you relinquished your son voluntarily because you could not cope with him. You have other children you CAN cope with, so this isn't about parenting. And how many fosters has he been through? So clearly, the fosters can't handle him either. This CAN'T be a parenting issue. While modifying parenting may help, it's only a fraction of the picture and says nothing about bad parenting.

    Don't write too long a letter. You basically need to say that you left the meting for good reasons, mostly because it no longer was a meeting, it was now a free-for-all with poor control by the chair. You MUST do this because somewhere, someone is writing a letter criticising you for walking out. Your letter, arriving ASAP, MUST NOT be seen as a reaction to their letter. Get your letter in there before you get a copy of theirs.

    As I said, run it via your lawyer first, but on the way, tell him to get a spine. He could have/should have put a stop to the disrespect, without looking like a thug or a heavy. it is so easy to control a meeting back into politeness when that is t he genuine aim of those present. if the meeting continues to degenerate after trying to call for order, it's usually clear that someone (and who that someone is) is trying to deliberately sabotage the meeting. And that never looks good for the saboteur.

    Basically, I still wonder - if your lawyer HAD intervened to gag her (or ask that she be gagged, and that difficult child 2 should be sent out of the room while she tries to gain control of her mouth) it would have:
    a) sent a strong message to difficult child 2 as well as FM that this is unacceptable behaviour.
    b) sent a message to CPS that badmouthing you is inappropriate and won't be tolerated; and
    c) made it clear that CPS have to curb their FMs.

    He could have done this without causing offence. it is easy to should people down, but inappropriate. It is just as easy to politely insist on good manners and be firm about it. Remember a few famous TV characters: Marlon Brando in "Godfather". He talked quietly, politely, at a mumble. And Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada". Her character is even more effective because she speaks softly, slowly and with no obvious menace in her voice. It could have been played with much more venom, but her way works incredibly well, because the other characters clearly have to watch and listen much more closely, to avoid incurring her displeasure. Use Meryl Streep's delivery, channel her character from that film, at your next meeting. Of course, where difficult child 2's welfare is concerned you can include some of Streep from "Sophie's Choice" - the loving mother faced with impossible decisions. But only towards difficult child 2. To everyone who is standing in your way - "Prada" personality.

    Getting that letter in as quickly as you can while still making sure you're writing an effective letter and not a whine, is the best thing you can do right now.

    And a quick hark back to my meeting that I walked out of - I was actually in the Chair. And I couldn't control the meeting, I was being shouted down by committee members (one in particular, with another, who I knew was the real mastermind, echoing him to reinforce). So after giving several warnings that this meeting had now become unconstitutional (I checked the rules made sure it was - turned out they had not given sufficient notice according to the organisation's constitution) I then warned that unless they spoke in turn through the chair I would close the meeting. They kept yelling abuse at me, this bloke actually pounded his fist into the desk under my nose, so I got up, said, "I cannot declare this meeting closed, because I am now aware this is unconstitutional; this meeting has not in fact taken place," and walked out. I did my best to look cool and calm, but I was shaking. I got to the door. closed it behind me and ran (as fast as I CAN run). When I got back to my car I called the other committee members who hadn't been notified of the meeting (it had been set up to ambush me) and felt a huge sense of relief at walking out. I moved the car as soon as I could, so those following me out of the meeting would think I had left the area, but I was too shaky to drive for about fifteen minutes.

    It took me an hour to get home, then I drafted me letter and faxed it in to the office. And because the other ratbags at the meeting had stayed to talk and gossip about me, I had the advantage of time. it was another two hours before THEIR letter made it in. The secretary immediately sent me a copy of their letter and glory be! My own letter, drafted according to the guidelines I suggested above, answered all their arguments, even though I hadn't known about it first.

    End result - egg on THEIR faces, when they had been trying to force me into resignation (which would have been upheld) or no confidence motion (which would have been invalid with an unconstitutional meeting).

    I hung in there with this mob until I had a replacement groomed, then I resigned on my own terms. This small group then tried to shut down the organisation, but failed. It is still going strong, so in the long run I have won.

    Janna, it's not fair, but you have to play the game by their rules, so you can recognise when they're cheating. And because too often they've been getting by via cheating, for so long, they've often forgotten how to play by the rules when you force them to. Hence - you win.

    Get drafting with that letter. Unlike my response here, try to not go over a page.

    Good luck!

    Marg
     
  20. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    just want to say I care. sorry things are hard right now. we do the best we can in any given situation and with the best of intentions.
     
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