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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 02:18PM

After much soul-searching I feel that I know a mom of multiple children who herself suffers from a moderate to severe mental disorder and subjects her children to chronic emotional trauma as a result.
I googled the local county office of child protective services, however, and all lay reviews are abyssmal. One person writes: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
I know she has her problems, but I know of other cases of abuse/neglect on her block that are more severe- like dope-addicted parents. And sometimes I just say, 'I guess her problems aren't that bad.'
And certainly reporting her problems to inept and/or corrupt local authorities would not help, just make things worse.

I guess I just have to get comfortable with these children, who I love very much, are just going to have to take it on the chin and be sentenced to as much or more lifelong anguish as her mother. Very saddened by this realization. Any wise perspective from any of you good people appreciated.

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Posted by: Whiskeytango ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 02:32PM

Report them! Do not worry about online reviews. They could be from people who needed to have their kids removed. Call them and give a detailed report on why you think these kids are abused. Let them intervene. You can do nothing else and waiting longer to get to know the kids won't help anybody.

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Posted by: East Coast Exmo ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:02PM

Chronic emotional trauma? That's going to be difficult for someone from child protective services to evaluate. You should also be aware that children put into foster care also suffer chronic emotional trauma.

What outcome would you like for these children? What sort of intervention do you envision will occur? Child protective agencies tend to be understaffed and overworked, so unless there is physical abuse or true neglect, they are unlikely to do anything.

The children will probably be better off if you supported them as much as you were able without involving the authorities.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:08PM

I totally agree because I had an internship in a family court in college and I saw firsthand the challenges in the system. I feel reinforced by your perspective
And yes, "chronic emotional." I have researched this disorder and the long term effects are profound. Like, life and death, serious as a heart attack. But the ability of the mental health community to assess is very limited.

I don't see any protective services I've seen being able to offer anything remotely assistive.


East Coast Exmo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Chronic emotional trauma? That's going to be
> difficult for someone from child protective
> services to evaluate. You should also be aware
> that children put into foster care also suffer
> chronic emotional trauma.
>
> What outcome would you like for these children?
> What sort of intervention do you envision will
> occur? Child protective agencies tend to be
> understaffed and overworked, so unless there is
> physical abuse or true neglect, they are unlikely
> to do anything.
>
> The children will probably be better off if you
> supported them as much as you were able without
> involving the authorities.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 09:50PM

those kids, without involving "authorities."

That can be a huge factor. My mother was both physically and verbally abusive. As a small child, I made several attempts to run away. From about age 10 until I left home, I created a hiding place for myself, way up in our garage, on a storage shelf built in the rafters. I was able to conceal myself behind some large cardboard boxes.

My father was a sweet and loving man, but he would not cross my mother. Back then, parents were expected to present a "united front" against the kids.

It was the unconditional love I got from both of my grandmothers - one who lived with us, and the other one, who lived nearby. They provided love, support, and were my trusted confidantes. I truly don't know how I would have survived childhood without them.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 09:56PM

Thank you for that. This is kind of my new approach. I want to make nice-nice with the father. Though he's "off his rocker" he can be reasoned with and has some power. The children don't totally adore being with him because of his drunk behavior but he can be a nice dad. Maybe he can help facilitate contact with me.
Sadly the maternal grandparents are bit cold and distant and the paternal g'parents are very frail and can't really keep up anymore. Thank you for sharing your story, it does really put it in perspective. I'm hoping that with time the children will learn and remember to reach out to me more and I can be a safe, non-crazy place.


catnip Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> those kids, without involving "authorities."
>
> That can be a huge factor. My mother was both
> physically and verbally abusive. As a small child,
> I made several attempts to run away. From about
> age 10 until I left home, I created a hiding place
> for myself, way up in our garage, on a storage
> shelf built in the rafters. I was able to conceal
> myself behind some large cardboard boxes.
>
> My father was a sweet and loving man, but he would
> not cross my mother. Back then, parents were
> expected to present a "united front" against the
> kids.
>
> It was the unconditional love I got from both of
> my grandmothers - one who lived with us, and the
> other one, who lived nearby. They provided love,
> support, and were my trusted confidantes. I truly
> don't know how I would have survived childhood
> without them.

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Posted by: Busy body ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:03PM


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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:19PM

Her disorder causes her to be constantly stressed for no reason and on top of that she will explode and get angry at them for no reason or inconsistently. She has told me many times she is one snap away from total despair. She will wake up in the middle of the night screaming. Severe trouble with sleeping.
One child has developed the most troubled mental break I've ever seen in a child- social situations will cause her to have major panics.
One child will behave perfectly at school, but when she gets home she loses her sh**-- she will really act out and lash out and misbehave and mouth off. I know this for sure because I spoke with her teacher about it personally at length-- she is the star pupil and PERFECT at school ALL THE TIME. But at home she's a terror. I've been able to slowly stabilize her but that's coming to an end I fear.
Youngest is still a toddler and has pretty severe mental breaks- she will describe a harm she suffered at preschool, like a kid being mean to her, then 10 minutes later will say, "o sorry I was just kidding."
They all love their mom but she is mercurial and unpredictable and highly inconsistent and impossible to reason with about ANYTHING

Busy body Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What specifically makes her abusive/neglectful?

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Posted by: Itzpapalotl ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:10PM

Good luck with that and I mean it. Emotional and mental abuse is extraordinarily difficult to prove and convict. Unless a parent is caught in the act, social services/police may not investigate at all.

I work at a school with kids coming from poverty and I see the effects of abuse everyday- everything from neglect to emotional abuse to outright kids witnessing their parents being violent. Some of the children have been taken away from their parents and placed in the local child protection services down the street. One comes to mind because she and her siblings were placed there when their mom started screaming like an evil harpy at them in public, someone reported it and an investigation was made and she lost her parental rights. The girl and her siblings ended up living with a relative southwest of here and I hope she is doing ok. Another boy who was placed in this service has some serious behaviour problems- very defiant and temperamental. I try to be understanding with him, as he needs adults who care and are not just about punishing him.

The worst one I get a little choked up and wonder what will happen to him. One parent is in jail and the other ODed, and his grandparents lied about the death to this boy. Because this is an impoverished area, the grandparents have to work menial low-paying jobs and this kid is left alone a lot- walking in dangerous areas, sometimes left in the car while they are at work. I wonder when someone will call CPS/NCPS when they see this and what will happen to him.

This is just the tip of what I see. These kinds of scars never completely fade and if untreated become wounds that are infected.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:11PM

Cases of emotional abuse are controversial for agencies charged with investigating child abuse and neglect. Emotional abuse in many cases isn't as clear-cut as is physical abuse or even neglect, and is usually far more subjective. What one person would view as an emotionally or psychologically abusive parenting practice might be considered a tough but acceptable act of parenting by another. That isn't to say psychological abuse cannot be every bit as real and damaging as is physical abuse; it's just more difficult to substantiate. Nonetheless, if a person is a mandated reporter, emotional abuse falls under the umbrella of that for which one is obligated to formally report. Even if one is not a mandated reporter, he or she possesses, to some degree, a moral obligation to report any abuse he or she judges with clear conscience to be significant.

Am I correct in my understanding that you have chosen not to make a report to child protective services on the basis of online reviews of the agency? I question the judgment in your decision-making process. Online reviews of such nature are of limited value. The general public cannot know what might have happened to cause a reviewer to be dissatisfied with an agency.
The reviewer might well have a legitimate grievance. Then again, the reviewer may have an ax to grind regarding the agency having done its assigned job on a previous occasion. For that matter, a person making a negative review could even be a disgruntled former employee. The essentially anonymous nature of online reviewing allows anyone to allege virtually anything. Choosing not to report an incident of abuse to child protective services on the basis of the agency having received negative online reviews defies logic.

If it makes you feel any less reluctant to report, I will share that the consensus among mandated reporters I know personally is that if CPS errs, it errs on the side of under-action rather than over-action. Where physicians as mandated reporters are concerned, our reports are almost always at least investigated.
Such isn't necessarily the case with regard to the mandated reports of educators and child-care workers. This is probably due to a combination of limited resources and maxed-out case workers on the part of the agency, to the difficulty in substantiating allegations, and to the reluctance of the state to involve itself too easily in the private affairs of citizens.
In any event, the stories sometimes told of children being separated from their parents for trivial causes are USUALLY fabricated or grossly exaggerated. In medical school, residency, two years of fellowship, and surgical practice, I've made, if memory serves me correctly, eleven referrals to agencies charged with investigating abuse and neglect of children. CPS has NEVER taken further action than I thought was warranted. In some of cases they acted as I would have; in other cases, they did LESS than I would have done had I been in their place.

My assumption is that you are a private citizen rather than a mandated reporter of child abuse or neglect. If you were a mandated reporter, you would be placing your livelihood in jeopardy by failure to report suspected abuse of any kind. If you are a private citizen, whether or not to report abuse is on your conscience. It is perfectly reasonable to conclude that any potential negative ramifications to making a given report of child abuse may outweigh the potential positive outcome, but choosing not to make a report on the basis of YELP or GOOGLE reviews lacks sound reasoning.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2017 03:26PM by scmd.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:30PM

I agree, the only way a professional could come to same conclusion as me would be to spend as much time with them as I have and I just don't see that happening.

And I am only a concerned citizen who has lived with these folks for a year, not a mandated reporter.

About the "reviews"- I certainly did not describe all my thoughts in my short original post. I have many months of personal experience with these folks- THAT body of knowledge of these people is where my impulse is coming from, not a Google review.

Thanks for taking the time to share your professional perspective.

scmd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cases of emotional abuse are controversial for
> agencies charged with investigating child abuse
> and neglect.
>
> Am I correct in my understanding that you have
> chosen not to make a report to child protective
> services on the basis of online reviews of the
> agency?

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 04:32PM

My mom was similar to that when I was a kid. My playmates would tell me they dreaded coming over to my house when mom was home because she reminded them of a witch. (She played a witch at Halloween some years at church for the ward Halloween parties, and was very realistic. She was a method actress who'd studied with the Stanislavsky school in NYC as a young woman, and really lived her roles!)

A couple times during my adolescence I tried reporting her to local authorities and later to LDS Social Services for emotional abuse etc., and they pretty much told me that it wasn't something they were going to get involved with. She was off her rocker but no one believed me.

Finally after she died her husband told me what I used to tell authorities as a teenager, of her Jekyll and Hyde personality. He described to me how I remembered her as a kid growing up, only that's how she was with him. I don't know how they stayed married, but they were both eccentric and somehow put up with each others idiosyncrisies.

She had some redemptive qualities. One takeaway about my mum is that she didn't know how to give love. Both her parents were orphaned, and her dad was a cold, cruel vindictive man. Mom and both her sisters were stunted I believe because of their aloof and detached father figure who was only present when he was disciplining them.

Her acting may have been her escape mechanism from the abusive childhood she endured.

All of her kids turned out okay despite mom. The ones that made it to maturity that is. Two of our siblings died in childhood from childhood diseases that may have been preventable if she'd taken better care of herself.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2017 11:25PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 04:52PM

Thanks for sharing your experience with a "jekyl-hyde witch mother." this is amazing to me you would say:"if she'd taken better care of herself..."

That's what I would say about this woman!! She stresses herself out soooo bad, but her primary stress is a 9 to 5 job but her dad has more money than Davey crockett and he told me personally he would support her but she refuses. I've told her many times that if she really cares about her children, she needs to take care of herself first. Her go-to responses to that are, "no, I dont" and "I'm just broken so it doesn't matter." This response matches literature descriptions of this disorder.
So she's "artificially" stresed out with work or something else ALL THE TIME and the children be damned. But they sure love her.
I'm glad to hear the other children in your family were okay, but I'm alarmed because medical literature I've found indicate that children from these mothers get this disorder too, especially if female. And that suicide rates are very high among this disorder.


Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> All of her kids turned out okay despite mom. The
> ones that made it to maturity that is. Two of our
> siblings died in childhood from childhood diseases
> that may have been preventable if she'd taken
> better care of herself.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 05:35PM

I doubt your female friend and my mom have much in common, but there are some similarities which I shared because they in part resemble your lady friend.

My mother was a fighter and survivor. She instilled in her children resilience and the will to succeed. We were overcomers in our lifetime. My parents weren't as educated as we are, we all went to college and earned degrees.

Mom was ambitious who also in her own way loved her family. She just didn't know how to show it very well.

She was stunted in that regard. But otherwise a woman who tried to live honorably.

The thing is Mootman, that after I grew up I came to see my mother as a flawed but decent human being - despite her handicaps.

If we'd been whisked away as children by social services I may not have had that opportunity to know her as I did, and as my mother. Was she deserving of my respect? Yes and no. I honored her as best I could because I loved her. I do wish she would've helped herself more to live a healthier lifestyle because if she had she might still be alive today.

There's a part of my mother I will never know. She was a stranger to us because she was a stranger to herself. Her father was that way, a man with a hidden identity. It may have confused her about hers. She had two different birth certificates. One before her dad changed his name - and one after he did. He had a secret life that mom or her siblings never knew about, and grandma took his secret/s with her to her grave.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 05:19AM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I doubt your female friend and my mom have much in
> common, but there are some similarities which I
> shared because they in part resemble your lady
> friend.
>
> My mother was a fighter and survivor. She
> instilled in her children resilience and the will
> to succeed. We were overcomers in our lifetime. My
> parents weren't as educated as we are, we all went
> to college and earned degrees.
>
> Mom was ambitious who also in her own way loved
> her family. She just didn't know how to show it
> very well.
>
> She was stunted in that regard. But otherwise a
> woman who tried to live honorably.
>
> The thing is Mootman, that after I grew up I came
> to see my mother as a flawed but decent human
> being - despite her handicaps.
>
> If we'd been whisked away as children by social
> services I may not have had that opportunity to
> know her as I did, and as my mother. Was she
> deserving of my respect? Yes and no. I honored her
> as best I could because I loved her. I do wish she
> would've helped herself more to live a healthier
> lifestyle because if she had she might still be
> alive today.
>
> There's a part of my mother I will never know. She
> was a stranger to us because she was a stranger to
> herself. Her father was that way, a man with a
> hidden identity. It may have confused her about
> hers. She had two different birth certificates.
> One before her dad changed his name - and one
> after he did. He had a secret life that mom or her
> siblings never knew about, and grandma took his
> secret/s with her to her grave.

It's noble that you're able to look beyond your mother's flaws and to see her intentions as having been mostly good. Sometimes the best any parents can even hope to do is a little better than their own parents did for them.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 04:34PM

I was an elementary school teacher for many years and have had to report abuse and suspected abuse. Go to your phone and dial the number. Do it now for the sake of those children.

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Posted by: Paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 07:52PM

You had moved into her residence, said she owes you money for doing childcare, earlier you posted you thought she was co dependent or something.

And you stated earlier you had no employment nor wages and relied upon here?

So you are in a domestic dispute with the kids mom, and leaving these biologically and legally unrelated children with their biological mother who has established legal custody from their biological fathers.

I am not comfortable stepping into a domestic dispute further I am uncomfortable coaching any partner in that dispute about ways to impugn their partner legally. Your past post appeared to attempt to ironically label or blame your partner with a psychological jargon phrase which defined your own self in the living set up. .. incidentally.

Finally if you were responsible for childcare and are dissatisfied with any of the children s after school behaviors, that speaks to your behavior management system & skills as much as your partners with whom you stated you were engaging in active dispute and planned to leave.

Finally partners in dispute or leaving are sad sometimes angry, and children whose adults are in dispute about where they are living or when they are leaving are tremendously emotional because their family is changing.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 11:18PM

If this is true, then Opie may be using her children as pawns to get back at her. It happens in breakups, though usually between two bio parents.

Opie might need to take inventory of his own mental outlook before trying to create problems for the mother of those children - if it is based on sour grapes.

If he really cares about the children that is, and not seeking revenge.

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Posted by: Board Regular ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 10:22PM

I'm staying anonymous on this subject right now, but I'll gladly share personal and professional experiences on the subject as well as my regular identity.

concolor100@aol.com

I agree with the conventional wisdom above that it's basically your "duty" to report the abuse. After that, the outcome is in the hands of providence.

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Posted by: lolly18 ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 08:26PM

Emotional abuse is hard to deal with. But if this parent is overwhelmed and is willing to acknowledge it, she will get services that may help her eliminate the issue. Call, but not the local office, the official abuse hotline.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 09:49PM

Thanks, that might be a good tip.
I have learned that the father was awarded visitation. I was sure he wouldn't be. But this alleviates some of my worries because now the children will have some outlet for their mother's batsh** crazy. Now I just have to hope he doesn't kill them in a DUI crash cuz he's a drunk with prior's and he fb-messaged me that he's going to get a motorcycle with sidecar to take the children riding. Yikes
I'm afraid this whole thing is just above my paygrade
I've researched it a lot now and though I was a live-in partner and the children are attached to me I have no rights and like many have said, it's very unlikely they will investigate "emotional abuse"

lolly18 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Emotional abuse is hard to deal with. But if this
> parent is overwhelmed and is willing to
> acknowledge it, she will get services that may
> help her eliminate the issue. Call, but not the
> local office, the official abuse hotline.

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Posted by: infinitelyme ( )
Date: July 22, 2017 02:45PM

^^ this

The parent has to be willing to acknowledge a problem. It takes guts to do that, but can result in an outpouring of support and resources to work towards a stable, nurturing environment for the family. People are afraid of admitting issues, but the right advocate or social worker will be diplomatic enough to offer help and provide services that are beneficial to the family. Good luck to all involved.

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Posted by: infinitelyme ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 09:49PM

I called on myself. And I got the help I needed. I have also called on a good friend of mine, yet she doesn't know I did it. And she got the help she needed. Make a call. Social services does it just come in and take the kids away. Unless you are in Utah, where the foster system is a money maker.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 10:03PM

See that's my concern. This isn't in utah. But it is in a state where I am deeply concerned about the competence of officials. Quality of help on every level there is atrocious where I've seen it. For example I got to know the administration and teachers at their elementary school and it was deplorable in my humble opinion.
I enjoyed hearing your experience with calling.

infinitelyme Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I called on myself. And I got the help I needed. I
> have also called on a good friend of mine, yet she
> doesn't know I did it. And she got the help she
> needed. Make a call. Social services does it just
> come in and take the kids away. Unless you are in
> Utah, where the foster system is a money maker.

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Posted by: Myron Donnerbalken ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 10:09PM

I did once, and it went very badly.

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Posted by: mootman ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 10:14PM

Ugg

Myron Donnerbalken Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I did once, and it went very badly.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 22, 2017 01:33AM

Since you are concerned, go ahead and make the report. I agree with SCMD that if anything, CPS tends to err on the side of under-action. So you won't be needlessly tearing a family apart.

My experience as a teacher is that physical abuse is taken very seriously, but mental abuse and neglect less so. I work in a high poverty area, so I guess the case workers see so much of it. They have to pick off the worst cases. I can also tell you that when a child is exhibiting symptoms of mental illness, it is not unusual to see it in the parent as well.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: July 22, 2017 03:28PM

The one experience that comes to mind is that I visited my
daughter at her school. She said she had a headache. I noticed
a slight reddening on the side of her head above the cheek. She
told me her mother had hit her there with a hairbrush.

I reported this to DFS. I was later told by a DFS agent that if
I were to make any further "false reports" I'd be in trouble with
the police.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: July 23, 2017 05:48PM

Most parents get away with it. Mine did.

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