I was discouraged pretty hard after yesterday's meeting with the therapist. He told us that it was unlikely she would remain there more than about thirty days.
After attempting to compose myself, I (as calmly as I could) explained to him that if they send her home, they will be splitting up our family. Neither Rick nor I are prepared to EVER bring her home to live with us again. This is not because we hate Martha, because we do not. We do, however, love our other two children just as much and believe that their safety is paramount. As long as Martha lives in our home with them, they are not safe. This is not a situation we will allow. We will separate and I will live in my car or in a tent at the lake with her if necessary, but we won't bring her home EVER AGAIN.
Nor will I take the other two and leave. This is THEIR HOME and THEIR FAMILY. I refuse to punish them by taking them out of their own home and disrupting their lives.
Write that down in your session notes, Mister Therapist. Anyone with Child Protective Services who comes across this blog post -- write it down. I mean it. I have never and will never perpetrate abuse on Martha, but I WILL NOT BRING HER BACK INTO THIS HOUSE.
The therapist hemmed and hawed about it, mentioning programs here and programs there, but nothing definitive. Which is why we have never had any idea what to do, for years and years. It took a CPS investigator to tell me what to do (take Martha to UBH in Denton immediately) the night we finally took her in. We are a family who has absolutely no idea what to do about situations like this... we've handled everything ourselves... we take no money from the government EVER... to our near financial ruin, I'll be honest... but vague references to this program or that facility? That got me NOWHERE the night I tried to take her to a homeless shelter. Every bleeping vague reference I was given? Just another runaround. We have been responsible citizens, paid our taxes, mowed our yard, voted, and taken care of our own problems without defaulting or falling back on public assistance of any kind. If you look at our pay stubs, we don't qualify for anything because we make too much money. But if you then were to look at our out-go, you will see that because we foot all our own bills, we are very nearly bankrupt.
I am convinced that our daughter is an Axis II patient (in the DSM-IV lingo). According to Wikipedia, here are some of the disorders classified as Axis II: paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; and intellectual disabilities.
Do I know which one of these fits her? No. I'm not trained to diagnose these things. I am, however, a professional educator and a parent who has DONE HER HOMEWORK with regard to her children and their needs, and I promise you -- if there had been a pill or a coping mechanism that would have solved Martha's problems, I would have found it.
But regardless of Martha and her particular issues, this has now become a safety issue. And if we can't get help from the people who are supposed to be able to help us, we will protect all three of our children in the next best way we can find to do so.
I spent most of the day working in my classroom. All the computers had been removed and then returned, supposedly refitted with updated software... I have no idea yet whether that actually happened, as I was quite busy trying to put everything back where it's supposed to be. We do have an IT guy, but he's not known for completing things in a timely manner OR putting things back the way he found them. Thankfully I am fairly competent in the way of hooking things back up to the network. I got most of it done today, but I needed two 15ft cat5 cables, so I sent the spouse to pick some up for me. (If I asked the IT guy for them, it might take until Christmas to receive them... much simpler just to go get them myself) Tomorrow morning I will fire up the old 'puters and see if they come alive.
The security blocks on the school's network render it virtually useless. I would venture to guess that upwards of ninety percent of the students and faculty have smart phones which operate on 3G and 4G networks by which they access the internet for things they really need to look up, and the remaining few of us who limp along with little brickphones (me included) have to rely on proxies and other less-than-kosher means of access. I mean, honestly... we're not spending our class periods doing internet gaming or social networking or Youtubing. But I would like to be able to show the occasional Youtube viddy that illustrated a concept I was trying to teach. AND I would like to be able to use features like GoogleDocs and online blogs in ways that I was trained to do at the workshop at the Smithsonian.
But we live in the Dark Ages here in Ballyhoo. We can't spend money on textbooks and materials, but we also can't let you look up stuff on your own. WTF is that?
And yet, this is a very good place to be, despite its drawbacks.
Piano students have begun signing up! I am excited about the prospects of helping raise up a new generation of musicians to take my place when I'm old and decrepit. I'm pretty close to that right now, so they'd better darn well hurry it up.