Do wits really have an end?
You have no idea how much I miss blogging. I am getting an idea how much you miss my blogging, and I must say I am extremely appreciative of those checking in to see if me and Pearlsky are okay. Seeing that “okay” is relative, I am not sure how to respond.
Sure, we’re okay. Yeah, there’s an answer. Yep, just fine.
The second week of this past July Pearlsky came home from school (summer program in the high school) with her undergarment on backwards, her eye swollen shut, I was told she “shut down” at the end of the day, not interacting with people. I was told no one touched her clothes other than to change her, no one knew why her eye was swollen nor why she was acting differently. Nor did anyone know why there was a spot of blood where it should not have been. Her appetite crashed over the next month or two and the 88 pound Pearlsky lost about 10% of her body weight. Weeks later, at a doctor’s appointment, when I was asked what happened that day, Pearlsky burst into tears as I just started to mention it. Yep, no communication that one.
The state investigated. The city investigated. I was asked insane questions (never accused or anything like that). The case went to the state attorney general and other places. Then silence.
Weeks went by, no one would tell me if there was to be a criminal investigation or not (I did NOT want one, that’s another post). No updates. Every time the phone rang, or the doorbell rang, I would jump.
The state agency calls and wants to do a home visit, out of the blue. When they called, they were kind of sketchy about it. That was an uncomfortable few days, turned out to be some other dumb issue, not a problem.
I had trouble dealing for a few months. I failed Pearlsky, there is no doubt something not good happened. I put her on the school bus that day. Don’t go all logical on me … I failed to protect my daughter.
And the last thing I wanted to do was come here, this blog, and either admit that, or tell you about the day to day shit that goes on.
“Do you feel she is safe in school now?”
“I felt she was safe the day I sent her in and in reality, she was not safe. I sent her in today. If I say I don’t think she is safe, that means I knowingly put her in an unsafe situation and you take her away. How about, I feel she is as safe today as she was that day. Safe is safe, no?”
The day she cried at the doctor’s was horrendous. Right then and there, I knew she knew. She knew what happened, she remembered it. I had barely said anything and her mind went there.
The evening of that doctor’s appointment I was on the floor crying and I got a call from the incredible Clotho. I told her that I knew Pearlsky knew. That I had failed her and had no idea what to do. Then she showed her power, and gave me a rash of shit. She stood up to me, and demanded that I “go talk to Pearlsky. You go to her right now. It is erev Yom Kippur and damn it, you go talk to her. Apologize, explain, whatever. Go talk to your daughter.”
No one dares speak to Single Dad like that. Actually, no one does. But Clotho did.
I took Pearlsky and spoke to her. Straight. For a while. And I made promises to her. And she rolled into me and we laid there. For a while. A long while.
As promised, I have gone to the school every day to check in on her. And other stuff. But is still sucked, still no word from the state, from the city, from the investigators, it was still “active.”
I was almost up to posting again, starting to be myself, then last week happened.
Because Pearlsky was, well, mishandled, at the High School, I have been trying to get her the hell out of there ASAP and directly into an adult program (which normally starts at 22, 10 months from now). The program I want says they want the state to guarantee that they will continue paying for her placement there when she turns 22 (when the school district stops paying) or she cannot come. Note they do not insist that elders live more than 10 months after starting, etc. but I digress. The state says to the program (run by a large national syndication) “we can’t guarantee anything.” Hence, I find out Pearlsky is stuck in a place where she is not safe, and a fantastic placement won’t take her because they need a guarantee that makes no sense (keep reading).
So I search and find a lawyer. Took about an hour. He is the ex-president of said program syndicate (google it and HIS picture comes up) and he is the ex Deputy Commissioner of the state program. Two …. two … two mints in one!
“The state cannot guarantee that simply because they are never the ones to pay. She has SSI and Medicare, so that is completely moot. No, I don’t think you need to hire me, SD, let me make a phone call, I know people.” No word yet.
The same night I found the lawyer I am watching the local news. Hey look, that’s the high school they are filming in front of. Wonder what happened. Oh, male special education aide arrested. Hmmm. Stole a bagel from the cafeteria? Parked his car in a no parking zone? No, aggravated statutory rape. But it’s ok, he did not do it on school grounds. And NO, I don’t know if he had anything to do with anything, so don’t ask.
And you know what happened the next day? I get the official report from the state investigation. Five months later. And it says they do not recommend a criminal investigation (again, that is actually good from my and Pearlsky’s point of view; fuck the “greater good”). But here’s the kicker, there is a summary of what I said to the investigators, what Pearlsky’s mom said, the teachers, the SPED Coordinator, etc. And then this … the school lied about the environment. A major point in the investigation. Who was with Pearlsky at all times. And what do I do with this? Nothing. I absolutely can prove beyond a doubt it is a lie, but to what end? I don’t want the outcome of the investigation to change. The person interviewed knows for a fact that s/he lied. All it does is reinforce the fact that I want her out of there. Today. Now.
So that stopped me, yet again, from posting. From sleeping. From breathing.
But here I am. Lots of email support from my readers. I know life must go on, I know this was not my fault, but I cannot begin to tell you what it took out of me.
I want an RV. I want it to have a ramp or a lift. I want to get in it and never turn back. Me and Pearlsky. We’ll visit you, or pick you up, on the way. Think I can drive to London? Maybe IN, TX, and CA will work …
I hope I am back. I need to be for me.
But that is what has been going on for the last five months. And I missed you.
So much to say but you know it all ♥
You stopped blogging? 😛
Joked the Shittiest Cyber-Pal on Earth….
Absolutely every parents worst nightmare ever. If I had the money I would buy you and your daughter the motorhome myself.
You know that scene in the movie Steel Magnolias where M’Lynn says, “I don’t think I can take this! I just wanna hit somebody ’til they feel as bad as I do! I wanna hit something and I wanna hit it hard!”??
I’m so sorry. I wish I could do something to help you or Pearlsky. I’m glad you are blogging again.
From another proud disabled woman- Thank God Pearlsky has you and you have each other. Still here. Still istening.
Glad to hear from you again. Hopefully you can put all this behind you both and get Pearlsky into the new facility. It never hurts to know people who know people. Welcome back.
When you round the corner of my street, just honk once and open the door — you don’t even need to stop the car.
As a survivor of unspeakable abuse, a lying family, a closed investigation, and rallying for the “greater good,” may I say, keep pushing. Just as you would’ve never forgiven the father that ignored the evidence and allowed him to abuse whoever came *before* Pearlsky, now is your turn to be her voice. Because she deserves to have her Dad protect her, God I wish mine would have. Instead, turns out, he was an abuser, too, Be the voice for Pearlsky and a million other Pearlskys. Call the local police. Call the county prosecutor and tell her story.
I’m so sorry this happened to her. Let her scream. You can, too.
That is one of my biggest fears, of Katie being sexually assaulted. I can’t see Katie putting up with it, she fights like a hellion, but I know things like this happen, even if you fight like a hellion. I’m sorry. It fucking sucks!
That is so unbelievably horrible. Have you seen the movie Casino? Behind my house is miles of open desert. I have a shovel, and rv parking.
Holy crap. Proof that Pearlsky understands at least some of what goes on around her. And you found the proof for the worst possible reason.
I cannot even imagine how you feel right now. Let alone how Pearlsky feels, trapped in a body where her so-called teachers treat her like a thing rather than a person. Fuck hitting the switch “80% of the time”. She deserves better.
… I don’t know what to say. Except that if you make it to London, I’ll take you out to dinner 🙂
Oh SD, sorry is such an inadequate of a word to use right now. But I truly am sorry. When you get your RV, come to Michigan. I’ll entertain you and Pearlsky 🙂
I’ve been reading your blog for just a little while, and I just wanted to de-lurk and say that I’m sorry you have to deal with all of this, and that I’m crossing my fingers that Pearlsky gets in the program you want her in.
Yes, sorry is such an inadequate word but it is all I can come up with. I wish I could say more but on some level I am glad you are back. We are all behind you.
Crap. I was pinning everything on the rv adventure. It’s a frightening, shitty world some days. Hold those precious close, do what you need for you. Really hope you get a proper placement sorted. If you can get the rv across the pond, I have plenty of parking.
I, too, fantasize about traveling the country one day in an RV. My other dream is of a commune for families who have kids with disabilities. We all need each so much in this life, and the thought of a big, loving community makes me almost giddy.
I am so sorry that your girl was assaulted. It makes me want to have five minutes alone with the guy, and render him incapable of hurting anyone ever again.
You are a great father, and this obviously cuts you deeply. Much love is coming to you tonight from Florida (we have LOTS of RV parks down here, btw.)
I really get sick hearing about what has been happening and thank you for bravely sharing it with us because it does no good for all of us moms and dads to stick our heads in the sand and pretend these things don’t happen. It’s frequent and the ‘system’ is slow and mostly inadequate. I don’t know how we can 100% prevent assault, short of taking off in that RV and keeping our children with us at all times. Mighty tempting.
I’m really happy to see you back! Though, less happy about all that’s happened… “I’m sorry” really is so little to offer.
Carolyn, I am totally with you, there needs to be some kind of communal living available. The Jani Foundation has sort of suggested it for mentally ill kids, why not disabled kids, too? (Plus, that way it’s actually very feasible to have a home without the danger zone that can be a kitchen.)
Glad to hear from you again, SD. Love and hugs to you and Pearlsky.
Awful, awful, unspeakably awful. I have been concerned by your blogging abscence and am amazed you have been able to pick yourself up from crying on the floor. Glad you have friends like Clotho who can say the hard stuff.
And if your RV has a hull or wings there’s also a welcome for you across the Pacific in Sydney.
My heart aches for you & your girl.
I am very sad to hear this, but not surprised which is even sadder. The very fact that you endured additional stress and bureaucracy horror while trying to deal with the aftermath and protect your child says so much and echoes much of our experience. I hope there is a far better situation in front of you as we all know firsthand how heart wrenching these situations can be. Blessings to you and Pearlsky.
If you ever, say, want to write the guy’s name on a piece of paper and just happen to leave it lying around in my path, I’m quite sure a posse of avenging cripples could be arranged. Power wheelchairs can be weapons when wielded (im)properly and justice would be poetic. His ankles would never be the same…
I missed you, too. And I cried when you said Pearlsky cried. omg, my heart is broken.
Shit, SD. I’m so sorry. I’m glad you have a roadmap of sorts, even if implementing it is turning out to be kinda slow.
If you do make it to the UK, there’s a bungalow with track hoists throughout at your disposal in Manchester. I can also recommend these guys: http://www.brucewaketrust.org.uk for finding a serenely safe, quiet and fully accessible space to be for a little while. (Yep, the boats have tracking hoists too.)