I just had to get this out there now that I've calmed down a bit, but last week I had an incident with the CASA manager in our area. It upset me so bad that I cried for two days and just had a terrible time letting it go. Now I've let it go for the most part, but I just haven't felt like myself since.
So just to bring everyone up to date...mom did get visits suspended. They said it was both for her safety and for the baby's safety. I was feeling better after that, had a little more faith in those involved and their ability to make difficult decisions for the safety of this child. That feeling didn't last long though. Even though the petitioners (who were granted visitation until the ruling is made on their petitions) didn't show up for the very first one and knowingly did so, I still have to take her every other week to visit with them. They both showed up last time so all of a sudden people were acting like one of the petitions could happen. I was so confused as we were told by the CASA manager (before an advocate was assigned) that there was no way either petition would happen. She laughed when I asked her if either one of them was a contender and even made a joke when I told her one of the ladies was crying in court and really seemed to care. I assumed it meant she knew more than I did (of course) and didn't really question it. When I called her last week to ask some questions after things seemed to change this woman turned completely two faced on me.
A few weeks ago she said she'd be here until July, that we should go buy diapers and formula in bulk, etc. That the only think that could change would be determining paternity. Well when I called this day, she said that one of them could have a real chance and that I shouldn't even be asking her of the possibility because she couldn't tell me what their recommendation would be...she told me a few weeks ago they were recommending against it. She then proceeded to tell me that visits were suspended because of me...Apparently, me giving mom a Valentine card of her child (to make her feel better and not so sad and lonely on Valentine's day) is what caused her episode and she called it the catalyst that started this series of events. Mom has been off meds for weeks and has had repeated episodes for weeks. This one just happened to happen when I gave her that card. This lady indicated that I shouldn't have done it, and made it sound like I did it knowing she would freak out...since I have SOOO much knowledge of how to deal with Schizophrenic people. That's sarcasm there in case you didn't catch it.
She indicated that mom is depressed to the point of them being worried about her hurting herself and I told her it made me feel awful that this happened after I gave her a card to make her feeling better. She told me it is what it is and me doing that did start this series of events and basically indicated that mom losing her visits, being depressing, having episodes, not being on meds, and potentially hurting herself was MY fault! I should have just disregarded everything she said after that since obviously it's ridiculous but it really hurt me that anyone would accuse me of that. I've been afraid to call anyone else and haven't had any contact with our advocate, SW, or anyone. Honestly I've wanted to take a step back and not ask questions, not call unless it's an emergency, and just kind of get away from it. I just haven't felt the same since then. It upset me so bad that anyone would accuse me of something like that.
I've done nothing all along but try to help this mom and to try to include her in her daughter's life as much as possible. I've been telling everyone involved from day one that I was no comfortable meeting with her at visitation without some coaching on how to handle her episodes. No one ever helped or told me how to deal with anything. They just threw me to the wolves it feels like. Apparently mom is also angry at me now which will be great when visits start back and I'm sure they will at some point. When it happened, I apologized to the SW and she fell all over herself telling me that there was no way that was my fault and that I shouldn't waste any time worrying about it. I just hope that she isn't saying one thing to my face and talking to this other crazy woman behind my back or something. Now I feel like I can't trust any of them and I'm considering asking not to meet with mom at all anymore when visits start back.
Has anyone else been through anything like this while fostering? Sorry this was so long. It's still hard to get out. I am feeling like she was in the wrong and not me but losing trust in the system and in the people involved has thrown me for a loop.