Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jaundiced Baby Contradictions

I was talking to a precious friend just now and said something that I need to repeat. Maybe it will help some of you understand why I am so distressed when my daughter is gone and getting the technical things she needs.

When a baby is born and experiences jaundice, they must be placed under special lights and are not allowed to be held or comforted even by their moms.

Being away from mom is what the baby needs. The mom cannot provide the level of care necessary to help their baby survive.

But in that case, NO one ever suggests the mom abandon their child since they can't meet their needs!!!!! No one tells them that since they can't bring them home they must go into foster care and have the parents rights removed. No one even considers this idea because they know how vital Mama is.

If the provider told the Mom her child needed special lights to live and the only way to get those lights would be abandonment, the mom would walk away much the same as Moses' Mama did.

My child is no different. She requires intensive psychological care that exceeds my abilities. I love her, am committed to her, will fight to the death for her. I also understand that if I chose to go against medical and professional recommendations my child could die, the same way a jaundiced baby could die if removed from the lights.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dear Hillary...From a Broken Hearted Mama Failed by a Broken System

Dear Hillary,

My child suffers from severe and chronic mental illness. Her life before me was full of so much trauma that despite being adopted into a stable home with a loving mother, she has continued to succumb to the mental illness monsters her parents birthed in her broken mind.
Reactive Attachment Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety and Depression; these are the monsters we fight daily.

I have spent the last few days hearing your story, recognizing how time after time you went into the darkest of places to help those no one could see. To be honest because of your pro-choice stance I have never been a supporter, but I realized tonight as I finished another blog post telling the tragedy that is my daughter's story that you are the only candidate who has shown a history and dedication to changing the circumstances that my family is torn apart over. My family needs you. Children with mental illness should not have to lose their families for treatment. 

Over the course of the last few weeks as our family has fallen victim to a broken system, I can no longer ignore your contribution to those who need a voice. While Donald Trump is mocking people with special needs, you fought to ensure they had an education and equal rights. I can't be a single issue voter because far too many affect my family. Yes, my heart aches over the unborn but my heart lives in agony every single day handling my two daughters who have significant mental health and emotional needs that are consistently ignored by society. 

It is all just political rhetoric until your child is taken from your care and taken by strangers to an unknown facility because the mental illness and social services system does not protect them. I am truly devastated.

Tonight you said,“I sweat the details of policy – whether we're talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs. Because it's not just a detail if it's your kid - if it's your family. It's a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president."

Of everything you have said, or that I have heard about you, these words have me in tears because so often over the last 12 years I have watched as my adopted daughters and their care get lost in the details, in the red tape, in the rules, policies and procedures that forget that behind every case number is a child. 

I don't think I have ever been more heartbroken in my entire life and knowing that the inadequate rules and regulations of our nation's mental healthcare system is the reason is overwhelming to me. Mental health care should not cost children their Mama's.

In the 70's you worked to make sure children like my daughter could get an education. In the 90's you worked tirelessly to make sure children like my daughter could get essential healthcare and made my ability to adopt her easier. In the early 2000's you said, "No government can love a child, and no policy can substitute for a family’s care. Tonight I ask you to continue that fight to include revisions to the current childhood mental health care system that lead to children having to be abandoned in order to receive what amounts to nothing more than inadequate care. 

Kindest Regards,

Jessica Freeman
Charlotte, NC


Thursday, July 07, 2016

To My Fellow White People

To My Fellow White people,

As the Black community and others spend today, and tomorrow, and however long they need grieving two more senseless murders of black men and raging against a society that allows it to continue, your first response will most likely be defensive..."But I'm not racist," "The man had a gun," whatever...it doesn't matter. I am begging you to please resist that response. Please. I know many of you. I see your heart. I believe that it is well intentioned and good but it isn't about you and your heart, or me and mine. We aren't the ones being killed.

Please be an ally and advocate or be still. Please share their stories and join them in their protests. Please.

Your continued refusal to see beyond your own personal experiences to very clear facts, figures, and statistics allows for an atmosphere where ignorance prevails and people die. #altonsterling #philandocastile #blacklivesmatter

White Privilege

I am an adoptive parent of a very violent young woman (now 18) with severe mental illness. While she has not lived at home for some time now (due to safety for my other children and pets), I am still her mom. I still do everything for her, meetings, appointments, etc...I just do so with multiple staff members from whatever facility she is in at the time.

Sadly, even the many protections offered by group homes, residential facilities, and locked down schools are not enough. She still manages to run away, to seriously harm herself and others (including animals), to threaten, cause chaos, and otherwise be a danger to herself and the community. Last week alone she stabbed herself twice, ran away multiple times, spent 2 hours in a parking lot with group home staff and several police officers refusing to get in the car and return to the group home. Having police show up is normal.

Despite all of those interactions, my child is alive. The police always treat her gently, even when she is being violent towards them and others. She has NEVER been charged by them. She is always taken  to the psyc ER or negotiated with until she gets tired and decides that she will just go lay down. Not do what she is supposed to, she just reverts to silent protests and they leave.

I have stood covered in blood in front of police and her be walked to a police car and transported to a psychiatric ER. I know that I don't have to worry about her being killed by police on one of the many times they have stormed into my home or a facility to get her. Despite the fact, that in those times, she actually WAS a clear danger to me, and them, and our community. Despite the fact that she does resist arrest, refuse to comply with the officers orders, and is generally aggressive and out of control.

As a white young woman, she has the privilege of getting handcuffed and transported to a mental health center. She has magistrates who, "Don't want to charge a child with a crime." She has a society who see her blonde hair and blue eyes and immediately become disarmed, despite the fact that she has a very clear record that should make them run in the other direction.

I'm disgusted. I'm disgusted by people's silence. I'm disgusted by a broken system and those who's silence continues to allow the senseless murder of those in the Black community.

Being a lover and loved one, being a friend to countless Black people, my God, simply as a human being, I am disgusted, and terrified, and heartbroken, knowing this is the world they continue to live in. Like Brandi Riley said in the video I posted earlier on my Facebook page, we, as white women, have to speak up, to show up, to use our privilege, as repulsive as it is to know it exists, to demand an end to the senseless killing of those in the Black Community!!!!!!

You Want Her Whole

You want her whole. Trust me. For when she finds her muchness; when she gathers all the pieces of herself, all the pieces you have broke...