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


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