31 May 2007

the long dark weekend of the soul

Saturday is June 2nd, exactly one year since we left our lives.

Tuesday is June 5th, the date of my divorce.

The emotional roller coaster has begun.

It's gonna be a long week.

16 May 2007


Part 3 of "It's all in your head" is posted before this one. I just felt like blogging twice today.

I've been -trying- to lose weight for the past year. I've been down a couple of sizes only to spring back up again. And I finally figured out that I am deliberately sabotaging myself. But why?

I am afraid to be trim and fit.

I know what I was like before. But imagine this exuberant personality I've discovered hiding within me all these years. Combined with good-shape me. Really kind of a scary proposition.

If I stay fat, then I can always say to myself that if someone doesn't like me, it's because I'm fat and they're shallow. But if I lose weight, then I have to accept that someone doesn't like ME. Period. It's not their issue, it's mine.

If I stay fat, I can retreat back inside this schlubby, dumpy shell and pretend like nothing ever changed. But if I lose weight, it's acknowledgment that things ARE changing.

If I stay fat, I face a future where I remain reactive instead of proactive. I choose a lifestyle where I will eventually be putting my health into someone else's hands - doctors, nurses, other medical professionals. I will be told how to live, given the equipment and schedule to do it. But if I lose weight, I must take responsibility for my own life and body.

If I stay fat, I will be miserable but at least I know it. If I lose weight, who knows what will happen?

I need to start living.

It's all in your head part III

When we left our intrepid heroine (not heroin!), she had just instructed Bean to step out of the office....

me: How DARE you! You, as an authority figure, have just assured my daughter will NEVER come to an authority figure for help again!

Hop (with hand to chest): I'm not an authority figure! I'm her friend.

me: Her friend!? You've been in charge of her for the week, one of two adults.

Hop: Oh no. I'm a friend

Enter Grandma and Grandpa.

me: You are a pitiful excuse for a therapist. When is it acceptable for a therapist to force their own conclusions on the child? It doesn't matter what YOU think. She was groped and she was violated and you made her feelings irrelevant the second you said you thought the other child was teasing!

Hop (defensively): Our realities are formed by our feelings. I am trying to help Bean to have a more positive reality.

Grandma: No, the reality is that she was touched inappropriately and you're saying HER reality be damned.

Grandpa: What you did was the equivalent of a rape victim coming to you for help and you saying "Oh, he didn't MEAN to hurt you. He was just kidding."

me (angrily): Hop, because I would like this conversation to NOT be colored by my frustrations, I am going to step out of here and calm down.

Exit me, enter me into office where Hop's assistant is grilling my other child (Tater) about what she and her sister thought of the program, and why her sister wasn't there. She stops.

Things calmed down after that but so far this is what has happened:

We have asked, in writing, three times for the credentials of Hop and other people dealing with the kids in the program. We have also asked for an agreement between the school system and this organization and/or Hop. We have no responses, though this has been going on since February.

We have been to the school board and were yelled at by the superintendent that he has given this information to us. Yet again, we submitted a written request. Nothing. We have been to the school system office. Nothing.

The personnel director posed as the assistant superintendent at one point in time, and also created a phony web site for the organization's outreach program. He was stupid enough to put it on the school's main website. Even though he claims that the school system has NOTHING to do with the program.

We have found out Hop is a former principal, and has a Master's Degree (her own words). Yet she won't provide credentials. If she is acting in a therapeutic role, should she not have a degree in therapy? How much you wanna bet she has a Master's in Education?

We have found out this program is funded by a grant. After a LOT of looking, we found the grant. When in doubt about why our school board/system refuses to investigate, follow the money.

Hop herself said her plan was to put the kids through the program and then TRACK them through middle and high school. Sound like an outreach or a study? Conducting such studies is illegal without informed consent.

We asked both the principal AND the superintendent if other parents and/or faculty had complained or raised questions. Both said no. We have absolute assurance this is not so, from the very people who have complained.

Though my children have been removed from the program, it is still in existence. Indeed, followup "group sessions" are already happening with my children's peers.

We have had to put this on the back burner due to ANOTHER fight I'm fighting right now. But we will not let this go. There is too much hiding and scurrying around this issue for it to be legitimate. The children of our county need to be protected.

13 May 2007

I was wrong

OK, I'll post the continuation of "It's all in your head" soon but I have to say...

To all of the people over the years who have loved Rush and I told you how lame you are and how awful they are...


I was wrong. I suck. Rush is really good.

The end.

08 May 2007

It's all in your head part II

We left off at the alarming revelation that all children involved in the outreach program were told not to tell their parents anything that happened at the center. This was confirmed with two other families besides mine, for a total of five children all saying the same thing. They also confirmed the horse stuff, too.

The next day, I left the now-distressed (because of groping) Bean at my parents' home so I could go talk to the principal before bringing her to school, and to prevent her from having to see the groper. I went first to Bean's teacher to tell her that she would be attending class instead of going to the program. The teacher pulled me aside. "PLEASE file a complaint with the principal. I and a few other teachers have noticed that the children come back more violent than any students we've ever seen before, and we've spoken to her about it."

I proceeded to the office where I told the principal Bean would be attending school that day, and why. With eyebrows raised, she invited me to speak with the head of the program. We all gathered in a back office and I explained what had occurred. "Did tell you she didn't want to attend the program anymore or was that something YOU decided?" I said Bean did. "Well, children should learn how to handle these things themSELVES. Unless you want to keep them in a bubble or by your side until they're 18, they will have to learn this." That ticked me off - my child is in 5th grade and she handled it exactly the way I would expect. She got into a situation where she knew she wouldn't get any help from the adults there, so she came to ME. Her mother. That's what I am there for - an advocate for my children.

The head of program (here on out, I'll call her Hop) requested a meeting with my daughter at 2:30 that day. Meanwhile, my father contacted the school board and requested the credentials of Hop, and a copy of the agreement between Hop's organization and the schools. I also contacted my daughter's therapist and asked that she attend the 2:30 meeting.

2:30 rolled around and I, both my parents and the therapist showed up. Immediately, the other side (principal and Hop) realized they were outnumbered and said that we'd better not overwhelm Bean with adults. So Hop, Bean and I shuffled ourselves off into the back office to talk.

Bean began her tale and was repeatedly interrupted by Hop. At one point Hop responded, "If he REALLY did this, why did you sit near him?" and Bean replied that he kept following her. "Oh, he most certainly did not!" was the answer. Then Hop asked, "Do you think he was teasing or being cruel when he did that?" I wanted to stand up and shout "WTF does that matter?" but I let Bean answer that she thought he was being cruel.

That's when the conversation took a turn for the even-worse. Hop stared my daughter in the face. This woman, acting as a therapist for my child during the week, stared at Bean and said, "Oh, we all know how he was teasing. -I- think he was teasing."

At which point I shut her up, looked at my daughter and quietly asked her to leave the room.

More about our fight tomorrow.

06 May 2007

To Do

This was inspired after a visit to yet another evangelical church that's just way too full of itself. I left and went out to the car and the only piece of paper I could write on was labeled "to do." Enjoy.

To Do
Find God outside the trappings of human emotions
Beyond the high-tech, high-energy dance of the modern, Western church
Past the manipulative music that plays when we pray
and the tissue-wielding, teary woman who champions causes like she's Miss America
(you don't need a committee and classes to change the world - just do it one bit at a time)

So where IS Jesus in all of this?
Did He even get invited to this big party we have in His name?
Did He attend the show - the huge production - put on in His honor?

Somehow, I think I hear Him in the church when nearly everyione is gone
when the lights are dimmed and the stage is empty
and distant footsteps echo in the halls

When those who are unwelcome and underdressed can sneak in
and speak a simply beauty

To Do
Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)