Have you ever had a big blowout with someone you thought was a friend? An immense altercation that you couldn't see coming? Well, that is what happened to me this past Tuesday night! And it's been bugging me ever since. My FORMER friend, I'll call her, "Sally
, I realize has had it rough the last few years. Her daughter, who has been a long-term alcohol and drug abuser, had 2 kids who were periodically taken away. Why the authorities involved ever gave her those kids back, I will never know! So she got custody back and was pregnant again. Still abusing, she had the 4 month old baby boy in bed with her. Yep! You guessed it! Rolled over on him in a drunken stupor and suffocated him!
The other 2 fetal-alcohol syndrome kids were turned over to Children's Services and placed in foster care again. BUT SHE GOT THOSE KIDS BACK! The cycle started all over again.Fast-forward a bit...another baby with extreme alcohol syndrome.
Back into foster care. The baby with a super couple who still are in all 3 kids' lives and the 2 older to another loving family. YEA! But my FORMER friend's daughter DIES of an overdose.(SO SORRY THAT THIS IS TURNING INTO ANYTHING BUT A FRAGMENT! BUT IT SURE IS A FREEWRITE! ) But wonder of wonders the foster couple who have the baby want to adopt all 3 kids! But nooo! Not meant to be! Enter my FORMER friend, "Sally", who decides SHE wants them! Now this was not the time for her to be doing this. Her husband had unexpectedly passed away just recently. But she insisted. Someone somewhere must have known this wouldn't be a good idea because the kids were not automatically handed to her. The baby's foster parents FOUGHT but ultimately family won.
Now normally I would have agreed with that decision but as time has progressed I've seen the tragedy of that decision.
My FORMER friend does not work; she doesn't have to. Each child receives almost $1000 PER MONTH in SS... She gets a stipend PER CHILD because she adopted them... The foster parents of the older two send her $100 PER MONTH PER CHILD...Plus whatever money she received from her husband's death...and the house is paid off..She told me once she has money in many bank accounts-Lots OF MONEY-HER VERY WORDS...The foster parents of the baby who wanted all 3? Well, that is one of the most generous and amazing things I have ever seen! Those 2 people love those kids so much that they pay for any and all activities the kids want. They buy them gifts, clothes, take them on camping trips, vacations. I'm sure they buy the school supplies. Anything those kids want or need they get! Because they are loved! And it doesn't stop there! These two former foster parents want to make sure the kids have a good place to live...so they are remodeling the whole house room-by-room and buying all new furnishings, curtains, etc.! They just remodeled "Sally's" bedroom! Yep! And wondered why she wanted to put a lock on the bedroom door! I know! Those children are not allowed to even step into that room!
But if "SALLY" loves them she doesn't show it! In fact, in my opinion she is hurtful and cruel. She will praise them and in her next breath tear them down. If they don't do what she says the second she says it she goes into a scathing, screaming rage! It's shameful and pathetic. But she doesn't stop at verbal abuse. Her rage is uncontrollable as she grabs an arm or a leg, whatever she can reach and PINCHES so hard they bleed and cower. They are not allowed to cry or she does it again, even harder! I have been struggling with what to do for some time now. When I approach her she tells me it's none of my business, to butt out! So I let the kids know that I love them; they gravitate towards me. We laugh and talk; I hug them and tell them I love them. I have NEVER heard "Sally" tell them that.
I worry about the 11 year old the most. I started to tutor her in Math at the end of the school year and volunteered to work with her over the summer. But "Sally" stopped the lessons at my home after only a few. The reason? "She likes coming to your house too much."This is the same little girl that "Sally" tells the "only thing you need to do with your life is know how to cook, clean, and balance a checkbook". She's repeated it to me when I've asked the girl what she wants to be when she grows up. And now I've noticed that child getting moodier and moodier sometimes sitting with a blank stare in her eyes. I can see problems on the horizon but there is nothing I can do...
Last week the 6 yr old asked "Sally" if they could live with me if she died. And I really believe this was the catalyst for "Sally's" attack on me. Now please understand that "Sally" has done a great deal for me. Yet I am very naiive and always look for the good in everyone. Then when the bad rears its ugly head, I am astonished. I am learning more and more that Satan has many disguises in order to suck you in! But I have done much for "Sally" also. I won't go into that to blow my own horn. What I will say is that "Sally" would agree to take me places and also do her own errands with me in the car. Always she'd want me to ride with her "to keep her company"! Finally it got into my naiive brain as to the real reason why-I have a handicapped placard! This way she could park close to the entrance and leave me in the car with the kids!
(Hang in there the end of this story is coming!) Then this past week "Sally" has been short and abrupt with me. I asked her to take me to get my medicine that she KNOWS I have to have. SHE DIDN'T. That was Monday. On Tuesday night we were all scheduled to go to a Potluck/Meeting together. When I climbed in the car I began to explain the message I was supposed to convey to her from an email. It concerned the last meeting when her son and another rough boy had been wrestling to the point of somebody getting hurt. It wasn't her son's fault. The other boy had an advantage of 50 lbs at least. Her son is small. She STOOD there egging her son on. I could tell the boy was scared and floundering and hurting but "Sally" kept on even though several of us tried to stop it.
Back to the conversation in the car. After several minutes I turned to "Sally's" son in the backseat and started to tell him that if the other boy approached him later he should just tell him that it wasn't the right time or place...."SALLY WENT INTO A RAGE! SCREAMING AND TAUNTING ME! PUTTING HER HAND UP INTO MY FACE. SHE WOULDN'T LET ME TALK. SHE THREATENED ME! THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER BEEN AFRAID OF BEING THROWN OUT OF A CAR! This wasn't simply anger! No, this was something deeper, darker, sinister! Of course, I cried. She berated me. I'd again try to speak and she told me to shut up. Then I started crying harder because when I get mad, I cry! That was the wrong thing to do! So I couldn't or wouldn't stand up for myself with 4 kids in the car because I knew THEY WOULD BACK ME UP. So I sat there still crying but trying to calm down. One of the ways I use to calm myself is to sing a song in my head and tap my finger. THAT SET HER OFF INTO ANOTHER RAGE! Then instead of going to the potluck she drove around for an extra 30 minutes. I know she did that because she could see my distress and the fact all I wanted to do was GET OUT OF THAT CAR!
When we arrived I got myself and Gracie out of there as fast as I could. At the meeting every time someone said something to me, she would belittle me. I was convinced she wouldn't take us home but she did. I didn't have any other choice. She let me alone but when she started in on Gracie, my daughter, I let her know that was unacceptable and she finally stopped. At home we scrabbled out and I never looked back!
But help me decide...WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THE KIDS???