Quick overview: Tuesday was the visit and accident. Wednesday was the day we saw bruising, a CPS report was made, and the kids were removed from our home. Thursday Baby 9's adoption worker came out and told us she had asked for Baby 9 to be removed as well, but her supervisor denied her request and chose to wait until a finding is made in our CPS investigation. Friday was the day that the CPS investigator came out and interviewed me, Brandon, Baby 4, and Baby 9. I feel like that went well. the investigator said that when she interviewed baby 13 in his new home, he did not have a consistent story and did not seem to know what timeline anything happened on. That is totally normal for a 3 year old, but not super helpful in an investigation. She said, The only thing I know for sure is that he was in a car accident Tuesday evening, and we don't know the severity of it yet. It didn't sound like a sure thing, she thinks we're innocent, but it sounded like she was being fair and thinking through all possibilities.
After the investigator left on Friday around 2, I slept until 9pm on the couch. My parents took my kids out to the park and the mall. I stayed in bed most of Saturday too. It took extraordinary will to get up at 2 pm to shower. Yes, I was laying down, half-comatose for 24hrs. I'm writing it because I'm trying hard to be honest. I got out of the house Saturday night for a babysitting gig I had set up a while ago. Having clean clothes on and forcing myself to drink water did perk me up.
I'm still getting tons of support from everyone, but now people are wondering how to handle me. I'm getting a lot of What do you need? How are you feeling? Really, truly? I don't know.
I feel exposed. Like everyone found out some deep, dark secret of mine. It's not that I did anything wrong or had something I was hiding. I feel like everyone can see I'm just human. I was out with my friends completely unaware that my kid needed me. I don't have supernatural powers to know when a kid is lying or telling the truth. I can't guarantee I'll give Baby 9 everything I thought I could promise her family. It's my job to keep my kids safe. I took that very seriously, and still Baby 13 got hurt. I couldn't help him. I couldn't write a compelling email to fix it. I can't find a community resource to help. I can't advocate for a better situation for my family. I'm just me, and I'm a the mercy of CPS like every other Mom in their caseload. I feel like I failed. I know I did the best I could muster for all my kids while they were here. It stings the back of my throat to realize along with everyone else, that my best wasn't enough.
I'm just human, and it's not enough.
Feeling all of that is too much on me, so I need to sleep. I can't be awake with all these thoughts. They are physically painful.
I'm scared, and sad, and frustrated, and anticipating it getting worse before it gets better. I don't miss the kids yet. I know that's coming, but it hasn't hit me, and when it does it will be bad. So, I have that to look forward to.
I obviously can't say that to all the people asking, so I say, "I've been better." or "I'm getting there."
Then I crawl back into bed. Just like I'm going to right now. I lay and wait for the storm to pass.