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Just curious....

try2relax's picture

Has anyone ever called child protective servies on BM?? Obviously only for substantiated reasons, and wondering what the outcome was.

ColorMeGone2's picture

Throughout the 10+ years since they separated, BM has withheld visitation off and on. Sometimes for several weeks or even several months at a time. During these periods, telephone contact with the skids is sporadic. At one point about four years ago, DH hadn't been allowed to see the skids for eleven months. He hadn't been able to get anyone to answer the phone at their house for three months or so, and it had been probably the same amount of time since he'd exchanged emails with BM. He couldn't even get ahold of BM at work. He was getting worried, because there'd been absolutely zero contact. He had no idea if the kids were even still living there. He had no idea what was going on. Usually, when BM withholds visitation, there's some kind of argument going on between her and DH. Not this time. She just stopped all contact. (They lived five hours away and with DH gearing up to go to Afghanistan, he couldn't just drive down there whenever he felt like it. It was far enough away that he had to get leave first.) Anyway, I told him that if he was that worried, he could always ask their local police department to stop in and do a courtesy check on the kids to make sure they are okay. He toyed with the idea, said he'd give it another week.

Well, during that week, I did a little sleuthing of my own to try to find out what was going on. I checked the motor vehicle accident database online for their area, as well as the outstanding warrant database, the court filings and the arrest records. Basically, I checked every single online record I could find in their area. Guess who showed up in the arrest records? Yep, BM's husband, who was arrested for domestic violence. Guess who had a court date for later in the year, because BM was having him prosecuted for it? Yep, BM's husband. He'd been arrested by a sheriff's deputy in the county where they live, so apparently, it didn't actually happen at home that time. A fight broke out at an ATM or something and she'd called from a pay phone, or the fight broke out at home and she took the skids and went to a pay phone to call the cops to get her husband out of her house. But that made me curious, so I contacted the police dept. in their city and asked them to fax me any reports of any calls made to their home and they sent me two more reports. One of them was for BM's husband being drunk and mouthy... they carted him off to dry him out. The other one was for him beating her up, breaking her nose and having her in a choke hold in front of the kids. Showed it to DH when he got home from work. He tried to call again... home number, cell number, work number, etc. No answer, so he called CPS, told them what we'd found out, told them the kids were unreachable and had been for at least three months, that he hadn't seen them in almost a year, and asked them what could be done. They immediately did an investigation.

While they did not find that the kids were being abused or neglected, thank God, they did find that they were living in a household where abuse was occurring due to their stepfather's addiction problem and they made some referrals to get him into rehab. BM knew she was a heartbeat away from losing the kids, so she somehow convinced her husband to utilize the referrals and go to rehab, which he did. My husband left for Afghanistan shortly after and although he wasn't allowed to see the skids before he left, he did get to talk to them on the phone while he was there and he got to see them when he came back. We hooked up with one of BM's other kid's father/stepmother and began sharing info, in case we would be needed to testify for each other if we went as a group to get all the kids from BM. Since then, BM/skids have never been incommunicado for longer than a few days at a time and, from what I understand, BM's husband has turned it around and straightened himself up, which I think is great. She did end up dropping the charges, stupid woman, so the court case was dismissed. They are still married, he appears to have remained clean, they are both active in their church and they seem to be making things work. She doesn't try to keep the kids from talking to DH on the phone, anymore, and there has been no further abuse, so it turned out just fine.

I would say that it had a good outcome. The only bad part was the BM tried to use it later in an argument with DH, saying why should she do anything nice for him (like let him see his kids) when he'd called CPS on her. He said to her, "Your husband - their stepfather! - was arrested and thrown in jail for getting whacked out on drugs and alcohol, beating the shit out of you, breaking your nose and strangling you in front of them. I hadn't been able to get ahold of any of you for three months. I had no idea if the kids were even still alive. WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE HAD ME DO, BM?!" She did have the grace to accept that he was right and she's never brought it up again.

I asked DH later, after everything had settled down, if he felt sorry for BM and he said, "No, I was married to her for almost ten years. I can totally understand her husband's need to abuse substances and beat the living shit out of her. If we hadn't been separated for most of the time we were married, I could've been him." Wink

♥ Georgia, the un-stepmom ♥

"Good men don't just happen. They have to be created by us women." (from ROSEANNE)

Sita Tara's picture

It was tough, but we needed to establish a record of incidents because we knew where this was headed.

BM asked for extra time with SD about three summers ago. She was actually really polite and thanked US for dropping SD off while we were in her part of the county, rather than making her drive a half hour each way. She came up to the car and talked to US, showing off her dog to US. It was a first. When we pulled away I told DH, "Maybe things are looking up!"

Six days later (the longest they had seen each other without a break since the divorce) SD called after fleeing to a neighbors for help. BM had shoved her down into a chair hard enough for the chair to fall backward, and claimed she would beat her a$$. While BM was cooling down in her own bedroom, SD took off to the neighbors (a school teacher and her H who let SD call us, and after talking with DH promised not to send SD home with her mom if BM figured out where she was til we got there.)

We all arrived within minutes of each other, BM first. They both came out to the neighbor's living room crying. DH took SD and left, refusing to discuss anything with BM. Mostly we weren't sure if BM had really hurt her or just scared her. Because of some borderline neglect, and lots of emotional abuse, when SD complained of back pain we called the Ped DR, went to ER for xrays and we decided to involve CPS. But how they as well as the hospital, and the local police poorly responded, is a whole other post in itself (I think I have discussed it before and I'll try to look that up.)

Looking back we may have missed an opportunity to have a candid discussion with BM, which I believe she was open to. It's taken a few years later to get back to that point. Though DH reminds me that BM is likely to flip again based on her disorder.

I am really hopeful that within the next year she may even accept me and talk to me one on one.

I know it's a strange desire to have after all BM's done, but I think if BM could come to know or trust me she might be better off psychologically.

It's an art...a gift.... a curse. I attract mentally ill folks and take them under my wing like lost puppies.

“I never gave away anything without wishing I had kept it; nor kept it without wishing I had given it away.” ~Louise Brooks

steppie1999's picture

but it's emotional/mental abuse and we've been told that EMOTIONAL/MENTAL ABUSE IS VERY HARD TO PROVE...otherwise, I would call in a heartbeat!!