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We Do It Because We Love Them

Reaching Out, Asking for Help for Your Child

Have you ever done something that you thought would be helpful, and even in some ways it was, yet you feel horrible? I'm dealing with something like this right now, and I'm just so confused on how to really feel.

So I've got a step-daughter of the sorts (not actually married to her father, but might as well be). She was placed in her grandmother's care (father's mother), due to her mother and her step-father being neglectful of her health. She's diabetic and epileptic. She was placed with grandma back in August, and after only a short few weeks, began acting up so horribly. Grandma really didn't know how to handle it. Father works evenings, so he only witnessed it on his days off, so for him to attempt to punish her for behavior he didn't really see, it was difficult.

When I had days off, me and my boys would go spend time with her and everyone else. Well, I witnessed a little bit of the attitude, something I had also never witnessed, even when she would spend weekends and holiday breaks at my home. I was a bit shocked to be honest.

Now fast forward to October, myself and my boys moved back in with everyone due to unforeseen circumstances. Her behavior got better for a little bit, but then got to be more and more out of control as the weeks went by. Grandma had tried reaching out to the social worker to get advice or help, each time with no response for days, if not weeks.

My step-daughter had already broken her grandma's finger, and even re-broke it, she had done tons of damage to the furniture in her room, started to refuse to do homework, started refusing to take her medications, and was getting more and more violent. She was getting to be mean to the dog, and even threatening my son and their cousin. She would wait until grandma had her back turned, and make a run at her like she was going to attack her. That was something I had to stop numerous times.

I had threatened to call the police when she got out of control, but grandma thought we could all get things to go better. We didn't, and I had finally had enough. I was tired of watching my step-daughter attack her grandmother both physically and verbally. She would call her so many names, get in her face, and I had just had it.

I finally typed up an email to the social worker, waited almost three days to send it, hoping that when she came back home from her mother's her attitude would be better. It wasn't. She got home and immediately tried starting a fight with her grandma, and started threatening to hurt others.

The next morning when I got home from work (I work third shift), grandma told me what happened the night before. Step-daughter came out to get ready for school, ready to fight. Since we had both had it and were just fed up, we ignored her attitude. I looked and grandma, asked for the email address to the worker, and finally sent that email. It was a huge relief knowing I finally put my 2 cents out there about everything, knowing this worker was being so negligent about doing her job. I even made sure in my email to let her know that as well.

My email stated the behaviors my step-daughter was doing. It stated the abuse she has done to her grandmother, and the property damage. It stated everything! I didn't hold back one bit. I explained how she needed help from another source and that I was tired of watching the disrespect she had towards everyone. I explained how I believe she shows signs of a sociopath and strong signs of having ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), and how I felt that getting her into a treatment facility was the best option for her before it's too late.

Well, about 45 minutes after I had sent the email, the worker called and talked to grandma. Told grandma she has calls out to find her another placement. Fine. Grandma explained everything to her finally, and she started to feel a little better. Step-daughter had an appointment that day as well for her diabetes, so of course grandma had to go to that. The social worker picked my step-daughter up and took her to the appointment so she could tell her about the change of placement. That sent the behavior over the edge, so the worker finally got to witness it.

The social worker clearly had no intentions of keeping my step daughter safe in my opinion. She just wants to look good by getting kids placed back home. Well the doctor was the one who made the decision to okay my step-daughter to be placed back in her mother and step-father's care. Because you know, it makes so much sense to place a neglected child back in the home where the neglect and abuse was occurring.

I can't help but feel like this happened because I reached out to the worker asking her for help for my step-daughter. I feel somehow responsible for her being placed back in the care of the ones who had originally failed her. I understand it's not my fault, because the doctor was the one to make the final decision, but man, I feel so horrible. I can't stop worrying about what's going to happen. I can't stop from wondering if she's going to get the actual proper medication and help she needs. Her father was in agreement with me sending the email, but he's very upset at the decision they made. 

I feel as if I failed her. Failed to help keep her safe and healthy. I just feel so horrible. I love her with all my heart, just as much as I love my own children, but I know she needs psychological help. I know she needs to be shown and taught about what can happen if she continues to act the way she's been acting. Grounding her and taking things away from her did nothing. Sending her to her room did nothing, because she would damage things and attempt to climb out of her window. She needs real punishment for her actions, but she also needs help for whatever is going on in her little head. 

I truly hope that one day, the help she needs is given to her. I'm hoping that the help and accountability comes before it's too late. I'm hoping she gets better. But most of all, I'm just hoping she's taken care of this time around. The doctors said if they notice the neglect again, she is pulled from her mother for good. Granted I feel that would honestly be in her best interest for her safety, but I have no say in anything.

I just needed to get this off my chest, and maybe, hopefully, someone who is going through something like this will know they're not alone. It's hard, I won't lie, but at this point, there's nothing more I can do. I tried to reach out to get her help, only to put her in danger. I just wish I could've done more to help her, but she has been brainwashed and fed lies about me, her grandma, and her father by her mother, and she truly believes every single thing her mother tells her.

Just remember, if you feel in your heart you're doing the right thing, then do it. No, it may not go as you hope it would, but you still did the right thing. If I would've known they were going to send her back there, I'd have just called the supervisor and talked it out with them. I can't take it back, but at least I know I tried. 

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