Friday, August 17, 2012
Friday's Southern-Style Faith (Our Story Continues)
After I admitted J into the hospital, my next order of business was to cancel a protective order I'd filed against her bio-dad. Having managed to get into her computer and read the emails and messages between them, and between J and the woman I previously called "S," I realized adults--adults!--had planted such disgusting lies into this child's mind, facilitating the madness, encouraging the stories her sweet, sick brain had made up in an effort to understand its own past. My first order of business was to file an injunction for protection against these two people, along with her father's girlfriend. Having filled out all the paperwork, I elected to drop the case against S because I knew it would be a "she said/she said" court case and I'd lose. In spite of knowing I'd told this woman more than once that J could not legally see her father without my supervision or without my permission, and in spite of reading in the emails and messages between them how this woman had facilitation these meetings, encouraging them even, I would lose. Because I knew that any woman who would knowingly say such things to a child as what I was reading in these messages would easily lie in court. No morals. No scruples. No conscience.
So ... no way.
With J in the hospital, and enough paperwork filed out for the time being to help get her into residential (the hospital told me we were looking at at least a year of treatment), I called the judge's office and cancelled the court hearing. "He can't hurt her where she is now," I told the Judge's Assistant. "Nor can he get to her."
How foolish I was.
And so I flew to Denver.
The first day there I received a phone call from my husband. He'd been asked to go out to the hospital to have a family therapy session with J. He was so hopeful. He couldn't wait to see her, he said. And, if she would let him, to hold her. To tell her he would take all this pain if he could. He would make everything as it once had been--happy childhood. Happy memories.
Later, he called again. It had not gone well, he said. "When I got there," he went on, "a Casselberry police officer pulled up about the same time. We went to the locked doors and rang the buzzer for entrance together. I said, 'Good day, sir,' but he really had nothing to say to me. When the therapist opened the door, she whisked him inside, turned to me and said, 'I'm sorry, Mr. Everson. We cannot meet today. J is not doing well right now.' Something is up," he said. "I think the officer was there for J."
"Why would an officer be there for her?" I asked. "There are hundreds of kids in that hospital. What makes you think it's J they came because of?"
"I don't know," he said. "It's just a feeling."
His feelings were right. Later that day my cell phone rang. "Mrs. Everson," the woman--J's new therapist--said, "This is C, from University Behavioral Center. I need to talk to you about allegations of abuse J has made against you and to tell you that, by law, I have had to call the authorities. I also want you to know that I believe J is a very, very sick child and that I don't believe what she is saying based on her case history and what I have learned from the courts about your relationship with her and who you are. But I have had to file the report."
I asked what it all meant.
"It's not good," she said. "And all I can tell you now is that your time with J. may be over. I don't see this going anywhere but south."
I told her I was a woman of faith. That I believed in a God who could do the impossible. I told her about the abuse J had sustained by father and mother and select family members, about the emails, both from her bio-dad and from her friend's mother, S. She agreed that their interference had accelerated J's illness, but that much of this was also genetic, based on hospital records. And, she told me, I should look for another call to come within the next few hours.
The following day, a Sunday, as the conference was wrapping up, I sat outside the auditorium doors, listening to the keynote speaker when my phone rang. The number was from the courthouse. A 665 number. I answered as I made a beeline down the hallway to an abandoned ballroom of the hotel where we were meeting. Looking for privacy, out of instinct, I suppose.
"Mrs. Everson," said the woman, "This is Detective D. I'm with Seminole Country Sheriff's Office Crimes Against Children. We need to speak to you and your husband as soon as possible ..."