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Florida, United States
Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Our Story Continues: Why I won't shut up

I have not written much about "J" lately ... I've said what I've had to say, not to expose her, to hurt her, to cause her any grief should she actually read this blog. I write what I write because when you love someone, when you have given of yourself for nearly 12 years in a parental role, and then watch in horror as it all comes unglued, you find it difficult to just "let go." When you are the one who was always there and when you know the truth about the way someone really felt about you--and that certain someone can't seem to remember it, or their mind has been so twisted by others who never really knew, who only wanted to destroy because it's the only way they can satisfactorily lose--you just cannot shut up.

I watched a movie recently in which children gave a school performance to proud parents and grandparents within the audience. I had a memory then ... one in which "J's" school was doing such as that. Her mother's job did not allow her to "take off" in the middle of the day (which was when the program was given), and it was the best job she'd had in some time, making more money than she'd made for a while. J's father was incarcerated. Everyone in the family--aunts, uncles, grandparents-- had jobs they just could not break away from.

I was fairly snowed under myself, but my job working from home allowed me to walk away for a while. Doing so meant putting in longer hours later on, but J was worth it. So I went.

I'll never forget the anxious look on her face as she scanned the audience looking for a familiar face. At first she seemed to panic, then she appeared so sad. No one had come, she thought. She was alone. But then as her eyes came near to mine, I waved and she brightened. Someone had come. Her MrsEya.

When the performance was done, I presented her with flowers. I'd brought cupcakes for the "after show party" and, together, we sat at a table and ate. Just as we did the many times I went to her school over the years to have lunch with her. My husband and I were the only ones who ever did.

But she has forgotten that and all those other wonderful memories, like the Tuesdays I read to her second grade class from Mrs. Pigglewiggle. Whether by illness or by coercion or by choice, I don't know. I only know what truth remains and that truth is how much she is loved and always will be.

But there's another truth as well. One you need to know. And if you don't know, you must educate yourself. "J" is now a part of a system that cannot adequately serve her. One she keeps running away from, landing on the streets. Each time she does, I push heaven and earth to find her, even if it means she "hates you for it" or others think I'm interfering where I don't belong. (Of course, those same people and that same system loved me when we financially supported her before child support was ordered, years of asking for nothing.)

I do not and will not sit on my can or act out some "pretense" of searching. And this is why: human trafficking is real and it's right here in Florida. Worse for those who are bipolar or borderline or who suffer from any number of mental health illnesses. The idea of J crying, of her being enslaved because of another's greed and a system's stupidity, of her being used like a sex toy or a punching bag or a personal slave, is more than I can bear.

I beg you to read this article by my friend Dan Beckmann. And then you tell me if you would just sit back and do nothing.

The Article.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for passing this on.

Eva Marie Everson


  1. I totally understand your pain and your heart. As mothers we love our children unconditionally and when mental illness or the "thief" comes to steal and destroy from them it doesn't mean that we can lay aside our love, our concern. My heart breaks for J that she is ill and can't be helped because the system in Florida is so broken.
    I understand...I wouldnt't be able to let go either. Hold onto all of the good memories and my prayer is always that J will one day catch a glimpse of the life she once had with you and desire to seek help.

  2. Eva, my heart knows your heart. My child whom I was legal guardian to after serving as foster mom for 9 years left me at 15 due to my divorce as I was no longer able to care for him alone. He had CP and was quadriplegic. I loved him as my own. Always had. He progressed physically, mentally and socially under my watchcare. Then when I couldn't care for him anymore the judgements were made clear in his ear. All the childhood fun and trips and love were stomped under the feet of criticism, pridefulness, guilt and shame. He is now 22, doesn't want anything to do with me, even though I made sure I was at his HS graduation with bells on. God is the restorer, healer and reuniter. I still have hope for you and J. The HS spirit will reach down and clear that mind and she will think of you. Praying that she is in His care and that no harm befalls her.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Dear Anonymous,
      How sad that you feel you can come here and 1) question my faith in God and my walk with Him and 2) slander someone by name. You are correct that every time you do, I will delete your words. I know what it is like to be lied about. I know the kind of rash words like those that you used. I hear in your tone--the capital letters, the exclamation points--that you, whatever you have been through, have made this solely about you and not about the child. About destroying rather than rebuilding. I hear the out of control behavior when you feel you must crucify someone a year or more after a post. Let it go. If you want to go up against a system, then this is fine. I will speak against DCF and CBC until they learn, until they get it right. But even I didn't name names. I could have. I work hard not to literally hate these people and what they did to our child. But I won't name names. And I won't call names. I would suggest to you, out of the depth of my heart, that you consider some sort of counseling, something to help you know what is and what is not appropriate behavior, especially on the internet.

      Be blessed in the new year. Focus on life and stop worrying about what God is doing in the lives of others.
      Eva Marie Everson

  3. Portia, I wish I knew what to say. I have no words. So much pain at the hands of those who say they are here to serve children AND families. They lie. They do not.

  4. Keep preaching it, dear Eva. You have touched many lives and hearts. Right before I read this I noticed a small article in the newspaper about a little girl, Rilya Wilson, who caseworkers had not seen in months, (2002)and they believe she is dead. May the Lord have mercy upon the children under the care of the State of Florida. Although as I say that, I do think of several (and I am sure there are many Christians) who work for CBC that want to make a difference in the life of a child. I pray for J every day:)