"I Am" Paulette

root - Posted on 21 October 2009

by Mission Resistors

When the judge granted the department of human services their request that I take a psych evaluation, my heart dropped. I felt betrayed by people in authority. I felt like my world was ending. I felt numb all day. I felt there was a conspiracy to take my children from me and my life was in their hands. I had to obey every thing that they said. As a mother I felt the need to protect my children like an animal that protects their children, but I was human trying to protect my children from the very system that tried to take them away from me. Should I take the psych eval? And let them take my children? Or should I go and get my own psych eval and compete with them? I didn’t want to jeopardize anything. I was afraid like prey that’s been caught in a trap, and knowing nothing but to protect my children. When I looked at the judge, Judge Gargano, I knew in my heart that he was going to grant the request. I looked at him looking at me with his piercing eyes like he was cutting me in two, section by section, saying “You little black nigger, you better shut up or else I will ruin your whole life. You have no rights and you cannot fight us.” I felt nervous I felt like I was by myself even though there were people around me. There was no one I could turn to.

I looked a the judge with his old, pale white face and he reminded me of Scrooge. He was wearing a black cape like the grim reaper. They had no reason, no explanation. Just because I was a mother I went to the right people to ask for help, yet they turned on me. I started talking to some people I thought that I could trust. The very people I thought that would help me: the dept of human services, the judges, the city attorney turned against me. I had to go get help from the Center for Exploited Children. I brought every piece of paeprwork, every doctor’s note, every school papoer from my children, I went to my church talked to my pastor. I went to go see my faimly doctor to ask her to write a note about my character. I asked anyone that knew me or loved me or cared about me to write a note about my character as a parent, as an advocate and I also took my foster child’s paperwork from when I got her even before she was born—-I had them all. I took it to the National Center of Exploited Children, finally someone to listen to me I thought. He put all of that together, read every paper, every doctor’s note, every teacher’s letter, my doctor’s letters, he put it all together in a document. I had another court date to go to finalize the psych eval and I took that paper to my next court hearing. I was told that if I didn’t take a psych eval and went against court orders, I would be placed in jail. I thought that was another tactic to take my children.

They say the squeaky wheel gets oil--I needed to keep talking. So I took that document frm the National Center of Exploited Children to my court hearing and filed it for the judge to see. And to my surprise, it was pandamonium. They said, “Where did you get this from?” I said there is a name there and I said, “I am not taking a psych eval.” There my story started getting worse. I was not afraid as I was before. I didn’t go to jail. They didn’t take my children. They were bluffing me all along to take a psych eval to use their own people, not allowing me to use my own.

But with that, I went through all kinds of horrible things with the system. During that time I hired an attorney named Craig Martin.

He was the only person that I could talk to that I knew could rattle the judge’s mind and authority more than I could. So all I could think was put myself in survival mode for my children because my children are my life and no one could love them like I could. With that, I decided to let him touch me in places I didn’t want to be touched. But as time went on, it got worse. He did what he was supposed to do and do the paperwork and go to court but he used it against me for the simple fact that I was a poor mother with no money. But I thought I was paying him enough with my rent money, grocery money, anything to keep his hand off of me. But that didn’t help. But then I would think about my children and I let him do these things to me. During that time he grew angrier and angrier at me. I tried to tell anoher judge that my own attorney was raping me because I was scared that if I let him go I would lose my children.


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