> No More Secrets And Lies: Annotated Contents

Annotated Contents

I visit a therapist and tell him how I lost my children, my job, and my mother in matter of months. He tells me how he lost his sons in much the same way years earlier and advises me to let my children go the way he had to. I refuse to do this and decide to tell my story instead. 

I begin my story by telling how I lost my job in August of 2010. I talk about the macabre ultimatum my boss gave before he fired me and then describe how this impacted my family. 

The same week I lose my job, I also lose my daughter Mary. She moves out and tells me she doesn't want me in her life anymore. I describe how odd this is, considering I am the only person who was willing to care for her. 

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, my mother is beaten to death in a nursing home. I talk about how false allegations of abuse lead people to ignore pleas for help from those who need it and how I felt partially responsible for not listening to my mother's pleas when she was telling us something was happening to her. 

The girls are acting in a way I've never seen before, and Grace breaks down and cries when she finds out I plan to give Mary a Christmas present. I find out Mary is working with a social worker and decide to find out who this is so I can find out what is wrong with my children. 

I go to the Social Services office to talk to Mary's social worker but am turned away. The girls' mother also refuses to tell me anything about Mary. 

Josie and Grace are shocked to find out what is happening to Mary at their mom's house. The bad-mouthing is so bad it scares them and they're afraid for Mary and for me. 

Josie spends most of her Christmas vacation at the dog pound as a way of coping with the craziness around her. I talk about her relationship with her dog, Cocoa. She secretly passes me a note warning me of what might be in store for Mary and for me. 

Eventually Grace succumbs to the bad-mouthing like Mary did, and she doesn't want anything to do with me either. I talk about how I have to sit by helplessly and watch her die away like I had to with Mary. 

I begin to realize that what is happening to Mary is connected to her group home experience a few years earlier, and I also realize what I have to do to try to get my girls back. My lawyer reinforces this notion when he gives me some good news and some bad news.

Part 2 is about Mary's life in group homes, foster homes, and detention centers across Minnesota and Iowa, and the efforts I make to try to keep things from spiraling out of control for her worse than they already have. I describe what the county does to both Mary and me in response to my attempts to help her. 

I begin by talking about raising Mary, why her mother and I initially asked the county for help, and what it was like for her to leave home. 

Not long after her first placement, the county starts moving her again. At first I accept this as part of the process. But as it gets worse, I began to question what her workers are doing. I describe a visit to her in one of the first kid-jails she is placed in and the bond that forms between us as we discover I'm the only person she can tell what is happening to her. 

After she is moved ten times during the first year, it's clear to me that her placements are made with little effort to match her behavior with the group homes she is being placed in. I describe her foster home experience and her move to another kid-jail. 

A meeting with Mary's corrections officer and social worker shows me how their decision-making process is conducted. It appears as though their decisions are based more on what is convenient for them rather than what is best for my daughter. They try to deny her sexual assault and plan to misinform a group home in order to place her. I work to prevent this. 

I appeal to a judge to get Mary assessed so we can place her correctly and so she can get some help and stop moving so often from one group home to the next. I describe how I have to find out on my own what has happened to her at another placement that I wasn't told about. 

We finally get Mary assessed but little if anything comes of it. I describe what it's like for her to have to move so often. 

Mary is placed out of state. I describe the group home she is now in and what a typical visit to her is like. The staff at this group home is better at helping me than her workers are. I talk about nonverbal learning disorder, and how I later find out that correctly diagnosing her early on may have prevented problems she is having -- the nightmares, the screaming at night, sexual abuse symptoms, etc.

This is the first clear indication that her workers are deliberately trying to marginalize my involvement with Mary. Without my knowledge, they put together a discharge plan which states that she should not come to my house when she is discharged. I show how Mary's lawyer and I are the only ones helping her. Her lawyer encourages me to continue fighting for Mary against opposition from the County.

Our first ray of hope for Mary is dashed when her corrections officer lies to a doctor and our team to prevent her from being placed in a clinic that may have helped her.

I begin to report what is happening to my daughter to state agencies. I can't understand why I'm not having any luck, however, until I realize her workers are preventing my reports from getting anywhere while retaliating against me for whistle-blowing. I describe the stifling atmosphere in a typical county meeting. 

Mary's workers blame her for all her problems and refuse to take any responsibility themselves for what's happening to her. They arrange an odd visit with her over a speakerphone, and take turns degrading and blaming her in front of her parents. They try to get me to do the same, but I refuse. 

My attempts to get help for Mary are thwarted when a team member tries to minimize her problems to an ombudsman I've contacted. I begin to list the effects that multiple placements are having on her. 

Mary's 20th move lands her back in a treatment center that even judges agree is harmful to children. At another team meeting, Mary's lawyer and I desperately try to get something positive done for her but run up against a brick wall, again, when her workers oppose us without reason. I describe a typical visit to Mary at Elmore where I take her sister, Grace, along with me. Mary desperately wants to know what's happening to her and why she is being moved so many times. I'm conflicted about whether I should tell her the truth. 

Another instance where Mary has to tell me she is being abused and how ironic it is that I have to contact a different county to investigate her claims of abuse since her social workers refuse to listen to her. When the abuse is substantiated, her workers still refuse to acknowledge it or discuss it. 

Attempts to get Mary a neuropsych are blocked by her workers, and her lawyer has to get a judge to order them to comply. Her corrections officer lies to the team about the availability of openings for assessments in our local area, and the supervisor won't consider a placement in the metro area that would keep Mary close to home during Christmas. He instead places her back in a group home that is far away and which we already know can't treat her. I describe the effect all of this has on Mary and how she copes with being separated from her family and moved so often.

Mary's workers move her again and "forget" her meds in the process. She starts to get sick and has to call me to let me know about her lost medications. I finally locate her meds and discover that her workers may have been trying to change them without a doctor's permission. Her lawyer demands that her workers retrieve the missing meds so she can start taking them again, and her workers get upset with me for meddling in her case.

Mary's workers and her guardian ad litem visit her at North Homes and try to convince her that I'm not a good parent and that she shouldn't listen to me. Then, with anyone's permission, they direct the staff at this group home to start monitoring phone calls between her and me. Her lawyer finds out about this and has to go to court to get her workers to stop violating her rights.

Mary spends another Christmas far from her home while she waits for her neuropsych exam. I visit her and take her sisters along, and they surprise her. I find out she is moved again without my knowledge.

Mary has her neuropsych exam in a city far from her home for no apparent reason. The psychologist puts false information about me into her test results. Her workers try to use these results as a parental assessment to claim she should be placed far from her home and never returned. Their attempts to rig her exam backfire when the test shows her problems are caused by neurological damage rather than her parents.

I describe the atmosphere in one of Mary's typical court hearings and how her workers regard her and her case. I confront the GAL about her workers' motives and talk about the lengths her workers go to, to rig her neuropsych exam. I begin looking for foster homes nearby while her workers hurry to get one arranged in Fergus Falls before I'm able to find one for her. 

In one of the most bizarre meetings I've ever been in, the social work supervisor threatens to fabricate child abuse charges against me if I refuse to sign a form allowing her to place my daughter in the foster home that would be harmful to her. I call her bluff and refuse to sign the form. 

At Mary's final court hearing, the social worker supervisor and GAL openly lie to the judge about me. The social work supervisor issues another threat to me in the courtroom. Corrections drops her case and Mary is free to go home. As the team members say goodbye to each other, I find out something from Mary's lawyer that I suspected to be true. 

Mary comes home with me and lives with me for the next year and a half and improves dramatically. We believe our problems with social services and corrections are finally behind us.

Part 3 is about Mary's long road back to recovery from the group home experience after I brought her home and cared for her. 

I begin by talking about my first experience with family court ten years earlier and how shocked I was to discover this alien world where up is down and right is wrong. 

Against the wishes of her social workers and even her mother, Mary comes home with me. I describe what it's like for her to be able to go where she wants when she wants, and how knowledge of nonverbal learning disorder helps her improve and learn to live in her community again.

After a month at home Mary and I decide to quit looking for foster homes and decide she should stay home for good. 

Mary decides she wants to live with me and not with her mom, and for some reason her mom wants this as well. I tell social services we no longer need their services. 

It takes Mary a while to believe she is still a loveable person and that no one is going to take her away anymore. I assure her of these things and she improves vastly, and we're able to laugh about her past behaviors. Around this time my employer starts targeting me. 

Having Mary home full-time is difficult for Grace, and for the first time ever, she stays at my house less than half-time. We agree to make up for this loss of contact in the future. 

Even though Mary's behavior improves, finding the right school for her is difficult. Luckily we find an online school that works for her where she is able to learn by making projects that interest her. Many of these projects are about her cat, which is as important to her as dogs are to her sister Josie.

Mary keeps improving and makes it to the six-month mark with few problems. This is a huge accomplishment for her, and she emails her lawyer to let her know about her success and receives a nice reply. She begins asking me questions about what happened to her during the group home experience and I try to answer them. 

I help Mary look for jobs, and to my surprise she finds one on her own that I wouldn't have expected. 

Mary is even prouder of making it to the one-year mark and she wants all the people who worked with her to know about her success. She sends them an email but gets few responses, and this is difficult for her to understand, especially when it is one person in particular. 

My employer threatens me with the same threat that Mary's social work supervisor threatened me with just before I brought her home.
Prior to me losing my job, Mary's attitude towards me drastically changes. I fail to make any connection between her sudden change of heart and the other events at the time. 

Mary moves out, I lose my job, and my mother is mysteriously murdered. Still, I fail to see any connection between any of these things. This is the last time Mary and I have any kind of relationship.

All our lives had changed dramatically now that the girls and I were separated from each other. I'd lost touch with both Grace and Mary and I was afraid this was going to be permanent. With only rumors to go on, I begin looking for Mary around the community and was concerned about her having to be moved again after so much of this during her group home days. It looks to me like the girls mistakenly trusted people they shouldn't have.

It also looks like the tactics people are now using to separate my children and me are same ones these same people used before. And it looks more and more like losing my job and losing Mary at the same time is more than just a coincidence. I expect the girls to also see this connection, but they don't.

Mary visits her older sister in Oregon and calls me from there. It had been over half a year since we had even talked, but now that she's away from Mankato, we talk almost every day. Once she returns to Mankato, however, she goes back to the old Mary and doesn't have anything to do with me.

My conversation with a social work supervisor when I call her to find out what is happening to my daughter.

I lay out everything out in this post naming names and describing how I think the county and the state worked together to separate Mary from me.

I continue to show how I believe the county and the state worked together emphasizing how the timing of my losing my job and being threatened by my boss seemed a little too strange to be only a coincidence. This pairing of events seems esp true when I recall that that the social worker who had threatened me and also wanted to separate me from Mary and, was now back Mary’s life for some reason.

Mary is hit by a car while crossing the street on her bike, but her mom doesn't call me to let me know about this. I find out about her accident after it appears in the newspaper and after Mary, herself, calls me from the hospital. This is starting to become the way I learn most things about my children.

I finally give in to my sister's plea that I talk with a priest about the things going on in my life. My visit with this priest ends up with me in the position of consoling him as he appears to be frightened by the what he hears.

I try to describe what emotional abuse feels like to a child who's been taught to hate her father and how this can leave lasting effects. I describe my last visit with Grace.

This part of the blog is finished, but the story of connecting with my girls isn't over. I summarize the reasons I began writing the story and describe a final meeting I have with the therapist I wrote about in the first post. I talk about my possible plans to live near my oldest daughter in Oregon.

The Campaign of Denigration and Warning Signs of Parental Alienation
Who Thinks Like This - Part I?
Who Thinks Like This - Part II?
Parental Alienation During the Holidays
Afterthoughts of Homespun Terror
Writing our Alienation Tales: Truth as a Weapon Against an Arsenal of Lies
Family Court and Parental Alienation
PA Parents
Living on a Fault Line: The Warning Signs of Parental Alienation Part I
Living on a Fault Line: The Warning Signs of Parental Alienation Part II
The Loneliest Person in the World
The Slow Tear


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