If you want to ask me tonight, “Are you okay?” my first answer would be a pause. I would have to think.
The next would be a move to answer with something noncommittal — “Sure”, “Yeah, “Uh huh”. I could not give you a “Yes” or even a “Maybe.” I certainly couldn’t say “For sure.” These are the answers of someone who has accepted tacitly something that they feel they should not have to accept. Maybe I feel the cards are stacked against me, but who shuffled the deck? What am I jabbering about now, right now at 3:32 pm PST?
Dear Reader, I’m talking about my son. I love him dearly, and in less than two days the decision to remove my rights as a parent are supposed to be nullified in an actual court of law. I am boggled that this act can be achieved. Aren’t these rights sacred? Since when did you need a license to give birth? Might as well hand out tags to pin to one’s bellybutton, save all those girls the trouble of getting them pierced. Maybe I should have been initiated? Maybe I didn’t read the manual properly? Maybe I haven’t done everything I should to prove that I love my child? What is it? I’d really like to know.
I know I have a mental illness. I’ve learned about that nonstop for the last ten years, the same ten years since my father left me and the same ten years when I started having every major life event be tainted by the mystique of “You’re not good enough because you have a lifelong psychiatric disorder.” I’m probably supposed to be ashamed to even write this blog. I’m probably supposed to hide my identity, dress in weird or dirty clothing, talk about conspiracies every waking minute, and not give a darn about anything but the inner world and the workings of my internal melodrama.
I don’t know if there’s anything “legally” I can do. I don’t know if it will get me anywhere, but I know for myself personally, I cannot live with myself as a mother and a person unless I at least know what’s possible. I know I have little more than one day, but you know, I can at least have time to make a call or two to the right people.
Should I be punished because I had a bad day, a moment of grief? Maybe it’s my fault for letting that run my life for so long? Probably. Maybe it’s my fault for not being responsible while my dear child was in my care? Probably. Maybe I am scared both ways: Scared to give up my son but scared to do what it takes to keep him? There, I said it. I’m scared to screw up, because there’s the safest way and there’s the best way. Deciding if the two converge, that’s the part that is left up to interpretation. That’s what the courts want to do. Maybe they need help? Probably.