When The Systems Broken

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When the systems broken where do you go? There is no magic place to turn where you can click your own heels and return to a simpler time. A time when people could believe in the power of justice and know that the system would guard and protect them from what is so blatantly wrong.

I heard the news yesterday that the judge in Justina Pelletiers case granted permanent custody to the state of Massachusetts. I read it twice and then once again. I must have misunderstood something. Now that people all over the world were standing behind the family of this pathetically abused young girl, surely the power of the people could force the system to do what’s right.

My stomach is physically ill at the thought that we place power, real power to decide our fate, our health, our life into the hands of people that lack the ability to ever admit that they are wrong. Is that saying the whole justice system is corrupt? Of course not, but look around at the crazy things people have gotten away with over the past few years that many would never have thought possible. How can this be? I’ll tell you how because I have dealt with this kind of situation in organizations myself. The problem is this. Someone makes a bad decision, off the charts, horrible, bold decision. The rest of the system, not wanting to look bad, will back any action or person regardless of how ridiculous the circumstance, regardless of how clearly obvious it is to the majority of the world that the decision or action was horrendously wrong.

They say birds flock together. You’ve heard that one right? Well power hungry, egotistical birds who base their decisions off of their own pride flock together so tightly that they become one. It is crazy but it happens. They don’t care what the whole world thinks, if they made a decision then that’s that. That decision is never going to be changed. Oh, and try and challenge it, and that nasty flock of birds will attack you so painfully hard that you may not even remember what you were fighting for in the first place. Then, looky here, that corrupt system points a big, fat finger back at you and all of a sudden you are not the victim. They will point to your every flaw regardless of the cost until they make you look like an unstable, emotional, angry, dangerous lunatic that actually may need to be examined yourself. After all, you are out of control and need to be contained by the power hungry dogs. And all the while, the flock laughs to themselves as the system supports their plump, lazy tail feathers and slowly, one at a time, they destroy lives. The attention is now off of them and onto you my friend.

I’m sorry but if We The People back down, then what will it be next? They are already ripping our kids out of the stronghold of our arms and why? Because we love and protect them and fight with our entire being to do what actually is in the best interest of OUR child? But what the hell do we know? We are just the parents and too stupid, or uneducated to ever really know what’s best. That should be left to a total pompous stranger that doesn’t have the courage to even consider how protecting their own arrogant selves is absolutely destroying other peoples lives. But what do they care. At the end of the day, their flock will be there clinking mugs and singing Ride Sally Ride, all the while knowing, every little conquer is just another step forward to owning a more powerful belt. And what are you going to do about it, little, insignificant you? Who is going to stop them? Remember, birds of a feather flock together, do you even know the size or depth of the flock? No, you don’t my friend but you can bet it is out of control if they can pull off a stunt like this one.

If you are not familiar with this story and this girl, I am begging, for her sake and for yours, do not look the other way.

Coming Together To Make a Difference

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I have to mention how moved I have been lately watching people come together from all over to help good people in need. My heart is full knowing Justina Pelletier has been released over to Connecticut DCF custody and that her original hospital and doctors are now allowed to take over her medical case. Now, the next step, to see her placed back into the custody of her parents. I believe it will happen soon.

Just this week I also saw a message from the napkin note dad asking people for extra frequent flyer miles to help him get to New York for some medical treatment he desperately needs. Guess what? The good people listened and granted this special man enough miles to make his trip.

There is a movement of goodness and kindness if you are aware and watching for it. It gives me hope during a time my heart has grown disappointed and I am grateful that people have taken their time, miles, and energy to support these two families in their time of need. Just a few phone calls to a Massachusetts judge, and some frequent flyer miles from a few good people changed the lives of these families and their circumstances forever. It feels good to help others and if feels even better to watch goodness unfold on such a large scale. Are you part of the movement? It doesn’t cost anything to jump on board.

If you haven’t read their stories you might want to check them out. They just might inspire you to to become part of an important cause, the way they have motivated me.

Will You Help or Look the Other Way!

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I wrote about the Justina Pelletier story last week. What if you could do something simple that would only take a second that could completely change the lives of others? Now is your chance to answer that question. Please call and support this poor girl who has been taken away from her family. Please call and urge Judge Johnston to let this girl go back home where she belongs. This family desperately needs your help, so I ask again, will you take a second to call? I did!

Who Wears The Shame?

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Sometimes we hear a story and we are left scratching our heads wondering how in the heck can something like this ever happen in the first place? I posted about the Justina Pelletier story yesterday and if you haven’t checked up on this story, I highly recommend you take the time to do a little research on your own. Now, I would like to share one of my own stories as well as share my interpretation of how these wrong doings continue to happen day after day.

I remember the day well. I was so excited Chase was starting kindergarten. He was not very sure of himself and somewhat of a clingy child, so I was nervous about how he would do. I volunteered in the nurses office a few times a week so I could maybe keep an eye on how it was going. We had just moved to the state a few weeks earlier and I thought it would be a good idea to get myself involved in the school system and maybe meet a few people along the way.

I had just arrived at school and there was much conversation about a little boy who pulled a fire alarm. I joked with the office ladies saying I hoped it wasn’t my son and continued handing out ice packs and taking temperatures. As I was leaving the school, 2 hours later, I checked my messages and to my horror, learned it was my 5 year old kindergarten child who had pulled that alarm. For 2 solid hours he sat in an office with the vice principal, principal, and school counselor. I guess they didn’t think to look for me in the nurses office that was located inside the main office? By the time they dismissed him to me with two days of out of school suspension, he was so embarrassed and humiliated that he crawled out on his hands and knees, face red from crying because he didn’t want the office staff to see him leave. I had a meeting with the vice principal who had Chase in music class tell me she didn’t feel he pulled the alarm out of malice but rather he is just a curious kid that likes to know what everything is and how it works. The counselor told me I should make the two days off a living he&$ and suggested I have him make posters on fire safety. Mind you, the reasoning they gave a five year old concerning why this event was such a big deal was because when the fire trucks come out for a false alarm, the school is sometimes required to pay a large fee. I’d like to tell you I am making this up, but you all know I do not even attempt fiction in my writing.

As a parent, I was horrified. I was humiliated, embarrassed and never wanted to show my face in the school again. Chase cried for hours that day, and after the two days were up I drove him to school. He started crying and wouldn’t get out of the car. He was so ashamed that he almost had what resembled a panic attack and I just couldn’t drag him in. I contacted the vice principal and the next day she greeted us at the curb and walked Chase in.

I called for a meeting with the three administrators involved. I wanted to tell them my story so that maybe they would reconsider such a harsh punishment for a child that age. I contacted several schools in several states and asked them what punishment a student would receive for pulling a fire alarm. Not one school agreed suspension was appropriate for a kindergarten student! After I had my say and was sure everyone would agree, I asked the principal if she still thought she made the right decision. Her words, “I made that decision that day, and I would still make that same decision today.” All I wanted to do was bring to their attention how degrading and emotionally harmful this situation was for Chase to maybe prevent any other child from having to go through it. But this cruel woman looked me in the eyes and stuck it to me.

What does that tell you? I’ve thought about this and many other situations that common sense would indicate were handled in a way most would agree illogically or perhaps even inappropriately. The problem? People in authority will not admit they are wrong, and the people surrounding them will have their back regardless whether the consequences deeply hurt those affected. That is what I think has gone so wrong in the Justina case. Do people even have it in their character to admit that maybe they made a mistake? They would rather humiliate, harm and In Jessica’s case, possibly let a 15 year old girl die rather than admit they may have made a wrong choice?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I have learned this, when my gut tells me something is wrong, something usually is wrong. When my instincts feel like something isn’t right, something usually isn’t right. If there is a silver lining at all to this story, it is that I have become much smarter when dealing with these power hungry, conceited, self righteous people. Not all people in positions of power are bad, but we would be kidding ourselves to believe they didn’t exist. What is it about these people that make those around them protect them so loyally? Are they scared, or do they think so highly of them that they follow blindly? I guess we will never know. But the wrong person on the throne can destroy a country. We have to stop and question why we so willingly follow. We have to speak up when we know someone is wrong and we have to support families like Justinas get their daughter back because the state should not have the power to take someone’s child away over disagreement of a diagnosis. Stand up and use your voice. We have to stop looking the other way. Squeaky wheels do get oiled as long as we don’t choose to keep them silent.

We have never recovered from that incident almost 7 years ago. Both Chase and I still feel the hurt and shame. Some may say, it was the right consequence because he has never pulled another alarm again. But I say, when something is so humiliating that it scars a person for years to come, maybe, just maybe, a different consequence may have been just as effective and a lot less damaging.

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Sit Down and Shut Up!

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Will you be the next victim? That is what you should be asking yourself if you are the type of person who doesn’t just follow along with authority. We do have a right to question and we do have a right for a second opinion, or don’t we? I must say I was seriously disturbed hearing about the young 15 year old girl who has been taken away from her parents. As a parent, with a teenage girl the same age, I have learned that the people in authority do not always know what is best for her. Although I do not believe I am smarter than the rest of the world, I do believe the gut instinct that is gifted to mothers when they birth a child goes above and beyond what research and studies could ever prove. So, when I read about Justina Pelletiers story, I admit I became instantly intrigued. Here is the actual news article so you can read about it with your own eyes and not any preconceived notions I may or may not have.

URL:http://articles.courant.com/2014-02-05/health/hc-pelletier-0205-20140204_1_gag-order-boston-children-judge-joseph-johnston

I can’t help but ask myself, are we actually being punished as parents because we care too much? Are we being punished because we question the very authority that doesn’t seem to protect us anymore? Are we being punished because we are following authority with an attentive eye when they would prefer us to stay miles out of their way?

In my own experience, I too feel I have been publicly punished, demeaned, discounted or made a mockery of when I have been brave enough to stand up and ask some hard questions. These people in these positions of leadership and authority want to go around doing whatever it is they want to do whenever it is they want to to do it without anyone questioning and watching their every step. The second people start to notice or listen that maybe these people in authority are misusing their force of power, they will find a way to slap you so hard in the face, that the scar they leave there will remind everyone that looks at it, what happens when you question who they are and what they can do. So what happens? Like scared little puppies, we hide in a corner and unfortunate souls like Justina Pelletier sit in a hospital for over a year, while the parents that love and raised her get a supervised visit one hour a week. What the hell is going on and what will you do? Will you keep the story in the closet or will you share it so that maybe, just maybe, a little attention will shame the courts and the media will put enough attention on the severity of this situation for the hospital to stop hiding quietly behind the gag order that protects them while this family is away from their sick daughter.

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