They Ruined My Life, Says Thelma
Over two weeks, I related an experience of an immigrant whose daughter was wrongly kidnapped from her and she was sent back to her home country. Since then, I have been making lots of calls, searching for those who have been victimised by the dreaded CPS. However, before I tell you the results of my search, let me tell you something first — about me.
I first came across the @familyprotection account on steemit early December last year.
Being a resident of a third world country, it is status quo to have friends and relatives overseas, in search for a better standard of living.
Okay, enough about me. Therefore, while on my search for voices that are yet to be heard, I met Thelma. I told my friends and relatives overseas that I am a member of a CPS awareness program, and I asked them if they have had any experience with CPS in their various countries. Consequently, quite a few said yes, while others said no but they know a person or two who have.
Not all those that said yes were willing to talk about their experiences. But the good news is that some agreed to talk, while the ones that had no experience with CPS promised to give my contact details to persons who have one.
Two days ago I received a mail from a lady named Thelma. We had talked earlier on the phone.
I tried to answer all her questions as much as I could.
After our long conversation the first time we talked, I didn’t get any reply from her. I thought it was all over and that she wasn’t going to tell me her experience. Five days came and left, still no reply from her. I would have called her back but I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate. I didn’t want it to seem as if I was forcing her to tell me her experience, that would be completely inappropriate. Subsequently, It got to a point that I just thought she was never going to reply me again.
Little did I know that she was only trying to confirm if she could trust me enough to talk to me. And all the questions she asked me were verification questions. Well, you guess is as good as mine — I passed the test. It was a very lengthy mail. I was really glad she decided to talk about her past. Don’t get me wrong! It’s not like I was happy she had to relive the very unpleasant experience all over again. The fact is;
We were one happy family in 2009. My dad had a good job and mum was a real estate agent then. So yes, we had money. I was in 11th grade, but I had the wits of someone in college. I am not trying hype myself or something, it’s not like I was at the top of my class though, but I wasn’t at the bottom either. I was in between an average student and an all ‘A’s student. Yeah, I was a B student. I never believed exams were the real test of knowledge, because the A student weren’t really better than me. I have a kid brother whom I am older than with three years. At the time, he was an 8th grader. He never liked me calling him “baby brother.” He preferred to be called “younger brother.” Lol... We fought over this a couple of times though.
I loved violin, oh yeah, I still do though, but in a different way now. The violin is an amazing musical instrument. It has just four strings yet it produces a spectrum of sound that is as varied and as wide as the human emotions. I call it ‘the instrument of the heart.’ I use to play violin a lot that time. For my age, I was a pro.
My parents were always there for my bro and I, every single time, every second. When I first started to play violin, the only sound I could make with that instrument was really awful; every time I stroked the strings in a bid a play sometime nice, it always sounded like a dying pussy cat. I use to disturb my parents a lot with that awful sound, even at night. I was only nine years old you know. But my parents never complained.
My dad would come up to me sometimes at night, while I practice. With a smile he would say: “Thelma dear, your efforts would be rewarded someday. The world would bow at your feet. That I’m sure of.” He first recognise that I’m only trying to improve, then he would tell me that my neighbour’s baby could be up any time and he knows I wouldn’t want to wake the baby up this late. I really didn’t like to hear a baby cry, it breaks my heart every single time. So I dropped the violin and went back to bed.
There’s a saying that girls are always closer to their dads. Well, in a way that was true in my case because I was super close to my dad, sometimes it felt like we literally could read each other’s minds. But that statement was wrong too, in the sense that I was also close to my mum too. I could tell her anything, my crush, my insecurities, my mistakes, just anything. She never judged me.
Like every other kid, I made quite a lot of mistakes. And Yes! I was corrected whenever I did so. But in a loving way, my parents always worked as a team, good cop, bad cop, sometimes bad cop, worse cop. But they did this to make me a better person, and I can say it worked. As I grew older, my use of discretion improved and I made less mistakes.
One thing I can boast of is that my parents never hit me, never. Oh, okay my mum hit me once while we were playing but that was an accident and she spent like a week or so trying to make it up to me. But I wasn’t really bothered about it because I knew it wasn’t intentional. I hit her too, lol... Playfully though, then she would chase me round the house, but she never do caught up with me. Maybe she was pretending not to know how to run, or maybe not, lol...
My whole world started falling apart when my mum fell ill. She has fallen ill before. Once in a while everyone does right? But this was different. She has never spent so much time in the hospital. I was really scared. She never showed me any sign of fear though, she always said she would be fine soon and that the doctor would fix her. I think my dad noticed that I was scared because he always told me that mum would be okay and that I shouldn’t worry about her. I tried to believe him but it wasn’t easy. I was used to the four of us having meals together as a family.
No phones were allowed when it was meal time and we always have breakfast and dinner together. We couldn’t have lunch together because Dan and I would be in school and dad and mum would be at work. Oh! I never told you that my baby brother’s name is Dan. Oops! I mean younger brother. Since she was in the hospital, we couldn’t have meals together anymore. Mum said she was okay but her eyes told a different story. She looked really pale and drained.
I used to go to the hospital to see her everyday. I always met dad and Dan there. Sometimes they gets to the hospital before me, sometimes I get there before them. My mum and I did the most talking whenever we meet as a family before she was taken to the hospital but now things are a whole lot different. While we met in the hospital as a family, dad did most of the talking.
I believe mum didn’t talk much because she was really weak. I couldn’t say much because I was scared and hurt. My eyes were always wet whenever I saw her. And I knew it would take only a few words from me for tears to start running down my cheeks. She wanted me to be strong and crying in her presence would prove otherwise. Dan was never much of a talker, and now he just became even colder.
On the 8th day of March 2010, I went to the hospital immediately after school as it became a part of my routine. But I wasn’t allowed to see my mum. This has happened a few times before, for the nurse would say that mum is sleeping. Sometimes we waited for hours till she was up. I think I know why Dan and I were never told what was wrong with her. Probably because they didn’t want us to panic much, “maybe it’s a terminal illness,” I thought to myself. “Mum never slept this long,” I continued. It’s been about three hours now since I have been waiting. I can’t remember where dad and Dan went that day, for they usually came to join me to wait for mum to be up.
As time went by, I became even more uncomfortable while I was waiting. I couldn’t keep my mind from wandering around. I had countless thoughts, and I knew something wasn’t right. Then saw two receptionist talking inaudibly, one of them looked at me for a second or so whilst they were talking. I walked up to the receptionist and I told her that I just wanted to see my mum for a millisecond, then I would come back to wait for her till she was awake. She said that she can’t permit me to do that. I got really upset and I yelled at her: “I WANT TO SEE MY MUM BITCH.”
I never meant to be disrespectful though, but I lost control of myself. I was raised not to use profane words, but in this very moment I lost not only control but myself. I said a couple of other things that I really can’t remember right now. I was really scared and upset. I wonder what a combination of both is called. I then called my dad and told him all that was happening, he said he was already on his way to the hospital. He made it to the hospital in a matter of minutes. He went to the receptionist and they talked but I couldn’t hear what they were saying, for I was with my brother and we were told to wait behind while my dad was referred to the doctor.
By the time he got back I knew my mum was never going to wake up again. It was written all over my dad’s face. I tried to convince myself that it was only a dream, but I knew it wasn’t. I have never seen my dad cry, so this was the first time. He wasn’t weeping like my brother and I, but I could see in his eyes that he was in agony like the both of us. What hurt me the most is that I never said goodbye, I never got to tell her that I finally had an ‘A’ in mathematics.
I’m telling you about this part of my life so that you can understand why I loathe CPS immensely. They are compassionless and inhumane. I can’t call them humans, because I’m not sure they are.
They knew all this before they did what they did to us. We told them and they must have verified. The year 2010 is a year I would never forget in my life. Life was never the same after I lost my mum. Dad, Dan and I went through a lot, and we all changed in our own way. But we remain united. We held each other closely because we knew that’s what mum would want.
One night while I was sobbing, dad came to me and told me stop crying, that mum wouldn’t want me to cry all night. He said a lot that night and I can’t remember everything. I don’t even know how he knew that I was crying, because my room door was shut and I don’t think I was audible enough to be heard. I really missed my mum and I still miss her everyday of my life. Although, it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to, I still find myself weeping when I’m alone sometimes. A smell, a song, a sight, a sound or even a voice sometimes just triggers some memories.
We were all that we had left and so we held each other close. While, we were still dealing with her loss, my dad went to a bar. It’s not like he is an alcoholic or something, definitely not! He has never come home drunk before or smelling alcohol, at least not that I know of. And I can vouch for him. The bar wasn’t that far from out house, just four blocks away. We were expecting some guests in our house and we needed to get something alcoholic. We didn’t even have alcohol at home. He asked Dan and I to wait in the car. So we did. He delayed a little so I wanted to go check out why. When I got into the bar, he was already done with the transaction was getting the drinks.
A guy started hitting on me while I was in the bar. He had lots of piercings and tattoos and he was getting a little too close for my comfort, so I politely asked him to please leave me alone. He did a lot of swearing. My dad told him that he heard the girl and he should respect my request. He abused my dad verbally and continued. He ignored my plea and was getting a bit touchy. This got my dad really upset, especially the touchy thing. My dad touched him on the shoulder and asked me to go back to the car. But I couldn’t because the guy was holding my hand.
This got really messy pretty quickly as my dad beat the guy up really bad. We then left the bar for home. I blame myself for leaving the car. I shouldn’t have left the car in the first place.
A part of me still believes I brought CPS to our lives. We should have known it wasn’t over. We should have known more fights would come our way. We should have known this was only the beginning.
...to be continued