I was trying to think of a suitable title for this post, where I am going to be really honest.  Which makes me a bit vulnerable and I guess in essence it is exposing myself/my feelings.

I feel like, I should feel excited that my oldest daughter is coming down next weekend for 8 days.  But instead I find myself sitting here feeling like crying, feeling vulnerable.  I suspect that is because in the back of my mind I know this is the last time I will see her before the big CYFS(child, youth and family) FGC(family group conference) review.  The big one meaning, it is the crucial one that decides where she will live for the foreseeable future.  Which is potentially until she is old enough to be able to decide for herself.  And I am really nervous about this review.  I am SO worried about it not going in my favour.

I consider how I have been portrayed with regards to my CYFS files.  I am very aware that the picture painted of me by the Wellington CYFS social worker and the epic failure of a CMH(community mental health) team in Porirua.  And they have portrayed me in a very negative light and paint a very dim, negative view of me.

I am aware of the person they describe me to be, or to have been, is not who I am or was.  But how the hell do I prove that?! I mean, I can not even get legal representation!  As clearly, the family lawyer read these CYFS files and has now formed a certain opinion of me, based on what she has read.  No matter that, that is not who I am.

I guess I was being a tad naive thinking that what I read in those files would not affect me.  Though at the time when I read them I was prepared for what I was about to read.  But I guess I have had a delayed reaction to it.

I have definitely been feeling a lot more anxious lately and I have been having some issues with sleep and have needed to take more Quetiapine on a few occasions to successfully get to sleep.  And at night, not all nights, but definitely most nights, I have been thinking about my daughter and worrying and anticipating the possible outcome of the next FGC review.  I am also worrying about the fact that our financial situation has definitely taken a dive in the wrong direction since she visited last and I worry about how she will feel about that.  As I am very aware that the Wellington team aka her Father’s side of the family and her carers, spend a lot of money on her and she gets very spoiled.  And also her Father’s side of the family are making every effort to undermine me with the use of their wealth and all the extra opportunities that brings.

Yes I know I am her Mother and she loves me to bits.  But I am also aware of the sway money can have on such a young girl, who is very trusting and quite easily manipulated.  As she would never even think that her Father’s side of the family are doing these things intentionally.  She is naive at her age and very trusting.  It is lovely she is trusting, but it worries me.  As she would not know what manipulation looks like and I think it is cruel that any person who calls themselves family and truly loves a child would even stoop to this level.  But I am very aware that they are quite capable of it.

It is not helped of course that her grandfather on her Father’s side has no respect for my parenting abilities and capabilities. As a CYFS carer in the past, foster parent and a Father to 2 children via adoption who are CYFS children from parents with significant mental illness and a further 2 adopted children.  He is very aware of how the CYFS system works and how to manipulate the system to get his way.  And also, he has this close minded idea about parents with mental illness due to this.

I am not in any way suggesting that all carers, foster parents and parents by adoption are like this.  As most often these parents are genuinely lovely, caring, compassionate people.

Argh!  The FGC review is still another 6 weeks away at least and I am already starting this cycle which I have lived through twice already.  The first time was with the first ever FGC and then the second was the first FGC review regarding my oldest daughter.  It is nothing new that when it comes to her I am extremely vulnerable and emotional.  She was my everything for 6 years.  And when I say my everything, I mean above anyone else, including myself, my family and my fiance.  And I was parenting her alone for the first 3 1/2 years of her life.  She is my reason for holding on.

So you would naturally question why anyone would think me an unfit parent and want to keep her from me and vice versa. The answer is, because they have it wrong.  They(CYFS) got their information from an extremely unreliable source(Porirua CMH)

The cycle I was referring to goes like this.  I start worrying, stressing, get anxious, start feeling on edge, I start feeling depressed, helpless, fearful and my sleep gets affected negatively.  I am not sure how to avoid this cycle.  As when it comes to her, I easily come undone.  I love her to bits.  She is special to me.  She was my first child and only child for a long time. And while my younger 2 children are equally important, they have always had their Father in their life, unlike her.

Though I know I am a loving and nurturing parent and I have most definitely improved as a parent due to having CYFS in my life.  All these negative opinions about me as a parent, despite them being untrue, have worn me down.  It is true, that if you hear a lie long enough, you start to almost believe it, despite in your heart knowing it is not true.  And that is what happens with me every so often.  As due to CYFS input in my life, I have definitely had my confidence knocked and I second guess myself and my ability to cope.  As all this negativity wears you down, despite how strong you are.  And I know I am strong and have been strong and I am aware I am a fighter and I have come SO far.  But oh how this is draining me in so many ways.  I feel broken on some level.  I feel the cracks starting to open.

Honestly, despite how very honest I am, I do still keep a lot in.  So this here is me laying it all out there.  This is me exposed.

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