Rachel’s next blog is on the way. I wanted to fill people in on what this part of the production process is like. How it makes me feel and how I hope it impacts you. I cannot be in the minority of being incredulous at the rarely discussed facts of what is happening right in front of us that somehow, we have become blind to. Or so off-put that the ideas scare us so much, we as a society tune it out. So, at this point in the filmmaking process, I am watching raw footage and creating story boards of how it envision it progressing. Raw is the perfect word for what this content contains.
So, for a change of pace to make a point, I ask you to suspend disbelief for a few moments. you are married and have a ten year old child. Your husband suffers from severe PTSD and other medical problems as result of being in two dark ops deployments in the gulf. He has tried to go to the VA a while back and had such a bad experience, he has refused to return.
You have serious medical issues, life threatening ones, and manage the best you can with out your parents and only sibling who all died in a car accident long before. Your husband’s demons become too much to mentally bare. He descends into madness, becoming more delusional and ingesting more alcohol and drugs than ever before. Soon, he takes his life; leaving you only debt and a funeral payment in the mere hundreds from the government he served. You and your kid find the body and have to deal with the authorities. In the process, they notice how weak you are.
You are questioned about your competency as a parent. The department of Children and Families is given (or takes) access to your medical file. In it, imagine it says that you have multiple neurological disorders and a serious heart problem. You don’t drink, smoke, do drugs and are perfectly sane. However; the state you live in disagrees. They receive a subsidy for their time dealing with your story, but only if your child is placed in foster care. You are subject to an investigation and, because of the strength of medication you must take, your child is taken into protective custody.
This is a hypothetical that helps you understand that these kids could be your kids. They don’t just come from drugged, abusive or neglectful homes; they come from ones of great loss where they were loved. It could happen to anyone. And once a child is in the system, it’s the state that acts as parent. A parent with incentive in having your child because they would receive money until the child comes of age at 17 through 21 years old. Even if they return your child into foster care or worse.
Most of us aren’t as far from that happening as we believe. Anything can happen; hell I’m living proof of that and the people you choose to have legal custody if anything happens to you, write that stuff down! you honestly never know. My mom had no written play to be put into action. I believe she believed the people who loved her and owed her would look after me or my sister. Within a few months, anybody who claimed to be “in it for life” split.
The woman had a standing room only funeral like Joan Rivers at a gig in the city. You would think people would be lined up just to make sure that we were ‘okay’. Maybe they did too, because there was no one except for my new husband and his family. The father that sometimes helped raise me did come forward to help out for a while and I think still helps my sister. She moved to Hawaii(a girl who never left our home radius) with a guy who is a total douche. She decided to marry him without inviting and barely telling us. I’m sure all of this has my mom thrilled.
I sure didn’t expect her death. Nobody did, not like this. Sudden, not setting up her kids, right before my big, Jewish guilted into wedding. But what scares me is what would have happened if my father, in his taking his life, took my mother too as was planned. Back then I had grandparents but I also had an uncle who had molested my mother. It could’ve gotten ugly either way. Luckily my mother was with me until I was 26, and as anyone who knew me at 26 knows, I didn’t have a clue. I was far from being an adult. There were many legitimate reasons for that including serious medical but the end result was the same; I wasn’t prepared. Not remotely.
This is what happened in a privileged family from a good town I still love. Nobody really knew how dysfunctional, diseased, co-depedant and dangerous my environment was. Even people who had free roam. There were pills in gross. A psychiatrist writing the prescriptions for everything including percocet, rather then dealing with her issues.
Now, let’s roll it back ten years more. I’m 16 and she dies, her husband is having my adoption reversed(as he did in real life), what could have happened to me? Anything. So I stand with all of you who survive foster care. I can imagine something worse than what I went through and it’s what you go through. I will support promoting your cause for life. Hopefully, this film will serve to educate masses and help ignite passion on the topic.
It effects all of us. It’s a community problem and it’s going to take the community to fix it. The kids belong to all of us because, they are all of us.