Social Services visits are never fun. Whether you're going through a foster placement through the county, they're following up after a child's been placed in your home, or worse - a referral call has been made for a surprise investigation due to a private citizen's concern.
The latter is what happened to this family yesterday morning at about 10:00am.
I was going through the early stages of one of my bi-polar mood swings. I had just taken an extra anti-anxiety pill as my psychiatrist instructed me to do and went to lie down. Sometimes this is all I can manage when my depression kicks in. Wait for it to pass as gently as I can. The doorbell rang and my older son, William woke me to tell me there were two people at the door who insisted on seeing me regardless of the fact that I was not well. Lovely.
There they stood, in all their official county sternness, "Mrs. Potts? We need to speak to you, may we come in?". Down they sat with my naughty dogs jumping all over them, "Do you know what this is about?"
How the Devil should I know. "Absolutely no clue."
"It's about your recent postings on 'YouTube'." Now my heart sank to the pit of my stomach. My mouth dropped open and I wanted to run to my medicine cabinet for another anti-anxiety med. I asked William to leave the room. I was in shock. They explained that I should not drink Tequila and post comments about my kids on 'YouTube'. I didn't understand. My mind was a flurry. What did I say that was so awful? I replayed it a couple of times before it went live. What was wrong? They wanted to interview William by himself and afterwards meet with Eric and Austynn again, privately. I explained that Eric was at work and Austy was at camp. Ok, they'd talk to them later. They'd like to walk through the house after they spoke with William...my mind was spinning. What the Hell did I say?
Eric called the Social Worker later in the afternoon. It seems that someone who thinks they know me is concerned about my drinking habits and is concerned that it may be due to my children. That perhaps I'm drinking because I'm frightened of them. That I only started drinking heavily once they came into my life. This call wasn't about my parenting style at all. It was about my drinking!
Obviously, this person doesn't know me at all.
Whoever this person is, thank you for your concern but if you love me, next time call me first and discuss your worries with me - not Social Services, PLEASE. Let me clear the air and explain a few things...
One: I don't drink heavily nor on a daily basis. When I drink, it's at a party and these parties are adult parties, never where children are present. Yes, I've been known to get drunk at these parties; however, they're usually within my neighborhood and within walking distance to my house. My kids are typically asleep when I walk through the front door. By the way, these kind of parties only happen maybe 3-4 times a year at the most.
Two: When I record my live blog, yes I occasionally take shots of Tequila but this is because I don't feel comfortable talking to a camera. It's not an everyday thing with me. After this last fiasco, I'm seriously reconsidering my live blogs anyway. My husband really wanted me to do them but again, this may have sealed the deal.
Three: I am not worried that my sons will "kill me". That was a figure of speech. My children know that if they ever lay a hand on me, I will not hesitate to call 911. I find this point fairly ridiculous considering all the teens I personally know who hit or disrespect their biological parents and yet their parents do nothing about it. Yes my boys have a tendency to play with fire and other silly things. Unfortunately, Eric and I just have to be on our toes more than other parents because ours have autistic spectrum issues.
Four: By calling Social Services instead of talking to me directly, you opened the door to trauma that my sons haven't faced in years. Consider William suddenly being questioned by a couple of strangers about the amount of alcohol his mother drinks in a week, or if he worries about me drinking, or how I act when I come home from parties. Really? Not a pretty line of questioning. Thank God Austynn wasn't home. Last time he was questioned by Social Services he thought he was going to be removed from our house so instead he acted out so badly at school he was almost expelled.
If I sound angry, I am. It's a sickening feeling to have your parenting style questioned, your children interrogated, and your privacy invaded. We've gone through Hell raising these two boys. I'd go through Hell ten times over again for them. I love them. I started writing this blog because I couldn't afford the private therapy needed to survive raising them.
If you love me, call me next time and let's talk. Thanks.