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It’s a long story, but my mother essentially sold me. I had a child and was living with a boyfriend at 16. We had our own place. He had a good job. However money wasn’t good. My mother used the state social services to scare the hell out of me. She broke my boyfriend and I up after I had spent years on the street trying to get a place and finally had a place. She told me I had to come home or she would take my baby and threatened to put my then 21 year old boyfriend in jail. (Remember she kicked me out and this was the most stability I had in years)

I go home and suddenly there is this ex-boyfriend telling me I have to marry him. I didn’t want to…found out he paid my mom 2500 to get me to marry him. Lots of arguing and a few calls to CPS later from my mom because I wouldn’t marry him, I caved and married the guy. CPS closed their investigation and everything was considered fine, it’s just my mother told me she was going to keep calling until she got my kid or I married him. She didn’t want to have to pay him back the money. I didn’t want her to have my kid because …well she was obviously abusive. I considered adoption too btw but then CPS brought my mother in and was going to give HER my child if she went up for adoption. I had a couple chosen and everything so I ended up keeping her to keep her safe from the abuse I endured.

Anyway, long story short the marriage to the ex-boyfriend happened when I was 17 under duress. I married and even told the city clerk I was marrying because I had to. No one cared. They signed the papers and I was led to the alter. The marriage was a business agreement at best. It was legalized rape and slavery at worst, even still I started to feel for my enslaver. I guess that’s what happens when you are with someone long enough. He used to make a point to say in front of any guests we had how he “owned” me. He was abusive, violent, a drunk, and a coke head. He had a closet homosexual relationship. He made me cook and clean for him from 8 am until 2 am. If it wasn’t right, I got hit. If I didn’t cook what he wanted, I got hit. He tried to throw me down a flight of stairs with my daughter in my arms. It was the worst two years of my life. I would have went back tot he street, but I feared my mother calling CPS and taking my daughter. He was a dog none the less and when my mother died 2 years later I divorced him.

Because I was a child and forced to marry him…and threatened to expose it ALL he paid me off in the settlement. I had enough physical evidence, letters he wrote to my mother that were given to me after her death, to prove I was enslaved. I had pictures my friends took of my black eyes. I had witnesses that could testify he said he owned me and threatened me with violence for the slightest infraction. I had professionals I was friends with, that were trying to help me outside of the system, which could testify to his behaviour. It was all a gamble when I threatened him, but I did have enough evidence to put him away for a long time. All I wanted was enough money to make sure my kid never ended up homeless like I did. He gave me the majority of the proceeds from selling our house and I moved back to my ex boyfriend that I had when I was 16. By this time my origional boyfriend I was torn away from was 25 and I was 19-20. He helped me to win the divorce and secure the pay off that my ex-husband offered to avoid jail time. Together we decided to use it to buy a house and land.

After getting into a home, I owned by myself, I wanted to go to school. My then boyfriend supported me and watched the now 3 children I had from my ex. (Did I mention that it was legalized rape. Who in their right mind wants two kids in two years) I went to college on scholarship, because I scored so high on the GED. I got an associates in art. Later I went to another college, a top tier, but the pressures of motherhood and supporting my family with my then new husband were too much so I dropped out. Our vehicle was crap and our income was not enough to fix it and pay the bills. The school was 37 miles from our home so it was just too much at that time with gas and fixing it. I had a 3.5 at the time…GPA that is.

If CPS would have allowed my daughter to go up for adoption to my chosen parents ALL of this could have been avoided. Instead they told my mother “because she had a right to know” and then used her to try and stop the adoption.

If CPS had decent homes for teens I would have stayed in foster care, but I had been in foster care previously for 2 years 11-12 and it was hellish. Somewhere between being someone’s pet on the good end and being someone’s indentured servant on the other scale was how foster care felt. Occasionally it felt like an animal shelter in group homes. Also I never went to school in foster care. I figured I could at least educate myself in the library.

If CPS was not capable of taking children without a court order, I would have been able to tell the CPS workers that were investigating what was going on. Then I could have gone before a judge and asked for help. Due to the ability to take kids on the slightest whim, I didn’t dare ask for help when my mother used my daughter as a threat. They are known for taking children form parents in the women’s shelter. In fact, I went to the women’s center at 18 and they advised me, unless you are going to die, do not go to the shelter because you will lose your children. There was an intense scrutiny on mother’s there with the blame for their situation on the mother most of the time.

As it was CPS threatened me for taking the medication my doctor prescribed for me. They accused me of using my asthma inhaler to get high because I used it at a higher rate than most asthmatics. Luckily I had an excellent pulmonologist that told them to shove it. Often CPS makes diagnoses of people with NO medical background and even in the face of evidence from medical professionals to the contrary, they will not back down until you pay for a lawyer.

When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.