Overall, today has been a good day.
I had a great meeting with my mental health case worker earlier in the day. She has been trying to contact the team leader at DHS for weeks now to no avail. And last Friday, at the care team meeting, he said that he had received no phone messages or emails from her. Strange that. She was not impressed at all. She said she was going down to DHS in person to speak to someone. I am so grateful to have such an understanding and supportive case worker. She is really going out of her way in contacting DHS because she thinks the kids should be home with me. She really doesn't have to chase up DHS at all - it is on them to contact her/psych services and follow up my mental health which hasn't been done at all.
After that visit, I sent an email to the Unit Manager at DHS 'reminding' them that it is not actually within the Department's authority under a CSO (the order my kids are on) to enrol my child/ren in a school and that decision can and will be made by made. I received a call in the afternoon from a worker that works alongside the Unit Manager that assured me that 'it was never the intention of the Department to override your guardianship rights'. Yes, yes, I didn't think so. I think the Department may need to remind a certain team leader of the scope of his authority under a CSO. You can try to intimidate me with talks of 'upper management' or guilt me by suggesting I am going against my son's 'best interests' - but that still doesn't give you the authority to enrol my son in school or to decide what school he will go to. So DHS are finally conceding that I will determine what school Lucas will go to and that the responsiblity of getting him to school everyday will rest with the Department. After all, I am just a crazy junkie whore. So a small victory - but at least the endless discussions about which school Lucas will attend are over (hopefully!) and DHS have formally agreed to fund the necessary assessment Lucas will need before he starts school. Getting there! Now we just need to actually work out a transport plan. The team leader was supposed to call me today which he didn't - no surprises there. But the lady I spoke today said she was going to make sure that he call me back as a matter of priority. So I will chase him up tomorrow afternoon.
The thing is, aside from my access visits with the kids, I don't actually do that much. So I have all the time in the freaking world to call and email DHS. And I think I might just keep doing that. I am sure 'upper management' do not want to hear from me every time I don't get a call back. I will make it my personal endeavour to make this team leader do his job. Because I can handle whatever DHS throw at me - cancel my meetings, call me mentally unstable, accuse me of prostituting myself, I really could not care less - but you harm my children and I can become very difficult to deal with. And the thing is, I don't get abusive or irrational, I just write strongly worded letters and remind them of the legislation that governs them, so they really can't ignore me. And if they do, as our team leader has hopefully learnt, I will just find someone higher up to complain to.
Downside of today, I got very jealous of something I really shouldn't have got jealous over. It was just such a yucky feeling. And I started my christmas shopping today which was good because you know, it is almost here. But I spent about $200 and still felt like I bought nothing. And I get this yucky feeling whenever I spend money. Ugh. But I am over that now :) The jealousy situation worked itself out and the shopping guilt passed.
Day 3 of not texting Shane. I still think about texting him a lot. But it is getting easier. It is definitely just a habit I need to break. The first day was definitely the hardest.
Tomorrow I see Lucas and Bee and Shane is supposed to bring Lincoln up as well. Must remember to hide these Christmas presents! And I have a meeting with my local member of parliament re DHS and an appointment with a lawyer later on tomorrow as well. Big day!
Overall, I am grateful that I have had a small win with DHS and that I had a good day. I am glad that I still have this fight in me and some way, some how, I can just keep going.