I'm really pissed right now. Just a warning. You may want to turn back.
I'm in the process of updating my homestudy cuz they're only good for 2 years in Ohio. I'm not thrilled about it. But I do it. Because I have to. I have a new social worker. The one who did my original homestudy has moved out of town. In the safety audit part of the session, they ask about firearms in the house. Well, duh. Do you remember what I do for a living, Ms Social Worker?
Now the original chick was cool. She understood my position. She understood that there is no way that I will EVER lock up my gun in a safe and then lock up the ammunition separate from the gun. I will NOT do this. My gun is loaded. ALWAYS. And accessible to me. Because if someone decides they want to come into my house, I plan to protect myself. And I won't have time to grab the key to the lockbox, retrieve the gun, go to the other lockbox, get the ammunition, load the gun and take care of business. I won't. What? Am I supposed to politely ask the burglar/serial killer/rapist to hang on a sec cuz I'm not prepared?
When the original SW came for the home visit she had me put the gun and ammo in separate lockboxes. So she could physically see that I had done this. Then she wrote it down on the paper like that. Even though she knew my position about it and knew what the reality of my every day situation is. Because I was honest with her. I don't like to lie. And because she has common sense, she understood.
But the new SW "has some concerns" about this. She "doesn't feel comfortable with the situation". She would "just feel horrible if something happened to my child because of the gun in my house".
So I explained my position to her. I'm a police officer. A gun is part of my job. It's part of my life. It always will be. There's no way around that. Certainly, other police officers have been approved to adopt before in this state, right? In fact, I was approved once already as well.
I explain how I'm forced by the city government that I work for to abide by a residency rule. Which means that I have to live within the city limits of where I police as a condition of my job. I know what happens in this city. Because I police it. I know how safe or unsafe these streets are. Because I police them.
Add to that the vulnerability of being a woman who lives alone. That looks pretty good to a criminal. Now add on to that the potential for any one of the mother f*ckers that I've arrested to google my name and find my address. It wouldn't be that hard. Or maybe I might run into one in the grocery store who is particularly disgruntled with me and wants to exact revenge so they follow me home. Far-fetched? Not really. See the part above about being forced to live in the city that I police. I've run into people out in public that I've dealt with on the job. Luckily, no problems have arisen. Yet.
Is she beginning to understand why I arm myself? A little. But she's still not real comfortable with it. I explain to her that I'm a trained professional. There is no way in hell that I will ever be careless with my firearm. Because I know what a 40 caliber Glock loaded with hollow point ammunition will do to somebody. Does she really think I would ever be that irresponsible?
I explain to her my well thought out plan of where my gun will be hidden. Which is inaccessible to my small child. And how I always intend to hide it there without her seeing. For as long as that lasts. And if she catches me someday, then I'll find a new inaccessible spot. Until she gets old enough, then I'll explain it to her. I'll take her to the range and teach her to shoot it herself. I'll teach her to respect it as I do. I'll teach her how to be safe with it. Because guns don't kill people. People kill people. Does she want me to lock up the fucking steak knives while I'm at it? Better get rid of that hammer in the toolbox, too. (yeah..I'm full on swearing here. No astericks or other bullshit. I told you I was pissed.)
So she's starting to get a little more comfortable with it. "She can see that I've given this a lot of thought." Ya think?! "But perhaps when I'm off duty I won't carry it once my child gets home." WTF lady?! Do you watch the fucking news?
I explain to her that in fact I'll probably carry it more often. Does she think I could even live with myself if we're sitting in McDonald's and some crazed gunman comes in and starts capping people and I can't protect my own daughter? When that's what I'm trained to do? Think it can't happen. Turn on the news, lady. And don't even get me started on the potential for opening myself up to civil liability for not acting. Or how about departmental charges for dereliction of duty. I'm certainly not saying I would be held personally responsible for not trying to intervene in a dire situation. But there's always a possibility.
She's still not quite down with the program here. So I tell her.... "You know what. That's fine. You're right. I've thought about what you said. My ideas are completely irresponsible. I'll take your advice. I'll lock my gun up every night in a lockbox and store my ammunition separately in another lockbox. Go ahead and write that down on the paper so that I can pass your test."
But now she's not comfortable with that either. Cuz we just sat here and discussed my position and she knows that's not how I really feel. Apparently, I should have just fucking lied to her from jump street. Now I'm livid. Just furious. And things start to go bad.....I tried really hard to keep my mouth shut. But you know what. I've fucking had it. With all of this.
In my job, I've seen the tragedy of some people's parenting choices. And it's ugly. Then I go to my 2nd job and watch these child abusers and crack heads come for their court ordered supervised visitation. Cuz even though they've fucked up their kids, they're still allowed to visit them. Even though junior might have to double up on his therapy session next week cuz of the trauma it causes. Or the monitor may need to keep a closer eye on the little 5 yr old so that she doesn't pull too much of her hair out during her visit as a trauma response from being forced to play fucking Candyland with her sexually abusing father. But it's okay for them to be parents.
But me? I've gotta jump through all kinds of hoops. I've gotta fill out stacks of paperwork. I've gotta go have physicals so that my doctor can decide if I'm healthy enough to parent. I've gotta go to classes to learn how to parent. I've gotta invite a social worker into my home so they can decide if it's acceptable. I've gotta sit and answer questions about how I plan to parent. And then be scrutinized and judged about my answers. And I'm on my 2nd round of this bullshit.
What gives them the fucking right to judge me? Why do they get to decide if I'm good enough to be a parent? Did my social worker have to do this in order to have her children? Does she have any idea WHAT IT FEELS LIKE?! Why does this have to be so hard? I've been dealing with this bullshit for 2 fucking years! And there's no end in sight either. I may have to jump through their stupid hoops like a little trained monkey all over again before it's over with. Why can't I just be allowed to be a mom like everybody else???????
I am so fucking sick of all this!!
I'm not sure how much more I can take.
Now take out the cussing and add in my tears (cuz I was pretty much over it emotionally at this point) and that's pretty much how our session ended. She really caught me on a bad day. Work was stressful today and then to be dumped on with this bullshit was just more than I could handle.
Apparently. Clearly. Obviously.
She was understanding and supportive. And I apologized. But that's certainly not how I wanted to update my homestudy. I just hope she doesn't fail me.
I know tomorrow will be better. But today really sucked.