Dantes Inferno

I remember as a teen reading about Dante’s Inferno and the levels of hell. I was raised strict Catholic at the time so I realized that there are not really levels of hell there is just hell. Fast forward 30 years and I am an adult now and I realize there truly are levels of hell. Best I can figure I am at the third of fourth level of it now and although in my desperation I did ask how many more levels must I fall through before it stops…the screaming voice in my head begged me not to ask that question out loud.

Here is what I can figure:

Level 1- the false allegation and investigation

Level 2- returning of children to parent I know cannot maintain

Level 3- forcing the adoption to a screeching halt and having to explain level one to someone who has everything she ever cared about taken from her.

Level 4- no more MAPP teaching because you can’t have someone who is charged with inadequate supervision teaching how to care for children.

So best I can figure I am at level four but of course when you are in hell it is hard to figure out where you are because you are alone. So very, incredibly, absolutely alone though there are people surrounding you daily you remain alone. I hear this song by the Wallflowers in my head today and of course start to cry:

…And I can’t break away from this parade
But there’s got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed
And I seen the sun up ahead
At the county line bridge
Sayin’ all there’s good and nothingness is dead
We’ll run until she’s out of breath
She ran until there’s nothin’ left
She hit the end-it’s just her window ledge

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There’s got to be something better than
In the middle…

I want to believe that all there is good and nothingness is dead but when the only feeling you have is nothingness, well there is no way it is dead. I want to believe there is something better than in the middle because if there is not this journey just got a thousand times harder.

…This place is always such a mess
Sometimes I think I’d like to watch it burn
I’m so alone, and I feel just like somebody else
Man, I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same…

Yes I am seeing a counselor no worries there because unfortunately I have to get through the middle to get to the end. I hear the foster care supervisor tell me “in the remote chance you are indicted we still want to work with you. We value you and your contributions…” really you fired me times three I find it hard to believe you value anything about me right now. You have called me twice in the last four weeks both times to take something else away, I cannot see how that makes me valuable to you. You have not offered a word of encouragement an iota of support and all the workers who I have worked with over time, yeah they don’t send an email either. Sure I have value until an accusation occurs then I am dead to you.

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Some moments I can remember I will not always be where I am right now. There is a chance and I hope a good chance that I will be cleared. But how am I going to be an optimist about all of this? My whole lifestyle was destroyed by someone who the law will protect and the shambles that remain of my life I will be left to rebuild by myself. If I am cleared no one will say they are sorry for taking it all away, no one will pay me for the classes I could not teach, no one will apologize for not even attempting to be encouraging, no one will apologize for the false allegation that brought on all this mess. There will be nothing much like there is now except I won’t be crying as much….or maybe I will be… I am not sure the meds are working.

When I close my eyes it does feel like I have been here before. It feels horrible just like I remember it did so many years ago. The dark vortex of depression sucking every ounce of energy from my being and the anger, rage and frustration of being completely and totally helpless comes back so strong sometimes it takes my breath away. But unlike before I am still working. I am caring for children. I am going through the motions. Between the crying jags I let someone know I appreciate them giving me space to breath and calm down before they ask what brought the tears this time. I remain grateful that this time it only feels like I am alone but that I am not actually. So yes I have been here before and I did get through it so logically I will probably get through this one too.

But do me a favor in the middle of a crying jag, just hand me a tissue or eight because I cannot believe you when you tell me I will get through it.

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