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Why the Department of Children and Families Visited Me Today

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I was first woken up at four am this morning by my two-year-old. He's been in the habit of doing this for the past couple of weeks. I chalk it up to teething. He's ready to start his day but we are not, so we tell him to go back to sleep after he has woken up our four-year-old, who crawls into bed with us and sleeps for another hour or two. It's been rough. I long for the days when I got a full eight hours sleep. But it's totally worth it. Nobody ever died of lack of sleep.

So when the I heard someone knocking on the door at seven am, I woke up in quite a state as I already had been woken up twice.

Who could possibly be at my door at this hour?

I stumbled down the stairs and my father woke up disoriented wondering who was at the door. I opened the door to see about five people standing there. They said they were for the Department of Children and Families and needed to come in.

I was shocked.

What could they possibly want? I thought.

They wanted to see my youngest son, Oliver. They had questions.

Questions? Oh my God, they are going to take my children away!

I panicked. I had never felt so much fear in all my life. I felt like I was hanging on the edge of a cliff, just dangling with one arm and they were about to step on my fingers and break them. I saw black. I felt nothing.

My father started yelling and screaming and I tried to calm him down. But trying to calm a Greek down in a situation like this was not possible. He too was tired and confused.

They wanted to go in his room and check things out; see the living conditions and ask some questions about why I wasn't working.

How is it their business, I thought?

My heart was racing...

They all got up and said that it was all a big mistake and proceeded to leave.

As I held on to my baby, clutching him so tight afraid of him being ripped out of my arms, I almost didn't believe it.

But then I woke up and realized that it was all a dream.

With my heart still racing I wondered why? Why would I have such a crazy dream?

And then I realized that someone had made a comment on one of my writings. I was being bullied on the internet. They said that my kids should be taken away from me by child services, that I was a terrible mother and a danger to them. I didn't think it bothered me that much, after all these are strangers who don't know me. But I guess it did bother me to some extent. But most of all it made me grateful. Child services doesn't ever have to come to my house. Never.

You see, that dream could have been my reality had I continued down the path I was on many years ago; it was a very destructive way of life. I don't ever want to feel that way again. I have my children and my life because of choices I made to turn my life around. So the dream that I had was a reminder of what my life could have been like had I not made the decision to clean up my act.

As far as the internet bullying, that will never go away, and I will continue to write as it is my passion and my joy. It teaches me again to never judge a book by its cover.

©2016 Lucee Santini, as first published on MomJunky.com.