Manipulation and revenge have always gone hand-in-hand. Many use both tactics to gain what they feel they so richly deserve. The wealthy use it to gain higher status, power, greed, and of course the obvious, more money. The poor use it as a survival tactic each and every day. They stand on corners with signs begging for money and food. If one is not in tune with just how manipulation and revenge actually work hand-in-hand, it can ultimately explode causing devastation not only among the one creating such a horrible act, but it can also halt the lives of the innocent.
"I'm sorry, what did you just say?"
The morning Barbara Ramsey showed up it just blew me away. It was during the beginning of Fall and the outside weather was becoming crisp and cool. The clouds were forming giving us threats of pouring rain. I could hear Raiza and Sara quickly approaching the front door accompanied by the stomping of their footsteps swinging open the door entering the home that was now filled with tension, anger and pain.
Raiza walked in with that bewildered look on her face so unsure of what was going on. She looked at me with her puzzled look of confusion.
"Raiza, this is Barbara Ramsey, she is from Child Protective Services." I said with a snide remark. "I need to call my attorney I'll be right back." I turned on my heels making my way to my makeshift office then grabbing my phone heading into Savi's room to call my dad. I remember being in the room and telling myself over and over, "boy if these walls could talk, I might be able to understand my daughter so much more."
Razia of course knew without saying anything to her who I was actually calling. As the phone rang and my dad answered I was mixed with fear and anger. Barbara was giving me such looks, she was sizing me up as a mother and a person. She knew just how to play the manipulation game followed by of course an inadequate and uneasy parent seconds after meeting them.
My dad told me to just be honest, be truthful, do not elaborate but most of all, do not lose my temper to stay clam and just answer her questions plus get a business card from her then call him back the minute she leaves. He said that he would have her inspected and demand to know just why she was there. My dad of course had that much power. He had the power to make people or break people. If he ever felt like one of his own children were being bullied, he would break the person in two like a branch off a tree.
I exited the room making my way to the living room then sitting next to Raiza on the couch. Barbara began digging through her what seemed to be unorganized briefcase. She pulled out a manila folder and I could see right away that it had Savi's name on it. Barbara took a pen clicking it to take notes while clearing her throat.
"So, why don't you tell me why Savi is in a mental institution and why?" I remember just looking at her as if she was just as stupid as stupid can be once again. First, she makes the ridiculous comment that she wants to talk to my ten month old baby now she wanted to drill me on why my daughter was where she was. I tried to take my dad's advice and stay calm, to be truthful, and to not elaborate but this was just making my blood boil first then my skin crawl.
"How the hell should I know, you actually expect me to know that?" Raiza touched my leg then gently squeezing it basically telling me to not be rude, to cooperate with her.
I took in a deep breath and then exhaled wrapping my fingers on the edge of the couch digging them into the fabric then clenching it so tightly. I was quickly becoming frustrated at the questions from this woman where she actually thought I had answers for her.
"Well," continued Barbara, "Savi seems to know why she's there, you see, I have already been there this morning to talk to her. She gave me quite a mouthful about you as a person and a mother." I immediately could sense her sarcasm and once again I clenched the edge of the couch.
"Well, since you talked her, why not indulge me with the your conversation with her share what she said about me, I mean I am really curios what she has to say."
Raiza cleared her throat then held up a finger, "if I may interrupt, I think I know and right now Dee is just a little upset about her daughter."
Barbara abruptly put the pen down then pressing her lips together in what seemed to be a bothering look she became wide-eyed turning to Raiza.
"I'm sorry, who are you and why do you feel you have the answer to this, I mean, I wanted to hear from Savi's mother Dee why she feels like her daughter is being held on a 51/50 that is pretty serious."
Raiza didn't care what this woman had to say so she put in her own two cents. "I think this is getting out of hand and its so very simple, Savi wanted to go live with her dad in San Fernando Valley, but Dee felt like it was a bad decision on Savi's part due to the abuse that she suffered first hand from Rick. He's an alcoholic and, he's been arrested numerous time for spousal abuse, drunk driving, along with failure to pay child support. Dee was just watching out for her daughter, she was wanting to protect her that simple."
Barbara pursed her lips together once again while glaring her evil look at Raiza, "wow, sure does seem that your buddy here has more knowledge of your own daughter then you do."
"Well, as you so casually put it, "my buddy" yes, she knows quite a bit about Savi, we have been best friends for sometime now and she has always been there for me like I have always been there for her."
"Well, this conversation has nothing to do with... I'm sorry, your name is Raiza is that correct?" Raiza acknowledging her with a simple yes. "I would like to talk to the mother here so, if you don't mind, you can leave now."
I jumped up from the couch angry at how she was treating both of us.
"I don't like the way your talking to us or treating us. Rick is married now and he has two daughters with his wife Jackie. Savi has gone up to see him for her weekends and she has come back and told me personally, that she saw first hand Rick abusing his daughters with what Savi calls "Mr. Brown" and if he can do that to his other daughters then it is only a matter of time before he does that to her. Besides, he is always drunk around his kids and Savi when she goes up and sees him."
"What in the hell is a Mr. Brown?" questioned Barbara.
"It's a huge brown belt that he uses on the back of his daughters legs if they say something or do something so simple that Rick hates. The entire time I was with Rick he abused me for three years both when I was pregnant and when I wasn't."
"Well," continued Barbara, "Savi is covered in cut marks all over her arms and she is very depressed. While I was talking to her she gave a lot of information about you which of course will be used in court."
"Court!, what do you mean court and what did she tell you?" I angrily demanded.
"Savi was telling me that you allowed her to cut herself, that you actually gave her permission to cut herself and, you gave her the tools such as broken pens, paper clips, steak knives, wire hangers, she also said that you know where the hiding place was because you told her to put it there."
I was just in shock at what Savi said and now learning rather quickly, she was out to destroy me. She was masterminding her own evil game to have her removed from the home in order to go live with Rick.
"Can you please show me where she hides her "tools" so I can wrap this up, I need to turn in my report before eleven this morning. Your case is going to be turned over to another caseworker I am just the first point of contact. I need to gain as much information as I can."
I felt as if my eyes were balancing off the tip of my nose from shock, anger, despair, disbelief, you know it I was feeling it. I was just floored at what Savi said about me. Right at that very moment Savi was teaching me to hate her.