Mother Being Blackmailed to Marry a Stranger To Get Her Children Returned by CPS
“A young American mother’s fight for her five children” ( this author’s personal fight against the department of children and families and her children as well)
My adult story starts like many others here in America, raised by a single mother along with a special needs little brother who needed most of the mama’s time and energy. Sometimes left to raise me or raised by an older sibling. I struggled to be a normal child in society’s eye and later a teen in high school. I found my first “true love” at Norwich Free Academy in Norwich Connecticut. My senior year I was engaged to be married to Tim Guyette a man that quickly became my everything until the birth of our first child Gabriella Rose. Her skin was so fair and her hair was as bright as the sun. She was a true angel on earth. She became my main focus and stole my heart. We soon found ourselves traveling two different paths. Tim wanted freedom again and I wanted my family with my daughter.
I soon became a single mother of a 6-month-old. And for months I tried to get him to come home or at least be in her life. He refused and I ended up moving back home with my mother. For a while, I went on state assistance until I got my certification as a nursing assistant and got my first job. I struggled with trying to work and raise my little girl alone. When I received a large sum of child support from my father, I used it to buy Gabriella needed furniture, food, clothes, diapers, and toys. As I watched my firstborn sleep, my heart longed to give my little angel, the one thing I never had growing up and always wanted, a father and a true complete family. I found myself whispering to her late at night “don’t worry my angel mommy will find you a new daddy.” I spent months praying to God to fix our broken hearts. Our silent prayers were finally answered on March 9th, 2012. An old male childhood friend of mine (John) came by for a visit six days before Gabriella turned one year old. While he was in the act of walking into our home, and past my daughter, she spoke her first-word “dada” and smiled reaching up for him.
She took to him immediately, as he helped us celebrate her first birthday at Chuck E Cheeses. My heart finally started to heal from the pain of her not having her biological father around, and I could finally start letting go of the anger I had in me since the day he left us for his freedom. I found myself expressing my inner dreams and worries to God. Most nights when I couldn’t sleep I prayed. I prayed that I would have the joy of bringing my daughter some siblings. I was later blessed with my first son Mason Hunter. The thanksgiving he was born my heart grew in size to make room for our new favorite little man. Gabriella loved to speak to him and called him her “bibble or butter.” We were a family. A beautiful, happy, loving family.
I cried tears of joy that night thanking God for standing by our sides and blessing me with such a happy, healthy little family. We ended up moving from the state of Connecticut and into a studio apartment in Blackstone, Massachusetts. I began my new job as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Blackstone Nursing Home. I was working over sixteen hours a day caring for individuals with complex medical needs who didn’t have anyone else in the world. Even when times got hard, we always made it through as a family. We had a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, clothes on our backs, and toys to play with. We were clean and had smiles on our faces because we had each other. A year later, God blessed us again with my youngest son Dallas Sage. He was the complete opposite of his two older siblings, but just as breathtaking. Two days after he was born, a Department of Children and Families investigator in Connecticut came into my hospital room. Loretta Drain claimed she was called by a concerned nurse who believed I was homeless because I gave a Groton, Connecticut address, and yet I gave birth in Norwich, Connecticut. So with my body and mind being denied the right to heal, I was being forced to meet with the Department of Children and Families removal team with the threat of losing my children and being charged with neglect if I did not.
With my body still bleeding out and being drained from childbirth 3 days prior, I was forced to leave my three infants alone with strangers. I faced the Connecticut Norwich Department of Children and Families alone, and my ex-fiance that abandoned us 2 years prior. There were allegations of mental illness, bad parenting, and neglect all thrown at me for going to a hospital in a different city than where my address was. As the insults and the abuse of the department raged on, I was forced to move to a family shelter in Danielson Connecticut. Far away from home with my three infants alone or I risk losing them. Their father was not even allowed to know where we were. As time passed slowly I was able to establish early childhood education, throw myself into 3 different parenting classes: a housing program, support and parent them alone, and demand a housing program from DCF since they forced me to leave mine (no mental health program was offered or demanded) without them checking it out.
The meetings and late nights I spent crying over worries for our futures threatened to bring me to the deepest abyss of emotional fires of hell. I found my body forcefully bending till I was on my knees with a strong urge to look up at the sky and speak my heart’s worries away for someone will always be listening. Days passed as I made this my nightly ritual after all my children were taken care of and safely in their beds. My body ached, my soul barely breathing, as my children were pressed together near me. While my instinct to protect them kept me on guard, my only companion was my thoughts and the feeling of an archangel’s protection. Days turned into weeks, then months, as I fought alone to keep us together and their spirits high. On a sunny day in May, a day I should have seen as an omen instead of a blessing. My two toddlers, Gabriella and Mason, played in the backyard of the shelter, as I watched them playing with Dallas on a blanket in the grass.
A young man by the name of Brandon Messier introduced himself to my toddlers and began playing catch with them. At this sight my heart was filled with worry and guilt, they needed their father and he was nowhere to be found. I called my children over to me quickly and they came as fast as their little legs could carry them and so did Brandon. We spent the day talking and getting to know each other. He expressed how he used my children to get the courage to come to talk to me. He thought I was an angel sitting in the grass. He talked about how horrible his childhood was, how his parents were never there for him and how his mother always kicked him out for her new men. I opened up to him about my difficult childhood. we went out to dinner a few times and I met his wicked half-sisters Rachel and Courtney and his brother Tyler. He helped me with my children and I helped him, we became best friends in my eyes. But that all changed when my children’s real father and grandmother started to come back around. a switch seemed to turn off inside of Brandon.
His words were no longer sweet and encouraging. Instead, they became violent, engaging, excusing and emotionally abusive every time my children left with their father. Every man and woman in that shelter, even his sister-in-law, told me he was no good, I wish I had listened. The only thing at this moment I could be grateful for is that it never happened around my children. As time went on I prayed for things to get better and they finally did in August 2014 when I was able to move back home to New London, Connecticut and into my new two-bedroom apartment, just my three kids and me. I became employed at New London Rehab and Care right after I moved into our new home, paying my bills with the help of Connection inc. in Norwich. Mason and Dallas were in an early home education program called Birth To Three and Gabriella attended Little Learners at New London TVCCA, which I paid for every week. Everything seemed almost normal, until one evening I got an email from Brandon Messier telling me how sorry he was for the way he treated me and that he was on the streets and had no one to turn to. Little did I know that was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Guilt overwhelmed me and flashbacks of no one but him being there to help me and my children were brought back to life.
I agreed to allow him to stay with me until he got back on his feet, but little did I know that Mr. Messier had plans of his own. At first, the days seemed to be following a normal lifestyle routine. Gabby attended school, while Mason and Dallas came with me to be dropped off at their fathers’. Then I went to work and willingly complied with the parenting programs the state was making me do. John came around more to watch our children at my home since I was doing double night shifts. Brandon became aggressive once more. As time went on he stole money from my children’s piggybanks, stole the money I gave him to pick up medicine for my sick children, threatened to beat John’s head in if he came around. He continually emotionally and verbally abused me.
I once again found myself turning to God praying for away to protect my children and myself. Brandon was home less and less claiming he was spending time with family. I found myself most nights sleeping on the floor in my children’s room against the door so that he could not get in if he tried. One night my world changed forever. I just worked another late night shift as a CNA. John had been watching the children while I was working. After I got home and John left for the evening l checked on all my children to make sure they were okay and kiss them goodnight.
I was exhausted from work and I dragged my aching body into a hot shower. Time flew by and when I finally decided to get out I wrapped myself in a towel and headed to my room. I didn’t feel Brandon’s presence until he was ripping my towel away from me. The look in his eyes when I turn around to face him will haunt me forever. My body froze as he pushed me onto the sheets behind me. As he forced himself onto me I automatically started fighting back. My nails dug into the soft skin on his face and I begged him to leave me alone. The scent of his red Marvrick cigarettes mixed with the smell of beer made me feel sick and dizzy. He smiled as he leaned into me while ripping my bruised legs apart. He whispered, “ Now Kirsten you wouldn’t want to wake up your children now would you?” I lost my fight after that.
After he left I called up John and told him everything. He came right away and held me in his strong arms until I was able to calm down enough to shower and talk to the New London Police Department. John stayed with me that night on one side of the couch while I stayed on the other. That night the nightmares were fierce and when dawn finally came I was drenched in sweat. Still managed with John’s help to seek counseling. I somehow found the strength to move on and be a good mother to my three toddlers.
As the days passed I became very sick and weak. The symptoms were familiar and it was confirmed by my doctor that I was once again pregnant. There was a 75% chance it was my rapist’s baby. Flashbacks started to come rapidly to the point where I couldn’t catch my breath. Sometimes my chest felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. That night after we put the children to bed, John and I talked about the pregnancy and my fears. His words that night will always stay with me. He promised to always be there for me. He said that no matter whose DNA flows through the baby’s blood that he would always be there for us. he said that the baby deserved to be held and loved by a family. He told me that he would be the father of this child as much as he was the father of our other 3 children. He told me that God wouldn’t have given us this child if we were unworthy.
Month after month I continued caregiving while nurturing the growing baby inside of me. My thoughts went from thinking that I couldn’t carry Brandon’s baby to she is mine now and I was willing to do whatever it took to make it work. A Snow storm hit us hard in the winter of 2014. John was willing to drive me to work but I was worried about having to take the children with us with all the snow on the road. At 8 months pregnant, I was prepared to walk back and forth to work if I had to. Missing work as a CNA was inexcusable and I needed to continue financially taking care of my kids.
I continued to work as a caregiver. Sometimes I even brought my children to see the residents and staff. I always believed that this type of environment teaches children at a young age how to show compassion and helps them understand how to care for others. Holidays and birthdays have passed. My children continued to grow and play happily with no worries. Mr. Messier’s nightmares of my rape by Mr. Messier started to retreat to the back of my mind. “We are diligently prepared for the new addition to our family,” Waterford Juvenile Court judge Michael Mack ordered DCF to leave us alone. All appointments were being met and my pregnancy was going well.
The day I went into labor with my daughter Lillyana started off like any other. I was at my Aunt Debra’s house for a picnic. Gabriella, Mason, and Dallas were all running around her backyard with their younger cousins laughing, bonding, and eating as the adults talked. For any stranger walking by on the street, the view would have been the hallmark version of a happy family getting together on a nice summer day. As day turned into night, my swollen body went into overdrive and the intense labor pains began. I called out to my big brothers Brian and John. Brian offered to watch Gabriella, Mason, and Dallas, while John drove me to the hospital. I was admitted to Lawrence Memorial Hospital in New London as soon as we arrived.
While the doctor prepared me for my delivery, I whispered a prayer quietly to God. Two hours later my sweet Lillyana was born. Her cries were as soft as the ocean, her blue eyes closed shining bright as I watched her take her first breath in this world. My baby girl weighed 8lbs and 13 oz. She was healthy and safe and I thanked God for that.
Our first night home was uneventful. We spent it playing games and watching movies after dinner. The children were all bathed and in bed for the night. John and I had kissed their heads and said good night, sweet dreams, and love you to the moon and back. After leaving their room I sat outside the bedroom door just listening to them breathing. John drew me a hot bath. My heart is still in bliss and finally ready to move past my abusive past. I started to feel like my nightmares were finally over. When my bath was finally ready and I was sure our children were asleep I slipped deep into the water’s warm embrace. My body began to lose the cramping aches and pains of childbirth. As the water massaged me gently a soft melody slowly played from my bathroom speaker. Exhaustion swept its way into my body and carried me off into dreamland for a visit.
Several weeks ago, through the Department of Children and Families, social worker Karina Klemm stopped by one last time to see my children. She checked on all of my children including my newborn and on the condition of my home. She finally states “ all is well and the case is closed”. My body is still trying to heal from childbirth as I cook, clean my home and care for my children. I along with John bring Gabriella to school every morning in our black jeep. After that, we head home for Mason and Dallas’s early special needs home services. Their education was going well due to our involvement.
On June 10th 2015 we loaded up the van we borrowed and took the children to see Doctor Parkash in Norwich, Connecticut. When we arrived I took Lillyana out of her car seat and placed her in the sling on my chest. As we waited to be seen by the doctor, I filled out the paperwork for Lillyana and Gabriella. When their names were called John agreed to watch the boys in the playroom while I took the girls to their appointment. Everything seemed to be going well. Their weight and height were normal for their percentile, they were not in pain or sick. They were both healthy.
John left that night to go to Massachusetts with his mother to get some things we left up there. I begged him not to go, I had a bad feeling and I tried telling him I wasn’t feeling well. But after arguing with him for awhile, he left anyway.
She sounded like a beast pounding at my door the next day. I walked to the door feeling afraid of whoever was on the other side. Her name was Natasha Reed. She was about forty , tall , with cruel black eyes like that of a demon. She claimed she was an investigator for the Department of Children and Families. When I told her our case was closed she stated that an anonymous caller claimed I was driving unsafely with my newborn in a green truck.
Dallas cried from his bedroom. She offered to get him for me as if I should not be alone with my own child “No it’s alright I got him.” I made my way back to Dallas’s room.. After I took Dallas from his crib, I came back into the living room and placed him in his walker. He eats his food and plays with his toy quietly, while Gabriella and Mason laugh and play around the house. I started cleaning up around the house while answering the investigator’s questions. She watches me for a reaction as she picks up my one year old son and places him on the floor, without my permission. Her eyes scanned my home and she wrote down her observations, which I would later find out were exaggerated so she could steal my children, with Waterford Juvenile Court’s permission. She coerced me into signing a safety plan for my children. That day I let all my children go home with my niece so John and I could comply with the safety plan.
When John came home the worker explained to him that we needed to clean our house and that I needed to go see a doctor. The worker was concerned that I was still feeling pain from Lilyanna’s birth. She stated that they would come see our home in the morning and then we would have a meeting about my children coming home. No one explained what our rights were or anything, but we got right to work on making everything perfect for their inspection. With a spotless home and a clean bill of health from Lawrence Memorial, we met with the Department of Children and Families in Norwich, Connecticut.
Walking into that meeting my lungs felt like they were on fire, my heart threatened to break free of my chest. I don’t want this to go any further. My sister Jenny was there along with my Aunt Linda, two women that I never knew and who never knew me besides the blood we share from my mother. Never did I think they would hate me so much as to join the enemy. The meeting started with everyone introducing themselves and all of us signing in. The investigator’s concerns were that our home wasn’t clean enough and she was concerned based on her own observation that I had postpartum depression.
My children first ended up first being split up into three of my relative’s homes, also known as Kinship Care. John and I were allowed to go to their homes everyday, whenever we wanted, as long as it was okay with the foster parents. We brought food, clothes, toys, took many pictures and made sure we told our confused scared children we love them, that we will come back for them, and that everything would be ok. I was still breastfeeding Lillyana often and I made sure she had plenty of breastmilk before I had to leave each visit.
I found a parenting class that complied with my work schedule as a nursing assistant. My parenting class was a 52 hour intensive parenting class that talked about everything from potty training to sexuality. I took very detailed notes (respondents evidence QQ). My notes included a fire safety plan, a meal plan for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day for each of the kids. I also put together a routine for all of them.
While I was doing all of this the foster parents were complaining to the department asking for financial help and vouchers for my children. After two months on August 18th, 2015, everything began to get worse. Mason and Gabriella moved to my Aunt Debra’s (their second home since DCF took them) Lillyana was moved to my cousin Jessica’s (her second home since DCF), and Dallas stayed where he was. At first I was okay with three of my children staying with my aunt and cousin, as long as our visits continued normally. My aunt and I were close. I used to take my children to see her all the time. So I knew they would be comfortable and feel safe until I could get them home. As for my son Dallas, I was being blocked from seeing him more and more. My cousin Crystal Magee avoided all my phone calls. I contacted the Department of Children and families to speak to my caseworker Ted Parmelee and his supervisor Doug Howard about my concerns for my son Dallas.
All this while my court-appointed attorney Michael Miller kept telling me to commit my kids or else face criminal charges and then I’ll never get them back, and there won’t even be a trial.
I finally hired my own attorney by the name of Lisa Vincent. As the weeks went by I continued my classes and visits with my children. I tried my best to stay positive around my children. My mind was with my children, especially my son Dallas. Until one day, he arrived at my Aunt Debra’s with Ted Parmelee, his body was all skin and bones, his once beautiful blue eyes dull and sad. I took one look at him and pulled him out of the social worker’s arms and held him tight.
I called up my only ally, my big sister Kimberly and begged her to help Dallas because I was afraid he would die. I explained to her everything I had seen. She said she would go over there with my aunt Linda and demand that they take him to the hospital. The next day I called my attorney Lisa Vincent to update her on everything. My son was rushed to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in New Haven and diagnosed with a broken wrist, brain damage, burns, hair loss, weight loss, and broken ribs (child advocate report available).
I was heartbroken when my visit was over and I left him alone that night. The look on his face was a look of betrayal and abandonment. I went home and cried the tears that I had to hold in for my children’s sake. I will never get the look of “mommy don’t go, why are you leaving me” out of my mind. For three months my son Dallas was in the hospital. I made the trip up there to New Haven which was an hour both ways every day.
I began to miss a lot of work. The visitations (which my job did not let me use medical leave for) would change and I would have to take last-minute days off. But I kept my visitations with all my children. Not once did their attorney or one of the children’s attorneys contact John and me or visit our home. The guilt of the pain and the harm they were going through was eating me alive. I had no one to turn to, the Department of Children and Families made sure of that.
I had an evaluation through my own therapist Nora through Connecticut Behavioral Health and the results came back with clear judgment, in touch with reality, able to make sound decisions, her moods in check and understandable due to circumstances, recovering from her rape well.(Respondent evidence R). Evidence later displayed in the trial by my attorney Lisa Vincent shows the Department of Children and Families sharing their version of exaggerated truth with my children’s biological father and family members and including foster parents who are not family. While starting a “witch hunt” by words of family members Joyce Barrios, Debra Post, Linda Barrios, Britney Post, (respondent evidence cc and dd), evidence shows alternative motivation to steal my children for cash (title 5e funding).
Our visitations were moved to a third party and out in the community twice a week for two hours. The provider given to us at first was through Noank Behavioral Health and was fired for stealing. The next provider they gave us was Ms. Kayla Laing, a woman of age 22, with no children of her own and no experience with children besides babysitting. Our visits were moved into one of the provider’s homes for pregnant teenagers, then a camp for LGBT teenagers. Though it was a house the toys were very few and broken.
. During the visits no parental guidance was given. All the provider did was sit on her phone and computer. Even after the visits, there was no review or guidance. She told DCF that I was unfit and could not recommend reunification.
The department requested in court in January 2016 that John and I submit to physiological evaluations for our mental health and to evaluate our interactions with our children. John and I both agreed that we had nothing to hide. Our evaluations are set for February 18th 2016. It was a five hour test. The test started off with John and I separated. When it came to the Ink Blot Test, I told Dr. Kelly Rogers I didn’t see anything but he kept demanding that I have to see something. He then put me on the computer to answer questions about the last few weeks. A lot of the questions were about if I was hurting emotionally. I stated yes wouldn’t you if your children were stolen from you. I was still living with the guilt of not being able to save my children from Crystal Magee and DCF.
John and I did what we normally We just enjoyed our time with our children. We took pictures and couldn’t keep the smile off our faces. The children smiled too, we were happy just to be together. The last part was a joint evaluation for John and I to meet with Dr. Rogers . He did not ask us any questions, he just expected us to talk. The Department of Children and Families called him during our evaluation to speak to him about who knows what.
I moved into my disabled mother’s home to help provide proper care for her. But my sister Jenny kept getting into fights with the nurses and home health aides. Some days were harder than others, my mother would cry for her missing grandchildren as she stared at their pictures. And I found out I was pregnant again.
By the end of my pregnancy with my fifth child, I was scared DCF was going to take her from me too. The appointments came and went fast. And the day I went into labor with my fifth child Zuri Emerald, I was terrified. I knew they would find a way to take my newborn away from me again. I was up to date on everything, I had a job, I was in therapy and I was in classes.
When Zuri finally came into this world, they placed her right into my waiting arms. It took all my strength to focus on looking into my beautiful baby girl’s eyes. I called my attorney to let her know she was born and then the hospital put security at my door and I was told they were ordered by the Department of Children and Families to take my baby from me and not let me bond with her. I was informed that they were not going to let me take her home. I hadn’t even been served any papers yet. My attorney Lisa Vincent was ferocious and made me give her the hospital’s number and promised to handle it so I could bond with my newborn. They finally returned her to me, at least for a little while.
I couldn’t take Zuri home or even have her go with a family member. I felt that the department wanted to embarrass me in front of the hospital. I could feel the invisible chains tied around my throat so I couldn’t breathe, I felt my flesh get whipped by an unseen flogger, demanding that I give in to what they want to label me as, to forget who I am. Again my body was denied the right to heal and the bonding a new mommy needs with her newborn baby. They claimed “predictive neglect.” I continued to attend all my classes and our doctor appointments. Every visit with the children was our happiness, we lived for those moments. They also gave us therapeutic family time at a daycare in New London on top of our once-a-week visit to Mystic.
The provider of visits, Linsey Levan, first told us that she had no concerns about us as parents, but she did when it came to how the children were arriving at visits with the foster parents, dirty and unclean. DCF social worker Janie Spera responded by offering foster parents a cleaning service and emotional support in the home to help them bond with my children. But still, nothing like that was offered to me or John.
As the months went on I would argue with the department over always moving my children. My children’s mental state and health were being affected. They placed my youngest child with a woman who let her older special needs child watch my newborn, and Zuri ended up falling down a flight of stairs.
“How does a six-month-old baby fall down a set of stairs, without anybody noticing, she’s not even crawling yet”? Was the question that came out of my mouth in front of the social worker, Abigail Bush. Even the doctor wanted to know. The foster mother looked nervous as she replied “My daughter was watching her upstairs and left the gate open as Zuri was nearby on the ground.” My blood boiled. They left my infant alone and supervised by an eight-year-old and yet took my kids saying I couldn’t let my oldest, who was 6 at the time, help me with the other children?
The Waterford Juvenile Court allowed me to accompany my daughter to the court-ordered DNA test to see if Brandon Messier was Lillyana’s father. It turned out he was. I broke down. My rapist was the father of my little girl and I needed to protect her and her siblings from him at all costs. I ran down to the nearest courthouse and filed a restraining order to keep this evil man away from my children, especially Lillyana.
Judge Driscoll asked Brandon if we engaged in sexual intercourse? Brandon Patrick Messier smiled an evil grin while looking at me and licking his lips “ yes your honor. He asked me, and with tears falling down my face, staining my cheeks I stated aloud and clearly “willingly no your honor, I was raped.” The judge stated after that, “So I take that as a yes then?” I broke down even more as he deemed my rapist officially the father of my baby. As I broke down in the courtroom, Lillyana’s attorney Ryan Ziowaski was laughing and whispering to Brandon Messier pointing at me. My attorney took me outside and pulled me in for a hug as I cried for my baby.
*After trial after the notice of rights taken*
On April 16th, 2018 at 5 pm I found out I lost my rights to my children. The very next day John and I walked 3 miles to the Waterford Juvenile Courthouse and filed a notice of appeal with the court. Every free moment I had that was not spent sleeping was working on my case even taking some classes to keep me going. Some really wonderful ladies with the Family Forward Advocacy Group helped me prepare my papers for the appellate court. I was determined to get my children back.
We filed a rebuttal brief and waited several months until January 12th, 2019 to hear back from the appellate court. They again took the side of the state as always. But this time I did not cry or scream. I was already prepared for this. I took it higher, and now we in the Federal Courts are arguing with federal court Judge Farrish who stated “It doesn’t matter what these attorneys, judges, or the department have done, they are protected under the 11th amendment of sovereign immunity and it doesn’t matter if your case has merit, you can’t fight them.”
I have looked for help everywhere. The days get harder and harder and I never sleep anymore. I still try to hold my head up and fight. I have gotten a lot of fake help offers from men. One attorney tried to get me to marry his client as a way to get my kids back.
I am still waiting to hear back from the United States Court of Appeals in New York. Please help me.