It started out as a great summer with me in my own home on Jackson Lake with my two biological children living with me and my 3 legally adopted step – daughter’s visiting on a regular basis basically daily. See the year previously we had spent it together at every GA Force home game in Gwinnett with me as their leasing manager and paralegal consultant to the team and their families as a leasing consultant and contract paralegal leasing to the entire team. Me and my 5 children spend every weekend at the home games and if not at the games they were at my place of employment with me given I had an understanding boss who felt it was family friendly and a fun environment and good for business. My children were living a life of luxury that year. In August of 2004 there was a family violence incident involving throwing my youngest daughter in the back of a car by my ex father in law and driving off with her for me to never see her again. I had gone for another job interview locally and when I attempted to pick my daughter up this took place. Including a domestic dispute between Mr. Sasser and myself where he would not give me access to my youngest daughter a toddler at the time. The family violence and keeping me from my daughter sent me over the edge. Not seeing my 4 girls sent me into an anxiety and panic attack. My mother and aunt being nurses felt it best for me to be seen and Northside Hospital treated me and personally themselves reported the abuse to The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Department and I had a voluntary admission to Peachford for recovery from family violence, depression and codependency as the caregiver. With a clearance letter from my physician of not being a threat or danger to myself nor to others. Unfortunately due to my hospitalization I was not allowed to see my 4 girls even girl each and every attorney involved with the case were fully aware of where I had been and exactly why. This was in August of 2004. This is what I have discovered since. Given my life as a nursing assistant over the last year.
1100+ Georgia Certified Peer Specialists Since October 2001
Since 2001 to present
I have written often of becoming a Certified Peer Specialist to include the following requirements:
> Candidates must have diagnosis of mental illness or a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addictive disease and must desire to identify themselves as a person with mental illness current or former consumer of mental health services.
> Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and may be requested to provide a copy of this document.
> Must demonstrate strong reading comprehension and written communication skills as indicated on their responses on the pre – test which is part of the application.
> Must have demonstrated experience with leadership, advocacy or governance.
> Must be well grounded in recovery
These facts are taken directly from the Certified Peer Specialist brochure.
The motto of the CPS being “Each One Reach One.”
It nearly was the death of me being kept from my 4 girls that I had been raising for over 10 years. Sending me into a full blown nervous breakdown including the year ahead of me without them in my life. I had just recently graduated college from Dekalb Technical College Covington Campus in their Business/Legal office program of Study and the Paralegal program completing my internship with Esquire Mr. John Strauss, Sr., hoping to give my children the best life possible. A better life for them and had been working full time since in college as a legal assistant and paralegal including as a Juvenile probation officer. I was in my right and clear frame of mind up and to the point of the family violence incident that occurred once again in our lives and the parental alienation and estrangement from my 4 girls with me and my son not understanding why.
As the court had ruled the issues of custody and visitation would be ruled on at a later date given either party to have petitioned the courts in Rockdale County. I filed back and petitioned the courts and the decision was that I could see and have contact with my older 3 girls at any time we so chose to and that my youngest daughter would begin therapy for our reunification process. Over 10 years later with therapy being court ordered numerous times she has yet to receive any quality amount of therapy with any doctor for that matter. Even with her meeting with therapists and them to testify on our full behalf Mr. Sasser still insists on alienating me with lies, stories and excuses to my girls about why I was not in their lives. Even given Mr. Sasser has had no complaints about myself in court ever. Not one single question, hint, suggestion, implication nor accusation as to any wrong doing on my behalf as a mother nor as a wife to Mr. Sasser
The State of Georgia is just as much to blame for my mental status as Mr. Sasser is. An independent thriving young lady with a career and raising 5 children. We were just fine up and until being separated. Their story is their story but they have suffered immensely due to our divorce and the family violence. Their lives and future have truly been effected. All these facts above have been presented in court and proven factual.
Over the last 10 plus years I have not been ugly not threatening towards anyone involved with these issues instead I have had Mr. Sasser in the courtroom on many instances answering for his parental alienation and abuse. And working hard to become a nursing assistant and working on becoming a Certified Peer Specialist.
Having Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency along with being mentally challenged with depression, anxiety and codependency as the caregiver has been no parade for me. I have fought long and hard at recovery. Single handedly recovering without much of a support system at all other than the ladies of View Point Health which I am very grateful for their help, concern, mentor and friendship over the last several years especially Ms. Jennifer Speights, Ms. Quianna Sydnor and Ms. Brenda Williams and Mrs. Shakila Henderson Baker. Not allowing this State to condemn me any longer I decided to let the courts handle Mr. Sasser and justice has been served in the Juvenile court arena and the Superior court. I am still alienated from my girls but have won many court hearings to our full favor.
Why me and my children being the family violence victims we have had to carry this burden is beyond me and comprehension.
My life requires that of a primary care physician, a psychiatrist, a pulmonologist and in the past my heart doctor for pericardial effusion. I have no strong support system other than myself to depend upon for transportation to my appointments and for picking up my prescriptions and also in getting to church where Celebrate Recovery is a must in my recovery process as I have been attending for some time now. I am in dire need of prayer and an auto for my independence and lively hood and in order to continue to thrive productively. I am humbly asking my friends, family and mentors to kindly give to me to ensure that I am able to continue to maintain and take care of my medical and religious needs. Along with working part time as a nursing assistant and continuing with my endeavor and goal of becoming a Certified Peer Specialist for the State of Georgia which I have been in study for some time now. Being a graduate of New Rock day program, The Respect Institute and GPSI The GA Peer Support Institute. Also taking and teaching many self – help classes to my peers at New Rock. So ready to spread my wings and become that Certified Peer Specialist and help those in need of mental care and hope. A hope that there is a better tomorrow if you will only devote your life and time to pursuing it. I did not feel an “eye for eye” where all these matters were concerned and even given my health have never lashed out at anyone involved. Not on a professional nor personal level only to tell the story of the facts which can clearly be seen at my Word Press blog and have been submitted to the courts over the years as authenticated documentation and facts of evidence.
Being a strong advocate for children since the early 1990’s I have spent my entire adult life fighting for these 5 children. All the while me and my son not understanding why we had to over night lost contact with the girls. Having them ripped out of our lives due to family violence and depression.
Working closely in the O.C.G.A. since the early 1990’s my point has always eventually been proven factual and correct and true in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of righteousness. Leaving behind that lasting legacy in the O.C.G.A. has been a life’s dream and I made it possible and a reality for other women, parent’s and children.
Thank you for allowing me to continue to share my daily updates with you and your families and speaking from experience hope that you will take a moment to invest a little time and assistance into my life to ensure that I continue to thrive even given my medical conditions including physical and mental. You may share in the last 4 years of my life at The Covington News at :
Thank you and thank you Olde Town Conyers for such a beautiful photo in your corridors.
Continuing with the advocacy of whole health wellness and leaving my mark in the O.C.G.A.
Thank you, prayerfully, April