Firstly, I would like to say that EVERY month should be “child abuse awareness month,” and every other important cause that plaques us as a nation. Why we choose to only recognize things for a day or a month is beyond me?! With that being said, I would like to share how this horrific topic of child abuse has effected me and my family.
As I talked about in my first blog post, I suffered tremendous abuse of all kinds by “The Monster.” I was young and incredibly naïve, but I never thought that he would hurt them–our precious daughter’s. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. It was pretty early on that I realized that he had an obsession with our first born. It made me feel incredibly uneasy, but like most people, buried those feelings and chalked them up to “new mommy anxiety” or just being a
really young mom who was learning as she went. However, I was smart enough to never allow him access to her without my direct supervision. Yes, I thought I could protect her from him, which we all know how that story goes, no one
could. I vowed to protect her at any cost. Like with most abusive relationships, I left several times, but kept getting pulled back because every time I tried to get free, he would attempt to charge me with kidnapping and sue for sole custody. I couldn’t escape him, or the great state of New York. At one point, I couldn’t even leave the county we lived in with her. I was in my own personal prison and resigned myself to the idea that my daughter was far safer with me staying with him and suffering the constant sexual abuse I had to endure, then for me to leave where he would then have free access to her to do as he pleased. With that decision came another one; if I was never going to get out of this relationship alive with my child, I at least wanted her to have a sibling to lean on in case he killed me and that was all she had.
I appreciate how crazy this sounds, but you have to remember that I was twenty-one years old when I had her and twenty-three when her sister came along. I was still a child myself, thinking that I could love him enough to make all his demons go away. Of co
urse, as I got older and wiser, one realizes that no one can save any person from themselves. Finally, it got to the point when I understood that, and I wasn’t able to keep the girls safe from him any longer because he had become much to dangerous. So, I began to plan our escape. It took a little while, but eventually it happened and I finally made it back home to Maryland. We were okay for about a year and a half because me and the girl’s had a complete stay away order of protection from him. Looking back, that was probably the last time I felt any amount of peace and safety with regard to all of our physical and mental well-being. As soon as that order expired, that very familiar knock at the door where I would find a serving processor or a Sherriff on the other side waiting to give me papers indicating that he was at it again– trying to gain sole custody of the kids. This went on for so many years. The whole time I remained steadfast in my plight to keep my babies safe from him.
As the years passed it became increasingly more a
nd more difficult to protect them from him. His control over them was at an all time high and both children’s minds were being completely controlled by him. He was everywhere they were. And he could be because he didn’t work. Therefore, he was at school everyday volunteering in the classroom. If he wasn’t in the classroom, he was there during lunchtime. He had reframed their entire childhood to where I didn’t exist and that I was “Cunt Satan, whore, bitch,” or what ever other name he insisted they refer to me as. In addition, it was instilled into them that I was never to be trusted. It was unbearable to watch as my children’s minds were taken over by a mad-man.
I have spent countless seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years trying to understand and come to terms with how one evil human being can cause so much damage
that lasts far longer than the direct offense in the first place. It is one thing to be traumatized and victimized as an adult, we have a far greater capacity to have the perspective, understanding, and ability to help ourselves. But for that same thing to occur to your innocent child/children, or any child for that matter, it’s next to impossible to watch and live with on a consistent daily basis. This is not a one person problem, it is a problem that is insidious and infiltrates the DNA of an entire family until everyone is effected. Regardless if they were directly involved in the original trauma, they are traumatized by living in an environment that is wrought with constant chaos, anxiety, angst, uncertainty, and fear.
I feel like I am constantly wrestling with my own beliefs of what I know to be true about life, love, and most of all faith. This is what I grapple with, when you lose a child to an illness or tragic unexpected event, they are gone forever and you know that. I can’t imagine the grief, loss, desolation, devastation, and heart break. I have seen it first hand and it is something that you never get “over,” you merely get “through” and find your “new normal.” This process can take years and still there are those that never find peace. I imagine the goal is to never forget, but to move forward and experience some form of happiness and fulfillment again, because if you remain s
tuck in that emptiness, negativity, and the all encompassing sadness and guilt, you aren’t living either, and mind as well be dead with them.
*************I need to make this perfectly clear, I am not pretending to understand the magnitude of what these parents and loved ones are going through when it comes to the loss of a child. Nor am I minimizing their experience and feelings after such a loss*************
I am attempting to make sense of this idea both for myself and others of what a parents life looks like when you suffer essentially the same loss of your child/children due any form of childhood abuse and neglect, but instead of them being gone from this earth, they are still present and ostensibly doing “ok,” in our archaic and totally screwed up judicial systems eyes.
From my perspective it is imperative that society see’s that change is essential and it is critical for everyone’s future that we stand united in this fight to save our innocent youth from future damage that can be avoided by simply taking the time to listen, observe, and fucking give a damn.
Imagine for a moment that you are like I was, forced into
silence to protect your babies from further damage. Bound and gagged by the ideologies and laws that are much larger than yourself and you watch your precious children, day in and day out, being brainwashed and taken over by something and someone much bigger and stronger then themselves. Children are innocent and vulnerable, nor do they have the cognitive ability, perspective, or resources to protect themselves and their fragile psyches (mind, body, spirit) from the perpetrator. This person can be anyone in any position of power who is using these children to turn them into pawns to achieve what ever that individual’s desired outcome is. In my case, the “monster” wanted to eradicate me permanently from their lives.
The best way I can describe this to you is, it’s as though you are watching “who” your child once was, slowly being ripped from them and they for all intensive purpose are slowly dying at someone else’s hands. But, the strangest and most tragic part is that “who they once were” has been replaced by someone who looks and sounds just like the precious and
innocent child you once knew; however, their mind has been so altered that they are nothing more than a physical shell of who they once were. They are completely unrecognizable to you, even as their parent, the person who knows them far better then anyone else .
I realize this sounds very dramatic and unbelievable; however, I assure you that this is real because it happened to me and my children. I, as their mother, was forced to sit idly by and watch all of this occur because we live in a society where we make hasty uninformed decisions because doing ones due diligence and actually reviewing a case or looking further into allegations is far to time consuming and requires additional work. Most, not all, of those individuals in these positions of power don’t take the time or the extra effort to do the right thing and are far to quick to judge based on a whim, or how they are feeling that day, or the most egregious—passing judgment on one of the individuals purely because of their appearance and thus basing their decision or ruling on that. I know this to be true because that was my reality. We as a society have allowed the powers that be the cart Blanche ability to imbue us with their opinion that is loosely based on domestic law and flimsy statutes and precedents that are largely open for interpretation. And those of us suffering the loss, have to sit back and take it. You can choose to fight like I did, but that too can c
ome at an enormous cost: financially, emotionally, and psychologically. Still leading to the to the same conclusion; those little people who you know to be your children have become strangers to you and have been brainwashed to believe that you are nothing and desire to have zero involvement in your or their extended families lives.
I ask anyone reading this, how is this acceptable? How do we as parents move forward? Because unlike those beautiful souls who have passed on; if you believe in God and heaven, they are in a much better and happier place. Our unrecognizable and tortured
children, are still here. Living, breathing members of society, sometimes functioning and sometimes not. Except one very important detail: who and what those innocent souls were once to become, has been stolen from them. Some find their way back with a lot of love, strength, internal fortitude, and hard work, while others remain lost forever.
It’s only natural that you want someone to blame to ease your pain and suffering. Of course, there is the very person who caused all this suffering in the first place. But, they weren’t capable of doing it alone. In my case and for many others, the blame starts at the top and should be placed on the very institution that was set up to protect my children and all the others like mine. This is the reality of the world that we live in and the archaic judicial system we rely on. It is a travesty of the highest level and is completely unacceptable to me. I refuse to participate in perpetuating a belief system that turns a blind eye to life changing and/or life saving information that is simply overlooked because no one has the time or desire to care.
I am making it my life’s mission to make the time. In hon
or of my children and all those parents and children who don’t have a voice for what ever reason. Please know that I won’t stop until there is real and lasting change. Change that finally looks out for the “best interest” of the vulnerable and not what is in the best interest of those who could care less about how many countless innocent lives that are being sacrificed and ruined because no one cares enough to stand up and proclaim, enough is finally enough!
They say obstacles are the innovation of invention. Well, this is quite the obstacle and I am prepared to figure out how to invent a way to fix it. I challenge all of you who are reading this, don’t turn a blind eye to a situation that just doesn’t “feel right” to you. Take the time to observe and dig a little deeper and ask the sometimes hard questions when the answer
s don’t add up. Not everything is what is seems and having an open mind and heart may lead you into a position to change someone’s live forever.
I honor all my beautiful children with this; those directly effected by “The Monster” and those indirectly effected by the aftermath of the trauma. It is because of all of you that I will never give up the fight to help protect and save as many innocent and helpless souls as I possibly can. Every child deserves a chance to be granted the innocence that they deserve. I fought l
ike hell and never gave up the fight to protect you at all costs, but unfortunately it never seemed to be enough and by the time I finally got you away from him, so much damage had been done. However, you all are such strong, amazing, and beautiful souls, I am confident that because of it all you too will become better, stronger, more loving, and phenomenal advocates for those in need.