Yup. You heard me, abused. Every emotion you could ever imagine comes rushing over you all at once. You start to panic. Sweat. Shake. Feel your internal temperature rising. Cry. Yell. Become confused. Feel like you are going to go ballistic on the person who is responsible for this.
One of your worst fears as a parent suddenly becomes true.
How the hell could something like this allegedly happen to my child? Under the care of people who are supposed to have the best interest of children in mind, at all times, no matter what.
Well, guess what, it happens. It happens every day, across the world. You just honestly never think that it will happen to your family. Ever.
Almost four months ago, I received a phone call telling me that our son was witnessed being force-fed and hit in the head by one of the teachers in his daycare. Like seriously, are you fucking kidding me?
As a mom, I have a natural instinct to want to protect my children. We all do; it is ingrained in us as parents. Intellectually I know that I cannot protect him from everything of the world. My heart tells me otherwise though. My son will NEVER experience heartache because he is too perfect; my son will NEVER be picked on because he is just too cute and funny; my son will NEVER need to be punished or feel disappointment from me because he is always going to follow the rules and be a good citizen. Okay I am not totally serious, I know that’s not realistic.
But my baby IS perfect to me, and he’s a baby. He cannot protect himself yet, so it is my job to do so the best I can. I cannot help but feel guilt that he had to go through this type of experience. It’s absolutely sickening and makes you feel just a little bit less than as a parent that I “didn’t know” this was happening and I could not stop it.
I also know there are people in the world that do really fucked up things to children. Not any child deserves it. EVER. No ifs ands or buts. But this happened to MY child? What did he do to deserve this?
The first few weeks were really, really hard for me. I could barely look at my own son without crying. Trying not to picture the act itself happening was impossible. How scared and confused and sad he must have been. My god. How will we ever trust ANYONE other than family with our child again?
It has not been easy. We are so lucky to have had a woman that he adores watch him at our house until our second son was born. He has now transitioned to a new daycare that is like night and day from the old one. We love it. They know our story and are horrified.
I know that in the end, he will be okay. He is strong, resilient, funny, full of character, smart and energetic. That does not mean he has not been affected by this, because he has. All three of us have been. It is not something I would ever wish upon any family to ever have to go through. But we will be okay. It reminds me to have more patience, give extra kisses and to hold my little ones even tighter.
I cannot protect my son from everything in the world, but I can show him unconditional love and support, and advocate for him in every which way I possibly can. I am his protector and will continue to do the best that I possibly can. That, we all do for our children.
My mission to advocate for my son, my family and the other families is not over. I am not sure where this experience is going to lead me, but I do know it has started a fire in me that will not be put out.
(I wrote this back in January, with the intention of it being my first blog post. My gut told me not to publish it until the time was right. And that time has come).