This is a departure from what I normally write about. It’s child abuse prevention month and I wanted to write something to help promote awareness. As an adoptive mother, my son suffered greatly before joining our family. This is something that weighs on me. So for childhood abuse prevention month, I thought I would share some of my rambles.
I wasn’t there. I should have been there but I wasn’t. What kind of mother isn’t there for her child while they are starving, neglected, abused and treated like trash?
Tossed out like yesterdays sandwich?
I wasn’t there when he was moved, losing everything he knew, over and over and over again.
I wasn’t there when the food stopped coming. How his body must have ached. The pain all encompassing.
I wasn’t there when his precious, beautiful, perfect baby skin was damaged. Creating scars he will bear for all to see for the rest of his life. Drawing looks and questions of a time when I wasn’t there.
I wasn’t there when he was left alone. Alone in a sea of children. Oh, the noise of those spaces, the cries, and most painful yet, the silence created by children who have lost all hope. What kind of world do we live in where children, tiny babies, give up hope?
I wasn’t there when he was yet another face among the faces of orphans. How many went before the eyes of those caretakers? Blending into one another. Becoming lost in the constant shuffle and changes.
I wasn’t there when the money dried up due to the greed of those who truly don’t care about precious lives.
I wasn’t there when the hunger came back, ravaging his body again. He knew the pain this time. It was becoming familiar. I wonder if he became numb to the pain, but I suspect not. How could the pain of your body eating itself ever disappear. And still, I wasn’t there.
Then I was there. He was placed in my arms and I was there.
I was there when he vomited each time the sun touched his skin, the fear so great of the outdoors that his body violently convulsed, losing all the precious nutrients we carefully provided him.
I was there when he would spit and scream as we tried to feed him. Desperate to nourish body, mind and soul with nothing but goodness. Trying to chase the shadows and terrors of the past from his being with healthy food and love.
I was there as his anger was turned on me, for I was a female, and females were there during all of the abuse. I wasn’t to be trusted. I didn’t blame him. I wasn’t there to protect him.
I was there when he would turn away from me. Body rigid like a plank. Tears streaming down his face. Scared, lost, filled with unimaginable fears. I would try to hug him close, but that would only increase his fears. I was there, but I couldn’t touch.
I was there when the panic attacks would hit. The pure terror so intense he would pull my arm, dislocating bones, in an attempt to run away or fall to the ground in a heap. Unable to function. The trauma in full control.
Flight – fight – freeze, we experienced the intensity of it all.
I was there when the psychologists misunderstood. I fought for what you needed. I was there now and saw that you were a survivor. Tougher than any of them ever understood. You were a survivor and had to be tough, because I wasn’t there.
I was there when chickens helped you learn how to tame the panic and terror that would overtake your little body, long before you had any words to express yourself. Those words, they seemed as if they would never come, your body grew but your silence carried the weight of your pain. But we suddenly saw healing with the help of those chickens where many psychologists had failed.
Chickens, of all things. Who knew?
I was there when the hugs started to be offered freely, a twinkle of joy and happiness in your eyes.
I was there for your first Mama, Dada… and best of all, your first I love you.
I wasn’t there when you needed me, but we came together finally, and then I was there when you needed me.
And I will be there always and forevermore.
I wish I could have been there for all those times you needed me. I wish I could have protected you from abuses no child should ever experience. The guilt eats me alive. But I am so glad the fates brought us together. I’ve been there, with all of my being, since the day you were placed in my arms for the first time.
We may not have the same blood, but we are tied together by an energy greater than all of us. Love.
I will always and forever be your Mom. And I promise, here and now that I will be there always.
From the moment they placed you in my arms, until my last breath, I’m here.