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Reflections on The Past Shared Stories

The Loss Of My Son To Social Services

vanologism August 05, 2015
2962 Views 4 Comments

 

Sometimes, life doesn’t give you second chances. I had what I only now realize was the greatest gift of a purpose which was that of raising another human being and I threw it all away. Everyday, I suffer tremendously thinking about my now nine year old son Luca and how I will never again be afforded the privilege of raising him. The choices I made came with permanent consequences and the most painful life lesson I’ve ever had to learn. I let my addiction and mental health issues take over and watched it all fall apart in a drug induced state of psychosis. At the time, I knew it was all falling apart, however, I couldn’t stop it and it all just kept getting worse. I feel shame, guilt, regret, grief and sorrow everyday and contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds. Everywhere, there are constant reminders of my mistakes and loss no matter how random or unconnected they seem to be. The loss I suffered is the greatest pain I’ve ever felt and it gets so overwhelming at times.

 

The first three years of motherhood were fantastic and the greatest experience I ever had. Everything was fresh, new and exciting. Luca was my pride and joy. I focused on nothing but him and I enjoyed every minute of it and was truly happy. When Luca was one, I returned to school to obtain my high school diploma. That was the start of my troubles yet to come. I did great for the first year and a half at school, however, I was taking high doses of prescription stimulants and towards the end of my studies, I started experiencing stimulant induced psychosis. A doctor had prescribed me the stimulants to help with energy as I was quite exhausted. I was a single mother with no family and no social support and taking care of Luca alone was difficult and I was often tired. I kept on taking the stimulants and my psychosis only grew worse. Now I had two problems that I chose to not take seriously. I didn’t get any help for the psychosis and I was also addicted the pills. My psychosis was not an entirely negative experience however. There was a magic to it actually. I felt like the universe was sharing a story with me through the music I listened to and the different things I read. It was an experience that defied all reason and logic but made total sense to me. I got lost In my psychosis and by that point, I had completed almost five years of math in less than a year. I was living and breathing math and it took over my life as everything I thought of, was somehow related to all the math I was doing. I’m more of an emotional person as opposed to a logical one and doing so much math drove my quite crazy. I never did complete my last math book as I had found a major mistake in that  book and made an issue about it and brought it to the teacher’s attention. To this day, I don’t know or understand why, however, this offended both my math teachers tremendously and they were quite angry about my making an issue over it. So I decided to write to the school board about it and that was a colossal waste of time as nobody took me seriously or made any attempt to look into the errors in the math books. I became obsessed with this issue. Remember, I was experiencing psychosis so I wasn’t functioning in a primarily sane and logical manner. I was so upset over this that I called the small town newspaper to get the issue out with the delusional hope that it would make the government do something about this. I met with a reporter and shared everything with her and thought I did rather well at verbally expressing myself, as that’s not one of my fortes. Well, she wrote an article about the issue and I only got to read it once it was printed and published. I was in total shock, the reporter completely twisted all my words around and the entire article portrayed me in a terrible light. Right after the article came out, the school called the government department who was sponsoring me to study and informed them that I had missed a week of school. This was not the case whatsoever and I was actually still in class studying when the agent I dealt with in regards to school, called me and let me know I would no longer receive financial assistance to study and I had been cut. This was a week before Christmas. I didn’t even try to fight the issue. I gave up and went into major depression over it. I had to apply for social assistance and I felt like a total failure. Luca was about 2 1/2 at this point. Things were still going well with my taking care of Luca, but soon after I got thrown out of school, that’s when it all started to unravel. I got the idea that if I could get methadone, it would take away my psychosis and get rid of my depression. I figured out a way to achieve this even though I did not need methadone and did not qualify for it at all. I went to see my family doctor and manipulated her into giving me opiates. I don’t know how it worked but I got a week’s supply which was more than what I needed to get on methadone. To get methadone, all I had to do was actually fail a urine test and have traces of opiates in my system and a copy of an opiate prescription.  It was so easy and I got it without question. Luca was soon to be there years old by this point. I quickly started abusing the methadone and also started to smoke weed to get as high as possible and not deal with everything I was feeling.

 

I was abusing the methadone and soon all I did was sit on the couch and nod off. I chained smoked cigarettes and weed. I would nod off so often that I burnt myself, blankets, the couch, furniture and even Luca once. I was so out of it, I kept dropping cigarettes and joints. One day, I dropped a joint and Luca went to pick it up at the same time as me and I burnt his wrist. I didn’t even think at the time to put any ointment on his wound and only kissed his wrist and told him it was OK. A few days later, two workers from social services showed up at my house while Luca was in daycare. The workers questioned me as to what happened. His educator noticed the burn and called them to investigate. I told them I dropped a cigarette and not a joint and how it was an accident, which it was but completely negligent on my part. They informed me that we would be picking Luca up from daycare and would all be going to the hospital so Luca could get checked out from head to toe for signs of physical abuse. I reacted instead of thinking and got angry. Once we picked Luca up from daycare and we were on our way to the hospital, I let Luca know I was angry with him. I also gave him the silent treatment. I feel horrible and this is hard for me share. I don’t know why I acted the way I did but I think it has to do with fear and how I was afraid at being exposed as a negligent parent. Luca was examined head to toe by two doctors while the social workers and I watched behind a two way mirror. They determined that the burn was an accident and not intentional as they measured the wound and it was too small to have been done on purpose. They also concluded that there were not any signs of physical abuse and I was allowed to return home with Luca. Social services stayed in my life from that point on and made almost weekly visits to check up on me. At this stage, I had stopped giving Luca a bath daily and would only give him one when I couldn’t put if off any longer. I would not brush his teeth for up to a week a time. I would scream and yell every time he tried to get my attention and time. I stopped cooking homemade meals and fed him frozen dinners. I let the house get messy and dirty. I would tell him repeatedly that mommy was busy when he wanted to talk to me or play with me. I completely ignored my responsibilities and chose to abuse methadone and weed and live in as much oblivion as possible.

 

By December of that year I was so exhausted from the constant use and abuse of drugs that I decided to go and get help at the hospital. I had no one to take care of Luca for me so I had to place him temporarily in a foster home. I thought that I would have no issues in getting him back after as I had placed him voluntarily as opposed to him being removed from my care. I had no idea at the time that December 17th, 2011 would be the last day I would ever have the privilege and gift of raising Luca. I actually remember feeling such a sense of relief after he was gone. Today, I have an enormous amount of shame and guilt over my blatant disregard of the whole situation. I spent 17 days in the hospital and upon my release, I had to appear before a judge concerning Luca. The judge informed me that I was too fragile and unfit to care for Luca. She scheduled a review for six months time. I was in total shock and numb. I sat on the couch alone all day and rocked back and forth and cried. I felt that I didn’t get a second chance and was seriously angry with social services. Looking back, I know what I was really feeling was shame and guilt and regret at having been made to answer for my actions through losing Luca. At the next court hearing the judge informed me yet again that I was too fragile. I was told we would review the situation again in another six month’s time. Another six months go by and social services inform me that Luca did not want to come back home with me. I then had to think long and hard as to what would be in the best interest of Luca. I spent the next three months in constant emotional turmoil, however, I finally made the decision to place Luca permanently with the great foster family he was with.

 

Making the decision to place Luca was the hardest decision I ever had to make and I still wish I could’ve got him back and make things right, however, I realized that he deserved to be with a big family as opposed to isolated with me. Also, as far as foster homes go, I found a great one. He is on a farm surrounded by animals and the foster parents take care of him as if he were one of their own. They are even more than happy to let Luca stay on after he’s reached the age of 18 if he wants to study or even to work on the farm. This gives me some comfort. I’ve made many mistakes and I’ve paid a heavy price for those mistakes and I’m still in the process of grieving and I’m not sure I’ll ever stop grieving, however, I try to stay positive, even though it’s hard at times because of my choices and actions, and how terrible I feel about the whole situation. I acted in ways that are so uncharacteristic of my true nature and although I didn’t do it intentionally, the universe paid me back harshly and I truly feel I deserve to have not even got a second chance at making it right. I can’t forgive myself and that is something I need to work on. The responsibility of raising a child is a great one as well as a gift and a privilege, I lost it all, and I will have to face myself everyday for the rest of my life knowing I threw it away. That’s a bitter and jagged little pill to swallow.

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4 Comments

  1. James Warren August 5, 2015

    Thank you so much for showing such amazing courage in sharing your story. While many others may not yet be able to talk about it the way you have, I’m sure many others can relate to your experiences. We wish you and Luca all the very best.

    Reply
  2. vanologism August 5, 2015

    I truly appreciate you’re kind words. It was a very emotional experience wriitng this and I hope it can help someone, even if only one person, who may be in similar circumstances. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  3. Paula Puryear Martin August 5, 2015

    Vanologism, This beautiful, painful story is a reminder of why we tell our stories, and why we tell them honestly, with compassion for our frail, human selves. Wishing you continued healing. Your honesty is breathtaking, and the writing is beautiful as well.

    Reply
  4. vanologism August 24, 2015

    Paula, for some reason the notification of you’re comment went to my spam and I only just saw it..I apologize. I truly appreciate you’re compassionate words. I’m working on forgiving myself but its so hard. I have so much guilt and shame about the whole situation. Although it was painful, writing honestly about it was therapuetic.

    Reply

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