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Jul 12, 2010

And they lived happily ever after...

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. 
~Gilda Radner~

We all want perfect endings right? The above quote has always rung true to me, because I have always hoped for the perfect endings. Hoped that no matter how dire the situation appeared that I would still get the perfect, fairytale ending.

No one likes to think that fairytale endings don't exist. Take the tragic accident that I blogged about last time: no one likes to think of a situation ending that way. But it did.

To my particular distress, I discovered that DOCS  (Department of Child Services) had prior involvement in this little boy's life. The same department that had done such an appalling job on my case nearly 8+ years ago, had an opportunity to help this little boy and his parents, but obviously did not, or at least in any manner that could be classed as successful. This to me, screams that they have not learnt from the mistakes of my case, but this time, they weren't as lucky, and a child actually died.

I had wanted to believe in the power of perfect endings: to believe that DOCS  had kept their word and learnt from the mistakes made in my case, and in other cases since then. Children should not be dying because a system is failing them -  particularly a system that so publicly promises to protect them. I shouldn't have to hear the same excuses for the same mistakes over and over again from this department.

This all makes me extremely angry: and frustrated. I feel like all the work that I have done throughout my life has been useless. I have always believed that the reason that I survived my father's abuse to this point is because I am meant to be here to publicize the appalling state of our DOCS, as well as educate the general public about abuse. I was meant to be the voice for the many kids that don't survive the system's mistakes... the children who die alone, often (directly or indirectly) by the actions of those that are supposed to care for them: their parents or guardians.

I have often been asked why I cannot just 'move on' and stop talking about the dark side of the world we inhabit. The answer is simple:  I cannot move on whilst children are dying preventable deaths. I cannot leave them behind, and nor should I have to. It may not be a comfortable topic to discuss, but silence is what allows abuse to flourish and children to die.

No one to turn to, oh, how dare you
How does a child get himself out of harm's way?
A price no one should pay

Can't you see the tears they're crying
Don't you care your kids are dying?
From the senseless torment you put them through



Jo said...

That story is so heartbreaking, and so is yours. I have worked in the public school system for 8 years now, and have little faith in any child services program. There is so much red tape, and so little that actually gets done. And unfortunately, children pay the price. Which is doubly heartbreaking for an infertile, who would gladly sweep all the abused and unwanted children up into her arms.

I get it.


shadowspring said...

In America things are not much better. CPS does try, but they often fail. I used to believe the horror stories about kids being ripped unjustly from loving parents, and since we are all capable of mistakes I am sure it happens on occasion.

But I believe there are far more stories of children being left to fend for themselves in horrendous homes, and no one ever hears about those stories until it's too late, if ever. >:[

Keep talking, Princess, and don't think that because your efforts haven't totally eradicated abuse that your voice isn't heard. I know that I am more ready to intervene, and persevere in my efforts, after reading your story and others like yours.

Your story makes plain that "live and let live" is no philosophy to go by when it concerns children. Your story makes plain the importance of always believing and fighting for any child who has the courage to speak up. Your story encourages us all to not be so blind, and dare to ask questions when we are suspicious.

I hope many other readers have made similar changes to the way they approach children, child abuse, CPS, etc.


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