Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tonight I Cried

I think most of you who know me, know that I keep my writing pretty light. My husband calls me a dreamer at times with my head in the clouds. Ever the optimist. But every so often something touches at my heart and I just cry out at the injustice that exists in our fallen world. Tonight this video was such an example. It's the kind of movie that you don't want to watch, you want to pretend that this kind of abuse doesn't really happen, but it does.
Over the past 15 years that I've been involved in schools, I've gotten to know children whose only safe haven is the time they enter the school building until the time that they leave. I've known children whose lives are so twisted that the concept of just relaxing and enjoying a simple game of Simon Says is so foreign that they can't get that right. I remember one boy in particular, 5 years old, who was so angry because of the life he lived at home that most mornings we set up a cozy chair for him in the book area of the classroom, and let him hug a pillow. We coached him in anger management, because let's face it, you aren't going to learn your letters and numbers when you mind is so completely elsewhere.
I remember my first call to a social worker as a student teacher in Victoria, I was so nervous and so upset that my hands shook. The school counsellor led me through it every step of the way and gave me a big hug after. I was so upset, because child abuse is something you hear about in the news that you can turn off...when you are face to face with it with a child you know, it's an awakening. I still think about that little girl and wonder where she is now and pray that her life is better now at 17 than it was when she was 5.
Unfortunately, that first phone call was not to be my last, and dealing with social workers has become a regular occurance in my career. I wish it were not so. Perhaps though, we can each take some time to remember these childen and move to do something about it. Not just brush it aside and pretend that it doesn't exist, but work towards a change. Please take 5 minutes out of your day to watch this video. The more we can be aware of these little ones who suffer in silence, perhaps we can pevent another such tragedy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Child abuse comes with many faces. Through the years I'm sure it has affected everyone we know .... they know of a child that has been abused, neglected or unwanted. In my nursing career I've seen alot in various forms...starting while I was a student nurse on a practicum with public health ...a child born - was then eight mons old and considered unadoptable being conceived by the union of the grandfather and thirteen year old granddaughter. On pediatrics a child whose hands were burned on the element of an electric stove as 'punishment'..the rings clearly visible ...in the OR a child of three with a condylamata...a 12 year old boy who could not hold stool because of the effects of homosexual activity by a male relative...a three year old with a fractured femur from being thrown by a 'family' member in the home...and then there are the female children one I remember being 8 or 9 under anaesthetic to be vaginally examined by the pediatrician for penetration. Then there was the ultimate challenge this week...a 28 week fetus delivery by C-section whose mother didn't know she was pregnant until a half hour before surgery...yes, she was a drug addict with an overwhelming infection and the surgery was needed for baby's survival. This was child number eight. The baby was born quite flat and weak with not a sign of a breath of life until resusitated by the pediatrician. The mother didn't even ask the condition of the babe after delivery and tried to get up off the table to leave while being sutured. That little babe was so red and pliably rubbery...so sad to see someone so young enter this world with many strikes against him. God Bless the NICU nurses at BC Childrens hospital who care for him and others like him...and God Bless the mother whose history is oblivious to us but may indeed herself been a victim of child abuse. Such a vicious cycle....Mom

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