Friday, November 7, 2008

I Am a Chicken Shit and Keyboard Courage

Dear mom in the dressing room next to me today,

I should have called DSS today and had your 6 month old son taken away from you today. I sat there in my dressing room with my phone in my hand, ready to call 911, ready to just hold the phone up in the air and let the dispatcher hear you and your friend scream obscenities at your son. You were mad at your son because he woke up while you were shopping in a brightly lit store after only sleeping 20 minutes. You were mad because he had dared to poop in his diaper and you had neglected to bring another one in the store. Your friend told you to "just let him sit in his own shit, that'll teach him." HE WAS A BABY!!

You were mad because your husband called you for the fourth time that day and you refused to answer the phone. You yelled obscenities at the unanswered phone. You were mad when your son started to cry when you were yelling obscenities at him, and you started yelling louder when he started crying harder when your friend joined in the yelling.

You told him you couldn't have a life with him. You couldn't even go shopping and have 20 minutes to yourself without hearing him cry or dealing with his shit. You told him that nobody wanted him, that you were the only one that would take care of him, no one would help. No one would give you a break. You were tired.

You are tired and I am a chicken shit.

I know you are tired.

I know.

I should have knocked on the door and told you and your friend to go and get some coffee and I would take care of the boy. You didn't know me, but I suspect you wouldn't have cared at that point. But I didn't. I was afraid of you yelling at me. I was afraid of you taking your anger at my interference out on your child. I was afraid of getting involved.

If you truly hate your son, I have three words: Safe Haven Laws. Use it. No one will judge you.

If you love your son and are just too tired to cope, seek help. PLEASE. Every single mom has days where she hates her child. None of us wants to admit it because what if that is the day something horrible happens and we can never take it back, but we all have those days. Those days when we don't know how we can be the mommy one more minute without prying our eyes out with a screwdriver. You are not alone.

I know you will never read this. But I should have done something and now I can't. People google the strangest things and read blogs looking for support, so I hope karma leads someone here one day who needs to hear these words so I can right my wrong.


Muddy Waters


Anonymous said...

There is nothing you could have done, don't beat yourself up. If your DSS is anyting like ours, yelling and screaming at a child aren't enough for intervention.

Still, like you, my heart breaks for that child... and frankly, him mom, too. She needs help. So does the baby.

Life sucks...

Anonymous said...

Man, have I ever been there. It takes a boatload of courage to step into such a situation and I admire you for even thinking about it.

But Charlitan is right. DSS wouldn't even have shown up and 911 can't so anything about psychological abuse.

You've got two choices: you can steel yourself and walk away or you can steel yourself and get involved.

I can't usually get involved with stuff like this because even though I am the "mom" I am also a man. So when it's a mom, I typically but out. But if it's a man, I have no problem saying something.

By the way, thanks for linking to my blog, Death By Children.

Anonymous said...

Your good deed has been righted. Thank you.

Diana said...

I think you have more than made up for your omission by telling this story. Those of us who read it may now have the courage to act on our own - I know I will.

God, there is nothing more heartbreaking to me than someone abusing a sweet, innocent baby. I have a 6 month-old myself and I actually cried when I read this.

Anonymous said...

There is a woman who lives in the condominium next to mine. She has three children, one 12, one 4, one 18 months. Her boyfriend is in jail for aggravated assault.

For a few months last year I babysat for her children. They were all sweet and the two oldest always wanted to help. They were amazed by my ability to cook something other than ramen or mac and cheese. One day she fired me because I was costing her too much in diapers by changing the baby every time he soiled himself.

Every day I hear her screaming at her children through the paper thin walls and everyday I make a report to CPS. I have called 911, I have recorded her screaming and banging, I have called and gone in so many times to file reports that the secretary knows me by name.

I have dreams about kidnapping those three boys and giving them up under Safe Haven laws as though they were my own. I worry all the time about what kind of damage she is doing to them. People ask me why I bother after all this time. My response is always "If I don't, who will?"