Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Cannot Stop Thinking About This

My heart feels like it has a rock lodged in it today. My stomach is heavy and it aches. I just cannot get this story out of my head.

Horrified, I read this story. And I cried. I wept for that poor little boy. I wept for all abused children. I wept for myself because I feel helpless.

I was abused as a child. I was abused by my real father and I was helpless then.

Baby P was the same age as my son when he died. When I think of what it would take to cause the injuries his broken little body had endured, I hurt all over. I become simultaneously angry and afraid. How do you do that to an innocent child? What are you thinking when you do whatever it is that would cause his finger tips to be sliced off? At some point while you are inflicting injury so devastating to a toddler that would cause his tooth to end up in his colon do you think you've already headed this far in, you might as well finish?

I'm sick, so horrifically sick. I thought long and hard about posting this, because this is something that is going to haunt me forever. Do I want to do that to others? Sadly, I have to. We have to know that systems fail and that children are being hurt beyond comprehension.

I think back to last week. Jason and I were sitting at lunch and he heard a woman say to her child something along the lines of he better sit still or she would beat him down. She said the words "beat you down".

He was a toddler. And while I can't know if she would carry the threat out, the mere words alone stunned me and sickened me. I sat useless and scared. And what did I do? I did nothing. I walked away. I've thought about it every day since then. I wish I could have scooped him up in my arms and covered his face with the kisses he deserved.

I did nothing.

It's only as I read this that I realize why I have not slept well since.

What if that little boy ends up like Baby P? What if I had done something and the authorities were called in but they were easily put off by chocolate being smeared on his bruised face to hide the battering?

After reading Baby P's story I felt empty. Never before had I wanted to rush home to my children and hug them until they squealed for me to stop as I did after reading that.

Later I saw a picture of Baby P. Tell me? How could anyone not only beat this face but do it so often and so hard that life left his tortured body?

When I see that face, I see my son and I think what force would it take for me to break his ribs? What could possibly make me so angry that I could cause his ear to be separated from his head?

I don't know.

I'll never know.

I will also never forgive myself for walking way from that woman who threatened her son.


That Chick Over There said...

Oh God. That's so horrible.

They could have just given that baby to someone. To me. To anyone. There are so many people who would have loved him and wanted him.

God. Tragedy.

Pam said...

Things like this seriously make me want to vomit....I instantly cry everytime I hear something like this. How in the world do you ever do this to any child- much less your own child?? I will never uderstand- or forgive- a world that harms sweet, innocent, children. I just don't get it.

Immoral Matriarch said...

Those stories make me sick to my stomach. And I think the same things you do - I look at my kids and think wow, how hard would I have to hit them to do damage like that. What MONSTERS.

Lily's Mommy said...

I know there was a case recently in the news in the US. The little girl was beaten by man (stepdad? mom's boyfriend?) and when it turned out she was dead on the floor, he cut off her head with hedgetrimmers and stuffed the body in a garbage bag. The mind fucking boggles.

There was one last year or the year before that still haunts me. It just makes me cry to think about it. The man watching the toddler, knocked her out then put her outside in diapers and a shirt, in single digit temperatures. When they found the body, there was evidence she had woken up because there were teeny footprints in the snow beside her. AWW fuck there I go.

It's hard, sweetie. What do you do? Do you go over and say something? What if they take that out on the kid when they get home. "quit being such a baby in public". You know? It's one thing if you know who the parent or child is. You could at least call it in.

Maybe the best thing would be to walk up and tell her what a wonderful son she has and that you hope she appreciates him. I don't know, it's late and I'm typing through tears. Sigh.

O'Neal (The woman in charge around here) said...

I am SO totally with you on this, I even blogged about it last week after the morning local news just got to be too much! The quirky thing about it was that they were all little boys, and having one myself it the crap out of me! He is almost 10 yrs old and to this day I still won't let him go into a public restroom by himself - He is just WAY too precious to me to take ANY chances!

And those Moms (& Dad's & other caretakers) should be thrown in prison indefinitely to suffer. From what I've heard the convicts don't really smile upon anybody that messes with kids!


It hurts my head and heart to even aknowledge that horrible things like this happens.Any sick bastard that can do this to an innocent child deserves the same done, I truly beleive in an eye for an eye.
Things like this keep me awake at night also, and the "beat you down"
comment i have heard similar threats in various places , and I just make eye contact and glare at the idiot.


It hurts my head and heart to even aknowledge that horrible things like this happens.Any sick bastard that can do this to an innocent child deserves the same done, I truly beleive in an eye for an eye.
Things like this keep me awake at night also, and the "beat you down"
comment i have heard similar threats in various places , and I just make eye contact and glare at the idiot.

Anonymous said...

I feel similarly about child abuse and, really, any abuse that involves harming something helpless and innocent. I'm a social worker, too, and I have had to think really hard about my own feelings about people who abuse children, because they are very sick. But a different kind of sick, you know? Because there are depressed, grieving, alcoholic people and there are people who attack/molest/harm children. Not even similar, although a child molester/abuser may have those symptoms. Most of them have been abused themselves.

And, sadly, I'm not sure how much could have been done if you had reacted to the woman who told her child she was going to "beat him down." You're writing about it, though, and hopefully others are reading this and taking something away from it. Our country does not invest enough into it's children---the foster care system is a nightmare. Kids often experience abuse in their foster homes, too. And given that you experienced abuse, too, you know how important it is that these situations be addressed.

So sad.

Anonymous said...

How horrible!

Betsey Booms said...

After writing this I've done further reading into the tragedy of this sweet baby.

His stepfather did things such as pull his finger nails and toenails out with pliers and force him to respond like a trained animal to snapping his fingers.

Baby P has siblings as well and it's reported that his mother shows no remorse.

I keep digging and I keep reading. I want every word of Baby P's story burned into my soul.

I never want to forget or feel better about this.

Dirty Pirate Hooker said...

Once when I was driving down the street, long before I had my punk, I was stopped at a red light. In the car in front of me I saw a man behind the wheel and he turned around and started hitting the child in the backseat. A child still in a carseat. Hitting her with such force that a grown man would have experienced pain. I got out of my car, walked over, opened his door and punched him in the face. I broke his nose. I walked away still feeling horrible because I had broken the nose of that little girl's daddy right in front of her. I was no better than him in her eyes. I often think of what I taught her. Did I teach her that violence is ok? Or did the intended message get through to her? Did she see that there are people out there who will stand up for her and protect her? I'll never know. But I will always wonder.

Miss Merry Sunshine said...

Wow DPH you are my hero. This is why I cannot, CANNOT watch the news. This kind of thing makes my head and heart hurt at the same way. I'd like to think the Mom was not being serious...just a moment of weakness and lost her head for a moment? We all have times where we regret things we say so I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt because even thought I know it happens I just can't believe it actually happens ya know?

Anonymous said...

I have to confess, I could not read the whole story. My stomach hurts, my heart is heavy and tears are flooding down my face. And that little boy is so precious!!
I don't understand how anyone can hurt any small child. It is just disgusting.
You are doing honor to that little boy by bringing up his story. Hopefully it will make at least one person stop and think before striking there child.
Now...I must go and gaze at my lil one...

Maggie, Dammit said...

Oh, baby. Ohhhhhh you. My heart is breaking for all of this.

Vodka Mom said...

My heart is broken for that little boy. (and for you. definitely for you. )

Wenderina said...

These stories make me feel so helpless. I found little relief, but some solace in the recent sentencing of Nixzmary Brown's mother. The article quoted the judge as saying this: Speaking of that night in January, Justice DiMango said: “By your own statements, she gasped for air, moaning, and called for you twice until she died. You, Ms. Santiago, ignored these desperate calls.

“You may not have delivered the fatal blow, but the jury found it was in your power to prevent the effects of it,” she continued. “Were it not for your failure to act, Nixzmary Brown would have probably not died from that blow on that day.”

She got 43 years of prison time. It's still not enough. She has 5 other children. God I hope someone takes better care of them than she did.