This topic is quite close to my heart. I delve into the darkness of suffering with mental health problems and being a parent.
I myself haven’t experienced this but a close friend of mine has. While battling with her demons she faced a difficult decision to put her children into temporary foster care to get some help herself so that she could feel better raising her children knowing that she had support behind her, but instead ended up losing her children in the process.
This friend of mine i’ve known for many years, she may have had her problems but she has always been a good Mum. She did a selfless act and realised she needed help and support with her problems but instead got punished for it.
In my eyes pushing a person who’s already struggling with themselves by no fault of their own is disgusting behaviour. How could removing the one thing that they are living for help their situation at all? It just makes it worse. They may have had concerns but they could have took better steps to support my friend which is what she had asked for.
I watched over the years how this beautiful friend of mine struggled with herself, even self harming and I just knew when she was having a bad time. It was like she changed into a completely different person. Again this was also no fault of her own as she has bipolar disorder and split personality.
After getting all the recommended help and medication, she still lost the battle to win back her children despite continuing to fight further. I understand authorities such as social services are meant to be there to protect children from harm and help families if they need it but what happens when things become corrupted, and instead of helping someone like my friend, they punish her because of a bad upbringing and place concern where it wasn’t needed.
My friend even went to court to try and get extra visitation with her children, even suggesting she have a social worker with her to put their mind at ease, but instead this was declined.
I watched as my friend broke down because she missed her children. They were her world and there was nothing she could do about it. She still sees her eldest daughter who is around the same age as Faith but only every 8 weeks. In my eyes it’s not fair on her daughter as she has been asking to see her Mum a lot more. As a child being told ‘no’ to such a casual thing, she has been retaliating quite badly because of this.
My friend also has a son who is around the same age as Wyatt but she doesn’t get to see him at all because he got adopted, which also means her daughter doesn’t get to see her brother. As you could imagine at 7 years old it can lead to a lot of frustration, upset and unanswered questions.
This is not yet the worst of my story. She had a third child, another daughter in fact but because of her mental health problems they decided that despite doing everything they told her to, like getting help and being on the correct medication (which even got lowered because she was doing so much better than previous years ), she may be at risk to her daughter and took her baby girl away at just 5 days old. Such a cruel thing to do to a person who had just given birth!
She needed support. She even suggested going to a Mother and baby unit but they declined that there and then too. I honestly believe they were out to get her, especially as she cared for her daughter for 5 days in the hospital and received great reports from the midwives how well she was coping. Unfortunately however these didn’t get taken into consideration but instead they used her mental health assessment from 4 years previously when she was in a bad way.
She still sees her youngest but still has to wait every 8 weeks before she does and usually her visitation gets cut short because her daughter occasionally becomes unsettled and cries. She’s a baby and if you don’t let a baby see their Mum or Dad for a certain amount of time, they’re not going to know who they are and will get fussy – it’s happened plenty of times with Kiiara when she doesn’t know someone.
I think there should be extra support out there for parents with mental health problems. They shouldn’t have to suffer in silence because of worry they will have their children removed from their care. Procedures should be put into place to help families. They shouldn’t be punished for having problems that are beyond their control.
I honestly believe that removing a child or children from their parents is an unforgiving act. They are not possessions – they are human beings. It affects parents as well as the child emotionally for the rest of their lives.
It’s all about pulling together, getting support anyway possible, not just going the easy route and removing the child/children.
I understand in dire circumstances where people are neglecting or abusing their children, then action has to be taken to protect them but this post is about mental health and the unfairness of the system.
This is dedicated to all the parents out there who suffer with mental health problems. Remember you are brave, you are good parents and even on your worst days, those children love you for who you are! Having mental health problems does not make you any less of a parent.
Be proud of yourself. You are battling demons nobody knows about and you made it through the day.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
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