Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Love Your Children

"Let's draw your house." I said as I pulled out some paper and crayons.  "What does your house look like?"
"It has four windows, two down here and two up here; oh and a door!"

I drew the picture as directed. "Okay now where are you?"
"In here" he said pointing to one of the windows.
"Is that your room?"
"Yep, I have a TV in my room!  I like watching movies." he said with excitement.
"That's awesome!" I replied.
"Who else is in your house?" I questioned.
"My mom and my brother- they are over here" he said pointing to another window.  "And the bad guy."
"A bad guy?" I asked pretending surprise. "Where should I put the bad guy?"
"Right here, in my bedroom."

I continued the conversation, being careful not to lead the conversation with the 4-year-old boy I was interviewing.  As the questions continued, his answers confirmed our suspicion and reports of sexual abuse that had occurred when he was still living with his mother.

I hated this part of my job.  I hated finding out what awful and often unimaginable things happened to young innocent children.  Abuse, neglect, drugs, absolute filth; I saw it all during my time working for DCFS (Division of Child and Family Services).  Parents acting out on kids, kids reacting and acting out on other kids-- I was there to try and stop the cycle.

I got good at shutting it all out, at turning off my emotions and almost pretending like it wasn't real, though I dealt with and treated it as real as it really was.  I learned to hold in the tears, to shut of my emotions.  When I "retired", the dam broke, tears coming so easily, cheesy commercials, during a sweet song....

Thankfully over time my emotions regulated back to a more normal and controllable level.

I worked this job before I had children which I believed helped in shutting it off as I would come home to just Eric.  If I had come home and saw my own little babies and thought of the things that were happening to babies out there just like them, I think I would have lost it.

I don't talk of my previous job too often as I try and keep those memories locked safely tucked away. But sometimes things happen that swing that vault wide open and it is all I can do to not scream, to not break down crying and to not pull my kids in close to never let them go.

But I know... I know I can't do this- so instead I love them, I teach them, I empower them with knowledge of who they are and who they can be.  I teach them about lies and tricks that may be told and that they can say no.  I try to really listen to them so that they know they can always talk to me no matter what big bad scary things may happen.  I am there for them, I would give my life for them.

I try to close that vault, try to have faith and a prayer always in my heart that they will be okay.  Love your children.  And please if you know of something or even suspect something may be happening to a child speak up and say something as every child needs someone to watch over them.

Linking up with Shell

And if you need a smile after reading this-you can always go read my 10 Things to Smile About list from yesterday.


  1. What a heartbreaking story. Hearing about all the terrible things that happen to children terrifies me. Like you, I just want what's best for my son and to hold him tight and never let him go. Unfortunately, we just can't hold on to them forever, but always listening to them is a great form of protection. Thank you for sharing a bit of your previous career. It is a good thing to talk about. ~Xiomara of Equis Place visiting from PYHO

  2. My heart sank. That would be so hard. Poor little guy! I'm glad you shared it though because it must be hard to lock every memory from your old job away.

  3. Heartbreaking. I can't even imagine. I can't even watch tv shows where kids get hurt even though I know it's not real.

  4. Sad. It pains my heart to know that some children out there are being abused on a daily basis.

  5. I can't believe there are people out there who do this to kids. Sadly some of the homes those kids are placed into aren't much better... people are just using those kids for more money. I hate greed! And I hate children being mistreated!

    A Friend of mine's sister is a foster parent. She had a 2 year old who weighed 18 lbs. They wound up taking the girl away from her and put her back with her mom, and listening to the story of her mom, sometimes it isn't best to leave the child with their relatives like the courts say it is.

  6. This post is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the tough and brutal subject of abuse. Thank you, Emmy. I'm so glad you shared this story, and very happy to pass it on, so others can read it too.

    1. Thank you so much! And yes as difficult as the subjects like these can be, sometimes you really do need to not be silent about them.

  7. Breaks my heart that any child should have to know anything but simply being a child. Hunger, finances m.i.a parents are horrible but sexual abuse sickens me. It is unimaginable.

    My SIL worked for DHS for years & has awful stories like this. It tainted the way she looks at the world, especially since she has had kids.

  8. Not an easy job, but so thankful for all of the people who help protect and restore young children who are in bad situations.

  9. There is so much pain here. I'm glad we know where to find healing for our souls.

  10. That had to be such a heartbreaking job. I think you're right in it being easier to do pre-kids.

  11. You are one of those amazing people that work in this field. Children need people like you, like us, to never be quiet.

  12. Utterly heartbreaking. There are some things I will never understand - and this is one of them. But God has a different perspective and sees what has happened to those people who do these things. It's such an ugly, ugly cycle. So thankful for people like you who stepped in to stop it.

    Makes me even more diligent about my child's safety and who he interacts with. Thankful there is so much good in the world to counter some of this.

  13. Oh Emmy...this breaks my heart into a million pieces. Of all the things in the world, children are the most precious, the most innocent and to know that they have to endure things like this is unbelievable. My dad was police officer for years and he handle it all really well...except when a child was involved. Thanks you for gives us all something to think about.