What have you lost, what are you grieving?
Originally I thought this was the second hardest prompt — but I sat with it a little longer and realized it was the hardest. Why is that, you wonder? The year 2013 has brought far too much loss and grief to my family in so many ways. We lost two members of our family — both of Brian’s parents within 3 weeks of each other. A state agency forced Brian out of the home and took our oldest child a mere 2 days later after the urgings of one social worker who seemingly has horrendous judgment and credibility in the first place. I nearly lost my job due to lack of transportation and reliable childcare. We have gone practically bankrupt in an effort to maintain two households and an insane increase in gas consumption. All in all, this year has been a struggle.
It’s incredibly painful to sit with these feelings of grief and loss. To have the father of my children removed from our home because one person wrongfully believes he is this fearsome monster ready to murder babies on a whim? To watch the tears and hear the sobs and pleas from my children to have their daddy come home? To struggle with questions of my oldest’s whereabouts, safety, and comfort? To struggle with fears that my oldest is being mistreated or misinformed? To wonder and fear when they might prey upon the two sweet children still in my care? To feel helpless to protect my family from an overly powerful agency that seems to lack the checks and balances enforced for nearly every other agency? To feel helpless to the bureaucratic justice system? It’s been so incredibly painful and torturous. I’m shocked, frankly, that people still look at me and see a youthful woman because I feel as thought this year has aged me at least a decade. Sleep is difficult to come by, even more difficult to sacrifice each morning. Feeding myself has become a chore. Taking the time to write and be with myself feels selfish and unproductive. Keeping up with the many responsibilities that come with forced single motherhood plagues me daily. Dishes. Laundry. Cooking. Working. Shuttling. Homework. Bathing. My lust for life has been dampened by people who really aren’t acquainted with me or my family. While I believe I may have finally broken through the concrete wall in a recent meeting this month, I still feel like they don’t quite grasp the severity of the harm they’ve done to this family. They want us to believe that we are evil — to shout that we are saved by them. But why should I give into their desires when I know they barely know us? Why should I let them win when so much is riding on my passion to fight and nurture my family as I see fit? Why should I let them treat us the same as drug addicts, abusers, and neglecters who simply don’t care a bit about the precious lives they’ve created? Why should I let them demean us and leave us feeling as though we’re wronging our children by acknowledging that at least one needs some extra help in order to thrive? Shouldn’t we be commended for seeking help for our son? Shouldn’t we be lauded for recognizing his cries for help? I don’t understand it. And I think that’s what hurts the most — not understanding how the majority can see things for what they are while a small subgroup in a state agency twists things to suit their agenda. It makes no sense, and it pains me that I’m still fighting to win back that which matters most. I see that several important figures are realizing that we need our family reunited, but it doesn’t stop me from grieving the lost time that we will never get back. It doesn’t stop me from grieving the loss of 5 family birthdays together. It doesn’t stop me from grieving the loss of 4 seasons together. It doesn’t stop my from grieving one little bit — and I’m not sure how long it will take to heal the hurt they have caused.