I’ve seen many many posts recently about social services baby snatching etc. And I want to share my experience as mum whose child was removed.
When my son was 11 months old, he was removed from my care by social services. He wasn’t snatched, he wasn’t stolen. Though I spent years believing he was. It’s only been the last two or three years I’ve seen things clear enough to be able to accept blame for my own actions.
When ‘James’ was born, I developed, rapidly, post natal depression. But, listening to horror stories about how SS took babies, I didn’t tell anyone. I hid it. Within weeks the PND developed into post partum psychosis. I used to attack my partner. I used to self harm. I saw and heard things that weren’t there. I couldn’t bear to be near my baby, because I thought him crying meant he hated me.
But I would physically attack family who tried to care for him, from a belief they wanted to steal or hurt him. For months, I stopped washing myself, stopped cleaning the house, stopped bathing the baby and only wet wipe washed him. I fed him, cleaned his bum, and did the bare minimum. He became sad, pale and withdrawn. My partner at the time, did his very best to try to help me and care for the baby. But with me threatening to kill myself and cutting myself and seeing things, he was so dedicated to my needs, James didn’t get the interaction he needed.
He was often wearing the same clothes, because I wouldn’t change them. For some reason I got it into my head that they were lucky clothes and if I washed them he wouldn’t be protected from the things I was seeing and hearing. This all happened when James was around 6 months old. Health visitors started noticing things weren’t right, I refused to engage. Told them everything was fine and to basically fuck off. Then, at 11 months old, social services turned up took one look at the situation, and took James into care. I spent two years fighting them rather than actually working with them. I believed I was wronged by the system and they’d seen me as an easy target so snatched my baby for their bonuses. Name a SS conspiracy, I believed it.
I spent the next four years after his removal, working on myself. Repairing what was broken. I dug myself out of that hole. My son was never returned, and rightfully so. In time, I had a daughter, six years after James removal. I spent three months in a parenting assessment unit. Cctv staff 24/7 never unsupervised etc. I passed that assessment with flying colours. Including the psych assessment. Three years after that, I had another son. This time social services didn’t even feel the need to be involved, such is the extent of my recovery.
It took 5 years for me to realise my son was neglected in my care. It took me 5 years to accept I was wrong and not SS. It took me years to stabilise myself and to be the mentally competent person I am today
What happened to me hurts. It breaks my heart. However, it probably breaks James more, wherever he may be.
I’m sharing my story to show that when you read these horror stories about SS, there’s always two sides to the story. And the story you often hear, is that of grieving parents who can’t see where they went wrong, and think loving their child is enough.