This is probably going to be one of the most difficult posts I’ve written ever. I’m terrified of not being able to describe and tell the story the way it is and how it is affecting me. There is so many factors in this that is still burns a hole in me.
I guess I need to start with Jacob. My son. He is just one month away from turning 3 and is the most amazing thing I have in this world. I feel so blessed I am allowed to be his mother, to raise him and get to know him. My heart is endless when it comes to this little boy and he is the one thing in this world who could truly destroy me. I believe I could cope with anything – apart from losing him. If you are a parent, you understand all of this. You feel exactly the same for your kids. Honestly, there is NO limit for our kids.
When he was born I took Jacob to an anti-natal group locally to meet many other mums who had newborn babies. I was 21. I was totally new to being a mum and it was amazing to meet other people who were first time mums as well. I went every week and made friends with some girls who were older than me, but also first timers. We connected and eventually became a tight little group of 6 mums. We even made a facebook group were we’d schedule all our outings with our bubbas.
We celebrated all their 1st birthdays together and their 2nd. By this time I had noticed that Jake was a little bit behind the other children, especially with his language. I had great support from the health visitors and also the children organization we have locally. Me and Jacob attended several groups, meetings and classes and were making progress. Slow, but progress none the less. A couple of the girls from my friends circle were also really supportive and they helped me with finding local nursery’s. Everyone agreed that going to nursery and a being away from the comfort zone of mummy could really kick start his wish to speak and communicate. Those of you who have children with learning disabilities, big or small, understands the mental strain and guilt I was feeling. Was it my fault he was a behind? Could I have done better? What could I improve now? I asked myself a billion questions. I felt lucky I had a great support system in place around us. When us girls took our children out to play I forgot about worrying about Jacob.
Then came February 2014. Me and two of the mums took our children to an animal park, and they absolutely loved it! Jake had a blast! We made fantastic memories and I took loads of pictures with Jake.
A week later I get a phone call. It was a lady from the social services. Which is the child protection agency in Britain. At first I wondered if she had the right number, but she had both me and Jacob by name. She asked if we had been to the animal park on such and such date, which I replied that we had. Then she told me that they had received an anonymous concern phone call about Jacob. I have never in my life felt so sick to my stomach on a phone before. She told me that the anonymous caller had seen me being violent with him and using foul language towards him.
I was completely and utterly gobsmacked. I had absolutely no clue what she was on about. The lady on the phone asked tons of questions about me, our family, our support community and just about everything else. I told her about Jacob’s learning disability and all the work we had been doing the past 6 months to help him. This phone call was well over an hour long and I just felt more and more numb. It ended with the lady telling me she didn’t believe there was a reason for concern. It had mainly been a routine call, since there was nothing else on our records. She said she felt comfortable with all the key workers around us, health visitor, speech therapist, nursery staff – if there was something wrong they would pick up on it, she said.
Then she asked if I had any idea on who could have made the call. I explained I had been there with two friends and I didn’t remember seeing anyone else that could have known me and Jacob. Of course it wasn’t my friends…right?
After we hung up, I cried. Like I have never ever cried before. I bawled my eyes out. Then I called my husband. Who was as surprised as I was. Then I called my dad, and my mum. Then my mother in law. They all said the same thing. I had not done anything wrong. I wasn’t a bad mother. And I cried some more. I was so hurt. That night I couldn’t sleep. I was just racking my brains. What had I done for someone to make such call? Had I done something that someone had misunderstood? I felt I had come real close to losing Jacob! (Now I know that is an overreaction, but that’s how it felt at the time.) Someone had threatened everything I treasured the most in this life.
Over the next couple of days I keep wondering who, who knew me and Jake by name. I just couldn’t get peace. So I decided to talk to my friends.
I made a post on our facebook page telling them about the phone call and what the lady had said. Honestly, I poured my heart out. Then I begged them, not to be them. I couldn’t handle it if was them. One of the girls that had been with us on that trip was the one I had connected the most with. The one I considered my best friends of these girls. So I said “please please tell me it was none of you. I treasure you all so much”
The first reply came for one of the girls who had not been present at our trip. She asked me not to be upset. And not to be angry with anyone. There was no need for that. She said several things and tried to joke it off, as if was no big deal.
And such followed every single reply.
That they felt they didn’t just have responsibility for their own children, but for all children.
With every reply that dagger in my back kept being pushed in further and twisted around.
I replied and said I was so disappointed that they felt they couldn’t have come to me and spoken to me about it. After all, isn’t that why you have friends? I said a lot of things. I told them how hurt I was. How much I was hurting and crying.
The replies followed with, they felt it was too hard to speak about to a friend. And that is why we have things like social services in place.
One thing I realized was that they had all talked about this. Even if it had only been 3 of us on this trip everyone knew. My friends had decided I was a poor mother to my child. My FRIENDS! I had been stabbed in the back by people I had never ever expected it from.
I made one final comment saying again I was gutted, disappointed, hurt, confused.. all the feelings I had on my chest. And that we couldn’t continue being friends. It’s not like they had behaved like friends. After nearly 3 years… They knew me! Which makes me wonder if they honestly thought I could be of harm to my child. And that hurts even more. I said, they couldn’t possibly want to be friends with me if this is the sort of person they think I am. I told them this was something I just could not forgive. “So this is goodbye, ladies” – I wrote
The last comment I saw before I removed myself from the group, deleted them all from facebook and made set my profile friends only, was that one of them wished me and my family a happy life…
This was just under 6 months ago.
We have moved on. I see them rarely, even if we live in the same town. We’ve gotten on with our life, we are focusing on Jacob and making sure he has all the support he needs when it comes to his speech and language.
But I can’t let go. I still hurt over this. A lot.
I feel what they did stabbed so deep I have troubles forgetting. Most certainly not forgiving. Every time I see or hear something that reminds me of them, any of them, all the feelings come back. I have trouble trusting anyone. I expect the worst. When I pick him up at nursey I think, this is the day. They’ve found something I do wrong. I feel like anyone looking at my child is judging me, looking for errors. Honestly I’ve become obsessive. I don’t dare walk out the door with Jake unless he just about pristine. No spots on his clothes, no snot around his nose – which is all natural to see on toddlers. I just feel someone is stood there waiting for me to make a mistake.
I suffer mentally with this. I feel like I carry it in a sack on my back at all times. Just get over it, let it go.
I went from having 5 good friends that I saw on a regular basis – to no one.
And now I don’t dare let anyone close enough. I can’t trust people. I feel I got burned so hard last time. I want that to be the last time. Jake have a network of kids he plays with at nursery and I take him to groups, but I haven’t let anyone close enough to establish a friendship with me yet.
I don’t know when I will be able to either. I want to. But I am so afraid of making friends with the wrong people, again.
I just… can’t move past it. Time heals all wounds, but this one it taking its time. The only people around me I trust is my very closest family. Only then am I truly myself. I am honestly having an awful time with this. I don’t think those girls realize how deep they cut me.
It had knocked my confidence massively and I am very insecure. I hope as times goes on I can stop being reminded of them and make new friends, not for my sake but for Jacob. In the end of the day, that is the purpose of my life now. Him.
Thank you for reading. It means a lot ❤