Scared to have more children

lexie123
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:27 pm

Scared to have more children

Postby lexie123 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:01 pm

Hi

This is my first post on this forum, apologies in advance that it may be long!

I had my first child aged 14 when I was living with my mum, she and I had a very rocky relationship and because of this I asked social service to be involved as I thought I could do with some support and also wanted to move out from home - my first stupid move!

Then aged 16 mum kicked me out and kept my son saying I could not look after him, I ended up in a hostel, whilst there social services told me I could have my son back when I got housed by the council, this took me about 8 months, during which time I fell pregnant again.

When my flat was suitably furnished my son came to live with me and I was happy expecting my 2nd baby, social service remained involved and became more so when they found out who the father of my son was, I didn't know when I started seeing him but he had a long criminal record and also he was far older than me being 30 and I was 16.

Social services voiced their concerns, told me I had to keep away from him, I stupidly did not listen and was sure he could be a good father, having grown up without my own father I didn't want my baby to have to grow up like that too.

When I gave both my youngest was on holiday with my mum, I had an emergency c-section and had to stay in hospital, then on the day I was due for discharge they said I had to stay longer as they did not want me to take the baby home, their main concern was my partner.

I ended up going back to my mums with the new baby when she got back from holiday and stayed about a week before she said she could not have me at the house anymore, so Ii went home without either of my boys, I was devestated as weeks before I had my youngest living with me and was looking forward to having a new baby, instead I lost them both.

What folled was meeting after meeting with social services and although I did not realise it at the time I was very reliant upon my partner who had started to become violent and also began using drugs- not around me, but he would go out and come back drunk or drugged up. Social service soon found out, especially as it turned out that on the day after I had our son he was also admitted to a+e following a heroin overdose.

Thinking back I was so blind to this and stuck on the lies he would tell me about how it would all change.

So as the months went on my boys were with my mum and I saw them every few days but it was all very strained, our relationship made things difficult and I became very depressed, eventually self harming and finally (which I am disgusted about!) turning to heroin myself to numb the pain.

Things were looking up when social service said I could go for assessment in a mother and baby unity, I lasted about 5 weeks, my first few weeks were spent having horrific withdrawals from heroin during which time I said I had flu. Eventually I admitted my problem and the unit said they would drug test me each time I went out, I was fine with that promising myself I would never do it again.

I decided I needed some professional help so travelled one day back to where I was from to see a drug service, I had told my partner I was going and he met me from the train armed with heroin, I never did go to that appointment and when I realised my stupidity I attempted suicide - I called the assessment place who had agreed to look after the boys for the day, told them what I had done and I was told I could not go back (as expected).

The boys went back to my mum and I knew I would have no more chances - the court ordered a kinship care to my mum and ordered I get 4 hours supervised contact per week, it was then left to my mum to decide when this would increase and also when it could become unsupervised.

So I plodded on depressed, seeing my boys weekly and the youngest dad seeing him in a contact centre. I should have left him then (as well as the many times I should have left before) but I felt like he was all I had and I spiralled into drug use and regular beatings from him.

This carried on for years although over this time my contact increased with the boys and it did not remain supervised for long. After about 5 months I had enough and went on a drug treatment programme, I did well and was soon off drugs, realising I was a somewhat different kind of addict to my partner, he wanted the thrill of drugs, I needed to be numbed, I just wanted the pain to go away.

I stayed clean over the next 5 or so years, he didn't though, despite many programmes of help and prison stints he remained into crime, drugs, violence and alcohol. Eventually we drifted apart and where as I had felt like I needed him before and he was all I had, I woke up and realised that actually I still had a chance to make something of my life, and so I left him.

About 9 months after leaving I met a lovely guy who I have today been with for 3.5 years. I studied hard through the OU at first as I had developed severe social phobias, as I grew stronger emotionally I enrolled in college, moved in with my partner and got a job as a carer.

I had a good friend who was a Samaritan who helped me explore my history, how I had been abused as a child, was a child having a child and was emotionally to immature to make the best decisions for my family and how my drug use was my way of coping - I have no excuse for my behaviour other than that I was young, easilly led, wanted to see the best in people and ultimately stupid.

Just after I moved in with my current partner my mother allowed me to have the boys alone, taking them on day trips and soon after they were staying over a night at weekends, now they stay over all through school holidays and every weekend, I am even taking them abroad for 2 weeks in August!

I have worked hard to regain my life, I have an Open University health and social care diploma under my belt as well as doing my GCSEs that I never did in high school, I did an access course at college and I am 2 years into a 3 year nursing degree. I have a job as a carer and have 4 years experience in mental health and elderly care - I am stable, no drugs for around 9 years, 5 of which I have not been on the drug replacement prescription methadone either. Life is good, we have a nice rented house with a bedroom for the boys, we are settled and happy and most importantly there is no restriction on when I see my beautiful boys.

My plans are to qualify next year, start saving for our house deposit, perhaps get married and then we would like another child, but I am petrified at this prospect. I would love another child in say 3 or 4 years but fear I never will because of the fear of social services taking my baby away.

From my history I appear to be a teen mother, drug addict, mental health problems, make bad choices and victim of domestic violence. I fear no-one will see I am changed, I am stable, I am responsible - I have grown up!

I have no contact with my youngests father now, to my knowledge he is in prison, as for contact well i'd prefer he never see my son again, when he did have it he would not turn up weeks on end often disappointing my son, I hold hope he will change but realistically know he never will, I've not seen nor heard from him in over 2 years, before which he would sometimes call and ask how my son was doing.

I see my failures and whilst I never did drugs around my children or any other harmful thing, I did not make the right choices for them and I accept that and am ashamed of that.

We have had no social worker involved for the past 8 years. My relationship with my mother remains strained, I do not count on her to support me, she makes it clear she will never see me changed, she has even said to family members that it makes no difference what I do now, I am always the same to her and that is sad for me. My other family however really support me, including my step-dad who has now seperated from my mother around 4 years ago but still sees me and my sons regularly. I often have family telling me to apply for custody of my boys but I do not want to do them any further damage and I know I would have a court battle with my mother, and it would mean unrooting my boys. They have a palce in my home when they are ready and come to me, but I do not wish to forece anything on them.

So now I am left uncertain and scared about the future and I just hope that someone can offer me some advice, has anyone had a child or children removed and gone on to keep further children? Especially when you have had past problems such as drugs and bad relationships that you have not left? I know my partner would like a child although he says he will still be happy if we don't have one, but I could not bear to have another babyy taken from me, I would rather not have more children than go through this again.

Sorry this has been very long, it is the first time I have ever written down what has happened and I feel better for doing so but still worried, so if anyone can offer any words of advice I will be so glad of them!

ange301126
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Scared to have more children

Postby ange301126 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:57 am

Dear Lexie123,

Thanks for telling your story .You have had many problems.
I feel I have to point out to you that you are the victim in all this not the cause of it.
From the inception of the tragedy, you were a child ( only fourteen years old) and became victim of sex-abuse by some man or boy and a lack of suitable care and supervision by your mother,in my opinion.You have not mentioned your eldest childs father or his age. It has to be said,however,that had you been subject to adequate supervision not to mention moral teaching at that time,none of this may have happened in the first place.

It was where everything started going wrong.You have stated you made a big mistake when you requested help from social services when your mother 'kicked' you out at sixteen (still a child).
It is clear that social services also failed to provide adequate care and supervision.Whilst they placed you in a children's hostel,you became victim when there to a criminal twice your age ( a drug addict with a long record) who was permitted to groom you and abuse you. Hardly a safe place for a child was it?

Things then went from bad to worse and I have to point out that the same lack of care and supervision from the CS ( social services) and the infiltration of all sorts of paedophile,drug offender and criminal into care-hostels where they are able to abuse children,is happening regularly to this day.
Indeed it is currently receiving wide publicity and social workers also Police are being heavily criticised.

My comment, therefore,is don't blame yourself quite so much! You were started along the wrong road by your carers . You are a victim and there are lots more just like you.

My advice is that you get yourself a very good solicitor to address a complaint to the Local Authority about the care you received.If they ignore it, you should make a Police complaint.The practice in the past has been for Police to ignore complaints from child sex-abuse victims too but this is changing and you may get a response.Don't forget a good solicitor is imperative in child-protection circles, be careful which one you choose!
Then you can start planning for another baby.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Scared to have more children

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:53 am

Dear Lexie123

My name is Suzie, one of FRG's online advisers.

Thank you for providing such a detailed and open post about your past difficulties. Hopefully it will inspire other members of this forum to be brave enough to be able to reflect on their situation and help them to make positive decisions about their future.

If I understand you correctly, are you planning to seek increased contact with a view to your children being returned to your care, it is possible you could have a good chance of being able to demonstrate significant change in your circumstances.

These factors, your insight into your problems and ability to sustain the changes in your life are likely to rule in your favour in respect of any professional assessments made. Furthermore, college references may be important when decisions are made about your children.

It would be helpful to know what your children's legal status is at this time. For instance, are the children under a special guardianship or child arrangement order at this time.

If you are able to answer this I will be happy to advise you further once I hear back from you.

Best Wishes

Suzie

lexie123
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:27 pm

Re: Scared to have more children

Postby lexie123 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:07 pm

Hi

Thank you for your reply.

I am actually not going to seek for my children to come and live with me. I have them every weekend, every school holiday etc... there are no restrictions on my contact.

I feel having my boys back would not be good for them, they are settled and at their ages having lived with my mum for so long it would be selfish and unfair of me to try and have them live with me - of course once they are old enough if they make the decision that they want to live with me then I would do everything I can to facilitate that, but I can not unsettle them from the life they know.

What I am thinking about is having another baby, my partner and I would like another child and are worried about this, my worst nightmare is that the baby would be taken straight after birth as I have heard horror stories of social services saying that they have not finished their assessments and taking the baby into care until the assessments are done. Also given my past I am sure they would insist on some sort of psychological therapy.

I am just unsure where to go from here, is there anything I can do before becoming pregnant because I fear being at their mercy once I am already pregnant.

Thanks, Lexie

p.s my children are under a residency order with my mother at present, I do not intend to challenge this.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Scared to have more children

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:24 pm

Dear Lexie

It is likely that under the circumstances you have mentioned in your thread, Children's Services would wish to conduct a pre-birth assessment so they can assess your family support needs in order to help you keep any future children safe .

If you wish to speak to an adviser about your situation you may find it helpful to contact our advice line on 0808 0801 0366.

Best Wishes

Suzie


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