Last year a few of our families shared their stories of child abuse. This year, they have shared updates about how their families continue to cope. We’re in awe of their courage, of their honesty. We thank them for sharing their biggest hearts with each and every family who reaches out to us.
A parent’s job is to protect his child. It is the most important job in the world. The one job that I thought I would be great at. I feel like I have failed at that job. I wish I could go back in time. I know there were signs that I missed. Insert cliche.
A parent’s job is to protect his child. I have told myself that for a long time. I have battled that for a long time. I know every parent thinks they could have done more. I’m in that position where I could have. I know I could have.
“Don’t blame yourself, don’t blame your partner. Blame the monster that would hurt an innocent baby.” How could anyone do that to a baby?
I have never hated anyone my whole life… until recently. Everyone hears the horrible stories, and thinks it will happen to someone else. Well we did too.
Our daughter is the strongest, kindest girl I have ever known. She has been through more pain in her four years on earth than most people will endure their entire life. And she is still positive and sweet. It makes it hard for me to have a bad day. When she is being goofy I forget for a little while. When she hugs me I never want to let go. She loves so big.
After what happened to my beautiful little girl we could not feel safe with people watching our baby, only family. When people go through trauma many withdraw from society. We can’t let that happen. Our girl is too strong for us to be weak. When we get sad we can still look at her. Some parents can’t do that.
She is still needing speech therapy, but is as smart as they come. The night terrors have significantly decreased. They are still not completely gone, but very minimal. We now have a new problem. My biggest fear after the incomprehensible terror that she had endured, was that she would remember. She remembers. She is starting to ask questions about the bad person that hurt her head. That’s when we have to fight back the tears. I don’t lie to her. I don’t know what to say. I just try to change the subject.
After what happened I wanted to know if she would remember. It didn’t take long for the answer. I struggle with the idea of her remembering the pain. No parent wants to see their child in pain. I think that seeing your child remember pain that extreme is just as bad.
I am almost 40 years old and the strongest person I have ever known is a 4 year old girl that thinks she is a princess. She is a princess. She can be anything she wants.
She loves her brother so much. They are so happy to be together. He is a great big brother. If he is home, she wants to do whatever he is doing. I know that if I’m not around he will protect her forever. Their bond cannot be broken.
She is starting kindergarten next year. It freaks me out every time I think about that. We almost lost her, and now she is a big kid. She has lots of friends, and knows right from wrong. Independent. Obviously, not totally, but she is a big kid. She is happy, strong, and has the most positive outlook on life.
I have come to realize that bad things can happen to any family. My family is just that strong. My family is. Not me. I’m just lucky. I am not a religious person. I don’t know what I believe. Something saved my daughters life, and at the same time, I’m sure mine. So thank you to whatever power did that. I appreciate that.
She is a survivor. Unfortunately so many innocent children aren’t. She is our survivor. Her name is Annabell. Watch for her to change the world someday. Annabell is going to have a positive effect on a lot of people’s lives. Annabell… Her story will be told well after I’m gone.
It didn’t take me long to come to the realization that our story could have been completely different. Without the support of our friends from Seeds from Seeds we would have to deal with this tragedy feeling alone. I am forever thankful to every person that took one minute out of their life to see if Annabell was ok. I know it is a hard subject to bring up. Thank You.
To my family… thank you. Without you the pain of this would have broke me. You are another reminder of how great people can be. You were there when I couldn’t be. You were there when we didn’t know how to. I’m sorry I was so distant. I love you.