Into the Dark

I have experienced darkness within my life and I am not referring to an event which makes you sad or unhappy for a period of time. I speak of a series of events that lead you down a path of darkness. A darkness in which you make your dwelling place. It envelopes you, alters your vision, so much so that you cannot see how to get out even if you had the strength to. That’s the type of darkness I’m referring to. If there are other people in close proximity, it brings you no comfort because you cannot see them.

When my son was born, my husband and I decided it was best for me to stay home with him. He had a very traumatic birth, he was 9 weeks premature, and he had lived his first few weeks in a hospital incubator. He needed me and I had a desire to be home with him.

I didn’t know what I was in store for. No one told me the challenges of having a newborn coupled with the additional challenges of caring for a preemie. Things that are trying for any mother are even more difficult for the preemie mom. Breastfeeding is counterintuitive to our western culture and breastfeeding a 4 lb baby is even harder. 

It was important to me that I give it everything I had. I barely slept because he rarely slept. I barely ate because he was always eating. When he finally fell asleep, which was never at night time, I was up pumping away in order to increase my milk supply. I couldn’t let him cry it out because I was concerned about the pressure his brain had already endured due to his birth trauma. Every waking moment was dedicated to ensuring that he did not become a statistic. While I put in the hours of mommy duty, my husband matched those hours with fervent prayer.

Three months had gone by and despite the nurses in the NICU not expecting it possible, I had been exclusively breastfeeding for that entire time (for you men out there or women without children it means no use of bottles).

Darkness fully overtook me once my son turned 3 months old.

I had woken up, after very little sleep because he was up all night, as per usual. We got dressed and headed to church. Everything seemed fine until I got to my mothers, prepared to change his diaper and realized his leg was swollen more than twice its normal size. We rushed him to the children’s hospital in DC and that is the day that darkness finally overpowered me like the moment before a storm when dark clouds choke out the son (see what I did there) and everything goes dark.  

  

My son’s leg was broken and they were accusing me of breaking it. Not of negligence but of child abuse. Child abuse. After everything I had sacrificed? There were no signs of trauma to the leg, no bruising anywhere on his body, no signs of shaken baby syndrome but, once again, instead of practicing medicine their ego took over. It was child abuse not because science pointed them in that direction, but because any other diagnoses would highlight their insufficiencies as doctors and insufficiencies they had, many of them.

  
I had reached the end of my rope. I poured everything into my son that I had to give and the thanks I was getting was an entire medical team actively trying to have me arrested and my son taken from me. It challenged my very existence. They were trying to invalidate my very life because mothering had become my entire life. If I wasn’t a fit mother, than who was I? Mothering was all I had been doing.

Every effort I had put into my son they threatened. During his hospital stay, they refused me a breast pump. My milk supply dwindled to about an ounce. All of my efforts to breastfeed exclusively stolen. Without any actual signs of abuse they couldn’t take my son away, but the doctors called CPS and they forced me to live with my mom, sleep in her bed with my son in the room, so she could watch my every move like I was some type of animal on exhibit (I later discovered through research that I could have refused this since it wasn’t court ordered. We never even went to court. What you don’t know will kill you. Thanks for nothing $300/hr attorney).

 

I allowed them to completely reshape my perspective on who I was. I had received revelation directly from God, I had prophecied directly into people’s lives, and I had been a fabulous mother; but, the darkness overpowered me. Any mirror that would remind me of who God is and who I am in Him went unseen.

The dark is lonely, it’s cold, and I was left wondering from whence the next attack would come and from whom. An extreme fear overtook me. Instead of living I was waiting. Waiting for the next devastation. 

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. vshakvamantz says:

    This is a nightmare. You’re not as close to Jesus as when you suffer, right? And even though He tells us to be glad we are deemed worthy to suffer for His name’s sake, it sure doesn’t help any in hell. You are an amazing woman, and I am really glad you made it through, hon. CPS, DHHS…the name of the boogeyman to a parent, who doesn’t fear Bloody Mary or Bad Billy Bones anymore because our fears are unemployment, abuse, homelessness, mental incompetency rulings…things of that sort. Thank God you’re safe and your baby is where he belongs.

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    1. ReignofFaith says:

      It’s only by God’s grace because I realize how unfair the system is. How unjust it is and how uninterested in the truth it is. The system is about money and foster care and adoption is a money maker. I can’t tell you the amount of creepy doctors and hospital workers who came into my son’s room while he was admitted and commented on how exotic and beautiful he was. I’m humbled and thankful that we both made it out of that situation especially with our sanity.

      My son is doing fabulous. Sometimes I want to return to that hospital and parade him around in front of the doctors. He has so much love in his heart for people and I want to slap them in face with that love. Can you slap someone in the face with love? If so, that’s exactly what they need. A love beat down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. vshakvamantz says:

        I hear you. Somedays I believe that’s why my mum doesn’t celebrate victories of accomplishment with me; she sees that I’m sweet and open-hearted and open-minded and loving and warm despite my misery, and she knows that my failures as a child can be laid at her feet as the model, as children are a product of their environment. Foster parents and worse abuse than I had to put up with from my dad were his primary secret threats to keep me quiet, and it’s a lot of why my parents hated that I had mostly white friends, God revealed it to me a few days ago; I was wondering why I was such a failure to them and always cut off from normal society, and He said “They we were scared you would tell one of your “little white friends” about your situation, who JUST might tell their concerned parents, who JUST might any day send DHS over to get you out of there with your siblings and have their “good names” smeared on the news.” I lived in constant fear of DHS, that’s what my mum always calls it (Dept. Human Services) because of my bad habits, and I did have a run-in. Had to take parenting classes for a month or two but they weren’t taken, thank God. You’re a success story-my little sister has lost all 4 of hers and she worries every day that they won’t recognize her.

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      2. ReignofFaith says:

        My god that’s terrible. I cannot fathom it. The very threat of his removal brought me to the end of my rope.

        I think I missed the part where you explained that your mother was in full awareness of your abuse? I remember reading about it but I could tell the extent of her awareness.

        I wonder why they would fear you telling a “white friend” more than a “black friend”?

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      3. vshakvamantz says:

        Lol. I love books, and I was raised in church. I had every intention of following the Bible to the letter and being exactly what my parents said a good little girl should be. Unfortunately I was teased to tears so much for talking Jesus and being dressed in pigtails, turtleneck sweaters and jelly sandals and church shoes all the time by black people of my own race. I was a reject, a PK, with good grades and no style-my mom was a severe control freak. She dressed me according to what her style was in school, which was severely outdated-no black kids or popular white kids wanted anything to do with me except to point out what a loser I was. I had a small group of white friends who weren’t popular either, which grew as time went on, to include unpopular black people too, who were very few. These kids adopted me because I sat by myself alone every day, dreading the bullies. And it stuck. My mom has always had a hatred asks fear of white people-she’s 50+, with my dad, and they remember when white and black relations weren’t so smooth-rundown parks, being pushed in front of in lines, rude remarks at laundromat, etc. And she equates power and oppression with white people, like some Caucasians may equate chicken, watermelon and laziness with black people. My mum knew what my dad was up to. I told her when my little sister told me he’d been at her, too, hon. I had had NO IDEA, my misery drove me into isolation from my siblings. As I said, my mum is a physical abuse survivor, battered and neglected by her mum. When I told her she stayed in her room with my dad hours while we sat in the car, knowing she wouldn’t leave him and hoping she would. She didn’t; called us liars and said we were just trying to break up her marriage. That was at 12. Weeks went by and he started again. She would run across panties in our couch cushions, open doors and find him in little corners with me “hugging” me, and question him about taking me to the store and out to eat on “dates to show me how girls are to be treated.” But she never left, and I discovered (revelation knowledge or tortured thought, you choose) she never left him because she hated her mother and was determined that nothing would take her back to that house if she could help it. I asked her this past month when I told my dad to leave me alone why she didn’t, and she said her mom wouldn’t let her back in. But I KNOW she had friends and people in church and work who would have taken us in or helped us. She just couldn’t believe that she could get all the things she wanted that her mother said she wouldn’t ever have on her own. She’s a tortured soul, my mother.

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      4. ReignofFaith says:

        You’ve said so much in this comment. From my experience with mothering, I have felt like I have a part of me specifically designed for my children but when you’ve suffered as your mother has and there’s nothing left to give, the children suffer.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. vshakvamantz says:

        You know-it’s said that the poor have children and can’t afford to take care of them, and the rich can afford them, but can’t have them. I daresay these people were hoping you would lose your son and they were looking through adoption listings and planning on taking him for themselves, dear. It happens-women are paid as surrogate mothers or have babies that are spoken for while still in the womb by adoptive parents, then decide to keep them and have hideous legal battles. Dirt gets dragged out and they have to hope for a fair hearing because they have the full power of the rich against them in those cases.

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      6. ReignofFaith says:

        Well we paid a lawyer $300/HR and she still did nothing. I ended up looking for case law myself and presenting it to CPS as to why everything they did was unlawful and I could see them. The lawyer produced none of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. vshakvamantz says:

        Hi, Reign! You are probably busy, but I just wanted to take a minute to tell you I’m in tears right now, and that’s a treasure. You have no idea how much you help me by talking to me-I cannot BEGIN to explain the way I felt after revealing to you how I felt about my identity crisis and my war between therapy and , employment, hon. I literally have only 1 PERSON in my life as a friend and we both have kids, she has a job and I don’t honestly talk to her about this side of me-so that leaves no one. Identity disorders are very real, but I don’t think of that because I feel crazy when I do. But I also feel such a release saying it. I have also discovered tonight the word for the fear I call “paralysis:” PTSD. I only applied the word to war vets, not survivors of rape and incest. Words have UNFATHOMABLE power; they can translate wonder into knowledge, and both are gripping, it’s why I started writing my sister and blogging. Please, Reign, give yourself a huge hug and thank God, because you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, no BS. Because of you I called my pastor and plan to ask him to pray on my behalf on this issue: I have dealt inside myself so long depending on myself for strength that it has become virtually impossible for me to communicate need and unhappiness to anyone I have to look in the face. You HELPED me, and I praise God for you. I actually thought I was too proud, but I see the child in me is scared, and she is a major part of me. I know this is long, but I just had to tell you before I went to sleep. The steps I make at this point in my life are so huge because I am trying to free myself, not avoid battle, and I’m not young anymore, I want happiness before I get old and bitter. You propelled me by this interaction. Bless you and yours and have a wonderful night.

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      8. ReignofFaith says:

        The whole point and purpose of my blog is to encourage people in whatever way they need encouragement. I’m very happy to hear that you are reaching out to your pastor. We were never designed to carry our burdens nor were we designed to live in isolation whether it be of an emotional or physical sense. I’m glad that you are looking to God for help because He is the one whose power and knowledge reaches beyond our understanding, through our pain and connects us to healing.

        There is healing specifically designed for you which Jesus already paid for at the cross. I used to think it was churchy when people said “if you take one step, God will take two” but it’s so true. His fervency for us far exceeds our fervency for Him. Take it day by day or even hour by hour if need be and I believe He is waiting to envelope you in His love. He is the answer, anything else is just a bandaid.

        By the way I didn’t add the other comment about the lawyer because I was like wait what if she sees this. Nothing personal. I was concerned you would take it the wrong way. I even considered deleting the comments about our payment towards her because I wondered if it was ugly.

        I’m not sure how to express how I appreciate your participation on my blog. I am passionate about this, viciously passionate if you can even put those to words together. Sometimes you feel so small and wonder if you can impact anyone’s life without a pulpit or the validation of a title. To know that you’re seeking God and I played some part in that brings me great joy.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. vshakvamantz says:

        Reign, I have put curse words in prayers. I DARED God to disown me all in the space of last year. I have been driven and battered and harried relentlessly in my dreams and waking moments so badly that I would have welcomed His disownment-I felt that it would free me from what seemed a ridiculous desire to expect less of a hateful response to my pain. The “I am not my own-I have been bought with a price” Scripture drove me MAD with fury because my dad used to say it, meaning that I had no choice but to worship God. Who said I had to be on sale? (I know now God gave us a choice, unlike angels who are created specifically for worship and service.) And it made me angry and sick because I was for sale, I felt, I would have done anything short of murder or harm for love after how cheap and manipulated I already felt when I was molested. My dad drove me to paranoia. To this day I believe something he said, and I’m locked into it-he said “All kinds of people know me, you never know who sees you, and they come tell me.” Reign, my heart breaks. Do you know how many layers of suspicion and furtiveness and compulsion I suffer as of today? I STILL FEEL TRAPPED LIKE MY PARENTS’ GUARDIANSHIP IS REAL. I am 30 and still care whether someone sees me smoking. It’s MY choice as an adult human being to do as I please but I can’t break the obligatory chains between parental and religious dictation. My whole life swallowed. And my only freedom is death, it seems. I give you my word, I’m not dramatizing. I embrace God fiercely and am loyal to the point that I feel trapped. And I can’t blame anybody, it would be beneath me and a quitter tactic. I long to feel the way you do, and feel the joy of helping someone as torn up as I am, but I am so damaged I can’t move forward to contribute until I…heal. Or make a substantial step toward it. I am viciously grateful for the lights of interaction and communication and the sound, feel and sight of human speech and comfort; this is all the contact I was denied for the last 8 months as part of staying here.

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      10. vshakvamantz says:

        I see I wasn’t very clear on why I dared to say curse words in my prayers last year when I’d just moved here, hon, and I want to be clear: I was livid. Filthy not just at 12, but AGAIN, as a grown woman of 29 with children. No power at all, just like a pair of my dad’s shoes he could touch if he wanted to. I wanted ANSWERS from God, and I was too distraught and mind-freaked to stand on ceremony, wavering between informal language, a prayer modelled after The Lord’s Prayer, more detail, less detail…I was losing my mind. And I am HIS creation, meaning I’m not ABLE to keep from being angry and close to insanity. I loved Him so much I still believed HE was good, even through some evidence that strongly suggested He didn’t give a crap in a basket about me, and all the church services and visits to my parents house to see their grandkids to keep in contact didn’t mean anything. Reign, he sat beside…I can’t say that, it’s still horrifying to me. But I’ll tell you, my dad just touched me like it was perfectly natural once and then said he thought I was giving him signals by what I was wearing. I have been manipulated for years that way, and if I could still love God and want to serve Him despite finding I was STILL not safe, I felt I should test the limits. There SEEMED to be, He wasn’t holding up to His end. Was ia child of God or not? If I wasn’t, I DESERVED to know so that I could at least drop the load of religious restraint and tell myself ‘I loved God despite the crap hand He dealt me, and in turn He left me with not an ounce of protection or even notice that I have to put up with being molested and harassed TWICE in my life. It isn’t enough that this bastard robbed me of my virginity as a child; he is robbing me of my womanhood, too. And he represents You, Lord. Why don’t I? What did I do?” God’s response set me on the path I am on now. And He loved me, anyway, and ANSWERED me in turn. He said “You’re not helpless, you’re spineless, and there’s a huge difference. Tell him No.” I stared, wet-eyed and dumbstruck. The idea had never occurred. God said He would intervene if my dad tried to rape me or take me by force, or trick or bribe me into sex and I got trapped in that old mode. I walk a fine line, but I am only trying to express and heal and push the boundaries of how much He really loves me so that I can understand in my mind and spirit and heart what “unconditional love” really means.

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      11. vshakvamantz says:

        Please, hon, honor me by sharing your thoughts and feelings and insights and troubles with me the way I share-or dump on-you! I don’t have a critical bone in my body. I am just fine with what you say. My life is a constant battle between restraint and expression, CONSTANT, so I hate seeing it unnecessarily rule me or anyone I’m talking to.

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