Survivor Story: My Baby Died After My Children Were Placed with My Abuser’s Family
Written by: BTSADV Survivor
I have been in front of this page off and on for about two weeks trying to get the courage to tell my story because it didn’t even start with intimate partners but my father’s mother. So here it goes; bear with me.
When I was a child, my father’s mother manipulated both the system and my father and managed to completely alienate me from my mother and her entire family. (It doesn’t always help when you have law enforcement in the family.) Later, my grandmother even manipulated her own son into signing me over to her. I found out later that there weren’t even any legal papers; he just trusted her.
I spent years being isolated and conditioned into believing the only things I’d be good for were making babies and doing what men wanted me to. So, when I was 17, I finally got my blessing; my first son was born in 2009. I met his dad in high school, and he was the sweetest man. We had reconnected in 2008, and I got pregnant one month into what was meant to be just a hookup.
I spent the next four years living in an abusive hell. The worst part was my grandmother – who supposedly loved me enough to be the only person that didn’t leave me – supported my abuser! Every time I would get him out of our lives, she’d bring him back. I was too dependent on them because she told a lie to my driver’s education teacher. I wasn’t able to get a license without a doctor confirming that I don’t have panic attacks.
My grandmother and abuser also financially abused me. I was working, and they spent all my money while I worked and lord only knows what else, now that I think back. I finally got the courage to leave in 2012 when I was pregnant with my second son. I had met a friend who was finally willing to help. He wasn’t the first to see it, but he was the only one to help. My own family backed her and still does.
After losing someone that meant a lot to me, I made a plan and escaped. I was committed and arrested, and that was enough for my abuser to get our son, who was three at the time. I was also pregnant and had nobody really that could help me. Because I was only 21, I really had no idea how to navigate the court system. They even managed to get custody of my second son before he was even born because they told lies about my best friend – who would later be my husband – and me.
I finally found my mother who, as it turned out, was nothing like I had been told she was. My sister had died of SIDS, and my grandmother had used that to damage my mother’s reputation; in the 1990s, it was easy to create doubt about SIDS deaths.
I got my son back and then a few weeks later my then-boyfriend, the kids, and I were in a car crash that almost killed us and left us with no car. We were separated for a while as we got back on our feet, but we were still unaware of what exactly we had been accused of.
Eventually, we were able to move into a place all on our own without government assistance. The following night, they took my sons, and I would never see one of them again. They had accused my boyfriend of assaulting my son; after two years of hell, they retracted that accusation. Before they could undo it, my children were given to my ex-husband and abuser’s stepmom, as I had also made allegations and he had been arrested several times for other crimes.
Four months after they were given to her – three days after my 22nd birthday – my second son died. He was only nine months old. Two months later, we got the call that she had been arrested because they found drugs in my son’s body – an anti-depressant and Benadryl. It made local news; she was bonded out before the story even blew up, and she only served 41 days in jail and three years of probation. As of last Christmas, she is free.
I live with so much pain every day, but I keep it together for my boys. I have since had another son – who is now three years old – with my other ex-husband. The trauma of what happened had destroyed my relationship with the other guy. He is a good guy, but we were 21 and 22 when this happened; we tried with all our might, but we couldn’t move forward. I moved 1000 miles away and met a great man who is good to us all. It’s been two years, and we’ve moved twice more.
It’s very hard for me to tell my story because it’s so much more twisted; this is the short version! My abuser is currently in prison for a rape he committed on a young girl; he was 27 she was 14. His story made international news, so karma did get at least one person. He will be in prison until 2033 and has no idea where we are.
My oldest is nine now, and he struggled to get past all this and the things he saw. His bonus dad has helped him so much, and he sleeps soundly knowing that monster can never touch us again. If you’re still here bless your heart!
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