By Susan Peacock
I sent my child to school. They told me they could meet her needs. They told me she was ‘fine.’ They lied.
They told a tribunal Judge they could meet her needs and within a week of the Judgment both the school and the LA acknowledged she needed ‘additional support.’ That support never came and nobody ensured she was cared for in the way she needed. Everybody knew and nobody did anything. Why did I only learn months later when I forced the information through requests? Why did nobody hold my girl as tightly as I would?
My child tried to be strong. She was pushed to the edge and then, those who should have cared gave one more push – with a force more brutal than she deserved – enough to leave her lying below. Broken. Smashed.
I now have yet another child suffering mental ill health and breakdown. I don’t know if we will get her back and if we do, who she will be after this. My daughter as I knew her is gone. Love, support and care will shape who will return to us once this is over.
There are people who have an awful lot to answer for. There are people who are accountable and yet asked me “what do you think led to this?” A school who witnessed her screaming at the edge and begging for help, pleading for this to stop. A school and an LA who held her hand whilst telling me they would help her smiling reassuringly and then simply watched as they pushed her for the last time. Further than she could go. Harder than she could manage to resist. Feet scrabbling and hands gripping onto nothing but the air around her.
They knew all along. They let her drop. They let her fragile soul smash into a thousand pieces – and all I could do is hold my eyes wide, tears escaping them, my hand violently wiping across my cheeks whilst refusing to blink; knowing there is nothing more I could have done. I watched her. I watched them. Helpless. Hopeless.
I had travelled through hell. I was still there watching silently whilst she fell. I could not catch her. Simply stare whilst my mind screamed silently in my head.
This week the LA conceded an appeal with less than 24 hours to go as a tribunal deemed “it was not in the interests of justice, nor in the interests of the child” to delay matters further.
Tonight after going over all I have and how hard I fought to stop this – I am bruised and hurting, clawing my way back through hell. Tomorrow, I will be found panting and weak outside of the circles – but only just.
My baby is now safe. She is too ill to go to school for now but hopefully not for long.
But I have watched her break and again a part of me is broken too. For now, but not forever. As a SEN parent you constantly break. You need to. But you must do this to rebuild. Glass can be shattered a thousand times but reshaped and then hardened by fire.
My glass is reshaping – soon it will be fired and ready. When it is – it will be harder than ever. My wings are reforming, my heart is rebuilding. The fortress is ready and my child is behind it. I will stand silently – for now – but not forever.
The roar can be silently heard in the distance but it is approaching. If you listen carefully it is beating softly on the wind. Its coming.