Having watched the controversial TV program this week Diana in Her Own Words, so much of the content resonated with me.
As much as I have wanted to talk, of late, about what has happened I know that I can’t. The time will come to put it into words our experiences, but we need time to process and to heal.
Just like Diana, I have discovered hidden systems and agendas, plotting, corruption and lies. All from professionals who are put in place to protect families like ours. In fact it started at the beginning and yet I was none the wiser – oblivious to the inappropriate conversations that were to shape our future. This just manifested itself into a confidence-stripping exercise, robbing any self-belief I had about parenting. More importantly, I was unable to hear my daughter’s pleas of distress.
As the last school days came to a close in July, my social media was jammed with images and happy memories from parents of present givings for teachers, sports days and annual celebrations.
My vacant posts on social media was a true reflection of how I was feeling: empty, shaken and uncertain of the future. My daughter had a goodbye present to give to her beloved teacher, only we were powerless to let her do it. Her eyes welled up and as she shed hot, cathartic tears, I truly saw the damage, right there, the past two years had done to her.
We desperately wanted to take part in the end of year festivities just like everybody else. Instead, we were a silent story few knew anything about and we were facing a fight with a dark, omnipresent system.
As my friends took pictures of their beautiful infants reaching appropriate milestones, I was sat at the laptop, writing a letter to the Director of Children’s Services to highlight the pure neglect and corruption I had experienced. My complaint was quashed without any further investigation and my points ignored.
The continual rejection from people I have begged for help has damaged me, just like our tragic Princess Diana.
Yet that program uplifted me in some strange, spiritual way. Despite all she had been through, she still found the strength to help others and to find her voice. It was that strength that unnerved those around her. What was she going to do with it?
Sometimes I sense those around me are thinking the same thing, what is The Mum going to do with hers?
They have attempted to dismantle me, re-write the history of our schooling and care experiences, as well as withholding key information I have requested. The isolation grinds me down but I will still keep on fighting.
My love for my daughter gives me the strength to continue.
There is another reason why I will continue to keep making a noise.
My daughter is not the only one. We are not the only family affected. There are other distressed children in our school, in our area, in all areas who are left isolated and misunderstood.
I will continue to highlight all of the failures that we have experienced because I know there are so many other children in the system whose needs are not being met. I want to enable their voice too. I want to reach out to their parents and reassure them, empower them and connect with them.
Diana found helping others a coping mechanism for the melancholy she was experiencing.
I can relate to that.
I think this need to help others just about keeps my head above water.
You can’t begin to describe how it feels, for example, when you find out that a member of teaching staff was advising parents to complain about your child so they ‘could get rid of her’. The injustice, the despair, the anger. The emotion is too raw right now to talk about.
Oppression occurs in many areas of society, Princess Diana was a public example of how it affects those we assume are more fortunate.
It is over twenty years since those tapes were made and yet they transcend time. They speak even louder in volume than the day they were made. Diana found her voice and used it carefully. I will endeavour to do the same.