What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Each year in the United States alone, medical treatment is sought for an estimated 1,400-1,600 babies who have been shaken. Don’t let your child become just another statistic! Tell everyone who cares for your child “Never shake a baby!”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Déjà vu…by Lisa


It’s funny how you can think you’ve moved on…moved past all that has happened and start focusing on the future. Your life starts to become “normal,” at least as normal as it can be when you have a SBS child. But, in a split second the littlest thing can bring you right back to where you started and remind you of the past- someone can say or do something, or you find yourself somewhere that brings back all of the memories. You force yourself to move forward, but you cannot stop it- without warning, the hurt, anger, betrayal, mistrust, and fear return…

I was called to jury duty last week. It was not a big deal, until I arrived the first day. As I walked up the stairs and into the building, I began to remember. All of the potential jurors were placed in the same courtroom where the criminal trial for Riley’s assault took place. As I sat down, I immediately felt nauseous. I started to recognize faces of people who worked for the court from our trial. I noticed the “In God We Trust” banner on the wall. I found myself staring at the stand where I was forced to testify about the horrific experience of almost losing my daughter. Where I cried endlessly as I described all Riley had to endure while her attacker, and my former friend, looked on, coldly. Seven months pregnant with my second child at the time, I spent a grueling two hours on that stand, relieving every gut wrenching moment and answering every question. I spent many more hours in the courtroom listening to testimony and waiting for a verdict a year- and- a- half ago. The courtroom hosted many difficult memories. I was very relieved to be dismissed from the case as a possible juror, and thankful to be out of the courtroom…

Unexpectedly, my experiences last week really affected me, so much so that I couldn’t even bring myself to blog. I went about my daily business, but I needed time to regroup, spend time with my children and refocus. I needed time to work through my emotions, and let the anger subside. I found myself picking up the pieces and trying to move forward once again. It is a never-ending cycle…

Many people have told me how they admire the way my husband and I handled ourselves during the trial. If it was their child, they would have handled it differently. That they don’t know how we did it. That we were stronger then they would have been, and that they could not have contained themselves the way we did. The truth is, you do not know how you would handle a situation like this until you are thrust into it- something I would never wish on anyone.

We are only human. We are Riley’s parents, and we always put her needs before our own, even before her injury. That is what parents should do- take a step back and look at the big picture. We were not going to do Riley any good from a jail cell. We needed to be there for her, no discussion. But, I am filled with anger, disgust and hatred for the “monster” that harmed my daughter. My trust in others is completely shattered- this woman was my friend, I entrusted her with my little girl, and she hurt her. These raw emotions are there, will always be, and will emerge when I least expect it. I am not a saint, just a mom who loves her daughter so much that I make her my priority, and put my own feelings aside. We instead watched as the “monster’s” lawyer and family attempted to turn the trial into a “Jerry Springer” episode- something that obviously did not help her. As difficult as it was, we contained ourselves at the trial because we felt it was best for her case. We hoped that justice would prevail, and lucky for us, it did…

~Lisa

1 comment:

Terri said...

I know exactly what you mean. I could not imagine having to go back to the courthouse, let alone the courtroom itself, where our 'monster' got away with my godson Kobin's death this past August. We waited over 2 1/2 years and were brimming with hope when we walked into that court, three days later my heart was ripped apart again. Wednesday marked 3 years since that horrific day and I still feel just as I did when I heard that he died. I don't really know where I am going with this, and I can't see through my tears so I will leave you with a wish of good luck to you, your family and especially Riley. I hope she grows up happy and healthy and becomes a voice against SBS and all of the 'monsters' out there...