Guest post by Heather Watts, a mom who was reunified with her children at the recent Eckerd Youth Alternatives Reunification ceremony in Pinellas County.
When I lost my kids in January, it changed my entire life. I was in a really bad relationship, very depressed, low self-esteem and feeling trapped and unable to move. I was addicted to my prescription medication and stayed numb with them, often not getting out of bed for days. After that day, I never thought I would be in this great place and reunified with my family.
People in my position look at Child Protective Services, Eckerd Youth Alternatives and social workers as a threat, a hassle, and are frustrated with not having control over their own family and children. But I learned they are just there to protect our kids and guide parents to do the right thing.
My case workers kept me strong and focused. I stopped blaming them for being in my life and realized they were there for a reason. I would not be the same woman, mom or daughter if they had not been in my life. It was a much-needed intervention to help me regain my health and success as a mom to help me and my children grow. We were a broken puzzle before they came into our lives.
But who I really need to thank are my kids for never giving up on me and forgiving me for the most unforgivable things a mom can do. My main goal now is to make sure they know and trust that what happened before will never happen again. They need to know that I would never have been able to accomplish anything if I didn’t know they were by my side and had my back to come through all of this fogginess.
I can honestly say that we are so much tighter now as a family. We are very close and more open with our feelings. Sometimes people can have harsh experiences and it can have a very negative impact on their life, but I am so proud my kids have taken such a negative situation and have made it positive.
All of this has made my family unbreakable, strong, healthy, open and honest. We have great relationships with more mutual respect, clearer communications and boundaries. We are a healthier family all around.