My son and my daughter
My son is 19 years old and lives me in Liverpool, England. My daughter is four years old and lives with her father in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
I visit my daughter every 4 weeks and we have a great time together.
I am bipolar and was taken into hospital when Jenny was 9 months old. My Mum was ill at the time. I had very little support or help with my mental illness even though I kept saying that I needed help. Basically I was breastfeeding for nine months and I needed help to get my daughter onto a bottle.
There was no mother and baby unit in Liverpool or Merseyside at the time I was taken into the Psychiatric Hospital. the only one that was offered me was in Leeds, Yorkshire.
I suffered domestic abuse from a family member in Liverpool and as I hadn’t got a home in Liverpool I had been living in a hostel for families in Liverpool. Towards the time when I was taken into hospital – things going on at the Hostel disturbed and upset me but also a G.P. put me on 50mg Sertraline (an anti-depressant) and then 100mg of Sertraline. Within around 8 weeks of starting the anti-depressant I was taken into psychiatric hospital and Jennifer was taken to a foster mother who turned out to be a lovely woman and ideal for Jennifer’s needs.
Around the same time I was offered a lovely 3 bedroomed house in Liverpool – where I live now with my son.
Whilst I was in Hospital I saw my daughter Jennifer 4 times a week and this continued. I could see for myself that she was being well cared for which was some comfort to me although I missed her greatly.
I set about preparing my house to move into. From December to April – that’s how long it took to furnish, carpet and decorate the property to some degree – fit to move into. I was discharged in early April from the hospital but still I wasn’t allowed to take Jenny home.
Her father “wanted her”.
I was myself adopted when I was a small baby. that was a concern of mine in a way but mostly it concerned me what was written about my character and how depressed the whole process made me. After Jenny had been in Foster care from late November and was going to stay in Foster care until at least the next November this made me worry about her attachment with her kind foster mother. I regret reading all the court papers about me and focusing alot on any negative comments about me. I had the father persuading me to let him take her and I had the idea that I would move to Enniskillen soon after and start a new life there close to my daughter….leaving my son to complete his education without me and live at his Grandmother’s house.
I thought about this dilemma long and hard. However I didn’t consult with my solicitor or barrister and I didn’t consult with any of my family. At the end of the day in my “weak minded state” I made the huge decision to “let the father take Jenny” to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. I now believe this was a careless and foolish decision and that my solicitor and barrister did not agree with me.
In July 2009 Jenny moved with her father to Northern Ireland. I have visited her ever since. The father got residency in March 2010.
I am still living in Liverpool with my son, and I am building my life around my two children. Liverpool is my home town and is where I belong. I love this city. It is beautiful and it is mine. I belong here.
I love my two children dearly and will always be here for them both.
Believing in God gives me strength and a sense of purpose.
I know He is my friend and He understands me. That gives me great comfort in my life.
Love and Peace to you all!