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A child's life changed forever

By Brandigal (Donna)     Aug 6, 2007 in Lifestyle
What happens in a child's life that will cause them to go from being a happy go lucky child to a child filled with anger and rage?
One Nova Scotia boy's life was turned upside down and in doing so changed the boys life forever.
The young man is 15 years old now and in a youth detention centre in Nova Scotia now. He is charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. The charges stem from a July 29th attack on two men ages 26 and 28, both from Halifax. The two men were attacked by 3 teens and received non-life threatening injuries. Just one of the three teens were charged.
This young man is native and was a very happy child until the age of ten. At age 10 he witnessed his dog killed in front of him. The dog was hit by a car. A couple of weeks later, his father drowned on a fishing trip. He was very close to his father and spent a lot of time with him. He felt guilt over his fathers death because he was suppose to go with his dad on this fishing trip and did not go.
His mother said "He blames himself for that death. He was supposed to go fishing with him in the Shubie River, and I think he feels if he was there he could have saved his father."He began acting out a lot. . . . That’s when he started drinking and taking drugs like marijuana and popping pills like Dilaudid (a painkiller) and skipping school. He started hanging out with the wrong crew, fighting his brother. A doctor in Tatamagouche then put him on Paxil (an antidepressant), and I think that drug made him even worse."I remember him telling me it was his worst birthday ever. He got suspended 15 times at school that year. . . . He got so angry."
Then a few months later his grandfather died of natural causes causing the child to feel even more pain. His mother's marriage was ending because of
abuse, swearing and threats, against both her and the children.
So this child's world was turned upside down. He did not receive counseling to learn to deal with all the pain he was feeling so he was acting out and turning to drugs and booze to help ease the pain. He began finding the wrong kind of friends to hang out with, the troubled ones just like himself.
One day, a day the mother will now regret for the rest of her life, she called the Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services to ask for help because she was so stressed by her sons out of control actions. She wanted them to get him help. She said on the phone to come and get him before she hurts him, he needs counseling that she cannot give him. He was out of control.
The agency arrived at her home and forced her to sign permanent custody of the boy over to them or she would lose all her children that day. They would be removed from the home.
She said she never meant she would hurt the boy she was just very stressed by the troubles around her and wanted someone to help her with him.
After he was removed, the mother and her other children ended up in a shelter for abused women and children in Waycobah in 2003.
The child went from one foster home to another after being removed from the home. He has rarely gone to school. One of the homes he was in was so full of alcohol and drug abuse, that she believes her son was sexually abused but he refuses to say anything. He has never received the psychiatric counselling or treatment that he was suppose to get when they took him from her home. The agency even told her last month that he expressed a desire to stab someone, anyone and still no psychological help was given to the boy.
At age 12, in 2004, he did end up in a group home for threatening a child with a knife at a Yarmouth school and still no help was given to the child who through his actions was crying out for help.
The system put in place to protect these children, failed this child.
This mother has tried to get her child back but so far has not been able to. She does not do drugs or drink and she is still fighting to get him back home.
So now he sits in a youth detention centre on charges and talking to his mother on the phone saying how he feels unwanted and rejected. She is trying to convince him suicide is not the answer to your problems but she fears he will do just that. She does not know where to turn or what to do to get her son help.
So for one child, a series of loss and pain turned his world upside down and changed it forever. The system failed him, adults failed him and no one is held accountable.
A reporter for the Halifax Herald did try to contact the Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services concerning the child saying he wanted to stab someone and they said they cannot discuss the matter because of confidentiality. They did say "Everything is done on a case-by-case basis. "The goal is (that) we want to preserve the family, but it may not be a safe environment for the child."
No child should fall through the cracks.
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