I was in an abusive relationship where my son and I were both physically abused. I'm no longer in that relationship, and children's services has taken custody of my two year old son.

In his eyes I feel like he thinks his family abandoned him, because children's services just ripped him away and out of his home. I've made mistakes and I know I didn't protect him like I should have. I will never forgive myself for letting any of this happen to him.

I had my first visit with him at children's services, and when he first saw me he started crying and was upset.he was trying to get away from me and didnt want any part of seeing me. He was like this through the whole twenty minute visit.

How do I regain his trust and build our relationship back up when I only see him thirty minutes a week? He's my everything, and all I want is for him to know I love him, and that I'm sorry, and nothing like this will ever happen again.

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    I'm sorry to hear that he was trying to get away from you (thank you for the edit/update). He certainly sounds overwhelmed by this whole experience, and doesn't know what to think. It will be a long period of healing for you both, and I wish you lots of luck.
    – Acire
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


There's no magic answer for this situation and the desperation you feel now, but there is hope; hope for you and hope for your son. It's not too late. It's hard now, and 30 minutes isn't much time, but it won't always be like this.

Thankfully, you're both out of the abusive situation. No one deserves abuse (including you), and while persons who've been abused often feel guilty, you didn't ask to be abused. You didn't ask your partner to abuse your son. People who are abused don't make the best choices and decisions (you seem very aware of this). Children's services did what they thought they had to do to stop the abuse. Now is your chance to break free of any bad patterns you've learned, and make yourself a stronger person and a better mother. You need to be stronger to be a better mother to your son. If you want a good life with your son, you have to make it happen to the best of your ability.

Your son had a long time to learn he was unsafe. It will take a long time of consistent caring on your part to help him feel safe again. You can't hurry the process. He has a right to feel the things he feels, like fear. You need to understand and respect that. That's part of loving your son. So let him cry, and do your best to avoid just reacting to your fears. Read to him, play with him, do the things you know he likes. It takes time.

You'll get increased visitations as you prove trustworthy to do so. Abuse doesn't have to ruin your child's life. It's stopped now, right? Now healing from the abuse and dealing with its aftermath can also start.

Take parenting classes; start right away. Learn how to love, listen to and effectively deal with your son's current and future needs, like safe discipline. Work closely and cooperatively with your son's social worker(s) and do what they request. They have seen lots of victims of abuse, and want what's best for your son. That is their rightful priority. Your willingness to cooperate with them will go a long way towards establishing trust with them. If they see you becoming a better mother, you will have more time with your son.

Avoid all contact with your abuser except through an intermediary (preferably a lawyer).

Get counseling for yourself and/or join a therapy group for survivors of abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to everyone for confidential help and to obtain information about counselors in your area. Trained counselors who specialize in domestic violence can help your recovery and help you identify skills and strengths you do have (and help you with those you don't have) which will help be a better parent.

Counselors will give you more advice. It's up to you to act on it.

Good luck. You were both victims. Get the help you need. This can turn around.

Moving On Emotionally After An Abusive Relationship
Child Abuse: What Every Parent Should Know

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    Terrific answer, with a good balance of positive encouragement and constructive advice for improving the way forward :)
    – Acire
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 12:40
  • Ive started parenting classes and i feel that im learning alot. Im scared that every visit with my son with be like first. I cant even imageine what he is feeling and im scared that he wont be able to forgive me. I want him to kno that im his real mom not his foster mother. He is doing goid at his foster home. Would it be best taking him out of the foster home and him going to live with my brothet? Ive been doing everything and more for children services. They want my son to go live with a relitive to get him out of foster care but he is doing good where he is at. Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:16
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    @lacysteele - a good foster mom will talk to your son about his real mom, will talk up visits, etc. You need to put his needs first, I think. These are things you should be discussing with his social worker. Your son is only two; give him time to learn to trust you. Time with you that is safe, and fun, and ultimately loving to him will occur. If you treat him well and lovingly consistently, he will forgive you, even if right now, he's crying. Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 16:29
  • It bothers me alot that he calls his foster parents mom and dad exspecially because he doesnt have a father, hes deceased. And who wants there child calling another woman mommy. Hes young and i dont want him to be confused that i am his mommy. My brother is a great person and could take great care of him. Children services has given me the option of my son going to live with a relitive. Should i hav my son go live with my brother at his apartment. Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 10:39

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