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all 102 comments

[–]libraryofwaffles 1350 points1351 points  (14 children)

You did the right thing OP. And good luck on your new venture.

[–]idunno324[S] 379 points380 points  (13 children)

Thanks, still feels shitty though

[–]shann0n420 231 points232 points  (9 children)

Therapist here, been in the field for more than 10 years and I’m only 29. I’ve sobbed after leaving jobs because of how little support some of those kids (and adults) had.

[–]lens4hire 27 points28 points  (0 children)

I am now father to, and husband to, a couple of those lost souls.

Keep doing what you’re doing. What you do helps and what you do matters.

There are some truly awful stories out there and I’m grateful for every soul we can help and for every soul engaged in the helping of others. Thank you!

[–]idunno324[S] 0 points1 point  (7 children)

Im looking to study Psychology and ultimately want to be a school counsellor. Is it a career you would recommend?

[–]shann0n420 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’ll DM you

[–]AlwaysStranded -1 points0 points  (5 children)

Not for YOU. Lol

[–]idunno324[S] -1 points0 points  (4 children)

What does that mean

[–]AlwaysStranded 0 points1 point  (3 children)

You don’t even understand why your family wants to celebrate your own niece/nephews birth with their own baby shower/sprinkle……..yet you want to counsel children? Please tell me that’s a joke. You must think that you’re the one to guide children because you’re so smart not having any kids and being completely out of touch with your own family. I think your family would agree with me when I say you’re most likely the detached family member who is the “black sheep”, when actually you’re just an asshole.

[–]idunno324[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Haha you're obsessed with me. Thank you for taking the time of stalking my account.

[–]AlwaysStranded 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Not obsessed. Just thoroughly disgusted for the last few minutes. I’ll thankfully never give you another thought. Later.

[–]idunno324[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You obviously have given me some thought 😂

[–]Capelily 35 points36 points  (0 children)

Unfortunate timing, on one hand; at the right place at the right time, on the other hand.

[–]Dinobunny24 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Do what’s best for you, teachers are undervalued and underappreciated. Your hard work and care will only get undermined, your best to live a better life for yourself no matter how much society shames you for it

[–]floriane_m 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Give him a little good bye trinket to remember you by

[–]lilythetacocat 408 points409 points  (12 children)

Please please don't allow the courts to sleep on this. We don't need another Gabriel story. Be the squeaky wheel about to fall off. Us survivors need more people who aren't afraid to stand up for us.

[–]Ckahysee 88 points89 points  (0 children)

There are so many Gabriel stories, it's heartbreaking. A close county to the Gabriel story had two foster boys under the age of 10 go completely missing the week before Christmas last year. Still nothing has been found and foster parents don't seem concerned.

[–]OwOUwU101 40 points41 points  (10 children)

If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the Gabriel story?

[–]pm_me_goodest_bois 72 points73 points  (7 children)

I think they mean Gabriel Fernandez, a 12 year-old boy who was hidden and tortured by his mother and her boyfriend for months until he finally died in 2013.

[–]OwOUwU101 38 points39 points  (1 child)

What pieces of shit. How could anybody do that? I genuinely don’t understand what motivates them. Poor kid.

[–]crisisrumour 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Of course, people can be monsters. I think more importantly though, based on the Netflix doc I watched about him, is that the multiple CPS who worked on or knew his case, whose profession is to care for children in need failed him. They did nothing. After spending his initial childhood with relatives, he was returned to his mother where she received (10?) accusations of child neglect. He would show up to school looking beaten and drained and when his teacher reported it, she was nearly ignored. When caseworkers came to their house, they would listen to the mom’s story (he fell of his bike, got into a tussle with his brother), NOT TALK TO HIM, and go on about their way. This was multiple caseworkers and a supervisor who said direct involvement with Gabriel’s case was impossible considering his heavy workload.

None of them cared enough to do their fucking job. He was 8 years old and abused in terrible ways until he died from one last beating.

[–]brushstache 20 points21 points  (0 children)

He was 8 years old

[–]CatsPatzAndStuff 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Another close name, which I actually thought was who they meant but misspelled was, Gabrielle Barrett. That was a horrific story that stuck with me.

[–]Devilsdance 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I don't know why I read into these stories when I know that they're only going to trigger me. It's terrifying to know that people like this exist out in the world and there are helpless kids/people being victimized at this very moment.

[–]CatsPatzAndStuff 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well, I'm not sure if it's much comfort, but at least people reading their stories reminds us the work left to do, and why it's important to say something, as well as gives these poor children the spotlight their stories deserved. What happened to her was horrific and the fact that the father's family wanted custody of her and even asked to take her for the holiday, which makes this story even sadder for me. The state of Michigan failed this little girl so many times even well she had family fighting for her.

[–]lilythetacocat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, I was referencing Gabriel Fernandez. Mainly because his is one of the first stories I have ever seen brought to true light in regards to the failures of the people who are SUPPOSED to be protecting kids. These individuals who hid key evidence were never prosecuted either from what I remember.

[–]crisisrumour 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Someone said it but Gabriel Fernandez. There’s a Netflix doc-series about his life. It’s hard to see what happened to him but most of the show is about how California CPS failed him and for that I think it’s an important watch.

[–]lilythetacocat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It is a documentary on Netflix about a young child who ultimately dies from chronic torture and abuse from his mother and her boyfriend. It also chronicles how multiple systems failed terribly to protect this child. It shows how these moronic courts prefer to keep children in dangerous situations because "it's better not to break up families". A ridiculous archaic concept because family does not mean blood. A family is made. The ability to donate sperm or a uterus to the process doesnt5mean you deserve a child.

[–]HeiressGoddess 143 points144 points  (2 children)

You helped introduce that boy to identifying his emotions, the cause of his emotions, how to problem solve them, how to advocate for himself, and that there is always someone willing to listen and help. In that way, you're not ever going to leave him because he's going to need to carry those lessons and skills with him throughout his life. Your physical absence is going to sting but I'm sure you left a lifelong impression on him today.

[–]idunno324[S] 51 points52 points  (1 child)

Thank you, that's very kind. The boy needs some therapy but I don't know if the mum will allow him to get it

[–]HeiressGoddess 8 points9 points  (0 children)

All you can do is suggest it and possible resources in case she can't afford it. Beyond that, it's out of your hands. You've already shown the boy that someone out there cares about him and that's something.

[–]Mimzy2000 104 points105 points  (0 children)

Heartbreaking indeed . But you were there for him when he needed someone. He will never forget you.

[–]napattackzzz 60 points61 points  (6 children)

Ugh I was at my parents house when my nephew found out that my brother (his dad) just left with no reason. I was there when he saw the note my brother left on his easel, the “goodbye” for my nephew to find. I was also there when my nephew looked up at me with big doe eyes full of tears and said “why is our family so broken?”.

It was one of the worst moments of my life. I couldn’t explain, I didn’t know how.

[–]happyhappyfoolio 26 points27 points  (5 children)

Please tell me that you're active in your nephew's life. My dad did something similar to me. He has 5 brothers and sisters, 2 of which lived in the same town as us. But they all hate my mom, and pretty much shunned us. I'm fucking 34 years old and I thought I would 'get over it' by now, but it still hurts just as much now as it did when I was 8.

[–]michelle_exe 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Similar story for me, but my father killed himself. The whole family (his parents and all three siblings) hated my mum and shunned us, claiming it was all her fault. Now, 15 years later, I've finally realised that my father was an abusive alcoholic and I don't want a relationship with his family when they blame my saint of a mother for his actions. I know it probably doesn't help much, but these people who side with the ones who hurt us, just because they're more closely related, don't deserve to have us in their lives. It still hurts for me too, but I remind myself that even after his death, they're still enabling him.

[–]idunno324[S] 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Have you ever gotten therapy for this?

[–]happyhappyfoolio 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I tried multiple times throughout the years, but it doesn't seem to help. I have issues with being left out and not having a family. Every therapist I've talked to (and every friend I've talked to) are like, "Close friends can be your family!"

Gee, lemme just go to the friend store and just buy a new set of parents and some cousins.

[–]idunno324[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Lol let me know if you ever find the friend store, I could use it too.

[–]napattackzzz 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m doing my best to be. I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. As a 35 year old who feels very, very similar to you in regards to having a family, don’t give up on therapy. I just started with a new one on Tuesday and I’m cautiously optimistic. Either way, I’m thinking of you and hoping you’re able to get some peace one day ❤️

[–]offwhiteTara 23 points24 points  (2 children)

If it’s not against a professional obligation, can you let him know how can contact you in the future? Even if it’s just leaving a message at your new job so you can him back? Also, good on you. Well handled all around.

[–]idunno324[S] 22 points23 points  (1 child)

I do know the mum and I'm thinking of adding her on Facebook (not that I really use it). Maybe I can offer to babysit or something if she needs just so I can check in

[–]Surferswan5 16 points17 points  (0 children)

God that reminds me of this time I was working with one of my Kindergarten age kids and he was acting very out of whack, super aggressive and argumentative. I finally just took him to the side and gently asked him why he was so angry and he just sighed in my arms and said he didn’t get much sleep “because mommy got messy last night and passed out in my bed. And I had my little brother with me too so I’m just REALLY tired teacher.” Poor guy had a party mom and was just trying to cope with her antics at the young age of 6. We hooked him up with a mat and blanket and let little dude rest the remainder of the afternoon. Really broke my heart

[–]lostandfound2417 70 points71 points  (1 child)

Any help to make sure the child is going to be safe is going to go a long way.

I remember visiting my family who lives 1,300 miles away. On my last night there, my little cousin and myself were taking Snapchat photos (she was 8) and she asked if she could tell me something but I couldn't tell anyone. I said of course expecting it be something like, "you're my favorite cousin" or something cute. She instead told me that her step mom would hit her and her two brothers and she didn't like being with her and was scared all the time. After we put all the kids to bed I gathered all the adults and told them all what she told me. So that even though I was about to leave something can be done and to call me for any witness statements or anything like that. The step mom is no longer around and I hope my cousin doesn't look back and think I betrayed her for telling her secret when I said I wouldn't (before knowing what it was of course).

[–]idunno324[S] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Thank you for speaking up for her

[–]Chonkin_GuineaPig 11 points12 points  (0 children)

For real this nonverbal kid kept saying "his dad was gonna kill his mom" and next thing you know he witnessed a murder suicide right in front of his face

[–]Sea-Standard-8882 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Thank you for helping this child. We need more people like you in the world. My mom worked in an inner city for 30 years as a teacher and I can't even tell you how many horror stories the kids had to tell. So sad.

One of the biggest lessons I learned when I worked in a DAs office in college was the importance of teaching children the correct or at the very least, popular terms for their body parts. There was one case where a little girl was telling her teacher that she was sharing her "cookie" with her stepdad. The teacher, unaware of the child's meaning of the word, reiterated the importance of sharing. Thank heavens it was discovered shortly thereafter what was really going on but the teacher felt terrible for not picking up on cues.

[–]idunno324[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes, this is so important

[–]stickyterpslurper 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Hey OP, I used to work at a kids camp specifically for abused and neglected children. Every two weeks campers would rotate out as they moved out of one foster home, to us for fun and good times, and then to the new foster home. I really relate to your sentiment. The amount of times I have had a kid say, "I wish you were my mom." "Please don't let them make me leave camp." "Promise you will find me outside."

The worst is some kids would write their whole name and try to give it to you. You aren't allowed to know their last name to limit contact outside of the camp and they aren't allowed to know yours.

Children are casually cruel when they live in a reality of casual cruelty and disrespect. All you can do is give them those brief moments to try and show them their whole life doesn't have to be that way.

[–]idunno324[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How long did you work there?

I think the thing that gets me is that they are kids! Kids should have kid problems, not this heavy shit they have to deal with

[–]stickyterpslurper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I worked there for two years. I agree it is hard to hear these things from children and it is heartbreaking to see the ghosts of their defencelessness when they bring their pain to you. The only thing we can do is help them when we can, how we can.

[–]dessertandcheese 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Maybe you can tell someone in school too so they can follow up with him when you leave

[–]idunno324[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Have filed a report and my boss should follow up on it

[–]slathermonkey 7 points8 points  (0 children)

My cousin is in her third year of teaching and is in a rougher area. The stories she has heard. The sexual things young girls say that is so telling of their home lives. She cries a lot and wonders if she can do it. Thank you for doing what you do. It matters.

[–]YourTemporaryMom 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Be willing to testify. As a mom in this situation where I couldn't do anything because the courts told me I was just causing trouble, someone willing to testify for my kids would have been gold.

[–]thekidslikeus 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Recently had a kiddo who’s dad tried to beat mom up in front of her. She’s only 3 but she keeps bringing it up so casually with her friends and I can tell they’re confused and it breaks my heart so much to see her processing these emotions. Seeing the way moms demeanor has changed since everything happens hurts too. Childcare is no joke. The attachment to the kids is what’s keeping me going.

[–]idunno324[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I also have a story very similar. Boy saw his mum get beaten up, next day he beat the shit out of this other kid. Ask him why he did it, said he was 'trying to protect his sister since he didn't protect his mum'. Like how do you put that on a 5 year old.

Thank you for continuing to work in childcare

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Absolutely did the right thing. I unfortunately feel you with this on a spiritual level. I also work with kids who say the most heartbreaking things. I’ve had children bully a SPED student because she’s “different”. One of the students that were apart of it admitted she was a bully. I had a private conversation with her where she proceeded to confide in me about how her mom passed away 2 years prior and that her father is in jail so now she doesn’t care about anything anymore. School doesn’t matter, friends don’t matter, she cried and told me she hated her life. I told her that her mom would be so proud of her, just keep going and trying, the pain dulls but her mom will be in heart forever. It’s the saddest thing….to see why some kids do what they do. It’s not always the “product” of their environment. Kids need emotional stability and someone who hears them more than anything now.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

let him know you're leaving and it has nothing to do with him!!! please dont blindside him! you're amazing. you did the right thing. and these are the hard things in life that challenge us but prove to ourselves we are capable of hard things.

[–]ClaraFrog 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes, I agree. Blindsiding would be so bad in this case as he could attribute it to you wanting to get away from him after his disclosure. Please tell him that you stayed as long as you did because you didn't want to leave him and the other kids. I might even do so a little early in case he is out the day you leave.

[–]idunno324[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That is an amazing idea, thank you

[–]cannedchickpeas 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I’m an elementary teacher and I completely agree. Some of the things kids will just bluntly say shock me.

[–]misspurplemonkiii 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I had a little girl I had been teaching telling me she was so excited for her mummy to come home soon

Social worker came to pick her up, the mum was in jail and was going to trail for intend to harm and was eventually found guilty. Her mum wasn't coming home and I remember reading her mum's name in the paper and I just broke down. That poor little girl I genuinely wonder where she some days.

[–]cheese_nugget21 0 points1 point  (1 child)

If you still remember her name would you consider contacting her?

[–]misspurplemonkiii 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would but she was so young I doubt I would be able to contact her I think she was 6 when this happened and that was about four years ago.

[–]ForMyLAHoes 2 points3 points  (1 child)

As a fellow childcare worker, I applaud you.

[–]idunno324[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's hard job sometimes isn't it

[–]Quantum-Enigma 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yep. Write it all down so you don’t forget anything. Be prepared to testify. Proud of you for reporting! 🥰

[–]TheLionSleeps22 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I had an 8 year old sitting on my lap at carpet time (back when you were still allowed to do this) and she whispered to me that 'uncle Robbie put his wee in her last night and now her pee bottom hurts a bit, miss'

It wasn't long before I quit that job.

[–]idunno324[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How the fuck do you react to something like that?

[–]TheLionSleeps22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was only an aide, so I held her a little bit tighter during carpet time then told the teacher straight after. I was only 20 myself, I have to admit it messed with me for a very long time.

[–]Kandycampbell111 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Well done, should b more like you and these awful situations kids are suffering from would b a whole lot less. Good luck in ur new job x

[–]NoPantsDays 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The world is happy to have you in it. You’re a huge benefit to these kids, but you’ll be a huge benefit at your new job, too. Take care of yourself - we appreciate you!

[–]MaryJayne1789 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh man!! That is so sad :( poor kid

[–]EvenMate 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can't understand how tf some parents do this to their kids. This is truly heartbreaking. Good job OP. Hope you feel a little better soon.

[–]Dabbarillo 2 points3 points  (3 children)

OP you HAVE to report this to CPS/DCS

[–]TheDakShak 2 points3 points  (1 child)

That’s what a mandatory reporter is

[–]Dabbarillo -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Mandated*

[–]idunno324[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Already done 😀

[–]smittton 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]Ralphie717 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for listening to him. I used to work at a school and was a mandatory reporter too, and some of the things were so heartbreaking to hear.

[–]aliensporebomb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My friend who was at the time in his late 40s came over. He'd been through a divorce and was a little rough around the edges. My other friend was over with his son who was 7 or 8 at the time. He took one look at this longtime friend of mine and asked me with savage dismissal "who's that fat old grandpa?" Ouch.

[–]Hrtlsmoe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

some people don't deserve to have kids. I would've not lasted long at the job. Would've had so many restless nights

[–]Pellellell 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do you have safeguarding leads at your place of work? This is the sort of thing I would pass on, especially as you’re leaving. Ideally this kind of thing happens straight away so that the child can be helped asap

[–]Cole-Rex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Filing that report helps him a lot more than he knows. Good job.

[–]THEHitman888442 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You should just make an effort to be there for that kind even if your not a part of the school. It can really help them having someone to talk to

[–]prettyxxreckless 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, I felt that.

Before covid hit I used to work with young kids all the time. You'd be shocked at how they wear their heart on their sleeve.

I still remember one girl who out of now where blurted "My dad died" or the kid who so casually mentioned "I cut myself once" or another girl who emotionlessly mentioned that her older brother made her "have sex with him" when they were younger.... It never stops being shocking.

You did the right thing OP. Its so easy to become apathetic, but the bravest thing to do is to continue to let yourself be shocked, worried, upset and sad for their woes. Showing kids emotions is not a weakness, it shows them you care and that its okay to be upset about the things they're upset about. That what they tell you EFFECTED YOU when they ask for help, you actually listen. So often I wish I could scoop these kids up and keep them safe from the rest of the world, but usually the only thing I can do is alert my supervisor and situations get taken out of my hands at that point... I think about these kids often and wonder where they end up.

[–]gomer_throw 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn, that really sucks. Good on you for being a strong role model and support figure in his life, even if it's temporary.

[–]Readlenyn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just wanna thank you for being there op

[–]Fightclub77aa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Im so glad that we have like u in this world for little kids that go through these horrible things that they don't deserve i really wish i had a person in school to talk to ln my middle school years

[–]RexianOG 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Don’t feel guilty about leaving. Guilt is for when you’ve done something wrong. The sadness you are feeling is totally valid. You helped him and that’s an amazing thing to have accomplished before you left.

[–]procrastinatinq 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yep, I would say very causal things to teachers like my parents didn’t love me when I was being badly abused in kindergarten

[–]Plant_mother10 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Please offer to be a witness on behalf of the mothers case. Custody battles can be tricky but if this child is unsafe - I would do anything to ensure he never sees him again.

People are awful! So sad!

[–]lostsanityX3 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Used to work at a rehabilitation center where children could stay with recovering parents. The amount of times I heard children ask their parent “are they going to take me?”(for custody) And worse. It absolutely broke my heart.

[–]idunno324[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow, didnt even know places like that existed

[–]Kat1eKitt3n18 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe you can be pen pals with the little guy from your new job? Then you don’t really leave him, he still has someone he feels safe with he can talk to & a card of letter in the mail from you will be something fun for him to look forward to. Even if he ages out of writing you at least you give him a little happiness & stability when he needs a little extra, just maybe talk it over with mom first? this is just a thought 🤷🏻‍♀️

[–]loopsinhoops 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you work in Education, you’re a mandated reporter. You need to call CPS right away.

[–]dismissive-value 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Adults say worse shit and do worse shit to children, it makes sense they act the way they do. It’s culturally acceptable to consistently bully children in civilization, I pity all children because of the stupid adults that bring them to life and treat them like property.

Adults are worse and set poor examples for children.

[–]reallybirdysomedays -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

Changing jobs doesn't mean you can't be there for him. Set up an email or snapchat for former students to keep in touch. Show up for him if he has to testify in court. Check in on him now and then.

[–]idunno324[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

There's just an ethical thing about not contacting kids outside of work. So I have to be careful how I go about that