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Jeanne M. Hannah

Stacey, thank you for writing. It is important that parents of children who have been abused need to speak out so that other parents can learn from their experience. About twenty years ago, I worked on a shaken baby case as the court-appointed attorney for the mother. The father was young and he was frustrated because the baby kept crying. The mother was at work. He shook the baby and nearly killed it.

Later, his parental rights were terminated and he was sent to prison. This was one of the most difficult cases (in the sense of everyone involved confronting the severe injuries to the baby).

I applaud you for your efforts to persevere and help your son adjust to his disabilities.

Stacey Usina

My son was a victim at three months of age. He is now eight and my family and I cherish every moment we have with him. His father shook him, almost to death. He has severe brain trauma and has issues with learning, but I feel lucky he is alive. We believe he was also thrown down somewhere because he had bruising on the left side of his head.I would not wish this on anyone. It was the worse experience I ever had. Now, eight years later, he is struggling in school, and the father is trying to get his rights back because he found out the state is going after him for child support. What a nightmare. Please, parents, stop and think about what could happen. Let your baby cry if you have to, but don't ever do this. Ask for help.

Jeanne M Hannah

Thank you so much for writing. Your message is such an important one. You are so right. Parents need to recognize that they may be at a flash point for abuse and they need to take a deep breath and walk away.

You of course did not deserve this abuse. No child deserves to be abused. You recognize that your parents do not have the capacity to acknowledge what they did to you (or allowed to happen to you.) Some abused children decide to love that hurt little child -- that innocent beautiful child inside of their adult bodies. I hope that you may be able, in your thoughts, to hold that child, wrap the child in your arms and your love, and let him or her know just how beautiful and loved the child is.

Thank you for speaking on behalf of all of those children out there who suffer abuse . . . every day.

JB Corban

I am an adult survivor of shaken baby syndrome. This happened when I was about 7 months old. It was kept a family secret for nearly 40 years, with my father still in denial. I was always told that "the babysitter dropped me on my head." Funny, when I began to do research on various ailments I began having in my mid to late 30s, I began to connect the dots. My family admits that I had a skull fracture, a concussion, and stopped breathing, hence needed CPR, and then a shunt to drain the fluid around my brain once admitted in to the hospital. These types of injuries don't just happen as a result of being dropped or falling out of he pumpkin seat, etc. Now, I am dealing with neuro-optical palsy in three of the six nerves that control my eye muscles. It really is no surprise to me that this has happened, as my father was abusive throughout my childhood -- to my mother, my brother, and to me. My family stayed in tact after all these years, buy now I am dealing with the consequences. I am one of the fortunate ones who survived and managed to get by this long with no major physical damage, until now. However, the emotional challenge of dealing with a parent who is vehemently in denial and thus perpetuating the psychological abuse by insisting "it never happened" is heart-breaking. I find that I am asking myself, "Why? What did I do to deserve this?" I forgive my parents, perhaps out of a basic need for acceptance and that unconditional bond that goes along with sharing one's genes. At the same time, I am angry. Abuse is often a cycle that never ends; it is the family curse that, unless deliberately broken with God's help, keeps going on. I understand parents get frustrated, they feel helpless, and they don't know what to do. Please, if you are a parent that feels this way, get help. Set the baby down in a safe place and call someone, anyone, who can help you. If you shake your baby there may be no immediate life-threatening consequences. Sometimes, however, the consequences don't show up until long after the act. Think first, pray, and walk away if you need to.

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