Kate Skerratt suffered domestic violence and anorexia but the children she gave up for adoption inspire her
My life was in ruins. All I had was my baby boy but I was in a violent relationship. I felt it didn’t matter that my partner, who wasn’t the baby’s father, hit me. What sort of life was that for my baby?
At the time I didn’t know about social services but, through a bad incident involving crime, my probation officer put me in touch with them. They checked on me and offered me support but I thought I could cope and hid the facts to protect an evil man. I realised when my blood was all over my baby, enough was enough.
I turned to drink and just gave up. The help was there but I refused it. I let my most precious baby go without a fight although I was involved in the adoption proceedings. I gave my son a book all about him and his family; he kept his name and I met his new mother and father.
Once a year I receive a letter about him. All through this experience I had help and support but I still refused help when once again I found myself pregnant. I’d suffered from anorexia for 23 years so my babies were little miracles. Social services were there for me again and they found the most wonderful people to have my special gift of life. I went to pieces and the baby’s father killed himself. I hit rock bottom and took the help with both hands stretched out.
I grabbed the help because I realised the only person who could help me was myself. I thought of the positives from a sad and painful experience and used it to help others. I thought of the joy I had given another woman: the gift of motherhood, the life I could never give my precious child. I did something that I never could have done if my path had gone in a different direction.
I’ve held on to the dream that one day I will meet my children again and be able to explain that I couldn’t change the past, but the future is mine to do whatever I want with it. When you hit rock bottom I believe there’s only one way and that is up. I believe the old saying, time’s a great healer and I’ve had plenty of it. It is all up to me.
My message to social services is people get the impression you are corrupt but I’ve started to see you’re not all to blame. Since I’ve met great people in social services I’ve learned to play the game. I show them respect and I get it right back.
Two years on I’m still getting help from social services and in the past few months I’ve got back right on track. I know my children are safe and loved and will grow up knowing all about me. If social services had not helped me I don’t like to think what could have happened.
I know in my heart I’ve done the right thing. I know my children are happy and thank the Lord every day they have a chance so many other children never have and that I will get better. My children are my inspiration. Thanks for taking the time to read this; the job you do saves lives.
Kate Skerratt uses social services