TNN spoke to a concerned mother that has serious fears of her son well being at Discovery Ranch Treatment Facility In Utah.
Tina Ray stated her son is the same age of the young teenager who tragically lost her life in Utah , so it’s not far fetched to feel uneasy about his wellbeing knowing his circumstances and history, the uncertainty felt when I read TNN’s post on Sunday Untimely Death of Teenager in Utah treatment Facility. I was horrified with panic it took me two hours to confirm that it wasn’t my son which I am grateful for but nevertheless Bermuda has tragically lost another young person in our failing system.
When are we going to stand up as a community and share our stories and make change happen, hold the Powers that be accountable for the sadness and desperation our country and our children are facing.
My son has been a foster child since the age of Six months, he was placed in care due to a incident which occured with my eldest daughter in 1997, I have a depressive history and a postpartum depression incident occured and she was placed in care, the question I have and have had since day one, Does my depression make me unfit to parent??? Well DCFS never answered my question and because there was a breakdown in communication with the Mental Health Services My progress wasn’t documented my son remained in foster care until adolescence He then was given the option of the boys treatment home on Palmetto Road or Living with me, of course he was coming home with me.
Needless to say we had challenges typical teenage behaviours is what the social workers and Psychologist were telling me, but me as his mother knew something different. But because he hadn’t been in my care and I was new to the teenage parenting thing how would I know something was not right with my child…. well yes what’s done in the dark comes out in the light so to speak my son was found out to be smoking Marajuana, and started stealing I chose to put my son in the boys home with the thought he would get the Clinical Support neccessary to make better choices in Iife,weIl instead my mental health became the factor and the fact that I wasn’t able to provide the more fashionable fads these children wanted for example iPhone, collectors item motorcycle where the things my son had his mind fix on, he had the basic necessities and i tried to motivate him to get a job packing groceries since he had such expensive taste, I was wrong for that… trying to show my son the value of money, therefore the communication between him and I became strained to non existant.
My son chose to go to Utah I believe because he wanted a escape from what I believe to be a emotionally draining life, he has a family history of depression on both sides and drug and alcohol abuse, there is no question in my mind he needs psycological support, but i am not convinced he is getting it in UTAH, for that reason I want him to come back home, I believe our financial resourses to send these children overseas could be put to better use, especially since the local resources in my opinion where not fully utilized or exhausted before his departure, and my finding out of the departments intent in front of the
Magistrate when they were seeking permission to send him.
In Bermuda we come from a Culture were we bury our emotions hide our pain of past trama, without understanding how negative emotions have a affect on someof the decisions we make in everyday life, I had the Priviledge last October of attending the ACE’s Conference Hosted By the Family Center you would be suprised how adverse childhood trama affects many of us in ways we don’t truly understand, all the anti-social behavours in children and adults are becoming more and more evident everyday which is a strong sign of Adverse Childhood Trama.
The question I have is what are we going to do about it as a community it’s not a one person’s job it will take a collective effort by everyone who has a positive interest in Bermuda and the well-being of Bermudians and residents alike, I challenge anyone reading my story to join me in standing for change, because its well overdue.
We read stories of crime, anti-social behaviour etc every day and we carry on as business as usual until it affects us personally, but we never seem to target the root causes of the issues, Bermuda we are a small island so anything negative affects us all in one way or another, this system is failing us and more importantly failing our children.
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RESPONSE FROM DR. GINA SPENCE
Sister Ray May God bless you for speaking out on behalf of your son. Thanks for giving a voice to the voiceless. I am a grief recovery specialist and there are many other Bermudians right here on this island qualified and certified to help our children and adults with unaddressed trauma. I am also a survivor of childhood trauma and know first hand exactly what it feels like to grow up in the Bermuda “system”. I have lived in foster care in Bermuda and trust me it was not an easy journey for my mother or my siblings. Thanks and glory be to God I am healed delivered and set free the the bondage of depression suicide thoughts and feeling hopeless. My charity Gina Spence Productions was birthed out of my pain. God saved me and gave me the vision and plan to go back and help other children and families. My charity has been in the trenches for years helping children and families deal with grief loss and death. We provide trauma counselling and support, school clothes, healthy food items and medicine ALL FREE OF CHARGE!!! Why? Because we serve a God who provides ALL of our needs according to His riches!
We are not waiting on Government to provide the support, love and professional services that our community needs. If you are reading this post and need help please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to become a volunteer to us and help our families call me on 707-5224
If you would like to donate to our charity go to our website ginaspenceproductions.com
Our children and families lives matter!!!!!!!!