Lack of Support

You are here

One of the major issues that I have is with how mothers who were forced to relinquish their babies, were treated after the adoption records opened over 20 years ago. The Queensland Department of Family Services in particular threw us to the wolves. We had no help whatsoever, in fact we had quite the opposite. Hostility and prejudice was rife within a deeply entrenched department that was still very much pro adoption and anti mothers, fathers and extended family. I went into a severe state of depression and what I now know to be PTSD when the records opened in 1991. I had a complete physical and mental breakdown. All of my exocrine glands, that is, any glands that excrete any kind of moisture, dried up, so I had to use eye drops to keep my eyes moist, nasal spray to be able to breathe, and I was so terrified I had to use artificial saliva because my mouth was so dry. I felt like vomiting every time I saw a baby or heard one cry, even if it was on tv, and I had panic attacks when I went out shopping. My heart was racing all the time, I couldn't eat or sleep, my weight dropped by 16kgs to 39kgs. I started to bleed non-stop and I burned my stomach lining off from all of the stress. If I'd had a weak heart or high blood pressure, I believe I would have died. When mothers went to see psychologists we came back even more traumatised because they were treating us for guilt rather than grief. They were reinforcing our feelings of worthlessness and reinforcing societies negative, prejudicial views.

 

I was put into St Mary's Home Toowong and was forced to relinquish my baby son who was born in October 1967