I'm a 27-year old single mother of a beautiful 5-year old little boy. I have raised him all by myself for the last 5 years and I think that I have done a wonderful job. He means eveything to me...life, breath, air, everything!!! But just recently I have had something dramatic happen to me...he was taken from my custody and placed with his father. My 5-year old was supposed to spend some time with his father one night, but instead of his father being there, my son was with his step mother. She never was a very nice person, but I put up with her for the sake of my child. On this particular evening, my son came home from spending time with his step mother and became very aggressive with me. He started telling me that he hated me and that he wanted to live with his father. Now, this isn't the first time that my son has ever lashed out like this; as a matter of fact, he had been in therapy since the beginning of this year because he became very violent in school and seriously hurt another child. Who'd have thought that a 5 year old could get suspended? Well, here to find out, my son's step mother had been telling him for quite some time that she was his real mother and I was the reason that his dad never saw him (his father was always at the bar or work...I had nothing to do with that). This obviously angered my son and being that he was in t-ball at the time, my son took his metal t-ball bat and began to hit me with it. And he hit me hard several times. I had had enough...it was almost 4am by this time and putting him in "time out" just wasn't working. I did what I thought at the time was the right thing and I pulled my son's pants down and spanked him on his butt. I didn't mean to spank him as hard as I did, but I left a bruise in the shape of my hand on his rear. To make a long story short...I was arrested and was charged with child abuse (the Grand Jury dropped it from 2nd degree charges to 4th degree - I have to complete 1 year of mandatory probation). It has been 4 months now since I have seen my son or even spoken to him and the court is still not allowing me any kind of visitation. I truly need help getting through this because I'm not a wealthy person so I can't afford to talk to someone professional. Please pray for me and my child. I had never raised a hand to my child ever until that night and I feel like I am being punished. I pray every night that God show me a sign that I will one day soon be able to wrap my arms around my son again, but maybe it's my lack of hope right now. I am very lonely and empty...I'm confused as to what I should be doing next...but I do believe that one day I will see him again. All those who are mothers out there...put yourself in my shoes for just 5 minutes, you'll see how I feel...I've never been away from my child for more than 2 days...and it just doesn't seem like my prayers are enough...Please help me get through this!