I was placed into the Foster care system when I was 5 years old. When asked where they were taking me, I was told that I was going on a little vacation. I don’t like vacations very much now because of that.
No one explains to you whats happening when it comes to being moved from one foster home to another. You simply wake up, or come home from school to find your belongings in a trash bag. You wonder what’s going on until eventually it becomes such a ritual that you don’t even bother to unpack.
As much as I loved the monthly visits with my brothers, sisters, and mom, I dreaded it too. I was given an hour to pretend that I was happy so that they wouldn’t feel bad, or worry as soon as i’d leave. My mom always made things better. I remember at one visit, she gave me a shoe box full of crumbled up one dollar bills. She thought it would be funny to watch us uncrumble them, and count the bills one bye one . It was a pretty nifty idea. When my brother and I were done, we each had one hundred dollars. Or maybe it was 50? When my foster mom would come to pick me up, I would get a sharp pain in my throat from holding back my tears. I loved those visits, but I hated them too. They were a reminder of not being with my mom.
I never understood what happened for us to get taken away in the first place. Rather than ask, I would simply ask my mom why she never cared enough to get her kids back. Eventually I stopped asking because I could hear in her voice how much it hurt to be asked such a question. I also remember a time when she told me that she would put up with my attitude during visits because she felt that it was what she deserved. That broke me a little inside.
All I wanted while growing up was to be reunited with my mom. I was even willing to run away just to be near her again. In fact, I did. I was 12 years old when I first ran away and I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I was instructed by a particular someone to pack the essentials in a backpack. Those essentials consisted of underwear, shirts, pants, a toothbrush, and most definitely not my teddy bears. I was told that once I left the house I had to run and run and not stop until I got to where I needed to be. I ran to my friends house and used her phone to then call this person back. I gave them the address, and was picked up just a few hours later.
I was scared, but I was even more scared of staying in that foster home. So much went on that could never be spoken about. So much was done to the other kids, and so much was done to me that, to this day I do not speak about. I felt more guilty because I left my older brother. That was the day that most likely changed his life forever. There was a part of me that felt guilt, but there was also a part of me that knew what I had to do to survive.
When I got picked up I eventually made it to my mom and her boyfriends house. When living there, I went by the name of “Isabella” because I was so paranoid that if i went by my first name i’d be found. A few weeks or months after living with them I had some sense knocked into me. I realized that I needed to go back to school. In order to do that though, I had to turn myself into social services. I never told them where I was staying. I was afraid that i’d get my mom in trouble. There was a part of me that didn’t want to leave but I knew that I had to. Even when I was 12, I knew that I wanted more in life. After being exposed to the way my mom lived, I knew I had to go back. If you’re reading this mom thank you. Because of you, among other people and experiences in life, I was able to use what I had gone through not as a crutch, but rather a reason to want to prosper and thrive in life.
(This post seemed very messy, off and on topic so I do apologize for being all over the place)
quote of the day,
“Thank you to anyone who ever slammed the door on me. Because of you I did it by myself, so it means more to me”