Why I Write..My Foster Care Story..In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month.

I believe that suffering has a purpose..

I once attended a class where the speaker was someone in recovery, someone who had a hard life, and as a result treated her children harshly. Perhaps if she had started out with a better statement I would have had more empathy. Her opening words were. “My mother was an alcoholic, so of course I abused my kids, I NEVER HAD A CHANCE!”

Those few words have prompted me to start writing. I don’t believe that children of abuse and neglect “never have a chance”. I don’t believe in using ones upbringing as an excuse for failure. I believe every single person has a chance to have a  beautiful life, healthy relationships, success at work and at home. It takes work, in fact, much more work than it does for others but it can be done.

You make think I’m naive, that I “don’t know what people go through” or that I have no compassion. If that’s the case, let me assure you, You are wrong!

I am an adult survivor of the foster system, I experienced unspeakable abuse and neglect at the hands of my mother, and worse at her boyfriends, when I was 8 years old I ran away to the police station and begged them to put me in foster care, They didn’t at first, instead they took me home where my mother put on a show for the caseworker and as soon as she left, pulled out pliers and threatened to pull my tongue out with them if I ever brought “pigs” to her house again. My mother was well versed in the art of cruelty, making me address her as”Your majesty, and she called me “slave-girl”. She pinned dirty underwear to my clothes and made me wear them to school. The best I could hope for in my house was to be forgotten, and I hid under piles of laundry so she couldn’t find me and beat me. So at 8 I ran away and the second time, after the police took an inventory of my welts and bruises, I went to a foster-home. It was the 80’s a time when they didn’t want families to get attached so I moved 18 times in 9 years. I did not have a family. I did not have a lasting role model, some homes were not bad, others…..

In some homes people called me, the “N” word- Their own adult children were like the evil step-sisters, and I lived there to be unpaid help, In others I opened my package of socks, while the bio children opened rooms full of presents on Christmas day. Still  in others, they made prophecies about how by the age of 15 I’d have three kid’s and be on welfare. (Even though there was NO basis for the comment) My mother mercifully went to prison for selling drugs and then my brother who was a toddler, joined me for a few years on my journey.

I was never adopted, at age 18 I aged out I was able to finish school, and then I was quite literally on my own. My social worker enrolled me on food stamps, and my friend’s mother paid for my first months share of an apartment. And that was that.

20 years later I just celebrated being married to the best (normal) guy ever for 15 years. We have a lovely life with a charming and brilliant son, a comfortable home and very little evidence of the past I left behind.

Some of us have a long road to travel one so rough and ragged that thankfully others will never experience. This blog keeps in mind those who dare to hope that life can get better, it’s for those who crave a “normal” life. It’s for those who want success at home, and in the wide wide world. My personal belief is that our lives have PURPOSE. I think the reason I experienced the things I did in my childhood, is so that I can really help others. This blog will, I hope, be a little bit of the “mother” you maybe didn’t have. I’ll share with you everything I know about how to succeed at life, I promise to be open, and speak with compassion, I promise to be honest with you even if it hurt’s. You will find on this blog, how to keep a house, how to dress in a way to command respect, land a job, attract the right kind of mate, I’ll share with you (though I’m still learning) how to budget, and the importance of setting goals. I want you to know, you don’t have to be a statistic, you can be happy, and have a great life! Whether you are 80 or 18, I want you to know, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN!

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