Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Everyone Has A Story, Here's One of Mine

I've been thinking of writing an autobiography or memoir but it just never comes together for me but I figured if I write one story at a time and post it on my blog maybe once a month, I can do that. Maybe one day I'll pull all the stories together and put them in a book but for now I'll just share some stories with you about my childhood. Some of the stories will be happy, some sad and some horrific because that was my childhood. But they will all be real, things that actually happened. If it seems like something that people enjoy reading maybe I'll keep it going. These stories will not be in any kind of order, I'll just write them as they come to me.

Being in foster care when I was 16 years old

This picks up from last months story when my mom went to jail for 6 months and my brother and I ended up in foster care. So when the police came and raided my house, my uncle Jack let me and my brother spend the night at his place and we went to school the next day. The police came to our school's and took us out and back to the police station. They called social workers to come get us. My uncle Jack wouldn't answer his phone because he didn't want to be responsible for us. It never occurred to me to call my dad because we didn't see him often because he and my step mother Cathy were also doing drugs. Their drug of choice was speed. My dad was abusive and used to hit and beat us a lot and my step mother hated us. So when we all went to court the first time a couple of weeks later, I told my social worker I didn't want to live with my dad and he told the judge. My brother went to live with my dad and I went back with my foster family. I stayed in foster care for almost 4 months. My mom was out on bail for a little while until she went to court but we weren't allowed to live with her. 

My foster mother, Linda had one 8 year old biological daughter who had a mild case of Down Syndrome. Plus she had a foster daughter who was 17 that she and her husband had adopted. While I was there she had 2 other foster girls come to stay with her. One was 10 years old and the other was 6 years old. They had lost both of their parents in a car accident and the social worker was looking for other family for them. Linda was mad because I wouldn't call her mom and called her Linda instead and when the new kids got there they called her Linda as well instead of mom and that made her mad. Both of the kids were really upset all the time obviously because they just lost both of their parents. But if they cried too much, Linda would make them go into the bedroom and she would lock it from the outside. I would sometimes sit by the door and talk to the 10 year old and tell her she just needed to not cry around Linda and they wouldn't be locked in the room. Linda was mad that I talked to the 10 year old and mad me stay away from the door after that. 

Sometimes the 10 year old would act out and Linda would lock her little sister in the room by herself as a punishment. This was supposed to be one of the best foster families my social worker told me but if that was the case, I sure didn't see it. Linda's husband worked for the Orange County Sherriff's office, but I think he was a deputy. I didn't see him often since he usually got home after we all had to go to bed at 7PM. 

I wasn't allowed to go outside at all because Linda thought my mom or Jose would try to find me and kidnap me which was crazy. I was allowed to talk to my mom on the phone for 30 minutes each week while she was out waiting to go to court. But Linda would be on the other line listening and telling my mom not to talk about this or that, she was constantly interrupting our conversation. 

Linda used to take us all to this one restaurant where she knew the owner and he would come talk to her all the time. He would come sit at the booth with us all the time and hug me and the daughter they adopted all the time. I asked him to stop rubbing my leg one time and he laughed at me, I looked at Linda and she just shrugged her shoulders like she didn't care. So from then on, I tried to sit in between the other kids so I wasn't sitting on the end where this guy would sit next to me because he was very handsy. 

When I went back to court the second time my mom was in jail at this time but she was sitting in a chair in an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and chains. The judge asked me, my mom and my social worker into her chambers and told me that Linda called the courthouse and told the judge that before I left that day I had set fire to her family bible she had on the table. I was shocked because I had done no such thing. So the judge told me I needed to go home with my dad that day and she wouldn't hear anything else. So I went with my dad where my brother was. He had been told that he could go to Linda's house and pick up my belongings so we did that. I went in to get my bags that she had packed and when I saw her family bible sitting on the living room table, I said, "Your bible looks pretty good for having been set on fire this morning." She just gave me a sarcastic look and snide smile and told me to take my bags and leave. That woman was a piece of work. 

My brother and I lived with my dad and step mother for a year. There was never any food in the apartment except for a large bag of potatoes that me and my brother would go and use the propane bbq outside to cook our potatoes on for dinner. For a while we had no electricity either and I called my social worker to tell him about the lack of food and power and he came out and wrote a few things down. But refused to take my calls after that. My dad didn't have a phone so I was using the phone booth at school. The system that was there to help us, failed me and my brother.