Sunday, August 12, 2007

Separated

I know, I know the last post had a cliffhanger so here goes. My dad robbed a business, was ultimately caught and went to prison. Before I go any further I want to say that I love my dad very much and I have moved on from the past. We have a great relationship and I am proud of all his accomplishments since he was released. But back to the story. So there we were, living in a trailer. My mom had no job and five small children. With nothing left to do we packed up once again and moved in with my maternal grandmother.

My mom and her mother were not particularly close. My grandmother never seemed to be especially fond of children. I have no idea what she thought of having all of us under her roof. But we had a place to stay and we didn't go hungry. My mom found a job and soon we moved into a house on the next street. Social services paid for our daycare and we were probably receiving food stamps. But our house was never clean there were always clothes on the floor and just a mess in general. We may have all been sharing a room at this point, I am not sure.

Although I don't really remember, my mom started leaving us at home alone at night to sing a band. It was probably mostly on weekends. Someone found out and reported her to social services. She was given a warning and told not to leave us at home alone again. I don't remember why we were home alone on a terrible winter day, but we were. I was the oldest child at home and I was nine at the time. My younger siblings were 7, 5, 4 and 1. I was left in charge of the brood.

I remember knowing that we were not supposed to be home alone. The phone rang and I answered it. The lady on the phone asked to speak to my mother. I knew right away it was social services calling to check in. I lied and told the lady that mom was giving the baby a bath. The lady stated that she needed to speak to her anyway. I panicked and hung up the phone. Within a matter of minutes, social services was at the door and we were all taken away. Of course there were too many of us to be kept together. I did end up in a foster home with my sister who was 5 at the time. We got to go to a very nice family who lived in a very nice house. The others didn't fare as well. I have heard the stories from the others about being mistreated in foster care. I believe one of my sisters was made to eat off the floor. It still breaks my heart.

I was in this foster home for approximately two weeks. One night my foster parents received a phone call that would separate me even further from the rest of the family. Somehow my biological father had obtained custody of me, but never attempted to have me come live with him. He found out that I had been taken away. He pulled some strings and I was taken out of foster care and sent to live with him. The night my foster parents got the phone call that I was leaving, I was devastated. I had only visited him on a couple of occasions and I knew his new wife did not care for me. I cried and cried. I would rather have stayed with those people that I barely knew than go live with him.

This may sound crazy but even as a young girl I was very sensitive how other people reacted to me. I KNEW that my stepmother did not want me there. Not only that I but I also realized that this move would take me geographically further away from my mother.

At nine years old I was too young to realize that my mother was not being a good parent. All I knew was that I had been snatched from the only mother I had known, first sent to live with strangers and then to a father that I barely knew. My dad was my dad as far as I was concerned. Now my dad had some faults just as we all do. He met my mother when I was six months old. When they married and the other kids came along, he never treated me any differently than any of the other children. As a matter of fact, until I was about seven I thought he was my bio father. My older brother broke the news to me one afternoon as I was coloring.

Anyway, my bio father picked me up and I off I went to another town about an hour and a half from the rest of the family. As a child that seemed so far away to me. When I got there I had my own room and it was clean. My older brothers were there, so that was a small comfort. One them was already living on his own. My next brother was four years older than me so he was about 13. Of course he tortured me as older brothers have a habit of doing. I never went hungry or without anything I needed. It amuses me now that people think that having things will make them happy. I am here to tell you that is a lie. I learned this at a very early age. So my new life began and I can tell you I was not happy about it.

2 comments:

MAT said...

Come on now there has to be a happy ending. Didn't you all get back together with bio mom and step dad?

Susiewearsthepants said...

You'll have to wait and find out! :)