In Memory of Tiny!

I realized today that I seem to only get attached to those things that need me. About 4 months ago I was standing outside feeding a couple of stray cats that have taken up at my home when a mamma cat walked over with her kitten and then ran off leaving the kitten on my front porch. At first I didn’t think much of it and assumed she would come back for her but she didn’t. Luckily I had 2 strays that had given birth recently and they took her in. Well some days went by and I saw the mama to this kitten standing across the street looking over at our house. When I picked her kitten up and tried walking over to her with it she just ran off again. Well I took her to the vet and they said she seemed fine and was about 6 weeks old. I tried repeatedly to find her a home. I put her online, in the paper and even tried to talk several neighbors into taking her. No one wanted her. She remained outside because I knew the other adult females would care for her and they did. By month two she got the nickname of tiny because she just wouldn’t get any bigger. I watched the other stray kittens grow and she just stayed the same size. My children started picking her up and playing with her. My neighbors 2 year old carried her around. My dogs loved her. I told my husband that if she was still here when we moved in November that she would become ours and we would bring her in. I always felt weird about taking her in the house because I had a secret hope that her mom would come back for her. I never get attached to the strays. I even have 4 dogs and while I love them greatly I am only truly attached to the 2 who had been abused. this kitten was great! Well November is fast approaching, we are almost done with remodeling the house we will be moving into. This morning I went out to rake some leaves and she was in my yard about 10 feet from the street dead. This isn’t the first time we have found a stray dead at our house. In the year and a half we have lived here we have buried 8 this made 9. I have never cried over it because I know as sad as it is it happens. Today I can’t stop crying! This cat was different. Her mom gave her up and abandoned her. Now I feel like I failed her. I appreciate that who ever hit her was nice enough to pick  her up and put her in the yard and not leave her out on the street like roadkill! I just hate that she didn’t get a chance. It’s crazy to compare myself to a cat but I felt like I could relate to her.

I hate this time of the year!

So it is almost the end of October already. Which means my boys birthdays are coming soon followed by thanksgiving and Christmas. So basically I get to feel unloved, unwanted, and miss something I have never really known. I am tired of spending the holidays like this. I like my in-laws but everyone else gets to spend the holidays with their parents while I don’t. 12 years has done nothing to help this feeling. My kids will be with their dad on thanksgiving and with me only the second half of the day on christmas. I miss having them all the time. I think it is bizarre that their dad gets any time with them. He doesn’t deserve it! His drugs are more important than my boys.  I guess I am just getting to a point where suck it up is no longer an option. I try to keep my husband from having to hear about my crap constantly even though I know he wouldn’t mind but still he shouldn’t have to hear it! Now with me being pregnant my hormones are out of  wack and I feel like an emotion nut case! Having a little girl scares me sooooo much. I am scared of how she may turn out, what happens if she ends up hurt too. I just have too many thought on my plate right now! I want to breathe and just not think about any of it but that is not an option!  I am dreading christmas morning because I will wake up and my boys will not be here. Just me and my husband. I love him, but nothing replaces my kids on christmas morning waking up all excited. How did my mom and dad live this way? Once I was taken how did they just pretend I was dead? How can you wake up on Christmas morning and not wish your family was together? I can’t wait until the day comes when I can afford to hire a lawyer to fight so their dad will only see him once he has proven his self. My kids deserve better than what I had! I miss seeing them so naturally happy. I hate that they had to go through the divorce and seeing all the things they did. I guess the only way to stay positive is to keep telling myself it is better to come from a broken home than to be living in it while it falls on top of you! I hate the holidays! I hate having all these thoughts I hate not knowing how to feel!

What to Remember when fostering Teens

 The United States of America we have over 500,000 foster children. Out of that number, nearly 50 % are teens. If you are a foster parent or are thinking of becoming a foster parent, then please read this.

Between 14 and 15 I went into the foster care system. I was taken from my parents due to sexual, physical, and mental abuse. The day I went into the foster care system I was assigned a case worker. I waited for my case worker to arrive at the police department. When she got there she was very nice. She told me she could not find a placement for me on such quick notice, and I would have to go to the local children shelter. What I didn’t know then was it would be hard to place me even on long term notice.  A couple of months went by and I was put into my first foster home. After that I went through 30 more foster homes. No one wanted a 15 year old with a history of sexual abuse because they were afraid I may do something to the other children in the home. They didn’t want a teen who said a bad word sometimes. They didn’t want a teen that wouldn’t call them “mom”. They didn’t want a teen with an attitude problem. They didn’t want a teen that would run when she got scared. They basically just didn’t want a teen.

See the thing I think was forgotten sometimes was that I WAS just a teen. No I didn’t have great manners, I messed up, I strayed away from right, I was not only a teen, but I was a teen who had lost everything I had known. I had lost my parents, my friends, and even my dog. I am pretty sure none of them even bothered to really read my file. It was easier to send me to the next placement.

So here are some reasons to take in foster teens. You may become the only family they have. You may be able to make that hard time a little easier. You may be able to show them what a real home is supposed to be like. You may be able to teach them how not to run when they get scared. You may be able to show them what is important in life. You may be the only person they will ever be able to trust. You may be able to talk them into listening to that counselor they hate so that they don’t end up like their parents. Or just maybe you can show them that someone out there will love them for just being them!  

Foster a teen! When you do, don’t expect them to be perfect. Don’t expect them to call you “mom” and “dad”. Don’t expect them to listen to every word you say. Expect them to have imperfections. Do your part to help them become the best adult they can be!

Moving on from Incest

I survived 10 years of incest and abuse. I hear people say they have moved on, but I wonder what that opinion of moving on is. I can’t say I have. Even though I am living a pretty good life, I still have moments where as I fall asleep at night I think of my father getting into my bed as a child. I worry about men I see at the park while my children are playing. After years of therapy I have accepted what happened to me. I learned that harping on it would not make me a better person. That thinking about it constantly would not help me move on. I questioned God for years and still do. I wonder how it can happen. My father is a narcissist. When I was finally taken away my mother chose my father over me. I have not seen either of them since July 15, 1998. That day is a day I will never forget.

The one thing I think is most important for all survivors to remember is that no matter what, it was not your fault. Typically incest is brainwashed into children. The victim is either taught that what is happening is right or scared into not telling. No matter which case yours is you should understand that you couldn’t have made it better.

The second most important thing, in my opinion, is to get help. No matter how many times you may have been to a therapist or a counselor more therapy usually can’t hurt any. Be honest with them, and tell them what you need out of them. The next thing is remember no one will fully understand. While I think you should expect your significant other to recognize your issues and respect the fact you may have different needs, you can’t expect them to understand.

You may be less trusting, over needy, extremely independent, or you may act like nothing ever happen. Just realize it takes a lot of love and compassion to be willing and able to be in a relationship with someone with deep set issues. As time goes by I think we all learn a little more. We bring ourselves to higher levels, or we bring ourselves down further than we were.

Don’t spend life wishing you were normal. Spend life thanking God that you aren’t! Love yourself before you expect other to love you. In group therapy the one thing we all seemed to agree on was that we were more insecure than we wanted to be. Learn to find things about yourself that are great. Get the help you need to become sexual again if you aren’t. Sometimes having a happy sex life can make for a happier you. Learning that the one we are with now is NOT the person that hurt us is a great thing. Finally be happy. Do the things that make you feel great! Live happy. Learn to deal with and excuse the expression but learn to suck it up. Always know that there is someone out there that has had it a lot worse than you. If need be seek out those people. Learn from them and move on in your own way!

Why we don’t get out

As more cases of  long-term child abuse hit the media there is a question that often hits very close to home for me so I decided this needs to be one of my first topics covered. Many people want to know why children who are being sexually abused don’t just go tell a teacher. Why don’t we just leave? Why do we continue to “let” it happen? It isn’t a matter of letting our abuser continue to abuse us. Many of us simply know no different and by the time we do there are either 2 things to stop us. We either realize that we do not have long left before we can legally leave or we are scared of the repercussions of doing so.  Many of us just want to hurry up and get it over with. We know that if we tell we will be forced to confront the problem. Also many of us worry we will either be ridiculed or required to relive the events that we just want to forget. 

For Myself all I ever wanted to do was be normal. I realized around ten years old that what was going on was not normal. The “All daddy’s that love their daughters have to show there love” just didn’t work anymore. I tried to be brave. I tried to tell and when I did a lady simply showed up at my door and said “don’t leave bruises on your child anymore” and left me there! I still to this day remember the look on her face 5 years later when she became my first social worker and realized what she had done. 3 weeks after taking on my case she quit. I hope that she realized she had messed up by not coming in my home. She only gave me one explanation for not doing her job. She simply said “Your father was very intimidating at the door”. I wonder how she thought it must have been for me. A child living with a man who physically, mentally, and sexually abused her. How intimidating it must have been for a ten year old little girl. I have since forgiven her for her failures that day. I understand that it must be very hard to sort through all the children and figure out who stays and who goes.

Brainwashing is the real reason most children do not leave. Most children that are abused from an early age come to believe that it is normal, that every kid must go through it.  A preschooler only knows what they are taught and if the wrong person is doing the teaching it leads to a very big problem.  It is almost a form of stock holm syndrome where you start to understand your abuser and look for ways to keep them happy so you do not have to fear the bad days. It is not a matter of wanting the abuse to happen but more a matter of wanting to be loved, accepted, and normal. If you go through the horrible thirty minutes you may be rewarded with a great day.

For me I knew that fighting only made my days worse. I started running away at around seven years old. I will never forget packing that brown paper bag with my most important items and making it 3 streets from my house before my dad caught up with me.  The fear I had when he pulled up beside me was worse than the fear I had behind locked doors.

The issue the world seems to have with cases like mine is the understanding. No one can truly understand how a child feels when put in this position. All anyone can do is be supportive, not question, and accept that they will never truly understand what it feels like. It is more a matter of survival than want.

Why I want to blog!

At 14 years old I was taken from my family’s home after a friends mom called the police on my father. I was thrown into a shelter and never saw my parents again. Bouncing from home to home I learned very quickly that I would not get a permanent home. I saw every type of foster home out there. I saw the ones with no running water. The ones with caregivers that were so old they couldn’t care for themselves(that’s what their foster kids were for). The Mom caregivers that would yell and scream at you if you didn’t call them mom. The racist caregivers who wouldn’t let you have black friends. The sell the food stamps for crack caregivers. The why don’t we foster so I can have a girl to play with when my wife is away caregivers. I saw just about all there was. I saw shelters, group homes, mental hospitals, jail, and independent living homes.
The problem I have seen a lot since being an adult is this unfounded belief that the US government takes care of their foster children. Well they can’t. They try very hard, but when you have so many children going into the system and no where near enough case workers to take care of them it’s just not possible. Our case workers are not to blame either. They are loaded with more and more cases every time the budget is cut.
I want to tell the good and the bad. I want people to understand how much help is needed. How people can help. Where they can give their time, attention, and money. My main goal is for people to understand how much we can do for children here in America. That we don’t need to rescue the poor starving children around the world when we could be rescuing the poor starving children right in your home town!