As an at risk teen myself I had quite the learning structure for my youth. From foster homes to juvenile I found out at a young age that I wanted to be more than what I had been subjected to. I hadn’t known that my adolescence stage would be the foundation of what I may or may not become as an adult.
Having come from a broken home I later realized (once put back in the care of my mother) that I had the ultimate control of where my life would be.
While my brother and I were subjected to foster home after foster home the moves themselves did a number on us. Some were good to us while others were terrifying, leaving me to believe that not all people were going to be a part of my life in a positive way. Going through mental, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse I needed something to keep my mind focused on in a positive manner otherwise I wouldn’t make it as a successful or productive member of society in the years to come.
There weren’t many people I could confide in or trust for that matter. I had felt a sense of unworthiness and failure, that was until I started attending another school. I then used school as my escape from reality. I became top of my class and excelled very quickly, but once the bell rang when school was out, I got back into a mindset of a lost little girl trying to hold on to good the whole while feeling inadequate and broken.
We were moved to many other foster homes where it wasn’t so bad but the down time after school became as if I was a young servant to the family of which we lived as well as were sexually abused to say the least. I had no one to talk to and when I told our case worker she of course took it to the foster family making it much worse for us in the end. She then reported it to police in my hometown and well….they did nothing about it, causing me to become hateful to authority and rebellious in a way.
I hadn’t understood why this all was happening. I then told myself I needed to find something or someone worthy of hearing my cries and that would help me, that’s when I remembered my momma telling me to pray and to believe in God to take the burden away and to ease the pain, so I started praying again but most of all I began believing that things would get better fast.
My faith had then kicked in and I solely looked to my higher power for the love and support I was lacking from these homes as well as from my mother of which we hadn’t been placed back with yet. My case worker was the only other adult I had confided in and even though I knew she did what she knew best I refused to open up anymore and our counseling sessions we had to attend, I became closed causing me to shut down.
We were placed back home with our mother not to long after that. I then started attending a church we had attended in one of our foster homes. There is where I allowed God to work in my life and to help me forgive the ones that had caused me harm and pain mentally, physically and emotionally.
Why I chose to share this
I shared this information above because it has everything to do with not having had the proper guidance and or consistency in my young life. I feel that had I had someone who could relate to the things I was going through or had someone safe to talk to I may have not gone through the hardships I had, I definitely wouldn’t have been so set on growing up so fast, and I wouldn’t have had a problem or hatred for the police.
I feel the police had a duty to protect me, some would say it was my mothers responsibility. My mother put us in foster care to better herself, she depended on the state to do their part in protecting me so with that said I don’t hold her responsible at all, I never have, I do however hold the city responsible for it because they chose not to investigate it and chose to call me a liar instead all the while laughing in my face and leaving us there for it to continue to happen, I was 9 years old, I was a child that was always told that the police were here to make things better… not worse. After that I vowed to never ask them for help as long as I lived.
Once we were put back in my mothers home things at school started out great. Once I hit high school things were becoming harder to deal with. From being bullied and made fun of because we were poor and hadn’t had the clothes or shoes other kids did I was ashamed and embarrassed.
Still trying to push forward it had become apparent that I needed to fit in, and that’s where I went wrong. I then had become rebellious in school and out of school having gone from a 4.0 student to another statistic. I began to do the very things I had set my mind out of thinking about, from sex to drugs to gangs to fighting I became the very thing I had worked so hard not to become, the product of my environment.
I’m not giving or trying to make any excuses for anything that has happened to me I’m simply stating facts of why I’m the way I’m today.
I built this website to give inspiration to teens that may have or that are going through the same thing or something similar.
Taking responsibility is the first step in any solution, so with that being said it was NOT the officers and or Citys fault why anything that happened in foster care happened. It was unfortunate and it has left scars that will never go away
I believe there needs to be a support system for at risk teens, I believe that as a teen we need someone if not more than one person that we can go to or that we may share with that will help us succeed and get through the very things that may cripple our futures. I also full hearted believe that a counselor who has a degree isn’t the person needed in these type of situations. someone who has the experience is more likely to get your child or teen to open up and will be more likely to help make a change in their fragile lives.
Having been a part of an amazing mentoring program I got to experience that firsthand to where I still stay in contact with the teens. I have had the privilege of making a difference in families I never knew possible but the ultimate satisfaction for me is being told, because of your story and your help I was able to do this and that.
So now I begin reaching out again to you and many others to assist in getting programs like this up and running. Myself and another female here funded our program of which we ran out of funding for. We went to council meetings, held fundraisers, reached out to organizations just to be told no due to my background/criminal history of being a felon. We had to stop our mentoring due to lack of funds and absolutely no help from our city.
Our crime rate with teens has gone up drastically. WE need to educate not incarcerate. We need to rehabilitate and be active with our teens. Having that one on one time, group activities and the consistency we had really made a huge difference for many of our teens, its real unfortunate that we had to let it go.
Hopefully with help we can get the funding of this town put where it is needed most and not on more cops that are doing more damage than being a part of a much needed solution
If you have any suggestions and or comments feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you at my earliest convienance.