This morning I had the opportunity to speak to an audience on a blogtalkradio program. I didn’t know I was going to speak, but I couldn’t hold it in. See, I was a victim of ABUSES..YUP, I wrote ABUSES….physical and emotional.
I grew up in foster care with one of my brothers (mom had 13 children and because child abuse, my brother and I were taken away from my mother – we were the two youngest and someone had beaten my brother almost to death).
From a young age, I dealt with REJECTION, SEPARATION ANXIETIES, FEAR, CONFUSION, ANGER, AND HATE. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t live with my mother. My little mind could not comprehend what was really going on.
What I didn’t know was that while my brother and I were in foster care, mom was over there getting the crap beat out of her. Yes, my dad was abusive to my mom – verbally and physically. I remembered going on visitations and my mom and dad would be fighting. Most of their fights would be during their drinking episodes. My dad felt like my mom was his personal punching bag. Mom would get him back though, one way or another, but I digress.
In the second foster home that my brother and I were transferred to, that foster-mother was an alcoholic. She used to call me names and she would let her other foster daughter beat up on me. See, the other foster daughter was a lesbian and she wanted me to be her b****. When I refused her, she beat me like I had never been beaten before. Then my brother, my blood brother started calling me all kinds of names. I couldn’t understand him doing that since we had grown up together. I guess the new environment made him feel like he could do that to me.
Then, when the foster-mother didn’t show up at the house one day, we waited outside for her to come but she never arrived, Long story short, we got transferred to another foster home. In that foster home, I was made to feel like an outcast. This home had two daughters whom had been adopted some years earlier. One of them was light-skinned like the foster family and the other one was darker. She was treated differently than the light-skinned one. In fact, all of us were treated differently than the light-skinned one. She got her hair done at the hairdressers; she got her clothes from J.C. Penny or Lord and Taylor or some large, name brand store; we got our clothes from the thrift shop, hand-me-downs, or from K-Mart (that’s when K-Mart first came out and was not popular so me and the darker skinned daughter got teased by our peers); the light-skinned one got to ride the bus to school while we had to walk (to the same school); light skin got everything she wanted while we got what we got and had to be satisfied with that.
As a result of all of the stress, I was a sickly child. Every time you turned around, I was at the doctor but the doctors rarely found anything wrong. IT WAS STRESS. I did finally get an ulcer – something visible. My foster-mother thought I was feigning sickness for attention.
As an adult, I asked my mother why she gave me and my brother up for adoption and she told me that we were taken because someone had beaten my brother almost to death. I asked her if she missed us and she said, “NO. How you gonna miss something that’s not there?” That hurt. I thought, “How could she even say that? At least lie and say yes”. Later on in my life, I asked my mom why she had so many children and she said she tried to abort some of us with a hangar. Abortion was illegal so she tried to do it herself. I was one she tried to abort. Can you imagine the thoughts that went through my mind? Can you imagine the pain I felt knowing my mother tried to abort me? It was horrible but I had to get over it. I had to turn it over to GOD because the pain was unbearable.
I wrote all of this to say that life HURTS but we have a choice to let it beat us or beat it. Sure, it was hard for me. I drank to try to get some of those memories away from me. I smoked weed for a little while to try to rid myself of the memories. I did other things which didn’t help me to erase the memories so I suppressed them. I became evil, uncaring, unlovable. I hated the world and I thought the world hated me. What I didn’t know was that I had to choose to fight for my life. I had to do it. When I realized that, I started getting myself together. I went to counselling. I prayed. I went to church. I TALKED ABOUT IT TO WHOMEVER WOULD LISTEN because I needed to get it out. I was carrying around HEAVY BAGGAGE. A bag for REJECTION. A bag for SEPARATION ANXIETY. A bag for ANGER/HATE. A bag for FEAR and so on and so on.
One day, I DECIDED I WANTED TO LIVE.