This is Connie's story. Connie has a beautiful blog called Creative Bubbles, and she has given permission to use her name here.
The Back Story
I was put in foster care because my mother was neglectful. Even though
I am 30 years old, it still stings, to know that having 5 children
taken away was not enough for my mom to get clean, sober, and be able to
care for us. It seems that she always had a drug problem and a drinking
habit. I remember her locking my sisters and I out of the house so that
she and her friends could get high without us interrupting them. I
remember having to pull her out of a bar so she could make us dinner.
And I remember her making us lie- a lot. Lie to her OB that she wasn't
smoking while pregnant, lie to the social worker that we were taken care
of, and lie to my family that we weren't starving all the time and
never had clean clothes or a clean house.
My youngest brother, one very
cold December night, somehow got out of
the house and was picked up by the police wearing only a diaper... he
was two years old. My mother was not home and did not tell me that she
was going out, leaving him all alone on the first floor. I am the oldest
of five children and I am the one who told my teachers about all the
stuff going on at home. Things were so bad when we were removed that the
social worker threw up after looking at the contents of our
refrigerator... I told her that we had been eating cake frosting for the
last week because there was nothing else to eat that hadn't gone bad.
My mother had her parental rights taken away and we were all separated
and put into foster care. My youngest brother and I went to live with
aunt and her partner eventually, which turned out to be an even more
abusive situation than what we left.
My aunt was an addict as well, addicted to pain medication. Her
partner was very mentally abusive, constantly threatening to send me
back to the social worker for the slightest sign of disobedience. Mind
you, I was a straight-A student, a cheerleader, a competitive singer,
and never got into trouble. (School had been my refuge prior to foster
care and continued to be so.) This woman used duct tape to keep my
brother in bed at night. He would constantly get out to make sure people
were there with him, and it annoyed her. She would hit us, leave nasty
notes on my desk, and tell me that I was a slut who was going to turn
out just like my mother. Every day I swore to myself that I was going to
get out of there as soon as I could, go far far away and forget that
she ever existed.
I did not
have contact with my mother from 16 until I became a mother myself at
the age of 22. I decided to give her another chance- I had the
rose-colored glasses of a new mother and thought that maybe things had
changed. She came to see me and the new baby, met my husband, and
brought my sister with her whom I had not had contact with in a long
time. I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could have a relationship.
But a few weeks after the visit I got a call from Gerber Insurance. I am
sure most parents have seen the ads for children's life insurance, they
call it a "gift" and say it is just pennies a day. Well, the insurance
agent said that my mother had gotten a policy for my daughter and he
just needed her social security number to complete the policy. I asked
for more information and learned that the maximum amount was taken out,
$100,000, and that my mother was named the beneficiary! This woman had
taken out a life insurance policy on my new baby!!! And if something
should have happened to her, she would have gotten all that money. To
say I was shocked, furious, and betrayed is an understatement. I called
her right away and told her that we were done, that was her last chance.
I haven't spoken to her since.
Trying To Forget
I have also cut out all contact with my aunt, as soon as my brother
turned 18 and I knew that she couldn't use him to hurt me anymore. I
have come to realize that you cannot make people care about you and want
to be in your life. I try really hard to just forget those first 20
years of my life, only think about those friends who let me stay over
their house and their wonderful families who took me under their wings
when things got bad at home. I am thankful that my children are still
young enough to not even think about these missing people in their lives
and that we live far enough away that the ugliness of it all does not
The Bottom Line
There is so much more to this but the bottom line is that these
people who were entrusted with our care failed us miserably. I know that I tried my best to give both my mom and my aunt the
benefit of the doubt and more chances than they deserved. But in the end
I had to think about my girls and I know that I didn't want them to
have memories of people who did not deserve to know them. I feel bad for
my siblings because they haven't dealt with all of this as well as I
have and I know that they blame me for putting us in foster care in the
first place. Someone had to do something though.