The Vagabond Children:

Tammy:

A reader, and now a friend mentioned to us school. I am glad she did because I do not know when I would have gotten around to talking about what school was like for me, I think now is probably the best time to talk about that, before I get into sharing more about my experience with the foster care system.

“Another brick in the wall” Pink Floyd

I mentioned before school was a living hell for me. I was constantly being tested for my intelligence ratio and IQ. I came to the belief that they thought I was either just lazy or was actually mentally challenged in the intelligence department. I was neither, I was an abused child trying to survive. I was always too tired to do my home work, how I got to grade seven I will never know!! I think they just passed on the problem child, to the next teacher, maybe in the hopes they could reach me. Or Maybe they just did not care and wanted me out of the school system as fast as they could. Either way, school was a nightmare. I think the Teachers were the worst bully’s of them all. Some took particular glee in pointing me out as an example of a terrible student, and what not to do or be. They would intentionally ask me a question, that they knew I could not answer, and because of my lacking social skills it was even more awkward for me.

They say ignore the bullies… hows that working out for us? Tammy 2019

The children would mock me and whisper things when they seen me coming, it was such a painful thing for me. I hated school! I did everything I could to not go, including skipping a few times. I didn’t dare skip too much, because if our mom found out I was one hurting little girl for sure!! Sometimes, I would even hide under my bed so mom thought I had gone to school, sometimes she was so out of it, she didn’t even know if it was night or day. I would stay there and sleep until I heard the kids come home, I am sure Tyra knew what I did but she never said anything. Why would she, she didn’t want to see me get a whooping.

One particular bad day when the kids at school were being very brutal and took my lock and put some one else’ lock on my locker, I got mad, for the briefest moment they looked scared, I was mad!! Then I withdrew into my shell, and they really let into me, telling me I smelled bad, and was ugly and stupid. The teacher standing there watching did nothing. I just turned and walked out of the school and went home, my heart hurting. Like I said I was a ticking time bomb, but was so sensitive I could not bring myself to let my rage come out. When i walked through the door I went to the bedroom and told mom what happened, and she said it is ok just lay down and go to sleep, and when you get up everything will be OK. this was when it was confirmed to me that sleep was a solution not a problem. sleep is good, I can be who ever I want to be, were ever I want to be, when ever I want to be. This bullying lasted all through my time in the public and catholic school system. To be brutally honest the Catholic school was the worst.

Please speak up, my voice is broken, and no matter how loud I cry, I am not being heard. Tammy 2019

I would have to catch a bus to school, the catholic school. Wish I would have just opted to go back to “Hillcrest” as it was just across the way from the new school. It was a Catholic school. I requested a Catholic school, thinking maybe I would not get bullied in a school with Catholics running it. I was so bloody wrong! However, when in my life have I ever been right about something that might potentially be good for me?

I was sent to the principals office many times when I went to this school, the reason being I was not learning fast enough or not at all. I didn’t know my multiplication tables so math was a huge problem for me. I remember sitting in that office for an hour while he made me start counting till my voice was horse and my throat was dry. He would stop me so every often and say what do these numbers have in common? I had no idea what he was trying to get me to understand. After I was getting into the millions I would beg him to tell me the answer, he refused. he just kept having me count while he got more and more angry with me for not getting it. He would ask me the same question over and over “WHAT DO THESE NUMBERS HAVE IN COMMON?!!” To this day I still do not know the answer, he never told me the answer, he just sent me home; school was out for the day.

One day after school, I had to use the bathroom before leaving, and I saw the group of popular girls picking on a young girl, small and timid. The Bully Was Karla and the beauty and ring leader was Cathy. I was concerned for that young girl and knew there was no way I could stop that group of girls, so I did the only thing I could do which was get a teacher to deal with it. I left the school thinking every thing was going to be ok. I was accosted at my bus stop by those same girls that were beating up the girl in the bathroom. I wish I could say I defended myself, but I was so conditioned to be a victim, I just did damage control the best I could. I ended up with a bloody nose and a black eye for my efforts to save a innocent Girl from being beat up. I had to walk home because some one stole my bus pass. After this the bullying intensified, it was worse than when I was going to Richie and other schools I attended. I hated my life…I hated myself.

Why do the colours of my soul bother you so much, that you try to paint me with a different brush. Tammy 2019

When I finally walked through the door of my foster mothers, she just looked at me as I told her what happened. When I was done telling her about being beat up, crying my eyes out, she just laughed at me. she didn’t try to comfort me or tell me it was ok or nothing all she did was laugh, and when she was done laughing she said go wash up for supper. My inner rage grew, my hatred of people smoldered! I was becoming in rage, because my rage had no were to go but inward.

After the incident at the Catholic school, I called my social worker, told her what happened and told her I wanted to transfer back to Hillcrest. She did what was necessary and I found myself back at Hillcrest, which was the only school I was never bullied at. I didn’t have friends but at least no one bullied me.

Hillcrest jr.high school were Tammy went, the last school she ever went to on the outside world.

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