Say Something…

Here I was again, new place, new people, no money no security, and wondering when in the world would this nightmare I called my life would end. Peace River, Alberta is a beautiful place nestled in a Valley. I could not deny its beauty, but of course I was to see its hidden ugliness as well. Simply because, my world was shrouded in untreated mental illness and complicated issues, it was natural to me to seek out others like me.

I remember we had to cross the road to get to the car and I was wearing these worn down wooden clogs that were very slippery on the road. The inevitable happened, I sprawled out in the middle of the road. Hot angry tears coursed down my face. Looking a fool embarrassed me so much, it probably goes back to school Daze, when I was bullied so mercilessly. I was waiting for some one to laugh at my humiliation. No one did, but that didn’t matter, what mattered is that again I felt a hot shame, why did it always have to be me. I was so embarrassed I threw those clogs and ran barefoot across the street and looked for a place to hide. My oldest aunt came over to me saying child, it is ok those shoes are worn out. I said they are the only shoes I have. I need them to get a job, as I walked back to pick them up. I apologized for my outburst and slipped my shoes back on and just walked very carefully.

My Aunt said those shoes wont do dear, let me get you a better pair. I said when I get a job I can pay you back for them. She said no please let me get them for you as a gift. I got a brand new pair of sneakers! They were so clean, I was so proud of those sneakers… she also bought me two dresses and a pair of slacks and two blouses and under wear stuff. I miss my Aunt who had passed on from a brain tumor. I felt awkward accepting gifts and not having anything to give in return. I was at a loss so all I could do was thank her profusely. No one had ever given to me out of kindness, so I was worried what the price would be when she called her bill in. However my aunt and I had a delightful relationship. My biggest joy was regaling her with funny stories. I seen her a day before she passed away. I just sense things like that, and we laughed and had a great time, and I hugged her good by for the last time. I’m digressing again , but I loved my Aunt E so much!

My mom got a house to rent and we all moved in, I got a job at a restaurant serving people. I actually enjoyed it, it was fun to-make people happy. I guess I had always been in the hospitality business one way or the other. My mom and her man would come in for coffee and watch me work, after a coupe of weeks of this by Boss pulled me aside. He said your mom and her man can’t come in her when you are working. I asked why. He said because they make the other customers uncomfortable. I looked at my mom and her man and seen haggard, sad people who were either drunk or high on drugs. I felt shame and I didn’t like it. I also did not have the heart to tell my mom what he said. So I told him let me finish my shift, and I will talk to them when I go home. He agreed. I only went back, only to get my pay cheque. I never told mom what my ex boss said, I just didn’t have the heart to hurt her feelings. I think she felt a little bit proud of me working at that restaurant.

After I quit working at the restaurant, both mom and I ended up in the hospital. Her for a nervous break down, me because I wanted to be close to her and look after her. It didn’t work out that way though I ended up in the psychiatric ward in Grande Prairie, involuntary commitment. You can imagine I freaked out!!! To be locked up gain! No Way! I was there for maybe two months, time is different in there, but you would never believe who came to see me. My Father and his wife. I was shell shocked after all these years how in the world did he find me or even know I was here? It was awkward he had not been in my life for at least 16 years, and now here he was. What was I supposed to do with this? I got the immediate impression his wife was not pleased with the circumstances, and I really didn’t blame her. I had not been in their lives all this time, and when I do come back into their lives I’m in a psychiatric ward!

My Father wanted me to come stay with him, but I had a very bad feeling about this. I really just wanted to go back to my moms. My father and his wife had a private discussion with my psychiatrist, and my father came out all smiles and gave me a hug.When I had my next visit with my psychiatrist he told me my father wanted me to come live with him and his wife and adopted son. I said nothing. He then said I do not think you should go back to your mothers it is not a healthy environment for you, however, I really stress that you should not live with your father either. Uhm, and were am I supposed to go? He said I do not know but those two places are not healthy for you. I then said but they are my only two options. He gave me 20 dollars and told me not to tell any one. What was I supposed to do with 20 dollars? I felt betrayed, alone, confused, and very sad. Why was it so easy for people to dismiss me, as if I did not matter.

I choose to give my Dad a chance and it was really bad, I made a mistake. However, I got to meet my little brother so for that I would do it again. I love children, and want to protect them from the ugliness of the world so that they are enchanted by the beauty of life. However, the woman of the house was not pleased, I tried to befriend her, make my self scarce, what ever I could to not tread on her toes, but anything I ever did was not good enough. Then I got a phone call from a boy that was in the ward 5 with me. I don’t remember giving him the number but I must have. We were young adults so I talked to him in private in my room. I thought it was private, but My dads wife was listening in on my conversation…He started talking about a nurse named Debbie on ward 5 who was a real battle ax. I laughed and giggled, just harmless flirting as he talked about how much of a bitch she was. I agreed with him, even though I didn’t really think she she was, but I liked the boy and would probably have agreed to almost anything.

Just to be clear I never called my Dads wife a bad name nor have I ever wished her any ill will. If she knew me at all she would have seen me for who I really was a broken child trying to be an adult.That evening we all sat down to dinner, and I was completely oblivious, My Dads wife kept shooting Daggers at me, and I had no idea why. Then shaking, barley containing herself, she said I am going to kill her!!! I felt fear and confusion, and ran through my mind what I could have possibly done to get such provocative rage directed at me. I could thing of nothing. I don’t think it mattered one way or the other; she would have found something to direct her ire towards me. I told my Step Mother and Dad I did not want to cause any trouble and would pack my stuff to go back to my mothers. Well then she really blew her top. She said if you leave you will destroy this marriage, it will be your fault! I got a job at a bar got my first pay cheque and proceed to get really drunk with some people my age. I was going to go home to my mom, but my dad came and picked me up, apparently he knew were I was. I felt so trapped, and when I feel trapped I run. I got a job with Hoffam catering and they took me to camp for three weeks, I had my cheque brought to the camp. It wasn’t a dry camp so I got to drink, and my alcoholism ramped up out of control. When my cycle finished, I had them take me to peace river to my moms house.

I gave her 1500, and spent the rest on my self, clothes, booze, what ever. When I got back to my moms she really was not in good shape, she was misusing her pills even more so than she typically did. When they took her to the hospital they took her off her medication and would not give her any more, and sent her home. She went to Edmonton to see the Psychiatrist she was seeing for like 30 years or more and got new prescriptions. I was worried, when she would cook she would forget to turn off the stove. One time My Aunt C came to the house knocked and she said the door was hot! She opened the door and a wave of blasting heat hit her with enough force that she was knocked a few steps back! She went in and saw the stove on and she turned it off. The side of the fridge was warped from the heat. Mom was were asleep in the bed. I do not know were moms man was probably at work. My aunt opened all the windows and let herself out after checking that mom was still alive. She was a RN so she knew how to check these things. She also left a jug of ice water and a glass by my moms bed.

The insanity… the insanity of a broken mind, is truly frightening, the madness that a mother could willfully break their child’s mind is incomprehensible.

I was only going to my moms on the week end as during the week I was a live in Nanny for a couple with three young kids. A pair of 8 month old twins and a four year old. I did all the duties their mom would normally do. Looking after the house and the children, The only thing I didn’t do was shop for groceries, she would do that. I suppose if I drove, that would have been a task that would have been done by me as well. I would cook supper, after dishes were done, my day was over. When the week end came I either went drinking or to my moms and went drinking from there, I drank every week end. I was sober when I went to work cause I would be picked up Sunday night, and would not be drinking on Sunday.

Our mother was not doing well she would sit on the couch and pee her self or soil herself and I would have to run her a bath and help her in. When she would get into the water it would turn black! I had to cut her hair short at her request she was 39 and completely grey. she looked old and defeated. She had cysts and black heads behind her ears that I would treat with peroxide.I think she was giving up. I would put her in a clean night gown and send her to bed. She was taken to the hospital three times for over doses, but the hospital just sent her home after they fixed her up. It was like seeing myself, screaming for help and just being casually dismissed.

Six months after our moms 40th birthday she was acting really strange, I mean she acted really strange a lot but this time I was concerned. She was talking in a little girl voice and she said to me”The angels are coming for me” and she giggled like a Little girl. She then said “I am ready.” I said mum are you ok? My boss pulled up and honked the horn to let me know she was there to pick me up. I said mom my boss is here. Before I left I woke up her man and told him to check on mom something was wrong. I knew in my heart that mom was leaving us for good this time, and I was helpless to stop it. Her heart burst, before she reached the hospital, she had no chance what so ever of survival. She had been 40 years old when she died. She had been a part of my life for 20 hellish years. Now she was gone, taking any chance of trying to repair our damaged relationship. The youngest, being about 12 years old took it the hardest. I do believe he thought he would be reunited with her one day.

I knew she was not doing well, and I was trying to to keep her going till summer so I could take her to her brothers. I failed…Do I believe she committed suicide? Yes I do, all the trips to the hospital were definitely a cry for help, didn’t I do that myself. However, my mother was a lot more knowledgeable about how much and what to take to do the most damage, and she succeed. She died, March, 1989.

I was saving money to take her to British Columbia to be with her brothers. She could not wait till summer I guess. I wanted all of us to go as a family for a two week vacation. She left her four children, to continue to fend for themselves. I was once again alone….The family including my siblings all came to the funeral. Tyra and I viewed the body, even though I did not want to. I did it for my sister. She needed to see for herself, since she hadn’t seen our mother for year and a half. As us children sat in the pews for the services we did not cry. It was hard to cry for a woman who treated us so callously and brutally. However, even despite that we missed her. I had not cried tears of sorrow for many years, I am not even sure I remember how to cry…

The legacy she gave to me was one of pain and suffering. She traumatized me to a point were I am not who I am supposed to be. And yet , I still miss her, and just wish once she would have said I Love you, with out being sloppy drunk. She never once said it to me when she was sober… The loss of our mother seemed to be hardest on the youngest and only boy. He would always say he was going to go find her and be with her. His life has been brutal, so maybe he really is looking for her, but I hope he chooses to stay with us Because we love him!

I mistakenly thought, maybe with her death my life would magically change, the damage of life long childhood abuse is devastating and premates all aspects of my life.
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“The Sound Of Silence” Disturbed

one of my favorite songs, has much meaning for me.

Tammy:

SKID ROW: A look at the brutality, and unmerciful reality of children trying to survive on the street.

So there I was, dark was fast falling, had no idea what time it was, but I knew it was way past time when I should have been back at the institution checking in. I was on a subway bus with Tina, and had no idea what I was doing, or were I was going to go. I have never been on the streets before. Tina comforted me and told me not to worry she would help me. Tina was 14 years old, and I was about 14 and a half. She knew more of the world than I did, probably more than most adults did. Tina took me to her fathers home, who wasn’t there, and I began to relax and trust this girl. She told me things about living on the street as a runaway who was in the juvenile delinquent, system. She said “always say you are 18, never give your real name, and if they offer you a ride home decline.” She was talking about the Police, or the “screws” as they were called by the street people. I was so naive despite all that happened to me, I was about to enter a whole new world, of suffering and despair.

Trigger Warning Drug Descriptions:

Tina was the first to introduce me to needles, shooting up. She was the first to teach me how to mix the drugs, and flick the needle to make sure there was no chunks or air bubbles. She taught me how to tie off and raise a vein. If blood entered (flashback) the needle it was a hit. If you missed the vein it would abscess. This could lead to infections, or blood poisoning, which could led to death. Sometimes Tina and I had troubles and would take turns injecting each other, with the boost. The drug in the needle was called a “boost” because it would boost us for a couple hours so we could chase the high. We used what was most available and that was Talwin and Ritalin, they called it poor man’s heroin. That was a joke it cost 40 dollars for one Talwin and one Ritalin. You could share or just use it up yourself. Get one big hit or share with a friend. When you were taking up to 8 or more hits a day that was a pretty hefty price tag. However, most girls would take a hit every one to two hours, and stay awake three to four days at a time. So you can just imagine the money that was being made not only by the girls but the drug dealers.

In the beginning Tina never took me out with her, she always made me stay at her place and wait for her. I had no idea what she was doing, but she always came home with drugs, and because I was on prescription drugs for so many years, the transition from prescription to street drug was easy. I had not been doing drugs before I went into the Youth correctional Center, I became an addict. I began to look forward to Tina coming home, but she never pushed me to go with her in fact she didn’t want me to. We became friends over this sharing of drugs. We had much in common, as she was sexually abused as well, as a child. I would ask her what she did to get the drugs and she spoke candidly and with out shame about selling her body for money to get drugs.

Eventually she started taking me down to the drag, introducing me to some people, telling me to avoid others. The people she introduced me to, treated me with kindness and respect, something I never had in my life before and I wanted more of that! I also. enjoyed the freedom of being able to stay up as late as I wanted or not sleeping at all and watching the sun rise and hit my face. The night time on the drag was exciting and busy. You had people driving by and cops parked on the corners watching the activity, and people filling the bars and the sidewalks. Tina and I stayed mostly down by the York Hotel as that was were all the Colored people stayed and they afforded more protection to the girls. The cops rarely went down to the York end.Please do not be offended when I call my friends Black that is what they said they were so who was I to argue? I don’t know maybe back then things were different,especially on the Drag. We were all equal, but segregated at the same time, the girls could come and go as they please, regardless of their race. They were the money makers.

You have the Blacks at the York, “The Indians at the International and Royal. and Whites at the Imperial. That was just the way it was. Of course sometimes you seen them move around but very rarely, the whites pretty much stuck to them selves, as they were low man on the totem pole in actuality. It was pretty much the Blacks and Indians that ran the strip in regards to what ever deals they had going on. Typically the whites were there slumming. Not all but most. Just saying it like it was back then.

York Hotel, on the Drag. There was a sign that said no knives allowed. This is were I met Judge.
There used to be a YORK Hotel sign on the front in Big Red letters. So many of the hotels and buildings on the drag have long since been torn down.

It was dangerous on the drag, for every one especially the girls. I learned this very quickly after witnessing a murder, and a lot of stabbings. Mostly it was the men fighting men. I only had a couple of run ins with older prostitutes but they got run off dam fast.

Sometimes the older prostitutes would try to corral younger prostitutes and put them in a stable to pimp them out. The men would not tolerate this, and if the older women were caught doing this they were run out, at least they never came around no more. whatever happened to them, I do not know. Two older prostitutes tried to coral me, they held a knife to my throat and basically said you are working for us now.. I said ok let me go to work then. They let me go and I went straight to one of my male friends. Those two women were never seen on the drag again. The one other woman I had a run in was run off and her sister ended up on the lowest corner of the drag sniffing glue. I felt bad for the woman who ended up sniffing glue I tried to help her, and would buy her food and drugs, but she was so hard core, she just tried to take advantage. She probably never had any one show her kindness, just because they had a kind spirit.

I wanted to be saved, but I didn’t know how.
Tammy

Tina and I usually hung together but after she got mixed up with a drug dealer she spent most of her time with him. I heard she eventually married that man and had three children with him, and got off the drugs. I say good for her! I am happy for her if this is what happened. I just know that she didn’t come down to the drag no more and I had to make a new circle of friends. It was spring time so I really wasn’t worried about not having a place to stay, I would just get a room when I absolutely had to sleep usually after the fourth or fifth day of being up. Usually when my eyes were encrusted to were I could barley open them and my heart was beating out of my chest. That is when I would say ok time to come down and go to sleep. I would be up for so long that I would have a hard time telling whether it was day time or night time at dusk and dawn, and would have to wait for the street lamps to go on or off to tell. It would usually take 24 to 48 hours to finally get a good sleep and be ready to start again. I always made sure to have a fix(a needle) ready for when I woke up again. I did not like to go out sick. It was a very hard way to survive. Thankfully for me it was spring, so the weather was good.

I made good money and even had a client base that I did business with on a regular bases, and If I wasn’t hooked on drugs I could have had a pretty good life considering the life I had previously was not anything to be striving for. I had freedom, I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, with who I wanted. The men on the street that I was friends with were not sexual partners they were people who looked out for me and for that I would get them high with me. We did not have sexual relationships, our friendships revolved strictly around protection and drugs.

Sometimes some one who I let pick my up was an addict and we would spend a week or two together getting high and having sex. I mean that is what I did to survive… Before I was being sexually abused by men and only received pain and suffering now I was being sexually abused, but had drugs to dull the pain. The drugs made it a lot easier, but it was still very brutal on my mind, body and soul.

Working

There were times I was beaten by the older prostitutes. One woman about 40 wanted my jacket. She ripped clumps of my hair out and blackened an eye. She got my jacket but she too just disappeared when A friend saw what happened to me. He was so angry, he slammed out of his house. I crawled i to his bed and slept for a solid three days. For some reason most of the hard core street people were very protective of me. Maybe because they knew I really did not belong there, but had no were else to go.

It wasn’t just the older prostitutes that would get violent with the youngsters that were trying to survive the street. Men that wanted to buy us would some times beat us rape us, even sodomize us. I will never forget the time my friend and I, she was 13, were invited to a drug dealers home, to party. It turned out that the only ones having a party were he two men. One of the men punched me and I fell to the floor, the pain was excruciating. I remember seeing him draw back to kick me in the head. All I though was don’t pass out, don’t black out, if you do you will die. There was an explosion of light and pain, I held on to consciousness, and laid there on the floor. While, I was being brutalized, the other man and my friend left the house.

The man gathered me up and took me to a couch in the living room, never saying a word to me. Stripped of my clothes, he sodimized me, that was the first, time that ever happened to me. I will never forget the pain or the shame. The mans friend came back, with out my friend, and said I want a turn. The man that just brutalized me looked at me, and I looked at him, waiting to see what was going to happen. The man turned to his friend and said no, shes had enough Im taking her back. I looked for my friend, but I never saw her again.

Sometimes men were looking for a young girl and since I looked like I was about 12 to 14 I would tell them 13, I got more work that way. Seems the men I met in my life always liked them younger. I also could ask for more, and these men typically became my regulars. Some of them would take me to dinner or dairy queen. Treat me like the kid I was. Most of the men were also married, which was good because I didn’t have to fight them to wear a condom. Some men refused, and I would refuse to be committed to a bargain. Just like my Needles, I always bought new ones. they only cost 2$ so I always bought one or two new ones.

When tricks beat me, there was little I could do, but get the hell out of there and pray I didn’t get killed. Sometimes the younger girls would disappear and you would just know in your gut that they were not in a safe place, not on this earth any way. The youngest prostitutes I ever met were a brother and sister, the boy was eight, and deaf. His sister said she was ten. I talked to her for bit, and they confirmed that they were “working”. The boys sister spoke for him. How.. how does this happen? I knew how it happened but it still broke my heart to know there were children even younger than me out there too. I do not know were they went, I think maybe they got run off because they would draw to much police attention. Maybe a pimp picked them up and made money off of them. The last alternative was just as tragic as the first two.

One time I was raped by a man who said he was a police officer off duty. He had a badge and a gun so I wasn’t going to argue. I just let him do what he had to do then got away. of course I let the other girls know about this guy and to steer clear of him. Being raped was just part of the brutality on the street. Once there were two cops behind me walking a beat, and all they said to me was how is it going sweet cheeks. Sometimes they would stop me and ask how old I was, I gave the standard answer Tina told me to give, “18”. if they asked for ID I simply told them I did not carry ID because I didn’t want to get robbed, they usually left me alone after that.

After I stopped hanging out with Tina so much, my favorite person to hang with was Brandy. She was a transgender prostitute who had not gone through the transition. Probably because she couldn’t afford it. she however, was addicted to drugs like me, she was still very beautiful but was pushing 40. the typical life expectancy of some one who lives on the street is 40. That is old for living on the streets. It is a harsh, brutal, unforgiving life. The younger you were the more likely you were to die young, if they didn’t make it past the first couple of years. Contrary to what most people thought, you really did not see a whole lot of young people, I mean any one under the age of 16. Most were in there late twenty’s or early thirty’s. the younger people could have been going else were I don’t know, but I was happy with my friends down on the drag.

Sometimes a client would want me to move in with them so they could look after me. I tried it a couple of times, but I felt trapped, like I was part of their property. I didn’t like it and would end the relationship, and go back to my friends and the street. The summer was a lot of fun for being on the streets any way, I hung with a lot of different people, got into trouble sometimes but survived. Hooked up with a man named Judge, which was a mistake, I wanted to leave him and he held me over a third story balcony, and threatened to drop me head first.. I told him I would stay so he didn’t throw me over. of course I moved down to the other end of the drag, until he cooled off and got another girl to mess around with. He really did not want to get caught in a middle of a war with the men on the drag, because I was friendly to every one, so he just left me alone.

Tammy

That summer passed by so quickly, however on sunny day really sticks out in my mind. I made the mistake of thinking about my family. Tears streamed down my face while I was completely silent. I didn’t know were my family were, and I was completely and profoundly alone, I knew that it was just me against the world. If I died I would not cross these peoples hearts or minds very often, and not with any genuine sorrow. It was the most empty and vast feeling of loneliness that I have experienced in my short life. That day, was the last time I ever cried for many many years. in fact I forgot how to cry!

The people that I was surrounded by were dangerous. I met a man that I became friends with, but who would get crazy when he was over tired or to high. One time he slammed my head on the table in the restaurant we were at. I guess I should not have suggested he get a few winks, as he had been up for about four days. I found out from a friend that he was just released from prison for murder. It didn’t even cross my mind to be scared.He would take me to his girl friends house to give me a few days rest, and we would all get high on pills so I would not go into withdrawals. It was actually kind of fun to be babied for a few days. Even if he was a murderer. However, even he wanted something on return and crawled into bed with me to collect.

A building on skid row, that the girls would rent rooms out By the hour, night or week.

I was dying and I didn’t care. I weighed a whopping 102 pounds. Had sever pains in my ribs, and a cough that would not go away. I was dying, and the people in my circle were having none of that. It was the coldest part of winter when Suzette said come on little girl it is time, you’re dying and you are too young to die, I am taking you to a safe place. I balked, oh hell no, no more institutions. She said no I am taking you to a friends place in Wainwright. Me and Suzette hitchhiked in the bitter cold from Edmonton to Wainwright in our skimpy clothes, and By the Grace of God we made it there alive, barley. Suzette knew getting me off the drugs was going to be an issue, so she gave me two hits over a period of three days, I slept a lot. When I finally got up I was feeling a lot better. Still very weak but better. The first thing she did was hand me a beer. I do not even think I cross addicted, I think I was already predisposed to alcoholism, same stuff, different pile. As soon as I took that first swallow of Beer, I was hooked, and the drugs went away, I found my ambrosia. I wanted to go back but Suzette said stay here and heal come back when it is warm. you are still very sick, she said. It was my body shutting down from the drugs and the weight loss. Like an anorexic, my body was saying I am giving up do something! I was saved by an old prostitute that would probably be dead with in the year.

One of the streets I walked as a Child.


When I was in Wainwright there was a young man who would not leave my side even when I was sleeping. Suzette stayed for five days to watch over me and get me past the danger zone I guess. This young man that hovered over me really had no idea what he was in for. Being a small town young man, he really did not know anything about what it was to deal with a traumatized mentally ill teen who was hooked on hard drugs. However, Suzette left him in charge of me.Because hard drugs were not as prevalent in Wainwright I adapted and my drug of choice became alcohol. He was a pot head , but I didn’t like pot. Pot made me paranoid so I just drank and only smoked up with him on very rare occasions.He held down a steady job at the wainwright hotel, and did his best to care for me.

Old Wainwright Hotel were K.B worked in the restaurant, and the Old historical clock in the middle of the four way.

I hate to say it, but I put that young man through hell, however, he tried his best to save me, but I wasn’t sure I could be saved at that point. I was in deep with drugs and alcohol, and never had a loving intervention in my entire life. To say that I was insane when drinking is to put it mildly. I was blacking out when I drank, more often than not and would have no recollections what so ever what I had done. All I felt was a foreboding shame that what ever I did was not good. This new life style was so alien to me, I did not know were I fit, and even if I fit any were. I could not come and go as I pleased, but I did, and suffered his wrath. Most people slept at night and worked during the day. I roamed at night and slept during the day. This was not working out at all!

I did however, have one true friend, who seemed to understand me better than any one and did not judge me. That was Russel.D. People called him Rusty, I never did, but will for the sake of simplicity. It seemed I always tended to call people by their given name not shortened versions or nicknames, I never understood why I did that. Rusty became a trusted friend and I was able to be myself around him, perhaps this made K.B. mad I don’t know. the relationship between Rusty and I was platonic. He even eventually got a really awesome Girl friend. I will call her D. Rusty loved D you could really tell, and I loved them both. I was happy for both of them. Then the tragic happened! Rusty was accused of sexual molestation of a minor. I could not believe it! Now I was torn! Really! How? When?! I was mortified. The day that tragedy struck is forever emblazoned on my heart. Rusty, came to the house Kim I were living at, he really wanted to talk to me, he was so upset. I didn’t know at the time what he was upset about, but I wanted to be there for my friend so I would have heard him out. I am not sure what I would have done if he confessed to me, but he never got the chance to do anything, as K.B yelled for me to come to the bedroom Now! I told Rusty I would be right back! K.B never really yelled at me like that ever before even when I was at my worst, so I really took notice. You know I really do not even remember what K.B said to me that was so important. When I went back out Rusty was gone, and my heart sank. Somehow I knew that my friend was leaving me…I told K.B I was going to go look for rusty, but K.B said no!

Graphic content:

A few hours, we heard the news. Rusty had taken his own life, by blowing his head off with a shot gun in his girl friends bathroom. She was the one that found him, I am so sorry D! Rusty why there? I found out later he did it there because he left everything to his little girl, and did not want the mark of suicide on the house he left her. He really had no one else but D. and me. There certainly was no way he could do it at my house with K.B and his friend there. All his so called friends went to the funeral as well as me and D. All they talked about was the suicide and the accusation, saying that prob meant he was guilty. He deserved a fair trial just like any one else, despite what happened to me in my past, he still deserved his day in court. Rusty used to always wear a ball cap and K.B put the cap that Rusty took off before he took his own life. I though that was so callus and morbid, everyone laughed, except me. I was heartbroken that a man was so broken he would resort to such a violent death. I think that is the day I started pulling away from K.B and his group, and began withdrawing into myself. Not too long after Rustys suicide, it came out that the allegations were false. This was also the day that an job opportunity came up.

Suicide was to become more prevalent in my life. Tammy

A man approached K.B and asked if he wanted to manage a restaurant in Smokey Lake, for him. He said yes, and I agreed to be on the wait staff. It is Ironic that I was following in my family’s wake, like I was being guided by some unseen force. I do not know if they were already gone, but I assumed they were. I didn’t remember how to get to were they lived any way, and any inquiries I made of the locals turned up nothing. K.B only managed the restaurant a couple of months before he was replaced. We stayed in Smokey lake though. I supported him and his two friends on my tips, and wages. for the first time in my life, I was trying to live a decent life, and save up money and build a home with out drinking. Although I still drank on days off to excess it was a lot less than when I was in Wainwright. However, I was still an ugly mean drunk, so I do not blame him for throwing in the towel. What I do blame him for is taking all my possessions that I slowly had collected, all my tip money, and taking money from me that he had no intention of using for what he said it was for, and leaving me with a bill at a gas station for cigarettes and snacks that I knew nothing about.He also took all the jewelry I had slowly been collecting, I loved jewelry of all kinds, and paid for it all my self. He wiped me out and just left me with a few clothes.

I did track him down in Wainwright a few days later, I hitchhiked from Smokey Lake to Wainwright, boy was he surprised to see me! He had told me we both were moving back to Wainwright, that was why he took all my stuff. He lied, he just stole everything I owned in the world with out any remorse or regret. What kind of person does that?! When I confronted him, he told me it was over, and he had some one else. I said give my things back. He refused, I didn’t think of going to the police, as authority and I did not mix well. I left and went to Edmonton to stay with a girl friend that was K.B.s friend and then became mine.

I stayed with my friend for one month, but I ended up going back to the streets. I am sad I left, but I left because I did not have the heart to try again, even though I did get a job and was trying. I was giving up, what would be would be, and I would just accept what ever came my way. The Next segment, I will talk about what happened when I went back to the Drag for the second time, as a young adult. I was 18 years old now.

Were Angels Dare not Tread. I dared to go, because I had very few choices, and none of them were good. Tammy 2019 LOVE

The Ultimate Betrayal 2

Tammy:

After leaving the last foster home, I would ever be in, we were sent back home. This was a cycle that was repeated often through out the years. I really lost count how many foster homes and receiving homes I was in over the years. For awhile things were not too bad. I was growing up fast and even made a friend, although she was much older than me. I even had a boyfriend, although he was too old for me too, but mom seemed to like him. I sure knew she liked his brother, as one time she got really drunk and tried to have sex with my boy friends brother on the couch. I was so humiliated, my boyfriend just pulled his brother up and took him home. I had to wonder if it would be like this with all my male friends I may have. He was a nice young man though, he took me to the movies and out for ice cream and stuff, I liked it, but I didn’t like him the same way he liked me. I am not sure if I was even capable of liking a man that way. However, I did like him as a friend, he was fun to be around, and I think if things would have been different, I may have grown to love him.

I am feeling kind of broken right now, not because of the memoir, but because I got tangled up with a right fighter. Someone who refuses to listen to sound reasoning, information, or data, because, yup you guessed it, they are always right.

“That man,” I can’t say his name with out becoming ill,was not in the picture yet, not in a permanent way he wasn’t. Mom and I shared a room, we each had a single bed. She also liked to wear my clothes, as I was filling out some what, at least my bottom half was, I bemoaned the fact that I really didn’t have any boobs. I was still very young though, and was not even menstruating yet. The man that sexually abused me for years would come over and visit, although he really wasn’t supposed to be around us, but he came any way. He strutted around all puffed up like he was a real some body. His rictus grin ever present. I hated him, I still hate him.

When he wasn’t around mom drank a lot, one time she got drunk and was drinking in our bathroom, and fell. She didn’t spill her drink but she couldn’t get back up. she called me for help, when I was unable to lift her, she threw her drink in my face. That hurt my feeling so very much. She just laughed and I smiled a sad smile, what else could I do. She was a lot easier to be around when she was drinking, than when she was high on her pills. At least that was what I thought. She seemed to be happy when she was drunk for the most part. I think in some ways I hated her too, which hurt me deeply, because I also loved her.

Sometimes she was a tearful drunk, and would call her family and cry to them over the phone. I suppose deep down she was in pain too. However, I can not with any reasonableness, excuse what she did to me or my siblings. She destroyed me, my mind was severely broken. I would never be the same nor would I ever recover. Honestly there was nothing to recover. I was being sexually abused at the age of two. I sat down and tried to recall how many men that I could remember sexually abusing me. I am able to recall six, men sexually abused me before I had even reached the age of 12. Two of those men were close relatives. One being my natural father and an uncle. The other four men were not related. Out of all those men, only one was convicted and that was because of a decent man that would have killed my abuser, if the police were not called. Harvey of course mom was aware of but chose to look the other way, and stand by her man.

Mom had always been a promiscuous woman, except when she was with “HIM’. “He” seemed to be the only man that she loved, it is ironic to me that the most abusive man to us is the one she stayed with, and the men that were the kindest to us only lasted a couple of weeks at best. Our Mother was definitely deranged and had serious issues. The only time I ever recall my mother telling me she loved me was one night when she was sloppy drunk, but that one time I will always remember not because she said it, but because she could only say it when she was sloppy drunk. The only time I heard her laugh when she was sober, was when she and all us kids played tiddly winks. I will always remember that laugh with fondness and a ache since that was the only time I ever remember her really laughing. We were all on the floor, and she was winning, she rocked back with her head back and just belted out the most beautiful laugh I have ever heard. Her eyes were shining and her smile was beaming. That memory is forever ingrained in my mind. It is the one and only fond memory of her that I can recall.

Our mother loved flowers, I think her favourite flower was posies. Tyra 2019

One of the men was the one that sat at the kitchen table with my mother, sat me on his lap and penetrated me, I was three, Tyra was just a baby. This was just before we were taken to our first foster home. There was also the blonde man, who made me touch his man hood, and molested me. The man I do not recall, when I ended up in the hospital with trauma. That would have been about age six and a half possibly seven. Hector who was tried and convicted. I was eight. My uncle whom was intoxicated at the time. Not excusing him just sharing his state of being, when he hurt me. I was eleven. And one young adult woman, who was a sexual predator, that took advantage of my vulnerability and broken mind. Lastly we had the most vile and sicking man, that raped me off and on for three years. As I was removed from the family home and placed in care off and on during that time. I think he was the,most awful man, I already told you I hated him, but I want to say it again I absolutely detested him. From the information I gathered, and my own memories, and those of my first foster mother, and Tyra, and other family members. Some who say my father may have been sexually abusing me even before the age of two as he had me from the age of one, till I was two and a half. More on my dad later on. As he did not have contact with me again till I was about 19

That was Eleven years of my life, that I had been sexually abused by multiple men. Sometimes with my mothers acknowledgement. My time with my siblings was fast approaching an end. Tammy

I recall one night when mom was drinking with the man across the street, Us children ran back and forth across the street all night. It was actually fun. As night fell and the younger ones got sleepy and went to bed, I was still awake, and that man came over to our house. I recall he and my mom got into a argument about how good she would be in bed, and she said to him “Come on then I will show you!” He just looked at me and grinned and went into the room my mom and I shared. After they were done, he just laid in the bed with my mom smoking a cigarette. My mom yelled at me to bring her a pad. “I was so disgusted with her and him!” The smell was gagging to me! I don’t know if he got tired of laying with her, or she kicked him out but after he left mom yelled at me to come to bed. I was so glad the little ones were sleeping and did not witness this despicable display of promiscuity. However, I seriously didn’t understand the impact incidents like this have on a child. Displays of promiscuity, immodesty, overt sexual deviant behaviours, these were normal occurrences in our home.

The bar was just a few blocks away, so Mom had easy access to it, and she made good use of it, sometimes she would stay out so late I would go get her and get some one to go in and bring her out so I could walk her home. She must of had men buying her drinks, because she never had a lot of money being a welfare mom our whole lives.

In our house food was a one time thing at the beginning of the month she would fill the fridge and cupboards, making sure to buy a large bag of flour if we were out and a couple jars of cheez whiz, and lard. This was so I could bake bannock in the oven for the kids lunches when we ran out of food, which we always did, Then it was bannock for lunches and macaroni for dinner, and water to drink.

I did babysit and make a little money, but mom, always “borrowed” that to go out drinking, so there was very little I could do. Mom was not a person you ever said no to and kept your hide intact! One time I was walking her home we were walking in the middle of the road and she had her hands in her pockets and she fell, and couldn’t get up and a car was coming! I ran towards the car, thank God they stopped, Mom struggled to get up and I apologized to the person but he just looked at me threw his window like I was a bug that crawled up out of a hole. We made it home safe, once again. I think the look of disdain on that mans face, impacted me a lot harder than I realized, I no longer wanted people to look me in my face.

Another time I had to go get my mom, we were almost home and she fell into the hedge bushed pulling me with her. She was laughing, I have to admit I laughed too we probably looked pretty foolish! I always waited up for her when she was drinking , because sometimes she would bring home a guy, and I didn’t want to be in our room if she did that.

It was about this time I started smoking cigarettes, it was a way to have something in common with my mom. They made me feel ill, but so grown up at the same time. Now years later I wish I had never started, it is just another dirty habit I have to try and over come. Coffee too made me feel sick, but when mom let me drink it I would, just to be more like her….However, when she let me drink alcohol, well that is different story as you will soon see.

School, wasn’t an issue, since she never asked my how I was doing and as long as no one called her to complain she was fine to me. Well as fine as our mother was to any of us on any given day. I was back at HillCrest so It was cool even made a girlfriend, although she was a bad influence on me. I also, made some very unlikely friends who were bikers. I never drank or did drugs with them or had sex with them for that matter. I did a titties pic with them, which was a tradition they had that all females that went to the animal house got a titty pic. That was pretty tame considering the hell I had already been through. Remembering back to having my young girl breasts exposed and photographed, I didn’t want to, but I felt on a visceral level I had no choice. I remember a man bending down and putting my child breast in his mouth, and the other bikers laughing and cheering. I just plastered a smile on my face and withstood my victimization.

“There is no greater loss that the loss of innocence, before maturity is ready to be received.
I knew then that My mother never loved me, either because she was incapable of love or because I was unlovable, I couldn’t conceive a mother not loving her child, so it must be the latter”. Tammy 2019

I did go cruising with one of my biker friends was good fun. One time I said I wanted to skip school and he picked me up on the corner and took me to school for a week, and said if you skip; no more rides kiddo. This was the gang that I supposedly was in, how ridiculous was that! Just because these people could look rough and rode bikes. These people were so family orientated! Children were sacred to them, especially babies. Sure they took a pic of my boobs, what little I had, but that was part of their culture, you may not understand it, but it really is just about belonging. They had a wall covered with women I was the only really young one, but I looked older than I was. So they may not even known how old I was. However, they were respectful to each other and the women. Unlike my mother. I didn’t drink, nor did I do drugs, unless it was to smoke pot with my mom or drink with my mom. On my own I did not do these things. I didn’t like the way pot made me feel, when I was high on pot Tyra would look at me funny and it made me nervous lol.

When my mom found out that I had a friends that were bikers she demanded I take her to were they met. I refused at first, willing to take a beating to keep their secret. I would not see them any more if it meant keeping her away from them she was such a Bytch! She was also a consummate liar. She told me, she wasn’t mad she just wanted to see it, I thought fine I will show her were it is, there is no way in hell they are going to let her in lol. I was right she came home one night madder than hell and said I went to that place you showed me and they wouldn’t let me in! I told her mom of course they didn’t let you in, they don’t know you, or who you are. A few days later she demanded I take her to that place I showed her and get her in. I refused and she backhanded me across the face, I just calmly said mom I do not go there any more or see any of my old friends from their any more. When that didn’t work she switched tactics and said “sweetheart” I am just curious to see these people. I said ‘why mom?” “They never caused me any harm and I never did drugs or drank with those people.” She said I just want to go and see it and I do not want you to call me “mom” I want you to call me “Jackie and say I am your sister. I said fine and took her. she ended up drinking and flirting with some guy there and bringing him home. She sent me home after being there for about a hour. She was so manipulative and hurtful towards me. I accidentally called her mom a couple of times so they knew who she was. I walked home, it was quite far and very late, she got a ride home with the guy she picked up at the “animal” house, which was a bikers hang out in Edmonton way back when. It was not a gang hang out either, it was just people that liked to ride Harley’s and drink beer together. Mom just said it was a gang to get me removed from her home.

At that times liqueur stores were not open on Sundays, and bootleggers were in full force. Sometimes mom would use the bootleggers, and take me with her. They would give us free drinks, and when I drank those drinks I felt so much better. I didn’t realize how dangerous it was to be drinking with these kind of men with or with out my mom. Who knows if they roofied us or not…maybe that was moms plan all along a way to get booze without paying cash for it.She did some really insane things when it came to us children, so I put nothing past her, for what she would do for her drugs and alcohol.

That “Man” was slowly but surely weaseling his way back into our lives. He would take us all camping, mom loved camping. He was still abusing me, sometimes he would come in to the bathroom when I was in there. He told mom to tell us not to lock the door because what if we slipped and fell how would they save us? What a bunch of bull, but I learned not to take baths when mom was totally out of it on her pills. she was abusing them so bad now she would be out of her mind most of the time. I didn’t always succeed, but more often than not I did.

Because Mom was drinking and abusing her pills so bad she had what they called a nervous break down. What ever it was, she ended up in the hospital for about two weeks. That time away from her was such a relief! We could even let our guard down a little bit. I could rest and not be doing all the things responsible adults do to maintain a happy home. Even though mom was in the hospital “He” would come and try to take me to the hospital to see her. I did go with him once and he abused me before even going to see her! The next time, he came I said lets take all the kids, he said no, just you or no one. Suzie our homemaker said “just go with him, see your mom it will be fine.” She really didn’t have a clue I’m sure. At least I like to believe she didn’t. After that time I told her what he was doing when he took me out of the home to see my mom. She really didn’t want to hear what i was saying, however, after that she did not force me to go with him, and he ended up taking all of us too see mom. Maybe that was his way of saying see, I do take all the kids. He just gave me a hateful glare.

Child protective services told my mom that Harvey was not allowed to live with us while I was in her home. So, when mom came home from the hospital I was told by a social worker to pack a suitcase for when I went to school the next day as I would be leaving her home.. They were not going to pick me up at home, I had to go to my school and leave my suitcase in the office. Who does that! I never even got to say good bye to my siblings!! That “man” moved back in as soon as I was out of the house.

I was heartbroken, I did nothing wrong, I was a good kid. I never gave mom any problems, in fact I spent more time looking after her, and the house and the little ones, than I did myself. However, she wanted her “man” back, and he was not allowed to live with her while I was in her home. I was told this by the last and only social worker I ever trusted, Karen P. However, mom was so adept at lying and manipulating she got her way. I am not sure why CPS said he could not live with us while I was there, but , I have a sneaking suspicion they knew the truth and were trying to protect me. If mom never lied in court that man would have gone to prison! The Ultimate Betrayal to me was removing me from my home so my abuser could move in. This was my mom’s choice… I was removed and taken to a receiving home, this is were my Journey takes me on my walk alone.

Old Whyte ave.
Old Whyte ave.
‘New Whyte Ave, a real hot spot for night activity now, one of the go to places for a night out on the town.”

Before I leave you dear friends to work on the next piece I had a memory resurface that I and Tyra really wanted to share with you. It is about our youngest sister. A day before picture day she got it into her mind that cutting her hair to have no bangs was a great idea. See, I didn’t have bangs, my hair was parted down the middle, all I really had were cow licks lol, hated those seriously. She was in grade one at the time, so really didn’t know any better. She also, seen a friend of our mothers shave then pencil in her eyebrows. apparently, our youngest sister thought that was really attractive too! So, you she shaved her eye brows off too!! She came down for school the next morning to show me her handiwork. I could not help my self.. I laughed at her. I couldn’t help it, she looked perpetually surprised! (HEHE) I tried to help by trying to pencil in some eye brows with my pencil crayons, it didn’t work though. I told her to show mom, as maybe she could help. By this time my little sister was crying her eyes out and I felt so bad for her! She just wanted to look pretty, If I was older I would have been flattered she wanted no bangs like me, being young though I just saw the humor of the situation.

To say the least mom was really angry! It was picture day and she wanted those pictures of Tanya! Tanya crying, said she didn’t want to go to school.. mom made her go any way. I did feel bad for her, but when mom said something it best you obey and do what she says or suffer the consequences, not sure if mom bought those years photos or not.

The Ultimate Betrayal

Tyra:

When we moved back in with our mom we were living on Whyte Ave and just a block to my school. It was summer time and we played outside in the garage all the time, it was our fort. When life was getting too much us kids would go out there and basically hide. Mom was not very active in our lives we were a paycheck to her and that was all. She could say she loved us and I do think she did but in a very perverted way.

Sleeping has become a major problem. Mom would sleep all day, would not get up to look after the young children, not saying I was old. She would just stay in her room and read and sleep. I remember laundry day. We had a old ringer washer, so we washed the clothes then put them in the tub to rinse then put them through the ringer and out on the line they went. This was to make sure we had clean clothes for school, or just to change.

Mom decided to bring Harvey back into our lives as she could not be without a man. Not long after he came into our lives mom ended up in the hospital for a nervous breakdown. During this time we had a homemaker to look after us. You have to remember this is only a few months after we were back in mom’s care. We loved Susie, she was amazing we did not have to do all the chores we were doing. we just needed to clean our room and help with dishes. This was just luxury to us.

Sisters

During the time that mom was in the hospital Harvey was in our life. He would be lurking around the house and Susie did not like it. Susie sensed there was something wrong with this man. His grey hair, beady blue eyes, thin, not too tall and a viscous grin on his face. Susie’s intuition was right on the money and she watched us kids like a hawk, but Tammy was left vulnerable to this man. I can only speculate what she was thinking, maybe that Tammy was older and could protect herself or she would tell someone if something did happen. Perhaps Susie thought it better to sacrifice one and save the rest. Having been told that he would not be in our life again, when he came back and mom let him, I felt very angry and the betrayal was deep.

I remember coming home after school and Tammy was in her room, laying on her bed and Harvey was sitting at the kitchen table with this smug look on his face. I knew what happened, and I could not prevent it. Tammy was his target and he would go right after her. During this time we would go out to the lake and I remember watching Tammy looking out of the window, wondering what she was thinking. Was she thinking that it was a mistake coming back to mom, or was she thinking that the lies that were told by the adults would forever condemn us to a life of pain and suffering.

When mom got out of the hospital her behaviour did not change. She still went to bed and stayed there. Looking after us was not her priority, she wanted what she wanted. I am not sure if Tammy told her that Harvey was abusing her or what happen but she was sent away again. I was thinking my sister is gone again, what did she do???? I asked and was told that mom could not handle her and that she was involved with a gang. I did not believe what she said it was just a excuse to send Tammy away again. Here I was once again fighting this battle on my own, for the good of the younger kids.

In the end, some of your greatest pain, becomes your Greatest strength” Tyra 2019

The Vagabond Children: Part 5

Tyra:

After all my excitement of not having to go home my mind shifted to “where are we going?”. School was out and the social worker was there to pick me up, but I was the only one in the car. Where are the others? The social worker stated that I would be with them soon when we get to the office downtown. I just did not know what to expect with all this again.

The physical abuse was too much for me to bare. It was affecting everything that I did. As Tammy did say, if we cried we would just get more, so instead of crying I laughed it off until I was alone in my bed. Then I cried myself to sleep. Our mother would scream at us “ Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about!”. Eventually, we literally forgot how to cry. The pain would rise up to our throat chakra, our voice, and get stuck there. We couldn’t release our pain, through a natural human process, crying.

Living with the unknown is hard on children, and it was no different for us. We just wondered if we were going to be together or be separated. Our greatest fear came true because Tammy was sent to a different home than the three of us.

The constant separation, and reunion with my siblings, had a life time impact, the bond of the heart and spirit was never broken, but the physical closeness definitely was. Tammy 2019

A receiving home is a place that you go until social services can find a permanent location for you. We had 2 receiving homes before the permanent one.

The first receiving home was a nice place, out in the country, just out of the Sherwood Park area. The family already had 2 foster children living with them. I begun to tell the foster mom why we were taken away, she had no sympathy for our situation she just stated “there is always someone out there that had it worse than you…”. This statement made a huge impact on my life and how I pictured the abuse that I had endured. The foster mom started telling me the story of the two foster children that were living with her, their story was so much worse than my story so I just became silent and kept to myself. I guess this is where I learnt that maybe just maybe the abuse was not that bad. We did not stay at that home very long, maybe a week. Then off to another home.

Every time I read what this “foster parent” said to my sister makes me enraged. First your pain, your suffering, it is not measurable by a standard set out by people who are ignorant, ill informed, or just cold hearted. Only you can say what it feels like, to you. Whether it was once or a hundred times, the wound is there! The pain is there. There is no worse than! Abuse is ugly, insidious, damaging, life changing. To invalidate any ones pain and suffering, by minimizing, comparing or disregarding, is insufferable, deplorable, hateful. What you feel is incomparable. Please walk away from these ignoramus’. You are beautiful, and incomparable, all of you.
Tammy 2019

This foster home had 2 young girls, the foster mom stayed home and the dad worked. Having to start school in a new district really sucked. It was late in the year and having all the stress of being abused, taken away, having 3 (one was our mom’s home)and 2 different foster homes in a matter 2 months did not help with the adjustment to a new school. Our little brother had a temper at times and he was only 3 or 4 years old at this time, he was playing with a purse in the basement of this foster home and swung it and hit one of the families little girls. The little girl said that he did it on purpose, the foster mom was very upset and called the social worker. Trevor was removed from that home and Tanya and I were again by ourselves. Trevor was placed in a boys group home.

It was during the summer they had taken us out to Elk Island Park and we played in the water as it was a hot day, not knowing what would happen. The next day we woke up with this rash all over, the family thought it was the chicken pox, so off to the doctors we go. There we found out that we had gotten swimmers itch, it was horrible. These bumps were so itchy, calamine lotion is the only stuff that worked to take the itch away for awhile.

After the school year was done, we were placed in a permanent foster home. This foster home was with this old lady Vivian. Tanya and I shared a room and the adopted daughter was in her own room. I remember having that calamine lotion on me all over and riding a bike around and around the complex. We were not allowed to go on the street, but there was a sidewalk that went in a circle and we rode there all day. Then we would pick wild berries, my first time trying saskatoons and I think more went in my mouth than in my bucket, yummy so good. Wild strawberries well that is another story, those suckers were so small that took forever to even get a layer on the bottom of the pail. I got bored of doing this but ended up picking until it was time to leave. Man was I happy about being done.

Then school came and I was so ashamed about failing that my self esteem paid the price. During school time I just did my work and did not do much else, as I felt that I should be with the grade 6 class not the grade 5 class. My marks did not reflect that I had taken it twice. As during the grade 5 year there was a lot of abuse and other things to focus on than just school. That is when I realized that I indeed needed to repeat my grade.

Then came the home visits, where we would go visit our mom for maybe 2-3 hrs at a time. I did not want to go on those visits I was scared of the blame, and also abuse. The first visit I remember was on Whyte Ave, she was staying with Harvey again so here we were again exposed to the pedophile that abused us. Our mother did not care for us I thought, she wanted her man more than she cared for us. We were made to go, also I did not want Tanya to go by herself. I knew deep down that our mom’s behaviour did not change, I knew she did not deserve to have us back, she really knew how to work the system in her favor.

The instances that Tammy talk about in the beginning of this post, I do not remember. I remember me wanting to be a figure skater and spent hours on the ice. I would fall so much my knees were bruised really bad. I just could not stop the gliding on the ice I just felt free. Looking back now I think that is profound for a 10 year old to be feeling. Enduring the falls and getting back up has been a common theme in my life as you will see in later posts.

The time was to go back and live with our mom. I begged them not to send us back, for us to be able to stay where we were. At Vivians wasnt great but it sure the hell was better than what we are going back to. My plea’s were not heard as my siblings decided to go back to our mom.

(Years later I found out that our foster mothers son was convicted of incestuous pedophilia, he was free to access us girls, our foster mother would even take us to his home.) Tyra 2019


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.

Home Coming

Tammy:

As I said previously, my sister and I were with our foster parents for three years. so I was six when I went back to live with our mother and Tyra was three. You are probably wondering were was my father or Tyra’s father was during this time. I will of course let Tyra speak about her own Father, but as for mine I had some contact with him, but it was very limited. I am not sure of the circumstances, but he was not in my life after the time I was brought back to my mother from my foster parents. from vague memories I can only infer that it was not a good relationship, although the memories are hazy the feelings about the memories are extremely strong, and as an adult I can infer many things. It wasn’t till much later in my Adult life that I had any substantial contact with my Father, which I will speak about later on in our Blog. Just to Clarify all the siblings have different fathers other than my youngest brother and I who have the same Father.

I do remember when my mother came to get us. she brought crayons and coloring books. Big fat crayons. I remember, because, I broke my yellow one and it upset me very much =(. To a six year old who is confused and bewildered breaking a crayon is a huge deal. I could not understand why I was again being uprooted to go back with this woman, who was by now pretty much a stranger to me, although I must of remembered something because my foster mother stated I Begged to stay with her, and not go with this other woman. She had a man with her, although I can not recall who the man was. I do believe it was Tyra’s father although I could be wrong.

Things went badly very quickly. The horror was that because our mother had fought so hard to get us back, she became very adept at hiding abuse… Our mother was very heavy in to alcohol and I am sure pills, although I did not become aware of the pills until I was older. The alcohol was very prevalent though. As I was six years old, there are things that I remember, probably because some of the memories were so horrific.

You may be wondering if I still peed the bed after being with my foster parents for three years. The answer was yes, I pee’d the bed until I was about ten or eleven years old =(. extreme abuse can do this to a child. Many young children lose bladder/bowel control following sexual assault. It can be frustrating for parents and cause extra work. … Bedwetting can also result from feelings of helplessness when children feel a loss of ownership and power over their body when it has been used by someone more powerful than they are.

The bed wetting is important for me to share because it was so shaming to me. Although the reasons for my doing it were horrific in the extreme, outsiders would shame me because they felt it wasn’t normal for a six year old and, older, child to be bed wetting. They were right it wasn’t normal but instead of helping or investigating they shamed me. I would just implore any one who knows of a child that wets the bed beyond the normal years to investigate it before righting it off as laziness or just being a brat. I am not, nor have ever been, lazy or a brat.

I share my voice with you, so you can share yours with me. Tammy 2019

Within the first year of being home I was sexually abused twice by men that I remember. I even remember his name, because to me it was such a odd name; she called him Guy. I didn’t realize until I was Older that it was French and the proper pronunciation was Gee not guy even thought it was spelled Guy. He had Black hair and blue eyes. he was wearing jeans and a white dress shirt and smelled nice. He was not, however a nice man. in fact he was a despicable man! My mother had a kitchen table pushed up against the wall, with one chair on the end and one on the side.

For some odd reason I was dressed up in a red dress and white leotards. It was really odd… since we didn’t go to church and had no special place to go… As an adult I really have to wonder if my mother dressed me up for this occasion. If she did, her depravity knew no bounds =(.

I recall my mother siting in the side chair, and the man sitting with his back to the wall on the corner of the table, facing outward towards to kitchen. Our mother sat in the other chair facing the man. My mother had me come over and introduced me to this man. Nothing strange right? She told me to sit on his lap. She told me, to do this and since she was my mother I obeyed. I was a meek child so of course I did as she told, with out making a fuss.

If I share my pain with you, please share yours with me, we are not alone. Tammy 2019

“Trigger Warning: graphic sexual abuse please be aware.”

I recall sitting on this mans lap and he did something to me that caused me a white hot pain in my little girl parts. He inserted his finger into my vagina. I recall the pain and the bewilderment, as I looked into my mothers eyes and she just watched and said nothing, She said nothing!!! My soul shattered, it exploded with a silent scream. I uttered no sound what so ever, I complied and my soul died. I blacked out after that moment, although I have vague memories of movement and being carried… I really do not care to remember any more than that, I’m sorry but I can’t and wont take you and me through the whole horror of what happened, I just do not recall any more details vividly.

My mother and Uncle’s wanted to go out to the bar. However, they had a dilemma. No baby sitter and no one wanted to stay behind. However, one man volunteered to stay behind and watch me and my sister….my mother didn’t even question it, she was ecstatic that she could go party and feel safe knowing her children were being Watched…. If I sound ominous it is because it was. I have to beg the question what mother would leave a strange man stay with her little girl’s, while she went to the bar? Apparently our mother would and did.

After my mother and Uncles left, I was in my little cot, not sleeping just being aware, “Beware”. This man was huge, well at least to me he was, and well muscled. He had blonde hair down to his shoulder,and was wearing a tan vest. The vest looked like tanned leather and he had no shirt on. If he is reading this do you think he knows who I am talking about? I hope so, and I hope he twists with the agony of what he did to a little girl! My innocence was already gone, so when he came into my little space I knew it was not for a good reason. He took off my green turtle neck shirt. I recall saying to him why he wanted to do that since “I don’t have any boobies”. I suppose I was hoping that would deter him from what ever vile deed he was planning on. It didn’t deter him. I was about six and a half years old this second time, and my innocence was shattered. He took out his penis and had an erection. I recall the shape, size, color everything! I even remember the color of his pubic hair. He told me to touch his penis to take it in my hands. Of course I complied, isn’t this what my mother taught me to comply, with out complaint or tears. God intervened! A vehicle came up the road and its head lights shone in the window! He got scared and hastily put my shirt back on, inside out mind you. I told him this and he said it didn’t matter to just get into my bed and go to sleep.

I never told my mother what this man did, some how I instinctively knew that if I did it would just cause me more heartbreak. So I kept my silence, till now. I am sharing it with you, even though it is dreadfully hard and scary for me.

As for our mother, she was just a presence a scary one, like a spirit. She was a cold woman, there was no I love you’s or hugs. However, she was there and made sure social services did not get their hands on us again. As you will see in future posts she failed in her endeavor.

There was other instances of sexual depravity, however, none that I recall as vividly as those two instances.

Good Times: I recall playing with my sister in the grass in our back yard. was great.. until I broke out is painful itchy hives all over my body lol. Is there poison ivy in Alberta? lol. In any event I had a good day with my sister, I laughed and felt joy being with her, I love her so much. We also had rabbits and a hutch. I think having rabbits is so cool. Both I and my sister have a strong affinity for animals. I have three dogs, who Love me to pieces and it is reciprocated.

The summers were so much fun, playing outside with my sister. Our third little sister was born too, but she was so little. I don’t really recall much about her till we moved to the city, but yet again I get ahead of my self =), your just going to have to wait for that part. So yet again we come to the end of this Day, but we just started so don’t go far as we will be back =). As always be gentle with your self and even gentler with others. LOVE

The most precious gift is the love of a child, those who break that child’s heart and soul will have a day of reckoning, this I believe. Tammy 2019

THE YOUNGER YEARS

Tyra:

The younger years for any young person is difficult to remember, seeing I was 3 1/2 4 years old the memories are vague. The only incident that I do remember is falling out of a tree and banging my head. I don’t remember the falling but remember being in the hospital. I never called my biological mom “mom” when I was younger, I always called her by her first name. This caused a lot of problems I was told. So when I was in the hospital I kept asking for my mom, this was not my biological mom it was my foster mom that I had previously been with. She was the only mom I knew from a young age. The only way they could calm me down was to call her and let me talk to her. I do remember the phone call and I was crying wanting her to come and get me and take me home. She knew she could not do that, and of course I did not understand but did listen to her to take my medicine as prescribed. Our foster parents were dealing with agonizing guilt after the phone call I was told at a older age. Wondering what they could have done differently, to prevent the situation that we were in. I do not recall how long I was in the hospital but I ended up going back to my biological moms home, where I did not want to be. This would not be surprising as Tammy is telling the incidents that were going on with her. You can not tell me that I did not see some of the incidents that were happening, just too young or traumatized to remember.

Tammy stated above about our fathers and where were they when this trauma was going on, well from what I have been told my father was trying to find me. My mom took off and did not tell anyone where she was going, and us a youngsters did not have a way to tell anyone about where we were. Social services have failed us children in a horrible way. They would not give any of the people that wanted to help us any information about where we were. Everything was kept quiet like nothing every happened. We all know today that so very much happened in our lives. Our foster parents told us later that they have asked to have contact with us but were told later that they could not talk or see us. This hurt them immensly. I do thank god every day that they did not quit trying as in later years to come we accually got to spend time with them.

God bless everyone. Have a wonderful day and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Continue to read as new posts will be coming soon. God Bless.

55618302_413694516131463_5716391064823136256_n sister 2
Tammy and Tyra

Divine intervention

Tyra:

Going back through the memories I realize I have missed an important event that has made me whole again. Prior to moving up north to my safe haven I had a life changing event. It all happened January 1, 2000. The year of the Y2K scare and everything was to be new again. This was so true to me. It is difficult information and difficult to believe but as lord is my witness it happened to me.

It all begun because I saw a psychic and she said that I needed to meditate, and relax. So here I was in the middle of the floor in my apartment legs crossed and hands on my knees like they do on TV when they meditate. What happened next was way out of my control.

There I was sitting in a candle lite room taking 3 deep breaths to get in the relaxed state that you need to be in to meditate. Then there was a voice that came to me and said “I am not done with you yet”. I jumped up and said “I don’t want to do this right now” but I guess the voice knew that I was really ready to go through what ever they had in mind for me.

Looking back at the whole situation I just think what a gift it had been to have the guide come to me and make me whole again. So there I was sitting on the couch with my head in my hands, saying i just did not want to do this. It was not so much not wanting to go through it, it came down to believing what was happening to me.

The voice said to me to open the first door in my heart and let the little girl out. This was not easy as they were locked away for so long that felt comfort with them there I knew they were safe. So I did open the first door and let her out. She was scared of what might happen to her as she was vulnerable now in the open. This little girl had all the abuse emotional, physical, and mental abuse that came from our mother. I had to feel the pain and the voice would tell me to let it go. I just remember crying like I never cried before. I just felt so much pain and anguish after letting her out that I could not contain my emotions. Letting go of the pain and suffering that little girl experienced lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

“Be gentle with me, for my heart hides so many wounds that never bleed.” Alexandr Vasilu -Author of Blooming

By letting go of that pain made me realize that I was not responsible for my mother’s disfunction, her behavior was her own and only hers. We may have paid a price for the dysfunction but I did not need to justify it or be ashamed of it because it was not my behaviour. This was a pivotal step for me as I would always justify or make excuses for the behaviour of our mother to people that knew the whole situation, amd so much shame came with those conversations also. The release of that shame was like waves flowing through me and seemed like forever but in reality it was just a few minutes.

There was not much time between the episodes so there was no time to just relax and forget what was happening to me. The voice said the other door needs to be opened also, this one was more difficult as it dealt with the pain of losing my innocence. There would not be anything that could happen that could bring that back for me but maybe some comfort knowing it was not my fault. I opened up the door and the little girl inside was carrying a big pink teddy bear, that used to be my security blanket that I took everywhere when I was young. Then I heard the voice again say “feel the pain and then let it go” I just remember thinking who wants to feel the pain again but I had to do it for the little girl so she could be free. I sat there with my head in my hands and cried and cried, then took 3 deep breaths and said let it all go, with every exhale I was letting go of the shame and blame that comes with sexual abuse. The voice also said for any issue that I blamed myself for and caused me pain the feel the pain and take 3 breaths and let it go. I found out that there was incidences that I blamed myself for that was way out of my control but still blamed myself.

I do not know how to emphasize how important it is not to blame yourself for your parents short comings, but I also know how difficult it is to not see the other side of the pain. Pain and suffering from a young age is difficult to let go as you are to young to understand why it happened to you. It also does not matter how often you’ve been told “ it is not your fault” you have to go through a cleansing process like I did so you can let it all go. It was one of the most difficult, painful, but rewarding experiences of my life.

After the whole situation was done I felt so free, free like a bird that could fly. I finally leaned back on the couch and looked up to the ceiling and saw the face of my uncle moving back and forth. I said thanks for helping me clean my head of the blame and shame that I suffered for all those years. Thanked him for being my guide to making me a better person.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings”. Lao Tzu

The Beginning

Tammy: Spring of 1972

I was three and Tyra was six months old when we first came on the radar of social services. It wasn’t people being malicious or taking revenge, there was a serious problem. Sadly by the time the social services removed us, I was already severely traumatized. I do believe back then there was two options for a child like me, a regular foster home or institutionalization. I am not sure if I benefited or not from the regular foster home. However, I do believe I was grateful to not be in my mothers home.

Our mother was a prescription drug addict and a alcoholic, so she made choices that did not bode well for me or my sister. The choice she made, that led us to being removed from her home was she went on a four day bender. Leaving my sister and I alone to fend for ourselves We survived by me getting water from the toilet in one of those leggs cups that had the pantyhose removed. For those that remember those. According to the reports I was able to get into jars of jam and bread, which we subsisted on. I shudder to think how my poor baby sister fared during this time, but apparently I did my best to feed her. Apparently even horse radish was not off the menu. I just can’t imagine being so hungry, I was willing to eat horseradish.

A sisters love can not be measured, it is measureless. Tammy 2019

Apparently our mother had a twinge of guilt or fear, I do not know which, but she did come back and took us to a neighbors house and left us there. She left us there for two weeks. She abandoned us again, however, this time social services were called. We were removed from our mothers home and placed into the foster care system. So it begins.

Who called or how they found out about us I am not entirely sure. All I know for sure is we were alone and we survived a horrible ordeal. As I said I was already traumatized. My foster mother stated I spent my time rocking back and forth for hours on end. She stated I did not want to be touched or cuddled, and would stiffen up if any one tried. I was not potty trained and peed the bed nightly. I would gobble my food like it was my last meal…..

I knew things that no three year old child should know about men and women and their sexual behaviors…I have vague memories, but am wont to stay away from those repressed memories, I think the horror might destroy what I have managed to save of myself. The memories I can not repress are bad enough to deal with. Needless to say I was a very difficult child to love, no fault of my own. I should have been receiving specialized counselling and therapy, but in those days that wasn’t really done, especially since we lived in such a rural community and it would have been a hardship travel wise.

The barbie dolls though!! Eyes bright And beaming smiles. I always had and a sense of calm and pleasure; I spent hours by myself playing with those beat up barbies. Making them beautiful and successful, and happy. They never judged me, never were unkind, always willing to play with me, and had the patience of a saint! They became my best and only friends.

I still love Barbies, they remind me of a time when I could just be a little girl. Tammy 2019

It was really hard on my foster parents and their children, having a traumatized child in their home. I understand really I do. They were entrusted with a task of caring for me, when in reality they were woefully unequipped to care for a child that has been so wounded at such an early age, that specialized care was necessary, but not recieved. This was a failure of the social services not them! In the 70’s and eighties, it was a very bad time to be in the child welfare system. So many children were put in situations, not because they were ideal, but because there was no other options.

I recall one night again, I peed the bed. My foster father had his limit. He was so frustrated, understandably so. He grabbed me by the arm took me out side and as he was pulling me down the drive he asked me if I was a little pig and did I want to sleep with the pigs. Crying I said no, but in fact I really did, because I thought it would be better for me if I slept with the pigs. Really, I wasn’t scared of them and I kinda liked them, I gravitated towards animals. To me they were safer than people.

Another time I was really thirsty and asked one of the boys if I could please have a glass of water. I wasn’t supposed to have water after eight o clock, because of the bed wetting. However, he did get me a glass of what I thought was water. It was a plastic cup and felt warm to the touch, so I was confused. Water is usually cold, no? I was so thirsty though I took a drink of the warm liquid. It was not water, it was urine. This hurt my heart deeply. I wasn’t mad, I understood in my childish way why he did it and I accepted that perhaps I deserved to be treated this way. Even at this young age the connection between the urine filled glass and my bedwetting was not lost on me. However, even though I understood, my soul did crack a little more.

I had good times too though. My foster mother, who also became my GOD Mother, is an amazing cook and was very kind and loving to me. I love her, it hurts me to say that because Love has hurt me so deeply in the past that I’m afraid of it. However, I love her so much I am willing to accept any pain if it means loving her, to the best of my ability.

They had a Shetland pony named Tiny. I loved Tiny so much!! They had a big platform you would walk up to get to a clothes line, I would climb up there and get on Tiny lol. Sadly I was not a very good rider and Tiny like any opportunist would head straight for the garden, especially the carrots. There I would be calling my Foster mother for help to come rescue me and Tiny from the garden hehe. she would laugh and tell me wait until you are bigger to ride tiny so you wont get stuck in the middle of the garden.

Riding and talking with Tiny was the shining light in my world. Tammy 2019

We did was go to church. Can you imagine all us little kids trying to sit through a sermon that felt like it was going on for hours. My foster mother used to carry cough drops with her and would give us one when we got to restless. I still like cough drops once in a while. She told me that she wanted my sister and I to be baptized but due to the law she was unable to do that for us. However, as I will share later how she She helped me get baptized.

Tiny was not the only opportunist, my little sister and I would raid the garden every chance we got. We loved the carrots and peas. The first time we raided the garden, our Foster mother caught us eating carrots with the dirt on them. She said are you not going to wash the dirt off? I was so scared of the trouble I was in, so you can imagine my astonishment when she was willing to be my accomplice, and helped me wash the vegetables. It really makes me wonder, what happened at such a young age that fear was the primary emotion, when it came to being “caught” with food. Is this normal? I am speaking about a carrot, not candy, or cookies or the coveted cake, but a carrot. Something most children would turn their nose up at, especially a dirty raw one…

Since my sister recalls so very little about this time, since she was so very young, I will not dwell on it much longer. However, I would like to say that I love my foster mother, and my foster siblings very much and thank each and every one of them for opening up their home to me and my sister and keeping the door open through out all the years.

We hear enough negative and soul crushing words from outside, let’s not do it to ourselves too. Tammy 2019

25 Percent 2 Sister’s Perspective

Tammy and Tyra

Some people may wonder why this memoir is called 25 percent. Let us explain why. There are four of us, the 4T’s. Tammy, Tyra, Tanya and Trevor, in that order. We are 100% dedicated to each other. We lived in the same house, same reality, different outcomes. There was so much abuse that we were all aware of, but there was also hidden abuses done to each of us that was secret. So secret we didn’t even tell each other, believing we were protecting each other. Only each one us know the full extent of what happened to ourselves..

The abuses we suffered affected each one of us, but the effects are different. If some were to see us all together, they would be shocked how drastic the differences are. Tammy, being the oldest received the brunt of the abuse. She is broken, but has come to a place were she has adapted, and lives her life, she is mended-spirit.

Tyra, suffered abuse and was sexually abused, by the same man that abused Tammy. However, Tyra had a foundation of normalcy for her earliest years. Therefore, she had a sense of self, boundaries and was able to assert herself. She had known a normal, healthy family in the foster parents, that had Tammy and Tyra had for three years. Tyra has anxiety and depression, but she is high functioning. She is bent, but not broken. She is the 25percent. The one out of the four able live in society and function.The two youngest, live in the shadows of society. They live a life of an unimaginable existence. They are the lost ones. They are the fragmented one and the shattered one.

Tyra:

I always knew I was different, I even thought that I was adopted at times. I knew at a young age that I was living a life I didn’t want to lead. This attitude really caused tension in the house with my mom as she did not understand why I wanted to be different, she did not see what she was doing as being destructive for the 4 children she had.

I would always ask mom, why can’t you be like other moms out there?” All there was was silence in the room. At times she would break down and start crying and say she did not know why. Then I would back down and let her proceed with her dysfunctional behaviours.

The constant conflict between us has made me a defensive individual, this causes issues in my daily life. Now that I am 48 years old I realize where this behavior comes from. Is this behavior easy to change “No”. I have been working in the helping profession for 20 years now and still have issues with feeling attacked. The only difference is I am aware of this and know what triggers it. Taking a deep breath and walking away from the situation is the easiest solution but also the hardest.

Tammy:

Hi and Welcome , I am so happy you joined us. My name is Tammy. This journey we are on can be heartbreaking, funny, frightening, uplifting, and so many other things. Life is ever changing and hopefully so are we. “To change is to live, To live well is to change often” I think that the only thing that really makes my life different is that I survived it. As our journey progresses you will see why I say that.

I am not of the school that one persons pain is worse than another. I am not of the opinion that ones abuse is worse than another. I am not of the thought that one tragedy is more tragic than another. WE are precious and priceless and there is no price tag on us. Our pain should not be measured, our suffering does not need to be weighed and our fragility should be respected, and our strength be honoured. We are not a case, we are unique individuals with commonalities. My spirit was broken by trauma and mended by love. As Fragile as I am with the strength of God, a loving family and friends, and kind strangers I will not only prevail I will flourish. I will always be mended-spirit.

I was Born October 30. 1968, I am told that was a good year. I really wont say much about my parents at this time other that I had them and they has serious unresolved issues. So it begins. A lot of what I do not remember has been filled in by asking foster parent and social workers that I have had over the years straightforward and blunt questions, and getting files through the freedom of information act. Some may ask, Why? why would you want to know? My answer is simple wouldn’t you want to know why you are different to a point were living “normally” is not possible?

I mean I am sure there are millions of people who do not self medicate, have living nightmares, do not leave their house unless they absolutely have too, can count any friends on one hand. Hear voices calling them in anger and having a startle responses. Beginning a new medication and telling your sister you feel odd in a good way and realizing that maybe just maybe this is what happy feels like? I don’t know, I just know it does not hurt. The verdict is still out on normalcy, thats because for me I feel my normal, but my thoughts and behaviours are not. I am a master of sleep I can sleep around the clock. Most people would say who the hell would want to do that!! Me, I do, I live in my dreams and my waking hours are my nightmare. I am, sure there are people out there that can relate.

I am a “vulnerable” mentally ill person. This makes interaction with society and people almost impossible. As a vulnerable mentally ill woman, I can tell you, there are a lot of people who take advantage and abuse, people like me. The people that take advtange and abuse are not always the rougher side of society. They are the people society considers healthy normal people. I do not understand this, but I know it is happening, and many are suffering because of it.

I will strive to be the best possible me. I accept me, and even like me, unless I go to the dark place, then not so much. It is a good thing to strive for healing, growth and Spiritual peace and this I will do until I say good bye.

“I live in my dreams, because there I am whole, it is my waking reality that is the nightmare.” Tammy 2019

Thank goodness for my sister, she loves me just the way I am and understands why I am the way I am. I will do my best to explain it to you, if you are still wondering your own Why, maybe we have some answers for you. LOVE

Would love to hear your comments and thoughts as we Travel down the road less traveled, and were Angels dare not tread.