As I lay here in this cold, grim-gray cell reminiscing, I’m mind-boggled at times. All my life, the people that society says are supposed to love me have caused me the most heartache.
Throughout my life, I have been going through traumatic experiences with no one to give me the proper advice on how to handle those situations. I can vividly recall standing in a family courtroom; my little brother and I were being placed in foster care because our mom had been reported for neglecting us. I could not believe that at nine years old, I had to be the one to advocate for myself and my brother. I had to be the one to fight against going into the system, instead of the respected adults in my life.
The courtroom had a depressing atmosphere. Kid after kid was sent off, with fear and tears in their eyes, to homes in which they didn’t know what to expect. This is because many people fear what they do not know. It was my turn to learn the destination in which I would be living, but I wasn’t having any of it. Even though I was filled with anxiety, I knew that it was my responsibility to make sure that my little brother and I were not split up and went to a safe and loving family ‘till our mom can get us back. I was not going to let the judge send my brother and I anywhere!
My whole agenda was to get the approval to live with my older brothers (and their dad and stepmother). The judge started off by telling me where he was going to send me, but I rudely interrupted him and told him where my little brother and I were going to live. The judge did not like the fact that I was trying to tell him what to do, but he respected the fact that I was trying to take control of our lives. “You expect me to send you to a family that didn;t have the decency to even show up to court to fight for temporary custody?” At that moment, I understood that the judge wanted to make me feel unwanted, thrown away like yesterday’s trash. I didn’t appreciate the judge’s tone, or the words that he used. I compartmentalized all of that, and was overtaken by frustration of the truth. This was my reality.
Regardless, I responded to the judge saying, “The main objective of this court is to place children into safe and comfortable environments where the children can be successful. What better place to place children than with familiar relatives, that are stable in the key areas of life (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially)?”
With that statement, it was agreed upon that my little brother and I would be placed in the custody of our older brothers’ dad and stepmother, once they got the proper documents needed to become foster parents. I can not help but think about how fortunate I am for the adversity that I have overcome so far in my life. That experience in court was the day I became the man of the house and recognized my emotional resilience!