Day 64

This place?

It sucks.

They told me I would only have to be here for 30 days. I’ve been here for 63.

I do what they tell me because I want to leave. Wake up on time, shower in a bathroom that I share with people I barely know or trust, and eat breakfast. Food I hate. I’ve asked for something else but was told to eat what was offered, this isn’t a restaurant.

I know that.

I go school. Not my school, not anymore, a new school for kids like me. That’s what they told me. I still go because I want to go home. I do my work.

Its been 63 days. They said 30.

I’m not going to be nice anymore.

I don’t trust them, they lied to me.

I want to go home. I miss my mom.

When they ask me to wake up I will tell them to get out of my room and I will throw things at them. They will nod saying that the “honeymoon period” is over.

They are wrong.

I want to go home.

When I’m hungry I will eat what I want or throw things until I get it. I will punch holes in walls, become verbally aggressive, tell them I have  rights.  I am desperate to know the truth.

I will run for the door only to be grabbed by strong hands and pulled back. I will feel the ground on my back and spit into the faces of the liars around me.

Anger will engulf me. A fiery rage that I can not escape.

Medication will be prescribed to calm the beast.

I’ll feel lost.

I miss my mom.

What if she’s forgotten me?

Leighann

This weeks Red Writing Hood prompt asked us; Is there someone who drives you crazy?  Someone who really gets under your skin.  Write a first-person piece – as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there’s a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.

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40 Responses to Day 64
  1. Nic
    April 1, 2011 | 7:11 am

    Amazing! You capured that it feels like for every foster child! Now if people could listen to their voices and support them.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 1, 2011 | 11:29 am

      Thank you Nic.
      You know better than anyone the many layers there are to a child in care.
      It’s frightening to know that they are not included in decisions about their lives.
      The overwhelming sadness they experience is why part of the reason I can not do it anymore.

  2. Amy
    April 1, 2011 | 9:12 am

    This is so sad! I just want to give this kid a hug. Great writing!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 1, 2011 | 11:27 am

      sometimes a hug is all it takes.
      Children in crisis are so confused and lost.
      There’s so many layers.

  3. Kim
    April 1, 2011 | 9:27 am

    Really good writing. It always makes me sad to hear about a child’s sadness. Great take on the prompt!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 1, 2011 | 11:27 am

      Thank you.
      I worked with children in crisis for years and their sadness always effected me.

  4. Kris
    April 1, 2011 | 9:39 am

    It’s hard to capture what someone else is thinking. I could feel their rage and angst starting to build. I was glad they said “I miss my mom.” : )

    A bit of concrit: I don’t think you need to say “use phrases I don’t like.” The best lines in this piece are the short sentences with all the raw feelings. I don’t think this kid would be thinking that clearly.

  5. Caitlin's Concepts
    April 1, 2011 | 10:09 am

    Aww, this is so depressing.. You can almost feel her sense of betrayal coming off the page.

    The only thing I really noticed were maybe a couple punctuation issues and a minor typo in the medication line. Otherwise, great job! Writing from a teenager’s POV is difficult, especially in a situation like that one!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 1, 2011 | 11:24 am

      Thanks my Friend!
      I have fixed the punctuation and typo.
      I’m glad you felt the betrayal and sadness.

  6. Kristy
    April 1, 2011 | 11:19 am

    I loved this take on the prompt!!! Interesting. I could see where your mind was as a writer – trying to understand why someone may be the way they are.

  7. Andrea
    April 1, 2011 | 12:04 pm

    This was fantastic. Wow. As I read it I thought it was a child in a hospital setting, but then when I read the rest and the comments I realized it was a home setting. I’ve worked with many a child who lived in a foster home and only wanted their mom back. And had to work really hard with them to get them to recognize they weren’t going to get her back. Gently, softly. It’s so heart-breaking. So very sad. Thanks for the perspective. As always I’ve connected to what you’ve written. Also, I now know why I *puffy heart* you so much. We clearly have been separated at birth or something. Working w/kids in crisis, etc. Hugs.

  8. Frelle
    April 1, 2011 | 1:25 pm

    thank you for giving voice to this child. it breaks my heart, and you wrote it so very well.

  9. Kir
    April 1, 2011 | 1:35 pm

    oh my heart just ached with this, I felt like I was that child. Helpless, ignored, closed off.
    You made it impossible to not feel that.

    what an incredible job of using their language to help us understand their pain.

    wow

  10. jessica
    April 1, 2011 | 1:39 pm

    Amazingly good and powerful Leighann. You spoke perfectly in the voice of this poor child.

  11. MamaTrack
    April 1, 2011 | 1:43 pm

    I think you did a great job capturing the anger and fear. I loved how their were two references to the character’s mother–that really drove the point home for me.

    I think it’s a testament to the post that I was left wanting to know more. What happened before? What happens next?

  12. Galit Breen
    April 1, 2011 | 3:52 pm

    This is so heart breaking and sad.

    I loved the depth that the “I miss my mom” added. You really captured the confusion, anger and lack of power felt perfectly.

    I loved this line: “I am desperate to know the truth.” It really pulled at my heartstrings.

  13. Leigh Ann
    April 1, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    This is sad, but very well done. I could feel the subject’s anger and desperation welling up inside of me. Who is it about?

  14. Jennifer Dillon
    April 1, 2011 | 5:40 pm

    You did a great job of creating the emotional tornado that this poor child is in, how confused, angry and most of all abandoned they feel. It’s interesting because I vacillated between feeling angry for this is kid at their mother for leaving them there and then wondering if the mother felt like she didn’t have any choice.

  15. Carri
    April 1, 2011 | 6:18 pm

    So sad… You did a great job of bringing all of those emotions to the surface. I wonder where this child actually is – I’m thinking mental hospital but it could be a foster situation. Great work!

  16. Kelly
    April 1, 2011 | 7:38 pm

    Oh, the “I miss my mom” line was heartwrenching, but the last line of “What if she has forgotten me?” That- that broke my heart.

    Very well done. I could feel the desperation in this child.

    Great.

  17. Carina
    April 1, 2011 | 9:08 pm

    Wow. Powerful piece. It really took me two places.

    1) The foster child – What a difficult and heartbreaking story about a child who has no agency and is seen as less than a person. People look the other way and try not to understand what this child might be feeling, because it’s easier to live that way.

    2) In the few moments without Mom and school… I see the grandmother or grandfather forgotten in an elder care facility – trying to make people remember that they are adults and not children, that they have agency and the ability to make decisions for themselves. I really saw it in the scene when in the running for the door scene. Painful.

    I so often find that people neglect the complexity and capability of both of these groups. Very moving!

  18. Ilana
    April 1, 2011 | 9:43 pm

    I really loved this. So easy to understand and wrap your head around. And I mean that in the best way. It must be such a real struggle for foster families. How can I child feel grateful when his own family didn’t want him? Very powerful.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 8:15 pm

      so so true!
      They feel abandoned and lost.
      Their self esteem is low and begin to struggle with positive choices.
      It becomes a cycle from there.

  19. Elaine
    April 1, 2011 | 9:44 pm

    I feel terrible for them. I feel their desperation. I even feel their future in jeopardy. You nailed it and it didn’t even take you that long… I love the affect of how they are counting the days and the title as well. Good one!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 8:14 pm

      oh my Elaine.
      I love it when you stop by.
      Thank you for your kind words!

  20. Tina
    April 1, 2011 | 9:52 pm

    It seemed to me that this child was in a psych hospital, but that’s probably because I worked at one. You captured the frustration/sadness/anger that has a well of hopelessness at the bottom of it.

    Made me cry. Good job!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 8:13 pm

      Because you worked at a Psych hospital I can see why you would see the piece as that.
      The child was actually in a foster home.
      However, symptoms are similar.

  21. HonestConvoGal
    April 1, 2011 | 10:11 pm

    This was very well done. The frustration was palpable. And the anger. You catpured the voice of a child who is angry because the child doesn’t have control of the situation. Great Job.

  22. MamaRobinJ
    April 1, 2011 | 11:31 pm

    Really, really good Leighann. I love the breaks in the piece – it really helps to fuel the emotion. You captured that so well and made me feel so much sympathy for this girl, though what she probably gets most is…not much of anything.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 8:12 pm

      Most children in care feel as though they don’t get much of anything.
      That was what I was attempting to convey, so I guess I did my job.
      Thanks for reading Robin 🙂

  23. Melanie
    April 1, 2011 | 11:37 pm

    Leighann,

    This is so powerful. I love how clear her voice is throughout this piece. It’s a testament to how well you write. I, too, felt her frustration and her feeling of being trapped. I was so there with her.

    Nicely done.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 8:11 pm

      Thank you.
      Trapped is definitely a feeling I wanted to get across.
      I’m so flattered you enjoy my writing.

  24. Rebel chick
    April 2, 2011 | 6:38 pm

    This was really a great piece – you got across exactly what that poor kid was feeling.

  25. Sherri
    April 2, 2011 | 10:51 pm

    I work with several kids who fit this description perfectly…kids who are lost, missing their moms, moving from school to school. You captured this perfectly.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 8:00 pm

      Thank you.
      I ran a Foster home for youth in crisis for awhile.
      It broke my heart to see where they were coming from and know where they were going.

  26. Bruna
    April 3, 2011 | 11:28 am

    Aw, my heart went out to the child in your story. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be place in Foster care. You captured this experience perfectly.

    Always a pleasure to read you!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 3, 2011 | 7:58 pm

      Thank you I’m flattered.
      Children in care have a special place in my heart.
      They aren’t treated the way the should be and are often misunderstood.

  27. Nancy C
    April 3, 2011 | 8:13 pm

    What strikes me about this piece is how real it is. The desperation, the sadness, the betrayal. So spot on and heartbreaking.

    The fiery rage works for me, but the phrasing, “become verbally aggressive” sounded a bit more clinical. But what do I know?

    What I do know is the repetition of the her deepest wish–to go home–is the power of this piece.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences working with kids-in-crisis in this powerful way.

  28. Mandyland
    April 4, 2011 | 1:58 pm

    Wow. You hit this nail on the head.

    I didn’t realize at first that it was about a foster child but that 30 days thing kept niggling me until I realized it must be about a child in emergency shelter.

    Their lives are turned upside down and so full of confusion, anger and pain. It breaks my heart.

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