Dad No More

 Nothing was the same anymore since the last time I ran away to my father’s house out in Long Island. Spending a week in the hospital over a fake illness only strained the relationship between myself and the rest of the family I was living with. The truth be told, I can’t even remember the last time I actually felt like part of that family anymore. But I made the best of it no matter how uncomfortable it became living there. Even at the dinner table, not much was being said about anything.

I would just sit there, eat my dinner, clean up after myself and out the door I went to hang with my friends. Thanksgiving  of 1978 was no different. I decided that I wasn’t going to go to Brooklyn after dinner this year to visit family. Why should I ? Nothing was the same anymore, and I found no reason to go like I have done so many times in the past. Continuing living in this foster home was taking a toll on me and I wanted out as soon as possible.

I was done with the beatings and name calling as well as being around a family that I truly felt didn’t want me in the first place. When I was about 17, that’s when I found out that how I was picked because the system didn’t separate siblings…need I say more…but you already knew that from a previous story. Anyway, when I was asked if I was going, I made it very clear that I wasn’t. That’s right…I said I wasn’t going and had my reasons.

When asked by both my foster parents what they were, I didn’t want o get into the details, but made it clear I no longer felt part of the family and wanted to just leave it alone at that, and suggested we can talk about it the next day. At this time, everyone else was upstairs getting cleaned up and dressed, but for Linda who wasn’t going as well as her brother Barry. My mother was in the bedroom clearly upset as she was getting ready while my foster-father and I were in the kitchen just sitting there saying nothing.

Then he asked the question I was hoping he would. He asked me if I wanted to leave his family which I replied without hesitation that I did. I remember the look in his eye’s when I said that, because he looked not only surprised, but bewildered that I didn’t put any thought answering him. Not only that, but I continued to tell him exactly how I felt and that I wanted to speak with my social worker as soon as possible to be removed and placed in a group home.

He just sat there listening at first, but then started with the guilt trip how he took me in to give me a better life, which I uninterrupted by reminding him of the beatings and all the name callings I endured by him which only made matters worst. He started yelling at me how selfish I was being and ungrateful. That’s when I finally admitted that I no longer thought of him as a father or wanted to even call him Dad anymore.

There was silence for a few seconds and then he just got up from his chair and walked out of the kitchen and into the living room. I was sitting there alone and upset, but one thing I wasn’t doing was crying. Through all the years of crying, I no longer had any tears left in me.I just sat there by myself  for a few minutes when his daughter Linda decided to put in her two cents and comes storming into the kitchen where I was still sitting and started yelling at me, not loud, but in my face telling me how good her family has been to me while crying hysterical but coherent enough for me to understand what she was saying.

What annoyed me the most me was that she wasn’t even looking at me during the who time yelling at me. She was looking off to my right most of the time, as if she was yelling at someone else other than me. I found that not only odd but downright strange even at this moment while I’m typing. She said what she had to say, then walked out of the kitchen still crying. To be honest with all of you, I didn’t give a rat’s ass what she said or how she felt.

For that matter, I really didn’t give a shit what anyone thought anymore…this was about me. If they only knew how many times I thought about burning their house down when I was alone, I would have been out of there when I was 13 and not 15. Only once did I think about burning it down when my foster-father and I were alone while he was in the living room watching a  Met’s game while I was upstairs in my bed room. It was a Saturday and my mother went out to the store with her other daughter Sandy and my little brother.

Linda was out with her friends as well as her brother Barry with his. That just left us two in the house…alone. I sat there on the bed thinking ways to do it without getting caught by anyone. So I went outside and to the garage where the gas can was sitting next to Barry’s mini bike. I opened up the can…only to find it empty. Disappointed, I closed the garage door and put the heavy chain through the handle as we all did when leave and squeezed the old lock together than went back inside the house….He had no idea how lucky he was that day.

It was Friday after Thanksgiving and I called my social worker Mrs. Cardwell and told her that I no longer wanted to stay in with this family any longer and wanted to be removed as soon as possible. I remember her telling me that I had to stay there till they found a place for me, but if I felt threatened in any way, they would come for me immediately to place me in a temporary foster home till they found a group home available.

I don’t know why I didn’t just do that, but told her that I would stay till she found a place for me. I then passed the phone to my mother and went up stairs to my bedroom. After a brief conversation with my social worker, she hung up the phone and I could hear her whispering to her husband that it might take a week for me to be placed in a another home. A week….might as well said a year. All I could do was lay on my bed curled up in a fetus position wondering what was going to happen next. I knew this much, it had to be better than living in this foster home……or was it?

 

 

12 thoughts on “Dad No More

  1. Thank you for following my stories Joan. It was easy doing this blog in the beginning, but found it more difficult than I anticipated once I started sharing my experiences in the foster home. I know the real reason why they took me in as a child, and excepted the real reason they took me back when I was 15 and I am fine with that now. There are much more stories to tell, but will save them for a book I will be working on summers end.Feel free to share this blog with anyone who you may feel may help them over come their own fears of their childhood.

  2. Joan Hackley

    Bless your heart. I’m close to your age and I was a foster parent. I was the foster parent that took them on trips and did extra activities and tried to make it a better life than it was from where they came from. You are so right. The ” NYC social worker” is someone worrying about their name being exposed. Sounds like you were there only because they wanted a younger child, but to get him, they had to take you. But you were a baby too, and needed the same love. I am so sorry you were not loved as you deserved.

  3. Anonymous

    To NYC Social Worker (supposedly)..in my opinion, you are either young and/or ignorant. You commented that when a report comes in you investigate it immediately going to the home. You check the childs body for marks. Really? Do you have a private consultation with the child in the home? How do you decipher the child’s demeanor? Let me tell you something NYC Social Worker, prior to the Lisa Steinberg case of 1987, Child Protective Services in NYC was practically dormant. Can you imagine then what it was like in the late 60’s-70’s?..In 1987 the whole world finally learned how inept your dept was and after many firings, the city promised to do a better job in protecting the children. It was ok up until 2005 when again, another child named Nixbury Brown died at the hands of her parents. Reports were coming into YOUR dept from the school, from neighbors. Tell me this, how did the social workers, who went to the home 2x, missed all the bruises that were clearly seen by the neighbors? So again I pose the question to you: If YOUR DEPT, as late as 2005-2006, with cell phones, laptops and other technologies at its disposal, could not help in preventing abuse & death, what makes you think YOUR DEPT was better able to handle abuse in the 60’s & 70’s?
    I’m sorry Mike..I didnt mean to go off..NYC Social Worker (or poser) has no idea what they are talking about!!!!……love you xoxox

  4. TROLL ! I have had ignorant people say such cold hearted things like that to me. I testified against my mother in court and they said she was a unfit mother. She lost all legal rights to me. They left 3 of my siblings with her. I don’t understand why. The teachers and school aides knew I was being starved. They feed me extra when I was in school. But why didn’t anyone do more. I could write a book about what other people did not do. In my eyes they allowed abuse and did nothing to stop it so they a guilty also.

  5. All children are taught to do what they are told. Children don’t stir things up . They depend and expect adults to be right and do the right thing. They look to adults ,mom and dad for love and to be taken care of. If they don’t who would can be very scary for a young child.

  6. Foster Care Abuse Must End

    Just found your site through facebook. It breaks my heart to hear the horrible abuse you suffered at the hands of your foster “it”. Not only did he not act like your “dad”, he didn’t even act like a man. Real men don’t beat children. The “so called social worker” that’s trolling your blog is obviously related to “it”. They must be worried about the family name being exposed. They should be ashamed of themselves. Don’t let them get to you now. You proved you’re a survivor. Their actions/cover ups prove their losers! Wishing you the best with your book.

  7. I am going to not only approve your follow up comment, but challenge you. For starters, you are not a social worker of any kind, you proved that with that last question you left. Hell, my followers figured out that your a fake as you can well see by their responses to you. A real social worker would have never challenge any child or adult who were victim of child abuse. So stop with the charade and lets share to everyone how we really know each other. I have a “Stat Counter” that I pay for, and with that comes along I.P. addresses, locations and devices used by anyone who visits my blog even it’s for only 5 seconds. I notice your not using a desk top but a b.s. g-mail account. Your I.P. address starts with 69.125.98, which puts you right in Old Bridge, New Jersey (cell tower in Parlin). I could even tell you who your carrier is. You should be a shame of yourself for what you just did. I was going to delete your comment myself, but considering that you think what happened to me in that house is all made up, I will not just end this chapter of my life with one story as I was going to do, but will end it in such a way that your going to regret posing as a fake social worker from New York City posting those two questions on my blog. So, I will end it with this. Put on your seat belt and crash helmet….this is going to hurt!

  8. For starters, it wasn’t “IF” I had it so bad, I did have it that bad! This was during the late 60’s and 70’s. The only way to be removed was to tell, and I didn’t till I was 15. I explain in a few stories back why I didn’t say anything to my social worker when she came to visit once a month though out the 70’s. If I had said anything even when I was 10, not only would they remove me, but my brother as well who never was abused or mistreated in anyway. Even at that age, I thought of him and not myself. I hope I cleared any questions you may have or any “doubts”. As far where I lived, it shouldn’t matter, but since you asked, I lived in “New York City!” Trust me, I know enough about Child Care Services and how overwhelmed they are with many cases, but I also know that the system is broken even to this day, including picking up “Silent Signs” of child abuse in homes and not picked up by even the most seasoned social workers. Most children will not report abuse because of one reason…Fear! I can tell you don’t have much experience in this field just by your questions you left. I Also may add, it is not that easy to be placed in any group home “immediately” as you stated, once a child reports abuse to the police or child services, specially in N.Y.C. The abused child would be placed with family first before a group home or a foster home would ever be considered. Out of curiosity, what agency do you work for in New York City?

  9. NYC SOCIAL WORKER

    Wow Michael…. Interesting… But if u had it so “bad” why didn’t you just be removed immediately? You could have contacted your social worker when all these “beatings” began. I am a social worker in NYC. When a child calls to be removed or report abuse we investigate IMMEDIATELY. By coming to the home checking for marks and if the child is uncomfortable they leave with us. There is always a group home open…. Where were you living at this time?

  10. Sue

    Just so deep, you bring us to the hell you lived Mike… Leaves the heart heavy and gives you an awareness how fortunate many are and just don’t see it… Thanks for sharing..

Feel free to leave a Comment :)