OK, where did I end off….that’s right, I was invited inside the house where I lived for over eight years and stepped inside the living room to find the whole family just sitting about with the t.v set on which I thought was kind of odd considering it was in the late afternoon on this summer day. I always remembered most of them were out of the house hanging with friends or boyfriends about this time. But, I didn’t put too much thought after that and just said my hello’s to everyone in the room.
I was most happy to see my foster-sister Sandy than her brother and sister. When we kissed each other hello, we exchanged slight hugs that lasted about three Mississippi’s. To be honest, during that moment, I told her how much I missed her… but silently to myself. She displayed that big smile I so remembered when we were both 6 years old exchanging playful waves to each other through the french door windows of the parlor room at the orphanage home back in 1968.
Even though we fought plenty of times, we fought as any other brother and sister would fight. Sometimes it would be over not putting back her Elton John records or playing her Bay City Roller album without asking. But she never did anything to me personally to hurt me in any way. Sure she may have told on me for little things to our mother, but she never told on me that would cause to have my ass handed to me by the hands of her father…she never did that like her brother and sister had done to me a couple of times in the past, and that is why even to this day, I never did stop loving her.
Too bad I never had courage to ever tell her that when I had so many opportunities…I referred them as wasted moments. Anyway, my mother had asked if I wanted anything to drink as she went through the list of what she had in the refrigerator. I was happy whatever she picked for me and told her just that. With a smile she left the living room just as my foster father asked me how I been doing living in the group home. That question kind of took me by surprised for a second and I wasn’t ready to respond back other than OK.
My mother walked back in the room holding a can of…you guessed it…C & C Cola. I’m telling you, that family just love their soda. I thought it was kind of amusing but kept it to myself and thanked her. I don’t remember too much of any other questions about the group home, but that topic opened the door to another question I was no way ready for. My foster father asked me what was my thought of moving back in to be a family again.
I must have displayed a look on my face of total disbelief even when Linda had asked the same question but in her own words. I just looked around the room confused for a moment when I felt a rush of a warm sensation throughout my head as my heart pounded so hard I swear I thought I was going to pass out. I looked at my mother and saw her smiling but with tears in her eye’s. I looked over to Linda and Sandy and they were crying also. To be honest, I don’t remember looking at Barry, but I do remember the look on my foster father’s face, and he was just emotional but in his own way.
Everything started to feel in slow motion as I looked around the room at each of them. I saw all my thoughts like a picture slide of my life living in the group home, and I didn’t like what I was seeing…or the outcome. So I gave them my answer…I took a deep breath and said yes. To be honest with you, I wanted out of the group home so bad that I was ready to move in with my best friend and his family right across the street when they had asked me if I wanted to live with them.
They wanted be out of that group home just as bad as I did. I started visiting my friends in the neighborhood after a few months being away when I left for the group home. I always told them all some stories how my life was going, and sometimes I would make up some just to make it seem I was doing fine, but they had no idea what I was really going through. I think they knew I was full of shit, but never said anything to me. I was cool with that.
They did see the changes, between my hair and my fearless attitude, but never said anything to me. They were my friends, and they were all I had in my life back then. But regardless…I was home again.Now for everyone who has followed my blog from the beginning must be saying to themselves in disbelief…like Whaaaat? But you read right…I said yes, and with that we all stood up and exchanged hugs. At that moment, I wasn’t thinking about all those years of the beatings, the verbal abuse and name calling by the man standing before me asking if I want to move back home.
I wasn’t thinking about anyone in that room that got me in trouble for one reason or another just for their enjoyment of seeing me get beaten by their father….all that was not forgotten, but for the time being I put that all to rest. The only thought in my mind as I was hugging them all was that I was no longer going to be living in that group home. The very home I felt if I stayed any longer, I wasn’t going to live to see my 17th birthday.
With in two weeks time, preparation was being made, and I was visited by my new social worker Judy O’Brien at the group home. She wanted to make sure that this was what I really wanted to do after what I went through in the past. Now, you have to remember, it’s on record of the verbal abuse, and not getting along with the family, but the beatings I never told her or anyone else from Catholic Home for Foster Care, now called A.C.S.
I reaffirmed her that I believed this was going to be different this time around and was sure what happened to me in the past was just that…the past. She supported me 100% and I had to sign some discharge papers that I was leaving the group home, and it was by my decision to move back with the foster family I left over eight months ago. I am sure my foster parents had to sign papers of their own that they made the decision to have me as their foster son.
Papers signed and I was back living with the family that took my brother and I from the orphanage home back in 1968. I did explained to my friends parents why I made the decision that I did, and they supported me also. They also reminded me that they were there for me should I ever need them. They were like a second family to me, and they proved it right to the very end.
Now, things were going well living back home. We all got along just fine, but they did have to accept some changes I am sure they didn’t approve of, and that was smoking and my street attitude. What I didn’t do anymore was get soda from the basement or put out those extra metal chairs when it was dinner time. Those days were over. But, what was brewing over a five month period became bigger than anything we all experienced in that house, and what I was about to do next would change the course of my life. Because this time I didn’t need my mother to shield me from the heavy hands of her husband…he needed her to shield him from me.