The stories I’m about to share will be many. Never did I believe that my childhood was actually preparing me for the life I was about to live as a teen and well into my adulthood. I lived in so many places since I left the foster home back in 1979 that I was turned down for my first civil servant interview at 20 because I had what they called “Unsteady Residence”.
At first, I moved in with my oldest sister Gloria in this tiny studio apartment (just a couple of blocks from the Fulton Projects where we grew up) for a few months, but she was living her life and not for nothing, the studio wasn’t made for two people to live in. So I moved in with my other sister Gracie and her live in boy friend on the upper east side for another few months.
One night after an argument we had over dinner, I smacked her across her face for constantly blaming our father for the hard life she lived as a teen and was told I had to leave by her boy friend. She always seem to blame everyone else around for the kind of life she had and never once took responsibility for the bad choices she made and the consequences that followed, so I moved in with my real mother Carmen for the first time back at the Fulton projects on the Westside that evening.
Trust me, that was the last place I wanted to live considering the last time I lived there was the day we were all removed by Child Services when I was five years old…but where else was I going to go? Well, it only took a few months before I had a fight with my younger brother who was living there also and, you guessed it was told to leave by my mother.
I was 17 years old and this was getting a bit crazy. In less than a year I lived with three members of my real family, some friends here and there, and rented a tiny room at a hotel on Staten Island till I could no longer pay the $45 a week rent. Let me tell you, before my 18th birthday I was on the Staten Island Ferry one night and thought about jumping off…..but something stopped me.