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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Screwed Up: The State Home

If you are new to this series, please visit this page to start from the beginning.

Part IV

We had arrived at the State Home for Children.

The next few moments were a blur to me. It was approaching nighttime when we arrived at the home. The sky was the color of cobalt and the air was cold and thick. Or was the air thick only because I couldn't hardly breathe? I still remember standing outside the home, not wanting to walk inside. I was afraid of what lay beyond those metal doors.

As we approached the double doors, I could see the dull brass handles barely reflecting the street lamp at the sidewalk. It was cold and musty inside. The linoleum tiled floors were frigidly sterile and my shoes clicked against the tiles with every step I took. The sound of my feet moving across the floor was all I could hear and it made me feel uncomfortable and nervous. The female officer that had brought me here led me to a waiting line and motioned me to stand in place with several other children, some teenagers, to be looked over by the workers.

I felt dirty in there. One worker grabbed my backpack and began combing through it, most likely she was searching for some type of contraband. I felt violated. I felt like all my rights had been taken away. Who am I kidding? I never had any real rights. Another worker grabbed a metal comb and began carefully combing my hair, presumably looking for lice. And yet another worker began handing me supplies--deodorant, soap, and other toiletries. I placed the items into my backpack that had already been handed back to me.

There was a form I had to fill out. The paper felt crisp and yet cold. It smelt like fermented urine...or perhaps that was the musty air I was smelling. The form asked me very personal questions. It asked me whether I was sexually active, if I had ever done drugs, if I was on any medications--general insultive questions like that. I felt like I was being judged on the spot by people I had never met. The entire experience was belittling and embarrassing. I felt completely out of place. I was in shock. I still could not believe I was where I was. Just a couple hours before, I was at my best friend's house planning a trip to the grocery store to buy her mom a rose and hang out. Now I couldn't go anywhere.

What the hell was going on?

This wasn't the first time my world had fallen apart.

To be continued...Friday.

If you haven't already, be sure to enter the Sping Giveaway which ends Friday evening at midnight. TIME'S UP


Lynne said...

I think it's incredibly brave of you to be writing/sharing this. I think it's a good thing to get off your chest. BTW...You're also a very talented writer!! I found you through Cjane. Take care.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Very well written. Keep up the venting.

Karen said...

I so want to find your teenage self and rescue you. My heart aches for you when I read this.

cheri said...

Hey girl! You are quite popular :). You are a very talented writer and should consider sending some of your work to be published. I know we've never talked about the details of your youth, it's good to know you better. I'm sad you had to live through all of that. The atonement has really helped me to work through my trials (past and present). Talk to you soon.
With love,

Danielle-lee said...

I always, always, ALWAYS put myself in a kid's shoes when I got a new case. I always thought about how their life was being decompressed into a black garbage bag, how confused and scared they must be.....and omg, I never made them feel like it was their fault.
I'm sorry.

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