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Feature Novel Reflections of a Bin-Bag-Boy by Ethan James Starr

 

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Ode-Gaynelle
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Voices from the Other Side of Foster Care
 
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Ms Kennedy Ohio

I have some experiences to share with. So here goes. I was placed in a foster home when I was fifteen. I was raped repeatedly by my dad's brother.

  Mom didn't believe me and I was grounded for telling on him so I began calling her bitches, whores, slut, you name it I called her the name I even told her I thought she was pimping me out once.

  All of this began when I was 14. I was placed in my first foster home when I was fifteen. Everything was fine then. For the first six weeks. My foster mother began calling me lazy when I was caring for 2 of her grandchildren, and a 6 month old foster baby and doing my homework, plus all the house work and cooking the meals. She even accused me of being in love with her husband. I avoided that man at all costs because he was a man! He was a potential rapist in my eyes though he himself never touched me.

  My foster mom hit me a few times. I lost count after 23. I hit her back one day and 3 cop’s big ones had to call for back up to pull me off of her. I was placed in a second foster home before my sixteenth birth day and everything was great.

  Nobody there hurt me or threatened me. I got yelled at a few times but that was it.

  3 weeks later I was placed in Youngstown Ohio in a place called Lincoln place. The staff tried not to bond with us because they all knew we would eventually say goodbye. I bonded with 3 of them. They used to wake me up from nightmares that had me screaming in the middle of the night. They would wake me up and say it's alright now. Nobody will hurt you anymore. Feeling safe once again I would go back to sleep.

  The staff on the girls unit was all female staff. 2 months later I was moved to a place called children's comprehensive services in Mansfield Ohio. It was great. I loved it there. there were some male staff and I developed crushes but kept it to myself for fear of getting them in trouble if I let it be known that I had a crush on a male staff member. I was there for six months. It used to be an all girls facility and they eventually let boys in but kept them separate from the girls. First floor was for drug and alcohol dependant girls. Second floor was for mentally disabled girls and the third floor was for behavior problems. First and second floor had to switch floors to make room for the boys on a separate wing. First and second floor girls already had to be in the same class room in the basement we got along fine. But to create an available class room for the boys they put third floor girls in our class room also and I was attacked by the third floor girls. They flipped my desk over and I was pinned under it, they stabbed me in the ribs with pens and pencils, they pulled my hair, and kicked me in the ribs several times until staff pulled those girls off of me. I refused to let them see me cry.

  One week later I found out that one of the girls on my floor was having sex with a male staff. My social worker moved me to protect me after asking if anything had happened to me and I told her no it had not. My third and final placement was Bellefaire JCB in shaker Hts. Oh. I was 16 1/2 years old. I stayed until I was 18, they started me in the locked intensive treatment unit, after 15 months they moved me to the open unit where I could open doors but I couldn't get back in with out some one opening the door.

 They had lied to me several times about when I would go to transitional living. I was fed up with the lies and my social worker was missing in action. I saw her every 3 months and called her weekly but we played phone tag mostly. I was in the open unit for a month when I turned 18. I stayed another month and left because I was sick of being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I felt like I had to ask permission to wipe my ass. So I left. I was raped by a stranger and I broke my arm trying to fight him. I returned to Bellefaire long enough for my arm to heal. I ran again when the splint came off. The police brought me and the 14 year old that followed me back to the place the next day. The next morning I ran again and I haven't been back since.

  I'm now happily married and will have children in the next few years. Right now I'm spending time with my husband.

 Please help build this information base, share your Fostering experiences.
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