Blame

Through all the screaming I could make out what happened. It started with the police knocking on her door in the middle of the day; she thought nothing of it at first because she always liked the police and had a good relationship with them. When she goes to the door to open it the police burst in and start to ask her questions about keeping me home from school (though I was at school when this was all happening) and as they are questioning her she notices other police officers are looking around the house for some reason and then she proceeds to ask them if they have a warren to search the place. They say that they don’t need a warrant and proceed to put her in handcuffs all the while asking what’s going on and asking if she’s under arrest but they continue to say no but they still keep the handcuffs on her and put her in the back of their squad car. The cops do eventually tell her that a social worker that had come to our house once before named Fluluke (not sure if I spelled that right but I don’t care) had reported her for child abuse for not sending me to school enough. Until my mother said that I had completely forgot about that women but after hearing her name again I did remember that she did come to our house once asking why I wasn’t being sent to school. The principal of I.S 126 sent her over to my house to investigate my many absences but she knew why I was always absent, she had been told multiple times what was going on but didn’t care enough to try and fix the problems. My mother told the social worker about the bullying, abuse, and harassment that was going on in school and she said that she understood and that there was no reason to worry because my mother did the right thing but that was obviously a lie. Now because of her my mother was being accused of child neglect and taken to a court house in chains (handcuffs). My mother then goes on to describe the how they but her in one of those holding cells they have in the court for hours with the handcuffs on for most of the time all the while complaining that the handcuffs were too tight but the police wouldn’t listen to her and this lead to her having nerve damage in her arms that will never heal. After hours in the cell she was then taken in front of a judge where she had to explain what was going on at school and why she kept my home a lot the time and she says she had to do this with at least three different judges until it was finally okay for her to take me back home but only under the stipulation that I go back to school and that another social worker would come to visit the house about once every two weeks. All of us also had to go see psychologists once a week. Then she said something I never thought I would hear, she blamed me for it all.

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Hell

I remember the day that it all happened. It was the middle of the week in April and I was in my science class listening to the teacher talk about astronomy and then the police come in the room asking for me. I had no idea what was going on but I couldn’t say no I had to come with them, so as I leave I could see the whole class staring at me and I could hear them whispering as I walk past. I finally come to the outside of the school until I’m in front of their squad car and barely holding back tears I ask them where my mother was. I was scared and I wanted to see her but all they said was that they would take me to her and to get in the squad car. I didn’t want to but I knew I couldn’t refuse so I got in the back of the squad car. I like a fool thought they were going to take me home, I had thought something had happened to my mother back home so I was really worried but when I noticed that they were going in the opposite direction of home then I was really worried. I would continually ask “where are you taking me?” and “where are we going?” but I would get no answer they would just keep driving. By this time I was starting to cry but not too loudly because I had no idea where I was going or who I was with so I didn’t want to make them angry. After what felt like an eternity we arrive at a court house and I ask “what are we doing here?” but all they say is “follow us” and so I do until I come to this room where there are a bunch of people sitting down. They tell me to sit down and wait there and then they just leave and I never see them again. I am left here in this place full of strangers for hours without an explanation of what’s going. I am just left looking around and wondering what’s going to happen to me, is my mother okay, and is my sister alright. Who are all these people and why am I here, it’s these thoughts that kept going through my head the whole time with tears rolling down my cheeks, and then a man calls me over and tells me to come with him. He says that he is going to take me to my mother so I eagerly follow him down stairs and across an elevated bridge that connected the court building to another building (I’m assuming another part of the whole court building) and as I notice that where I was being lead was getting less and less populated I started to wonder if he was telling the truth. Just as I was about to stop following him and start asking questions he says that we’re here and I just need to sit in this room and wait. The room was empty and I was completely by myself.

This is when I went into full blown cry mode, tears streaming down my face but there was no one around but me so asking what was really going on was out of the question. I even tried to leave the room but I couldn’t the door was locked from the outside so I was trapped in that room for hours not knowing what was going to happen to me. The worst kind of thoughts were going through my mind like have I been kidnapped or am I going to be forced to stay here forever or were they going to hurt me in ways I do not wish to speak of. After a while I just stopped crying and I sat there in the room quietly, I’m not sure why but I guess I had just had decided to resign myself to fate and whatever was going to happen was going to happen. About two or three hours in somebody enters the room and tells me to come with them, by this time I was done crying, I was hungry and I was tried so I just followed without a word of protest. Then after a few minutes of walking I see her, I was finally face to face with my mother and I was so happy I just run up and hugged her so tightly but when I took a closer look at her face I noticed something was wrong. There was no smile on her face, she didn’t look happy to see me, there was only this cold expression and even at times a look of contempt in her eyes but I just tried to ignore it. When I asked if we had to stay at the court house any longer she said no and that we were going home but there was still no joy on her face just the same cold expression like when I first saw her. I tried to make small talk during the cab ride home but the more I talked the angrier she seemed to get. You could cut the tension with a knife, I knew something was wrong and I wanted to ask her what had happened to her but I was afraid of the answer I might get so I just stopped talking and kept quiet. When we got finally got home we were greeted by my sister who was frantic because she didn’t know where either of us had gone and then she asked the question that I was too afraid to ask which was “what happened?” Those words opened up the flood gates so to speak and then she went into rage screaming at the top of her lunges and telling us what happened.

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Middle school

Now it’s time to get back to I.S 204 where the more I went to school the worse things got. The harassment only got worse and things started to get even more physical so I would stay home a lot more than I did when I was in P.S 76. I mean who would want to keep going to a place where you are attacked and threatened almost every day. RL was not in the school so I had no friends and I was all alone with no one to help me. Again my mother would try to get the teachers and the principal to stop all this but our pleas fell on deaf ears, she even tried calling the police but the response from everyone was always the same. All I ever heard was “oh it’s just kids being kids” or “he should toughen up a little” or “I’m sorry but there’s nothing we can do” we both just got so tired of hearing those words that I only went to school about once a week. Then of course the letters started. The school would send letters saying that I needed to come to school or I would get in trouble. Can you believe that!? After all the times I had requested help, after all the times she requested help, they had the nerve to send this letter to us. I bet they never sent the kids who would bother me letters home detailing what they were doing to me (and probably to other kids too) and telling them to stop or there would be consequences. In light of the letters though I had to be sent back there until one day I had gotten a threat of such serious physical violence that I was taken out of the school immediately and I was transferred to I.S 126. Little did I know that I had just jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire because this is the place where my life would truly be forever changed and not for the better.

I.S 126 was another middle school in Queens. It looked like a nice enough place from the outside and for the first couple of weeks things were actually okay. It gave me hope that things just may change but it wasn’t too long until the bullying started. It was the same thing all over again with the name calling, the abuse, and the uncaring teachers. There was less physical violence then 204 but the verbal and psychological abuse was much worse. I started to believe that maybe it was me, maybe I was doing something wrong and that I deserved all this torment. I would sit alone at lunch not even wanting anyone near me and I stopped talking to most people period. I remember when I used to want to fit in but now I didn’t want to make friends anymore I  just wanted to be left alone because I thought if I was alone no could bother me but I was wrong. They would come over just to poke fun at the “fat kid” while I just sit there crying at the table. I always wondered why they wouldn’t just leave me alone; I never did anything bad to them so why are they always hurting me. There was physical violence too of course, I can remember one time when I was in gym class and we had to play basketball and whenever someone got the ball no one would pass it to me until they decided to pass the ball to my head instead to my hands because they thought it would be funny. Then everyone who got the ball would do the same thing and this happened over and over again until I just left gym class. It’s the reason why I hate basketball to this day, it brings back bad memories. This is around the time I started to turn to video games to escape all my problems. They gave me respite from all my problems with school and the shrinking of my family. I played a lot of RPGs (Role playing games) growing up because they were long games with good stories where I could be the hero and save the world and everyone liked me. I would play for hours on end and I was happy as long as I was playing a video game though my mother didn’t have a lot of money she knew that video games made me happy so she would buy them for me as much as she could. I still play video games today, it’s a love that has never left me even as I grow older, I just can’t play as often as I would like. That was basically my year in 6th grade full of torment, staying home from school, and video games.

Then there was the 7th grade where it was, of course, more of the same but this is also when I found an old friend and a new one too. I had found out that RL also went to this school because I saw him in the halls one day. It should have been a joyous reunion but he had new friends and we didn’t really talk much but I can say that no matter who bothered me he never did and even though we weren’t as close as we were in elementary school he was still kind to me and I never will forget that. Now this is also around the time I meet my only real friend in middle school and because I don’t know where his is now I will using his name with is Julian. Julian was a kid that came to the U.S from Brazil and he didn’t know many people at school. I believe we had class together and even though I’m not sure how, we ended up striking up a friendship. I didn’t see him much though because I would stay home from school a lot but when I was there he was a friend to me, we would do group projects together and hang out together at lunch and on the playground. That made being at school a little more bearable like it was when I would hang out with RL in elementary school but I still stayed home a lot due to all sorts of bullying from the other people in school and the school was against us even more then before with this school’s principal. My mother had never been up to a school or talked to the principal as much as she did with I.S 126 and I could that the principal really disliked her and me for it. I believe that it was this animosity that lead to the events that turned my life completely upside down and changed me into the person I am today.

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School problems

First off to those that read this blog I want to say sorry for the delay, I just haven’t had time with school and work to keep up with posts so there has been a long break between this post and the last one.

I started missing many days of school and because of that and my dyslexia I had to repeat the 3rd grade. That was actually a good thing because I met my first real friend there; we’ll call him RL for the purposes of privacy. He was a real friend when I had none, we would play together, have fun talking about cartoons, and best of all he never picked on me. He would even draw me little sketches of different power rangers because I thought he was a really good “drawer” in kid speak. RL made having to be in school more bearable but the other still never stopped bullying me so I would still miss days of school, my mother would come up to the school and demand change, and nothing good would happen. Despite all this I somehow made it through the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades in between missing days and being mercilessly bullied by my peers. Unfortunately by the time I was done with elementary school I had lost touch with my friend and we didn’t really see each other anymore for a long time. This marks the end of my time in elementary school and the being of my time in middle school. Little did I know however that middle school would forever change my life and not for the better.

I went to two different middle schools and the first one was I.S 204. It was a horrible school full of delinquents and gang bangers, my first week in class I was assaulted by some kids just because I looked at them wrong and these were some big kids. I was of course over eating too so I was a fat kid too but think about it, if I could say they were big for middle school kids then they were BIG. The bullying also continued but even more fiercely then when I was in P.S 76 with a lot more up right violence involved. I never had a moments peace, if it wasn’t being called names and ostracized it was being beat up by the other kids for no reason. I would even just try to stay to myself and not talk to anyone but that didn’t work either, it seemed to make me more of a target. I always knew though no matter how bad school was home was my safe heaven; that I always had my mother and her family to turn to. You see I was always close to my mother’s family. I would hang out with my cousins all the time just running around my aunts home just playing games with them and spending time with them but as the issues between our parents became more known to us our relationship began to weaken. I spent less and less time with them as things got worse between my mother and her siblings and we began to have to pick sides. They started to change and so did I the less time we spent together, becoming more and more distant towards each other. Knowing what I know about my aunts and uncles now, I can understand why my mother had to distance herself from them. That unfortunately meant, since I was a kid (as were my cousins) that meant I would have less and less contact with them, breaking down our relationship. Things got really bad when my grandfather died and the will was read. My mother got furious that he didn’t leave anything to us but he left everything to my cousins and their parents. My mother found that suspicious since he was very sick when the will was written and since a few of my aunts and uncles helped him write the will (the same aunts and uncles that have problems with my mother by the way) she believed they altered it. After that day I never saw my aunts and uncles again and I would not see any of my cousins for more than a decade. It seems as if the older I get the more I lose.

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Now to talk about me..

Now as you can gather from what I told you about her siblings and parents, my mother didn’t have an easy life. She was pretty much always overweight and she got bullied in school for it as well as at home by the smaller members of her family. At school she would be called names, and be hit by the other kids while the teachers did nothing to help her. The bullying got so bad at school that she left middle school in the 8th grade and never went back. Not too long after that her mother got sick with cancer and my mother was the one to take care of her. She would cook for her, wash her, take her to her hospital appointments, she was her caregiver and she watched over her until she died. She tells me that is when she decided that she wanted children and to be the kind of mother her mother was to her. And she was for 15 years of my life but that would change because she would change and things would never be the way they were before. So now that I’ve told you about the 2 people I come from let me get to the heart of this story, me.

I was, despite or maybe because of my upbringing, a caring yet timid child and sad to say I would “cry at the drop of a hat” as the saying goes. I was also always an overweight kid just like my mother I was always given hell for it. Even though we were on welfare and there were times when we didn’t have much to eat, the times we did have food it was very unhealthy things like candy, chips, and other foods high in saturated fat. Now I was what a person might call a picky eater because the only things I would eat would be breakfast cereals, Doritos, tons of different candies, and different assortments of cookies. The strange thing is it was honestly all I could eat; meaning nothing else I tried to eat would stay down. I would try chicken, eggs, spaghetti, hamburgers, and all I would do was throw it back up. It just wouldn’t go down so I ate what I could eat and I ate far too much of it at one time so as you can imagine I was a very overweight child. My mother would try to lose weight and even get us to exercise because she didn’t want us to get big like her but it just didn’t work because even though she exercised she still never ate right (plus she had a thyroid problem) so none of use in the house were losing any weight anytime soon. My weight problems made me a prime target for the children in school. I remember being in my elementary school P.S 76 in Queens and I was basically tortured in school. I was picked on every single day being called names like “fatty mic fat fat” and “fat ass” and other worse things that I don’t wish to mention. That may seem silly to an adult but to a kid those words cut like a knife, all we want to do is be accepted and liked not ridiculed and harassed. I was also physically attacked with random kids pushing me down on the ground in the playground, smacking me in the back of the head, or throwing basketballs at me with the intent of hurting me. Sometimes they would do all 3 of these things at the same time and I’m sure there are more incidents that I can’t even remember because they were so traumatizing. There was this one kid in school that would always bother me no matter what I was doing and his name was Julio. He started off just messing with me on his own but then he started getting the other kids on the playground to do it too until there was a gang of kids picking on me every day, he even took my so called friend away from me and he started bullying me too. In about 2nd or 3rd grade I had thought I had finally made a friend, I mean I would even bring him brownies all the time as I guess a sign of our friendship (or maybe bribery, who knows, I was a kid) so one day I go to say hi to him and he says nothing and walks away over to Julio and his friends, then he starts to call me names. The one friend I had just turned on me. I was devastated and of course went to my mother for comfort. She would always come up to the school and demand for things to change, for the teachers or the principal to doing something to stop the bullying but they did nothing and my torment continued, getting worse and worse the more I asked for help. It got so bad that my mother started keeping me home from school just so I would have some relief from all the bullying.

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My mothers family

This is when I started to have major problems with his family especially his sister. I used to stay with her from time to time because my mother may have hated my father by this time but she still wanted me to have some family on his side to be friendly with. That stopped however when she would not come pick me up on time, or take me home on time, or even show up sometimes. My “aunt” was not very reliable and she got less so as time went on and she even started getting nasty with me because I didn’t want to see my father. My cousins on his side, save for one, also started acting the same way so I stopped going over there altogether and that relationship got broken too. I now basically had no family on my father’s side of the family; I was missing that whole half of the family tree and I really didn’t mind. If they wanted to be like that, to be the kind of people that could be so non-caring, so nasty, so evil to their own flesh and blood then so be it. I don’t need them and I want nothing to do with them. That is how it has stayed and that is how it will stay with my “father’s” immediate family. I don’t even remember what the man looks like now so you so you know it has been a very long time since I saw him last and honestly it doesn’t bother me. Now you would think that they would leave me alone for the rest of my life seeing as they couldn’t care whether I lived or died for all these years but you’d be wrong. They are trying to snake their way back in now that I’m an adult but we will save that for later. It’s now time to talk about my mother’s past and her family.

My mother was the 2nd youngest of 8 children and a bit of a wild child. She was always fighting with her sisters and even some of her brothers. Of course she would always say that they started it (I that try? I don’t know, I wasn’t there) but maybe she was like this because they made her feel like she was the black sheep of the family. They would pick on her and mistreat her but her mother was always there to defend her. Man did she love her mother. You don’t know how many stories I heard growing up about how wonderful she was. How she was a great waitress, an excellent mother, and all around wonderful person. My mother told me how she would always pick strays (be they animals or people) invite them into her home. All the people my mother knew always said how lucky she was to have her mother and that they wish her mother was also their mother. It’s a shame I never got to meet her, she died of cancer long before I was born. My mother’s father on the other hand was a whole other story though. He was a mean old man that would beat his family if they didn’t do what he told them to do when he told them to do it. (what is it with dads in this family!) There was more than one occasion when he would beat my mother with a switch for not listening to him. He even used to hit my grandmother for a while until she threated to kill him in his sleep if he ever hit her again (she may have nice but she knew when she had to be tough) and that’s when him beating on her stopped, though I don’t know why she would let him hit their children, different times I guess. Now for some reason he was really nice to everyone who wasn’t part of his family. I mean he would take in animals, homeless people, almost anyone who was not related to him, a real puzzle he was. Even though he was a mean old man he kept the family together after grandma died and he did until he died in 2002.

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Loss of half a family

When I finally get back home to my mother’s house I tell her what happened and of course she was furious. The next time she saw him she cursed him out and told him that he could not be alone around me anymore and that if he wanted to see me he would have to do it at her house where she could watch him. He of course storms out and I don’t see him for about a year or 3 and to be honest I was happy about it. I didn’t really like the man. When he did start to come over again I remember I used to hide under my bed because I was so afraid of him and my mother and sister would have to pull me from under the bed to see him but my mother always reminded me that she would be right there with me so I would be safe. She would always promise me that she would protect me and always be on me and my sister’s side. I of course believed her because she always showed that she was. For a while things got a little better with my father, he would be calmer and act like a regular human being and things would be civil, I would even spend some time with my aunt and cousin on his side of the family though they were always kind of weird. I even remember that on my either 9th or 10th birthday he bought me this nice little radio that played cassette tapes (I know cassette tapes but hey I was born in the late 80’s) and even have some real radio stations on it. I really loved that thing and it was the first thing he ever bought me that I actually liked. I was actually starting to warm up to him and even my mother liked it (she would use it while exercising). Things were fine for a few months but then one day my father comes over and a few minutes later I can hear arguing in the other room.  My sister and I go to out to see what’s happening and I see my father pick up my radio and throw it to the ground and subsequently my radio is in pieces. I start to cry, my sister covers her ears, and the two of them are just screaming away at each other. She finally tells him to get out of her house and he slams the door and that’s the last I see of him for many, many years. I still don’t even really know what the argument was about but what I do know is this: he took something I loved, the only thing he got me that I really loved, and shattered it to pieces. He couldn’t think of me enough not to do that and that is when I was done with him (I’m just a kid mind you) and he was done with me. He couldn’t care less if I lived or died, whether he hated my mother or not he should have cared about me but he didn’t. He didn’t even care enough to pay child support; she had to go on welfare to support me and my sister and I know my sister wasn’t his child but I was (though I wish I wasn’t) and he had an obligation to me but he just didn’t care.

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