Battling Foster Care

I just want to start by saying thank you for your service and thank you for this podcast. It’s truly an inspiration and has helped me get through things that I have been dealing with since I was young. My never quit story started when I was about five years old. My birth parents were not really around. My father, if that’s what you want to call him, decided that drugs, sex, and money were more important then me, and my mother did the same thing but she left when I was fairly young. They even injected me and my brother with herion and meth and whatever they could get their hands on. Now what “parent” would do that to a child? I guess that was the new normal. I really didn’t know why she left or why he did what he did and to this day I still don’t know why. It’s something that has always bugged me but at that time I didn’t really understand. I mean how could I? I was five years old. Anyway, that forced to me live with my grandmother for a while and it wasn’t easy. It was a little better then being with my parents but far from what a child deserves. I was beaten and abused and I often felt like it was my fault. I felt like I could do nothing right and that no matter how hard I tried, it wasn’t good enough. I eventually went to another relative and it was better. I wasn’t abused and beaten or sexual assaulted but it still wasn’t my parents. I had to change schools and I was often made fun of for being different (I had some mental problems as a result of the abuse and neglect).

Eventually, my birth parents were arrested and sent to prison. I vividly remember the cops busting down the doors and the police officers rushing in and throwing them to the ground while my brother and I screamed. When they got arrested, I was taken and sent to foster care with my brother. When we got there, we were split up because he had some mental problems. I was doing better and since he was worse, they wouldn’t allow us to be together. When I got to foster care though it became worse. From the time I was five years old until about seven, I was in foster care and it was the worst experience of my life. I bounced around from home to home (73 to be exact) and at each and every one I was physical abused and sexual abused. At times I was beat with anything they could get there hands on and for no reason. This ultimately lead me to fight with the other kids at the homes and who could blame me? It was a day to day struggle and I often felt like killing myself just to get out of those situations (remind you I was seven years old). During all of this, there was a family that I was sent to. I won’t mention their names but it was the family that ultimately adopted me. When I was sent there, I didn’t think anything would be different because I was in countless other homes and nothing changed. I ended up being very afraid and nervous and just waiting for the beating or the sexual molestation or whatever they would do to me but it never happened. They were the best people I had ever met in my entire life. At this time, they had six kids (four biological and two adopted). My adoptive father was on the board of the juvenile court system and that’s how he found me. I never really asked him how it came about or the particulars and it honestly never really occurred to me. I was just happy to have a loving family and people who actually supported me. My never quit story continues even now that I am older and married. It’s a constant struggle to keep my thoughts positive and be able to focus on the task at hand. What helps me is my wife and family. She knows what happened to me and has excepted me for whom I am. Women have special abilities to pull us men out of dark times and I am constantly reminded of that. She pushes me and motivates me to keep pushing on regardless of the problems and adversities I am facing. I don’t expect this story to read or anything. I just want people to know that if you just keep pushing forward no matter what, you will get through it. It’s all about the mindset. My father told me that you can do anything you put your mind to and that’s 100% true. I know for a fact and have experienced it. He also told that if you are going through hell, keep going through hell and that’s how I live my life. No matter what life throws at me, I always keep going.

Thank you for taking your time read this! Oh and I almost forgot, HOOYAH!!

Author: Damien