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Troubles are Like Bubbles
by Criss Tina
I don't remember my Dad very well, because my parents got divorced when I was
four years old. My Dad only visited us, a hand full of times. My Mom raised
seven kids by her self, and it must have taken its toll. I am the youngest
of the seven. I remember very little of my child hood. I do have some memories
though. My sisters and I got along better than most as kids. I remember getting
made fun of, more than the other kids. I guess it was because I was a bit
different from other kids my age, though I didn't understand why. It was hard
growing up and feeling so different. I seemed to had hard time learning things.
After a while, I just just started believing and accepted the fact that I just
wasn't as good as everyone else, though I know now that it was not true. But it
sure seemed to be true then. It got
so bad, that I even invented an imaginary friend, as I suppose many children do.
was always busy, with the three of us girls still living at home. And I could
never bring myself to tell her about how I felt so very different from
other kids. But, looking back, I think she knew, but she just didn't say much
about it. I think she felt hurt. When our children hurt we hurt, and feel weak
when we can't help our kids stop the hurt. My Mom didn't handle stress very well
at all. In fact, sadness wasn't allowed at our house. It was called moping. I
think Mom was frightened and felt a bit inadequate when she could do nothing, so
she made the no sadness rule. My Mom believed that talking about problems didn't
help anything and was afraid to get help. So, I learned to keep every thing
locked inside. My Mom yelled a lot and called us names. She said we would never
amount to any thing. That had a bigger effect on me than it seemed to on my
sisters. I guess it was because I believed her.
When I was fourteen years old, things got
much worse. I had my first of many grand mal seizures, and there were many to
follow. I was bringing my bike up the stairs at my sister's apartment complex.
It was a building which had a very narrow stairwell. I fell and my head bounced
off both sides of the wall. We were told I had epilepsy and had to take
medication. I also had head trauma from the fall. I took handfuls of pills every
day which made me feel so tired. Soon after that, I began to have tremors
and seizures every day. That is all I needed. Something else to make me appear
much different, than everyone else. I didn't have friends and didn't feel I
could talk to my Mother about it. I had seizures almost every day, even with the
medication. I had a real bad one and was in a comma for ten days, but my Mom
prayed for me and I woke up.
after this, my Mom was advised to send me away to foster care. So off I went, I
never could understand why we have such a throw away society. It seems that
parents are too eager to just surrender and they just send their own children
off into the care of others. But, I was hard to care for I guess. At either
rate, I ended up in a foster home. The foster Mother had two kids of her own and
they were in the process of adopting the foster child that lived there already.
they had their own little family going on, so I wasn't accepted. The kids made
fun of my shaking and because I was a slow learner. The foster Mom and I didn't
get along at all because she let the others pick on me. I tried to take it, but
after a while, it was just too much. I ran away from there.
police were called and the foster family threw my things out, in garbage bags
and told my Mom to come and get them. They found me that day and took me to my
Mom's house. Because of what had happened, my relationship with my Mom was now
one of anger and mistrust. My seizures continued and my outlook on life was one
of anger and hurt. I was depressed and just wished God would let me die. When I
was sixteen I entered the mental health system. My first placement was a halfway
house for children, who the world likes to pretend don't exist. But not all
children are what society calls ... Normal. I just could not figure out what I
had ever done, to be sent to a place like that. My Mom used to lie so
places would take me. She said she did this because she was frightened and
thought I was out of control and felt she had no choice. MY mother's choices
right or wrong, were made out of both fear and love and the two just don't go
together. Love isn't fear, but fear consumes without Christ. There is no fear in
love. (1John 4:18)
remember in group therapy, we were supposed to tell everyone what terrible
things we had done. I told them about my running away. They said that wasn't why
I was there. They demanded that I tell them the REAL reason I was placed there.
I must have named of everything I had ever done in my life, but they still
insisted that there was another, more sinister reason. I was there for three
months before I got to go back home. By then, the relationship between my Mom
and I was worse than ever. I never thought she liked me as a kid. I didn't
understand why. I could not comprehend why she had lied, so that they would take
me away. I didn't understand why life had to hurt so much. I just ... Didn't
started running away from home, to keep from hearing her yelling and to stop the
echoes from the kids at school, saying things like "you can't learn, why do you
even come to school." I remember that I just wanted to stop existing. So,
I just sat in a chair and went off somewhere else, in my head. When that didn't
work, I even prayed for death. But, when I opened my eyes ... I was still here.
Every time I would get caught, I would just run away again. I got angry and did
some things and I found myself in a lot of scary situations. But, I would leave
again, because I just could not take being told I was worthless and the threats
of being sent away again. They say that staying home, and dealing with your
problems is always better than the things that happen on the street. But, it
sure did not seem like it at the time.
a Friday, in the dead of winter and freezing cold. I had just decided to run
away again. I was sixteen now and walking on the high bridge which overlooked
the river. I don't know what I hoped to accomplish as I was heading to who knew
where to do who knew what. As I was walking, trying to sort things out in my
head, a car slowed down and came to a stop next to me. A man rolled down his
window and asked if I wanted a ride. I was cold and confused, so i got in. I do
not even remember where he said we were going. He drove to an apartment complex.
We got out of the car and went up to one of the apartment doors and he knocked
on the door. He said to the man who answered the door "I have got you another
one Joe" ... The man named Joe paid the man who brought me to Joe's apartment,
I knew right then that I was in big
trouble. I will never forget those words as long as I live. They just kept
echoing in my head "I have got you another one Joe" ... I started to become very
frightened. I knew I needed to get out of there, but I had no idea where I was
and it was so cold outside. I had no choices. He was drinking and doing drugs.
He kept me there as a prisoner all weekend. I was so afraid to try and leave.
But, I could not stay here and let him do this anymore. I knew he would be going
to work Monday because he spoke of work, and I knew he needed money for his
drugs and beer so I planned to try and leave then. I decided to pretend to be ok
with what he was doing, until I could make my escape. It worked. He believed me.
go to work Monday morning. I woke him up as I was instructed, for some "fun", as
he called it, before work. I think that dumb drunk, really thought I would still
be there when he got home from work. I acted like I could not wait for him to
get "home" so that he would leave. He finally did and I searched his Apartment
for money. I looked in his pockets, on the floor, everywhere. I found enough
money to buy a pair of shoes and started looking for my home. I was so lost and
I knocked at a door and asked the lady who answered for a ride. The lady called
the police who once again, took me home to my Mom's house. I never told anyone
about that terrifying weekend. I felt dirty and very bitter toward everything.
My life was a mess and I guess that somehow, I had been made to believe that I
had somehow deserved all that had happened.
next thing I know, its off to another facility, for them to try to figure me
out. I wasn't easy to get along with. I just couldn't trust anyone. Each
placement harsher than the first. I refused to cooperate with their programs. I
would cause trouble and even had to sleep in a padded cell, at one place. I was
acting out my pain, on every one else. This caused the people in charge to see
it in my best interest to send me to a State hospital. I stayed there for
six months and got more "help" as they called it. I think that was the word they
used, but it didn't help me. More programming, man's programming, I felt
isolated and worthless. I was only seventeen. I should have been out enjoying
life, having fun and experiencing new things. I should have been allowed to live
that, I went to a halfway house. It was hard to live like that. I got myself
into a lot of trouble. Arguing, threatening and just not following the "program"
... They sent me to the hospital psychiatric unit. I was so frightened. I felt
like a caged animal and still trusted nobody. I became violent and they put me
in restraints and left me there all night. After I had sufficiently calmed down
and I convinced them that I was better. They freed me from my restraints. They
changed my medication and stuck a label of "post traumatic stress disorder" and
that I suffered from a state of depression, associated with post traumatic
stress disorder. I was told I would have to work at handling my life better.
What a crock.
eighteen years old and had no concept of the real world and was told to try to
live in it. Some of the places I was in were better than others but I managed to
screw things up and back to the hospital I would go. Until I decided I was going
to get myself out.
I wrote affirmations to myself and stuck them on the walls of my room. I didn't
believe any of them at first, but what did I have to lose. After a while I
started to feel better. I made up a worry box, where I wrote down what the
conflict was and how I tried to solve it and if it was effective so when that
problem happened again I could deal with it, in the same way. I realized that I
could handle things without getting so defensive. It took me two years to get
myself out of the system. No one could get me out but me. After being in it most
of my young adult life, I was finally FREE. I realize now, that God was there
and He got me out. He changed my heart.
I moved to an apartment and got a telemarketing job. I was twenty-four years old
and had little idea what the real world would be like. I continued to see my
Mother, though our relationship never was a good one. After working for six
months I met the man who I later married. He was nice to everyone, funny, and
,not bad looking so when he asked me out ... I said yes. We had a daughter
together two years later. My family hated him because he was an ex convict and
my Mom found out about that and did anything she could to break us up. She
claimed she was worried. He was a good man, but got in trouble before we met. He
had turned things around in his life, like I had done and was a good Dad to our
little girl. We were always broke and it was hard. He couldn't find a job that
paid enough because of his criminal record. So, food was scarce. We had a baby
to care for and my family would not help. They didn't like him and used that as
the reason that they weren't going to help. They didn't owe it to us to help,
but he wasn't even allowed to come to my Mothers house. Like I said ... Its a
throw away society.
We moved out of state, to live near his
family and to find a better paying job for him, and had lived there for three
months. We had an Apartment with a three season porch for our daughter to play
in. We were finally getting it all together. Then ... We had a fire which was
caused by bad wiring. We got help from the Red cross. They helped us with a
hotel to stay at for a week. Then, we went back to our apartment. The three
season porch, that our daughter's toys were kept, is where the fire started. We
had to throw most of her toys away. I wish we would have known GOD more than we
did. We thought we knew Him, but we didn't. We only knew of him.
went swimming in the quarry to try and have a little fun in a world that seemed
so filled with problems. We just wanted to relax and have fun. My husband
decided to try and swim across the quarry and back. He couldn't make it back. My
daughter and I watched as he struggled to make it back. I felt so helpless. I
could do nothing but stand there screaming, as I watched him disappear. My
daughter and I were in the midst of a turbulent storm with no stronghold. I
didn't know what to do. And, I still didn't go to GOD.
called my mother and she bought us plane tickets so we could go home. I wanted
to stay but I had to get Elizabeth back to her family and her Grandma. I wanted
that plane to stay in the air and not land. My family and I, were not close at
all and now I was moving in with my Mother. She still made me feel small, with
her constant words of abuse to me. But, she loved Elizabeth and I and I would
endure her words for my daughters sake, for 22 months. I saved what I could and
we moved into a townhouse, in the low income district. That was seven years ago.
I grew up quick and had to depend on myself. I really was ...Alone.
Elizabeth was four years old when we moved into our townhouse. My Mom visited a
lot, but would always put me down and tell Elizabeth that I was mean. I should
have told her. It takes two to have a bad relationship. That woman has caused me
a lot of hurt and pain in my life. I was afraid of her. I was angry and felt
stupid because I saw myself as a victim. believing that, made me a victim.
Mom has passed away and I cant tell her how sorry I am that we never worked
things out. I blamed myself. I always have. But, I know that God forgives and I
am forgiving myself little by little. It has taken a long time for me to come to
Christ and my faith still needs to be stronger. But, I will never feel that low
again. And my child won't have to feel like I did. Because I have learned from
my past mistakes and those of the people around me. I will be a good Mom and
with a Father like we have in GOD ... My little girl will be happy.
Remember this ...
Troubles are like bubbles
Plentiful and clear
With fear it always doubles
With time, they disappear