We drove to her office because that was where I had my weekly coaching with my amazing spelling bee mentor, Mrs. Willett. Finally, we arrived, and when my mom came to greet us, she also sensed something was wrong. Building up all the courage I could, I explained to her what happened with my voice cracking while I held back tears. She said nothing, but I could tell she was furious, and after a few minutes, she started to yell, telling me I should have been more serious, I should have worked harder, how did I get that word wrong. By then I was in a full out breakdown; being already distraught from, I could not handle her anger.
In my teenage years, most of my time was spent in school, and after I left there I would come home to a strung out mother that would be ranting and raving about dishes that needed to be done and telling me about how I was her biggest mistake, and that I was nothing but a lazy, hopeless loser, which I knew wasn’t true, but when you are a child the thoughts just run through your head over and over like a bad dream that you cannot wake up from. During that time, I had to find a way to break out. She would never let me leave the house unless it was to go to school, so I would leave at seven every morning and not return until midnight or later because I couldn’t face the beatings anymore. I began to heavily use drugs and try to escape to a place without pain and fear. Unfortunately, I knew that when I did come home, that I was really in for it.
I decided to be an “underpaid” teacher, more specifically English teacher. My mom was upset because she disliked English, the language, the reading, the grammar, everything. We did not speak for four months because of my decision, she was not proud. It hurt to not have my family 's support, but I was not going to let anyone force me to be something I did not want to be. I grew tired of waiting so I decided to be the first to initiate a conversation I went home and sat her down.
My mom made sure that my younger siblings didn 't find out what was going on until we had left the school. I unfortunately had to break the news to some of my younger siblings that were in the car with me at that time. It was difficult to tell them what was going on in a way that would be easy for them to understand. I told them that great grandma was in the hospital and she wouldn 't be with us much longer, so we were going to say our last goodbyes. They were all very confused and couldn 't wait to see her in the hospital.
“You ready to go?”, my sister asked as we both stepped out of the car not knowing what to expect. I could feel my legs fighting back, not wanting to enter the school. “Hello, what’s your name?, Yari I replied” that’s how I knew there was no going back now, “now they know I exist, I wonder what was their impression of me is?, I’m a total stranger to them, I thought to myself as I sat waiting for my schedule. Students coming in and out, all different and strange to me, the school’s culture was different from my prior school. The school I attened was strict and so everyone had the characteristics of drill sergents.
If I don’t go to school, then my parents feel like they are neglecting me as a child and I am doomed for the streets, or they are given the headache of trying to discipline me, which despite all teenagers beliefs – discipline is not something that parents have fun giving out. Also, should I ever start the car in the morning and take off, my mother now has to walk to work, or call Dad. They now don’t trust me enough to know if I went to school or not, and a 1000 lb. Monster has now taken off with a very irresponsible and untrustworthy person controlling. Also, should I ever not do that English assignment that I was asked to complete, then Mr. Cobbe is now given the headache of punching in a zero to a kid who he honestly believes, "is one of the top students, if not the top student in the class; who is sitting at a 60-65%, and should be mid-to-top nineties" Causing him not only a little bit
My friend Sarah although not as close, we were in class together and I would say morning to her everyday. She was having family issues that were outside and the parents were fighting over the fact of them leaving to help the grandparents and did not have the money too. Being an only child like me she thought that everything was about her and what she said was the way things went. When I tried to say morning to her she was quiet to herself and if had the chance avoided everyone. One day she blew up, blaming her parents about how everything was falling.
I was a very stubborn five-year-old girl. My friends were outside wanting me to play, but after much begging my mother was still refusing to let me out of the house until my room was clean. The thought of my friends outside playing, and my missing out on the fun was too much for me to bear. I decided to take a shortcut on the cleaning and learned a lesson that even now, almost 20 years later, I still haven’t forgotten. I could tell from my mother's stern voice that she wasn’t going to budge on this one.
Destiny stayed in one the most dangerous neighborhoods in Detroit. A couple days couldn’t past, without seeing or hearing about a fight or killing. She feared walking home from school everyday. She was seventeen years old, a senior in high school, who could only read at an eighth grade level. Since her mom was never really around, she would have to stay home from school to look after her baby sister.
I looked outside and saw my mom fall to her knees and cry as my grandma followed right behind her and did the same thing. I was as confused as to what was happening and where I was going but I looked at my sister and I grabbed her hand and said, “We are going to be ok”. We didn’t know where we were going, but we were soon to find out what it was like to be in the foster care system. Eleven years old and I had my first ride with a cop and it was the worst car ride of my life. I couldn’t breathe and the palm of my hands started to sweat.