When they told me I would be going to school I became excited. I had been in Kindergarten while living in foster care and had enjoyed it. However, they told me that I would be going to third grade. I was very confused because I had not been in first or second grade. I tried to tell them that I wasn’t old enough to go to the bigger classes, but they wouldn’t listen. Prior to that, I had my Birthday and everyone kept telling me I was eight years old. I tried to explain that I was turning seven, again, no one would listen. So, on the first day of school I was very nervous. I could not read and did not understand math. My teacher called my mother many times to complain about my bad behavior. She told her that I wouldn’t sit still and that I refused to read and did not know all of my numbers. Instead of trying to work with me, my mother and father thought it best to punish me. They yelled, hit and called me names, to no avail. I still couldn’t read and do math. I tried, again and again, to explain that I had never done those things, before, and didn’t understand what the teacher said in class. They did not believe me and whenever my report came home, I was punished. I became frustrated, truculent and angry. They started pairing me against their biological son. We would sit at the dining room table every night, after dinner, and mother would hold up math cards and whoever got it first, was praised. Obviously, her son won every time. I would be made fun of. My father would sit back, beer can and cigarette in hand, shaking his head. Finally, realizing that it wasn’t working, she came up with the idea that if I received anymore unsatisfactory grades on my next report, I would be punished, in my room, until the next report came home! That was every six weeks! The new punishment was that I would come home from school, clean the kitchen, bathroom, take out the litter pan, and do laundry. After which, I was to do my homework then get things ready for dinner. She would come home from work and we’d eat and I had to be in bed by eight. Her son was allowed to do whatever he wanted. There were no rules for him.
My social worker came to visit twice. The first time she came, my mother made me dress up and clean my room. She coached me on what to say. One thing she kept saying, over and over again, was that I was never to mention that daddy drank beer. I was not to tell her how daddy got mad and yelled at me and hit her. I was never to mention her biological son, at any time, during the conversation. She would send him down the street to a friend’s house. When she arrived, we would sit in the fancy living room with the white sofa and chat. I would show her my room and she’d ask questions. I answered as carefully as I could. I know I sounded rehearsed because the social worker mentioned it in my records. However, she did not seem to care. I behaved as everyone expected; prim and proper.
The time came when it was her last visit and she interviewed my adoptive parents, together. I sat quietly, listening. My adoptive mother complained to her about my behavior, bad grades and my inability or lack of wanting, to learn. She told her I was a “chronic” liar and that I often blamed her son for things that I had done. The social worker asked if her son was always honest and she said that her son never lied, it was always me and she was at the point of sending me back. The social worker suggested they take me to see a therapist. They agreed it may be something to look into.
We saw a therapist twice. The first time she interviewed me and asked me questions. I told her about my real family and how much I missed them. I explained that my new parents were always mad at me and I never knew what I had done wrong. She asked me if I had a choice, would I stay with them or go back to my sisters. I told her I wanted to go back to my real family. I told her how, when in foster care, I was abused sexually and I was scared of their son. He was so mean to me when they weren’t around. The second time we went I colored a picture while my adoptive father and mother saw the therapist. They were in there for a very short time when my adoptive father came storming out yelling something about, “…it not being her business.” My adoptive mother grabbed my hand and we drove home. Mother told me that we were never going to a therapist again. Later, after getting my paper work, I read that he had become angry because the therapist asked about their sex life and whether he drank. She, also, implied that the problems were not being caused by me. She addressed the issues I had with their biological son, as well. She suggested that he not be left in charge of me when they went out. All of her advice was ignored.