Today I told someone my address and gave them Oakland as my city instead of Columbus. An odd thing to come out of my mouth after eleven years have passed. From 1996-2010, I lived in Oakland, Fremont and Hayward, California. During this time, I worked for the Berkeley Head Start program and Alameda County Department of Social Services.
I “held” children from all different types of backgrounds: giving them hugs, holding their hands, providing transportation, sharing meals and listening to their stories. I read hundreds of court reports when the case was transferred over or wrote them myself. I gave them love by building trust with them through honesty and support and following through on their needs and wants. We worked a 37.5 hour week though there were times I was off the “clock” or didn’t take a lunch and a break – what was that? The best of us worked our hearts off doing due diligence for other people’s children and sometimes the quality effort, being self-assigned to a family, didn’t include looking at the clock. We were martyrs but it is easy to get lost in a life; that so desperately needs your help. Especially when those that were supposed to, had let them down so many times before – even us.
A victim of domestic violence has a lot of anger inside toward the perpetrator. Before I escaped my ex-husband I attempted suicide because I did not know that I could escape his prison. I did not know I had choices. I could walk away, although it wasn’t easy, or I could just sit there and not take any control over my life or my son’s.
There were many times when I thought about attempting suicide and there are many things that I wrote, much of which makes no sense now, during those brief periods of depression. My writing helped me to think things through. Consequently I have many journals that I will probably burn some day.