Our move from the ” pet-stealing” Reservoir out to the country town of Strasburg was confusing. We were “city mice” and we were way out in the middle of the country. The best thing was this KOA campground had…yep, you guessed it, A POOL!!! ( see the theme yet?)
We had a pretty good time out there from what I can remember. Mom got a job at the local bar and we were only a few minutes stumbling home distance. The problem was that we didn’t want to change to the local schools, we never knew where we were going to end up and we wanted something to hang on to. My mom would drive us early in the morning back to our schools, and my older sister would walk over to our primary school, and mom would pick us up together. This day, no mom. We must have stood out on the curb for a long time, as all the cars were gone from the parking lot, except one…then there was a police car, then two police cars. Our principal was walking toward us, with a few police officers. They asked up who was picking us up and we said “our mom is on her way”. My older sister was trying to cover for my mom bless her, but I was pretty vocal about my frustration over my life at that moment. My older sister told the officers that our mom told us to walk to our friends if she was later and we just forgot. The police didn’t buy it, and we were put in the back of the cop cars and off to the precinct we went. My older sister was trying to tell us what to say, and my little sister was so scared she just held on my older sister and said nothing.
So, this part is quite interesting; social services as able to place us ALL at one house, the “Dominguezs'”. Usually kids get split up as one family may not have room for three at the same time, so we got lucky…or so we thought. The Dominguezes had just one boy, he was older than I was, but younger than my older sister. We had the entire basement as “foster town” and we had a couch, a tv, and a bathroom. Daily food was strictly macaroni and cheese, or balony sandwiches (bologna is just leftover parts of animals ground down to slabs and was very cheap at the grocery store). As you would expect, the family dined on steak, potatoes, and fresh vegetables. It used to make me so mad watching them at and we were eating “slop”!
Besides the uneven feeding habits, there was other issues we had. You see, the “Dominguez son” had no siblings, so he would come downstairs with us “heathens” and watch tv. Because we spent so much time in the basement,we kinda took ownership of it-and besides, the boy had a bigger tv upstairs and he could watch whatever he wanted to upstairs! Well, he came down stairs when my older sister was watching her show-maybe it was “Little House on the Prairie” or ” Dukes of Hazzard”, but the boy decided he wanted to watch something different. Well my sister was like ” hey, we are watching this channel, if you want something else go upstairs”! So the boy didn’t like answer and somehow he and my sister got into a “pushing match”. My sister was sticking up for herself, when the boy used his weight to knock my sister over on her back. That just “pissed me off!” I mean, I can say or anything I wanted to my sisters, but no one else has that right. I punched the kid square in the face and I got “segregation.” I had a bit of a temper back then. I got stuck in my bedroom for 4 days! No food, no macaroni, no balogna, no nothing. I started writing songs…..I was inspired by Paul Macartney….”somebody’s knocking on the door, somebody’s ringing the bell, do me a favor, open the door, let him in…”so I was inspired to sing….” hey, ho, nobody home, let me out before I break your neck, then I will be ‘very merry’ hey, ho, nobody home, let me out!
As difficult as this is to say, I think we took advantage of someone who we should’ve protected. I can’t remember her name, but she was a “bottom dweller” like me, but she wasn’t as “outspoken” as I was, and I am afraid I was involved in some “bad behaviour” from my side. We used to “flick” her comb off the ledge and into the toilet. If we made it in the target, we used to have her “fish it out”, but after I spent time with the girl, I couldn’t have her get her comb out of the toilet. She was always so quiet and shy, I really didn’t understand. I feel bad now, and I hope I can be forgiven… I was a kid… I am so sorry.
I ended up in “solitary confinement” so many times that I started thinking ‘big’.
Do these experiences “shape me” or can I write my own path?? I really hated the fact that I didn’t get the “normal” upbringing. Parents that tell you right from wrong, how do I learn otherwise? I am not “worthy of love”, everyone that I loved had left me, I was too young to love my sisters yet, but they were the only ones still around. That is so deep. I would let you down…how do I “get better?” I was a mess by now, I fought with anyone, I got “F’s” in my report cards, I hated everyone and everything-except my friend Cori and her family. I loved going to her house, I felt safe. Our foster family didn’t want to wait around for my school to start after my older sisters, so they would drop us off at Cori’s house in the morning and we would take the bus together. Cori’s parents were always so nice to us, and her mother remembered how much I loved raspberry-filled doughnuts, and she had them every morning.
So I got in trouble for the ” brutal attack on the golden boy” and I didn’t care-at all- I was tougher than he was and I didn’t answer to anyone. I got stuck in the bedroom again, but I didn’t stay. I climbed out the window and went to the local police station. I told them all about the “unfairness” that was going on, and they took a lot of notes, and them promptly called the Dominguezs to pick me up-and back in the basement I went. That happened quite a few times over the months and months we lived there. At school I had to talk to a counselor, and again I spilled my guts. The school had to follow up on my claims, and finally I was heard. The state opened up an investigation into my claims, and researched others who had been through the house, they found abuse. By the time we had moved back in with my mom, the Dominguez foster house was closed down.