By Chloe Smith
Date Posted: Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Chloe Smith grew up in Peterborough and re-located to Devon after a period backpacking in New Zealand. Although she intends to pursue a career as a writer, she also hopes to gain a place at university. In the Autumn of 2008 she will spend 10 weeks working on the land in Nicaragua .
Crazy mixed up kid : the daughter’s story
I remember quite clearly the first time I told my Mum and Dad I hated them. I screamed it out as loud as I could from the top of the stairs because they refused to let me go clubbing in Leeds. I was fourteen.
I smile now when I remember the abuse I gave them back then. All they wanted to do was protect me, and that ‘s what they still try to do now despite the fact that I’m twenty three.
I was too young then to realise what the bigger picture was. What my Mum and Dad were doing was for my own good. I hated that they knew everything and yet knew nothing of my world. I rebelled against them. “You don’t love me because you don’t want me to be happy”. “Just because you’re past it and don’t know how to have fun doesn’t mean you can stop me having fun”. They never went out with friends They never went clubbing,or hung around the pub, or drank cheap cider in the park or played spin the bottle. What was the point of talking to them about it ?
I often yelled their own words back to them “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family”, and then, “If I could have chosen I wouldn’t have picked you as mine”. I said this because I really wanted to hurt them. Yes, hurt them because they were trying to turn me, their only daughter into some kind of yuckie goody two shoes.
I got put into care at fourteen. I still don’t really know why that happened. But I soon found out that no one could replace my parents. No one else in the world should be there for me when everything goes wrong. Only they should be there to pick up the pieces and put me back on my feet. I wished they had been there then.
My foster mum, Charlotte, was very nice to me. I didn’t have a foster dad in that family. Charlotte wasn’t used to having girls. She mainly looked after boys. I had my own room, and was given some new nightclothes and underwear because I didn’t have very much with me. I was taken to school in a taxi everyday and was given dinner money that I spent on cigarettes.
I had two foster brothers. One of them, Alex, really tried to help me through the confusion I was feeling, but he got moved somewhere else. The other one Tom wasn’t nice at all and made several crude comments to me that made me feel sick. I was too scared to tell Charlotte and felt that no one could or would understand my pain and what it is like to be rejected.
My social worker was from South Africa and I really liked her. I even painted a picture at school for her. I could tell her anything and felt that it was ok, although I never mentioned the things Tom had been saying because it made me feel dirty.
On coming out of care, when everything I didn’t understand had apparently all been fixed, I was even more abusive to my parents. They hadn’t been there when I’d needed them. I sometimes ask myself now, “Why didn’t they realise that I only thought I was grown up”? I was just a little girl in a world too big for me.
My case had been abruptly closed by social services when my social worker moved back to South Africa. I felt betrayed and alone. Mum and Dad didn’t understand me and my adored social worker had deserted me. So I was forced to work through my problems on my own. I turned to speed and various other stuff. I stopped only because I survived a bad experience. It was hard and I still haven’t got the nerve to talk to Mum and Dad about it.
Things began to change. I realised that by following the house rules and being polite I was more likely to get most of what I wanted. It’s called compromise. Maybe I was a crazy kid back then. Maybe they’ve tried their best. I no longer want to leave home. I can stay at home and plan out my future, but I don’t talk to Mum and Dad about it.
|03 Jan 2008, Alice in Birmingham writes|
|I know just what the girl in this story went through. I feel I could have written this story myself.(Alice is not the real name of this correspondent)|