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I had sat a year in the juvenile prison, I was considered a repeat offender and a criminal. I honestly didn't care, because I was safe. I sure did my fair share of dumb things, and getting myself a criminal record just to screw myself over was one of the worst. While I was there, I had a lot of time to think about my life. The fact that my so called family never visited just made my hatred so much worse for them. I knew I didn't want to go home, I didn't want to do drugs anymore. I wanted a happy and clean life.
One day my case worker had come to see me and to start discussing my release options. I begged her not to send me home, and to find somewhere else to go. She told me she would look into it and let me know soon. Well, a week or two later, I had a visit. It was a lady who happened to be the manager of a group home for girls. She came to do an interview with me to determine if I would fit with the other girls in the home. She asked me why I wanted to be placed in a group home instead of going home explaining that my worker had kind of filled her in about little bits and pieces. So I gave her my reasoning and we ended the meeting.
A few weeks later, I was given a release date that was to be January 3, 2008, and was informed I'd be going to this group home. I was honestly so happy. In my eyes, not only was it freeing me from the weight of going back to the place I once called home, but it was a fresh start. I'd get to make new friends, go to a new school, and start over. I was 16-years-old, and wanted nothing more than to feel like I had a normal life.
When I got to the home, I at first felt out of place and wondered if I should go back to the prison. I wondered if I was going to be able to make it in life. So many different things went through my head, and I began to panic. I eventually relaxed and started to focus on my treatments and groups. I was doing so well. I had privileges and got grounded just as a normal teen would. I was held accountable for all of my actions, good and bad.
I was still skipping some classes and smoking cigarettes, but I was clean from drugs and alcohol still. I was accepting more things that I couldn't change, and working on myself and my confidence. I was also going through and seeing a therapist. Not very often, but often enough that they could tell I was trying.
A week after my 17th birthday, my life took yet another horrible turn. I had beat up a girl that lived with me so horribly that I was now being charged as an adult. I was arrested and placed in the county jail as an adult. After I got out on a signature bond, I had to be taken to the juvenile jail that I had spent so much time at. From there, there took me to shelter care, which was like a low security house, kind of like a group home, minus the treatment groups. I spent 45 days there. The manager of the group home came to see me, and re-interviewed me to see if I could be placed back at her facility. Turns out, the girl I had beat up had been kicked out and the manager wanted to have me back knowing I had originally been doing so well.
So I went back and I did absolutely everything they wanted me to do just so I wouldn't have to leave again. In the beginning of January 2009, I had a mental breakdown, and I had written a few letters. One went to my boyfriend at the time, and another to my best friend at the time. They were suicide notes. I had no recollection of writing them one bit. My best friend was so worried she took it to the counselor at school, concerned that I might follow through with what I had written to her. Her and the boyfriend both knew I suffered from many mental illnesses including depression, so they both were worried. The boyfriend was excused from class to sit with me until the group home manager got to the school to pick me up and take me to the hospital. I was admitted for a three day evaluation, but I turned it into a week long stay because I was worried I wasn't ready to go back to facing the real world. This was the second time I had blacked out and had no memory of something I had done in less than six months. The first was when I beat up that girl.
I had worked so hard to avoid becoming the person I once was, but I was failing. Two months later, I overheard one of the staff talking to my worker about me being sent back to my parents house. I panicked and I took off. I ended up with felony warrants, being on the run, skipping state, back on drugs and drinking. I had officially spiraled out of control. After about nine months, I finally came back to handle my warrants. I did some jail time, got three years of probation, and was ordered to stay sober. I, of course, did not. I was drinking almost daily again.
*** Stay tuned for the final part of "The Life I Never Asked For" where I bring you up to speed of my life through my late teens and early 20s, until now. ***