The following is a story which I have been given permission to share with the visitors on my site. The person who lived through the events that took place in this story, has chosen to remain anonymous and I respect her decision to do so. I also commend and thank her for the courage she shows in wanting to share her story and give hope where, at times, life can seem so hopeless. Here is her story.

In order to share my childhood years of growing up on the streets of a big Canadian city, I need to take you back to the beginning, in my life.

I was born to a 16 year old girl, in a home for unwed mothers, my father, I will get to him later in this story. My mother came from a large family and to bring another baby into this family, would have been hard. My mother made one mistake after I was born, she made the decision to hold me. That is when my roller coaster ride of a life began.

After holding me, my mother made the decision to keep me and try to make a life for me doing the best she could do. My grandfather was not an easy man to live with, so our lives became a nightmare. I was five years old the day my grandfather came to pick me up in order to go and meet up with my mother. What happened, instead, was that I was left on the street corner, waiting for my mother to come and get me, she never did...the end result for me was going to live in a foster home.

At first, life in a foster home was not so bad and seemed fine to me. I grew up like any other normal child, in and out of trouble. My summers were spent at my Grandpa Percy's cottage and though my Grandma Tillie was a tough lady she was always fair. My foster mother was a quiet, timid woman, who seemed afraid of her own shadow. My foster father was a well educated man and was a teacher who was gone a lot of the time due to teaching during the summer months. I was around six years old when I began to understand what he meant when he used the term "somebody else's trash" and would repeat it to me over and over. Another of his favorite comments to me was "Thank God you're not blood".

My happy summers at the cottage turned to heartbreak the summer that my foster father did not work. If I had done something wrong, I would get hit by him and he was always careful not to leave bruises in places which could be seen on me. I remember one day while helping my Grandpa Percy put wood under the cottage, for fall, I was happy to be helping. While placing the wood, I accidentally missed with one stick and ended up hitting my grandpa, who just laughed. My foster father didn't think it was so funny and he picked up the stick and hit me in my face with it. My grandpa was angry about this, but, my foster father was a smooth talker and managed to convince him that he had just lost control and this was the one and only time it had happened. To this day, I have a scar near my left eye, which was left by that stick.

As would always happen, summer came to an end and we headed back to the city. I had one foster brother and like kids will sometimes do, we would get ourselves into trouble. I remember a night when we had been fighting and my foster father was upset about it. This was one time I came out on the better end, unfortunately, my foster brother ended up with his head getting banged against the radiator.

By the time I was seven years old, I had been in and out of trouble and I did not want to stay home due to the worsening of the beatings. I was a normal confused child so I did what seemed natural to me and I went out looking for trouble. I figured if I was going to get beat anyway, I might as well at least give him a good reason to hit me. My foster mother was a faithful, church going woman and as I stated, she was timid. I would guess she is the reason I do not have much faith to this very day.

At the age of not quite 12, I remember that tuesday nights were the night that my foster mother went to church group. I remember one night begging her to stay home as I had a terrible feeling that something bad was going to happen if she left, that night will always be etched into my mind. She had only been gone about 20 minutes when my foster father started in on me. He reminded me that I was trash and told me that I needed to learn how to be appreciative of the things I had. My foster father told me he was going to teach me a lesson I would never forget. Since I was not his blood child, he seemed to have no problem attacking and raping me. During this brutal rape, he kept telling me that I was someone else's trash. When he was done, he started to beat me and this time, it was worse than the others. He left me bruised on my abdomen, ribs and left the normal signs which are left after the rape of a child. I remember leaving and how I wished it didn't hurt so much. I went to stay with my foster aunt and for the first time, my foster father was genuinely afraid that I would say something since my foster aunt knew that she had to have a doctor come and check me out. For awhile, life was good until my foster fathers threats and my aunt being the "good sister she was", forced her to send me back to live with my foster family. That is when life became living in alleys and in abandoned buildings.

Everything that you have ever heard about children and teenagers growing up on the streets is true. The ways to survive are few, becoming a prostitute or selling drugs becomes the way of life and survival. I had a smart mouth and could never make it as a prostitute, so, conning people and stealing became my means for surviving. We ran in gangs since staying by yourself was never a good idea, you might not be around long if you did. At night, someone would always stay awake just in case someone else came around looking for drugs or even for our clothing.

During the winter months, we would huddle together around an old garbage barrel or fill our clothes with plastic bags, in order to try to stay warm. I can remember a night when it was so cold and I was sick with a lung infection. I considered myself lucky because one boy, who I didn't really know, never woke up and all we could do was walk away and leave him there. I did have one friend named Billy who had been through so much at the hands of his father that his body had more scars than any human body should ever have. Billy's father was a drunk and would use Billy as a whipping post. Billy was a tough guy and was so messed up, even so, he would always make sure that I had what I needed and we ran cons together. I would set up an old man and Billy would rip them off. Billy got into drugs and became a runner, I would just tag along with him. One day I woke up with terrible cramps and right then I knew what having a miscarriage was like. I didn't understand, I had been skinny and had no idea what a period was. Billy explained it all to me. If you have ever heard of children learning on the street, you know how I learned things, I learned a lot that day.

Life returned back to normal the next day and I had this idea to start skimming money off of the top from the money we collected running drugs. At first, it worked really well, but, then Billy became greedy and wanted more. I was learning a new trade, pick pocketing and shop lifting. We had a new gang leader and was a nasty, dangerous guy, but, there was always someone like that waiting to step into their spot. By this time, I didn't care, I was drunk all the time and that seemed to make things easier to deal with. Billy was int drugs and life just kept slowly getting worse.

I was 14, going on 15, when I had my next baby. Billy was the father of this baby, but, he was become more and more quite, always jumpy and didn't trust anyone, his drug habit was getting worse. We were both tired of life on the streets and wanted to get out. I would go down to the rive and just wish that some how I could float away to a safe place, but, that never happened. At times, I would go to the top of a food and just hang over wishing I could fly away from this nightmare, but, the next day it would be back to the same horrible world. The memory that haunts me the most is the day that Billy and I decided to make a pact to overdose on Heroine. I had gone and gotten the Heroine from the man we called "The Candy Man". I remember getting the needles and having them ready, but, I couldn't do it. For some reason, at that moment, I wanted to live and find a way off of the streets. I thought I had convinced Billy not to give up either, but, I was wrong. I went to find us something to eat and realized that I had left Billy alone with the Heroine and the needles. I turned around and went back, but, it was already too late. I had never seen someone die that way and hope that I never do again. All of the noise and the people who came to see what was going on, brought the police, so, I left Billy there. Billy wasn't quite dead when I left, but, to this day, I know that I left a piece of myself in that alley way.

Needless to say, I was alone, other than Nellie to help me, and pregnant. I was scared and sick and being on the streets had weakened my health. I can remember the night that I had my baby. I was sick and it was still cold during the night and I was in an old, abandoned building. I remember hearing the Catholic Church bells ringing and knowing it was not long after midnight, my baby was born, so small and helpless. God, I didn't know what to do. I held it and listened to it cry and tried so hard to keep it since it was Billy's child and that was all I had left of him. I was like my mother, I had held this child and was now connected to it, but, I was young and didn't know how to care for it. I tried, but, a few days later, I couldn't even tell you how many days passed, my baby died. I left the abandoned building and my baby behind and went back to a world even I was beginning to want out of.

I kept going day to day with the help of my friend Nellie. The final straw was the day that I saw Nellie on a roof top, high on Heroine, trying to fly. Nellie had talked a little too much and her pimp wanted to get rid of her. I had seen them go into the building and followed them. I spent my night listening to her screams, fighting to keep her away from the edge, she was never the same after that. I looked after her and made sure she had a place to stay, but, about a year ago, I got a call that they had found her in the alley with her head crushed in. Sometimes I wonder if I should have let her jump that night, it would have been better for her.

I wasn't quite 17 and that is when I decided to leave the streets. I called my aunt and begged her to take me in, this time she said yes and that she didn't care what my foster father would do. She knew that she had failed to help me due to fear, once, and she wouldn't do it again. My aunt helped me when I went searching for Billy's grave. We eventually found it and gave him a stone with his real name on it.

Eventually, I was able to get off of the alcohol and applied to a University and was accepted. I graduated with honors in physics, chemistry and I eventually got my masters in Nursing. I will never forget the life I had and at times I still have nightmares. I am now married and have two children. If you are a teen who has been forced out into the streets, do not give up, only YOU can change your life. Nobody is going to be there to help you.

In the beginning of this story, I told you that I would tell you about my father. About four years ago, I found out that my biological father was really my grandfather. I think of things I have been through and to me, they are the most painful things I have had to deal with. I guess my foster father was right about two things, I was someone else's trash and he did teach me lessons that I will never forget.

Author: Anonymous

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