I’m from Belfast, and I’m sixteen. When I was fifteen, I got put into foster care for five months, and then they moved me because I was drinking alcohol and staying out, and being bad and all.
I’m from Belfast, and I’m sixteen. When I was fifteen, I got put into foster care for five months, and then they moved me because I was drinking alcohol and staying out, and being bad and all. It was different, cuz like, my family...I was really close to them and all. Like, we were all in the same square, and then getting moved away...it was like weird, like. But then getting moved to the country, which was even worse.
I was living with my auntie for two years, and then I started absconding and drinking and all. She was a Christian and just couldn’t cope no more. I was living with my Mummy before that, and then when my Daddy died she got, like, depressed and all, and couldn’t look after me and my wee brother. I moved in with my aunt but then it just didn’t work. Staying out all night and all, and coming home drunk and stuff, and she just couldn’t cope no more. But it was actually...it all really started when I started running about with Emma. Not that she is to blame like, but I never used to drink and all until I ran about with her. So, I know she is not to blame like, but she didn’t help matters either.
Where I live now is really different like, because it’s in the country, and being from the city, it is really different. It’s really quiet and stuff, but like, I am always in the village anyway. When the social worker said it was outside Belfast I was getting moved to, I kinda like freaked out because it was so far away from school and friends and all. But if I hadn’t have moved there, I would never have met Ben and all. He has just turned twenty, and I’m sixteen, but I will be seventeen in July. I’m not supposed to be seeing him at the minute, because I had to go to a meeting...like a LAC review meeting...on Tuesday, and they says I am not allowed near him until there is a risk strategy meeting to see what the craic is, because I always stay out and all, because like he’s, like, harbouring me, so...
Because I stay in his house, and he is not making me stay, but he doesn’t tell me to go either. He doesn’t make me stay, but he is not encouraging me to go home either, and I am staying in his house when he knows I am not allowed, so he is ‘harbouring’ me in his house. Well, that’s the word the social worker uses, so that’s what I think it means. I’m gutted like, because he is only allowed to come down and see me, but my foster Mum is the one that brought it up in the meeting. For if she hadn’t have said that, I would still be able to go and see Ben. But she says, “I would prefer if Ben came down to the house”. But every time I ask her she says no, because Karl (the wee boy that lives there)...he functions at the age of a seven year old. Well, that’s what they say. And they says that if Ben is to come down I have to...I have to...get someone to mind Karl when Ben is in the house! And I was just like “Why? It never used to be like that!” I think she is just doing that to make things awkward, really like. Because it was never like that. She hates Ben like, but she probably doesn’t even know him.... It stresses me.
I have said to my social worker I wanted to move because I am not happy there, at all. And she says, “Well we will look into it”, and that was like four months ago. And I says to her on Tuesday that I am really not happy, and I know that I am not going to last there, so I will just keep like absconding and all until they put me somewhere else. But she says if I keep on absconding that I will end up in Rathgael or somewhere, cuz no one else would take me because of a pattern of absconding. But I says I wouldn’t abscond if they would get me a different foster placement. So you can’t win. So I don’t know, it’s...it stresses me out, really like. See when you are talking about it and all, it puts your head away.
It was scary, like, at the start. For the first two weeks, I was like grounded to get used to the area and stuff, but I didn’t even go out. But then I went down to the village and started running about down there. The family and all don’t get along with me. Like, their daughter, Rose... she’s twenty-one, and she is always like firing dirty looks and all. And she is like...I don’t know. I think like she is threatening me with her daughter sometimes. Because she’s always saying that her daughter is really strong. And I says, “Oh right” and she goes “My Rose can really fight and all”, like out of the blue. And I have taken it as if she is saying that there for me to get scared or something. And they have threatened me then with paramilitaries. Because when I abscond, the police usually go to my brother’s house and Tom (my foster Dad) tried to say that my brother went down and says to Tom that every time I abscond, the police are at his door, and then that brings the paramilitaries into the area. And the next time that the police come to the door, the paramilitaries are going to do his knees and all. But my brother never said that. And he goes “Well I know all the top men”. But the top man is Ben’s uncle... but he didn’t know that...and he is sitting there threatening me with paramilitaries and all. And I was just like…I said I got family in the paramilitaries, and she goes, “Is that a threat or a promise?” and I goes “I am only saying”.
I have told them before...I wanted to move out before. And every time I’m in a bad mood and all, I say like, “I’m not even happy here” and Tom would go “Sure you said that from the start”, and I would go, “I know I did, but I am still here”. And he goes “The next time you stay out, I will have your bags packed for you!” and I am just like “Good job, because I want to move out anyway”. And the comments...I told my social worker about the comments, cuz he keeps saying, like, dirty comments and all to me. And I says to her “I am sick of it”. Like, it’s not right, because he wouldn’t say it to his own daughters. He goes that Ben uses me as a sex toy, and he says to me “The only words you know is ‘sure I know’, and in fact the only other two words you know is ‘I’m easy’. And Emma was in the kitchen. I was scundered. My face went pure red.
If she’s is in a bad mood she takes it out on everyone. Well only me and Karl really. But that is not right. She does that there because we are not her own kids. I feel like turning around and smacking her, but I will get arrested or something. But that is not right...just because we are in their house they think they can treat us whatever way they want. But, nah…I’d like to have my own kids, but not now. When I’m twenty-eight or thirty, because I couldn’t be coping with kids now. I don’t want to live in Belfast, but I don’t want to live in the country or nowhere either. I want to move away from it all. But there is nowhere really you can go. My Mummy she’s in hospital, she went into hospital two days ago… another seizzure. She is taking seizures all the time...her and her boy Jack. Cuz she drinks loads, and then she would stop. Well it’s not that she would stop...she would drink vodka, like, from morning to night, and then wake up in the morning and drink more vodka. And then she wouldn’t drink vodka...she would drink cider and WKDs and stuff. But that is nowhere as strong as vodka, and then her body can’t keep up with it, and she keeps taking seizures and all. And then people text me to tell me in school that your Mummy is in hospital, and then in school I play up and all, and then it is me getting in trouble in school. So I don’t know. And my GCSE’s and all are coming. I’m stressed.
I will get good in my English. I can get a C, and that is a pass. And in Maths I can get a C. I have two GCSE’s in IT already, and you only need six to get back. So two in Travel and Tourism, I have two in IT and if I get Maths and English then I can get back. But if I don’t get back, I will just go to Tech and do a course. I really want to be an Air Hostess.
Like Gerardline, my brothers partner, or Naomi my sister...her boyfriend Matt, he will text me or ring me, and say “Give your sister a ring...your Mummy is in hospital”. And automatically I just go mad like. Like you think, she doesn’t care about us, so why should I care about her? And it puts my head away. And then in school and all I can’t concentrate and do work an’ all and then the teachers shout at me and I have to shout back and I get stressed out. And it’s not right like. Well I do care like, but she just, well she just…well I don’t know if she cares.. though I don’t think she does like.
She was in rehab twice trying to get me and my wee brother back. She went in twice, and signed herself out twice, so she really doesn’t want us back. But she keeps playing on the fact. She goes, “Your Daddy died, and then a year later my sister died”. And I am just like, “Well that is my auntie and that is my Daddy, so do you know what I mean?” We all suffered for it like. But what she is doing is being selfish, like. Her drinking is her way of coping like, but she has still got kids, do you know what I mean? Even though she hasn’t got them like, but she is still a Mummy so and she is. Just drinking like, herself to death. It is not fair on us either but...oh, I don’t know.
You feel sorry for her like, but it’s the fact that she’s got kids and one of them is in foster care. You think that she would at least try to get her back like... but she doesn’t. That’s what... like I don’t know…it makes you think she doesn’t care because she doesn’t even try. I mean like, if she was in rehab she could at least try. She was just being lazy and selfish like. But I can’t keep making excuses for her.
My sister Naomi...she has turned into an alcoholic like. She is really bad on the drink. Her son Fred is in my aunt’s care. Her daughter Sara is in her Daddys care and her other daughter Amy’s adopted. Naomi gave her up for adoption because when Amy was born, she was sick and had to be on steroids every day, and Naomi put her up for adoption because she couldn’t cope with giving her steroids. And I was just like, “You are such a bad Mummy...you don’t do that like”. But I can’t talk. I haven’t got no kids like, but…aye, but she just goes… She makes a joke out of it. I go “Naomi you have a drink problem” and she goes “The only drink problem I have is that I have only got one mouth”. And you are just like going “That is not funny” because she thinks she is a geg.
She’s twenty-three. And like, looking at my aunt Joan...she was an alcoholic, and my Mummy never used to touch drink, and she is just exactly like her. When my aunt Joan was dying, you could just tell. And looking at my aunt Joan, and looking at my Mummy, it is just like aunt Joan. My Mummy is not as skinny and all as her, but I don’t know. This sounds really bad like, but I don’t think she is going to last long.
It stresses me out, but then I was thinking if my Mummy turned into an alcoholic, and I drink, there is no point in me turning to drink and turning out like them’uns. Cuz like, looking at Naomi...she has turned into my Mummy and my Mummy has turned into Joan and Joan’s dead now. But if anything happened to my Mummy like…phhhh…I would wreck the place. I really would. I couldn’t cope. It would take a while to sink in. Like when my Daddy died, he was always in jail or in the nursing home. It still doesn’t feel like he is away, and with my Mummy it would be the same, because I haven’t lived with her for so long, but I am used to seeing her and all, so that would be really hard.
I used to help my Daddy and all like, because he was in a wheel chair and stuff. I used to help him, but he was always in a nursing home and all. It’s all like a dream or something...it doesn’t feel real. But when people sit, like family, and say like they miss him and all, it sinks in. Like my other sister Carol would just sit and cry and all, but I wouldn’t cry. I would like, go mad and start drinking and all. No...well it is hard at the moment. When you are drinking, everything is alright. But then it’s...well it is only fake, it is not real. But then I think, when you sit and talk about it, it’s much better because you feel better and all. Now and again, wee things like this just...I think they are good like. They make you feel better