I know I’m dating myself. I don’t care. But I’ve been watching the documentary Streetwise which if your not familiar with it I would recommend you watch it if your not squeamish at heart. It’s about runaways. I first ran away at age 9. I was troubled, I missed my Mother Dad was keeping me from seeing my Mom, I think it’s called parental alienation. He was a bastard. Anyway I was getting into all sorts of trouble over it. I was fighting ( and losing) I was stealing, breaking into other people’s homes, and running away.
In all I ran away like 7 or 8 times. I would get overwhelmed. No one would talk to me about what I was feeling, no one seemed to care about what I was feeling but there sure was a whole lot of LECTURING going on in the home I grew up in. My story would have really made a great documentary better than Streetwise. No such opportunity, it’s the story of my life. However the last & final time I ran away would be when I was finally reunited with my Mother for the first time in 4 long years. That is four years from age 8-12 years of age everyone.
The day of my running away I was beaten pretty bad. Whipped like a slave. After getting my punishment the bitch had me go outside to sweep the front porch. I did. And it was all over sneaking a piece of chocolate cake because I was hungry! A damn piece of chocolate cake.
After I did sweep the porch I went around to the back yard, hopped a fence, then ran like hell. I didn’t even know where I was going. It was spur of the moment I didn’t even think it through. I wandered around a section of Los Angeles in the middle of the day for hours by myself. I had no money, so I couldn’t call anyone, I couldn’t even ride a bus. I didn’t know my biological Mom’s phone number either I was a wreck of panic, anxiety I hadn’t eaten anything & I was sweating it was Los Angeles California in February & it was 70 degrees.
While wandering around I ran into what I think was a gang of girls. There were about 5 or 6 and all were much bigger than I was. I was small & frail for my age so when I took a look at these same girls I grew very frightened. In all of my exhaustion, panic, and whatever else I began to sob uncontrollably. The leader or the main girl of the group stopped dead in her tracks along with the rest in her group, like I was a bad plague afraid to come any closer. Then without warning the leader signaled to her gang to follow her, making a very wide berth around me. It was almost as though they were afraid of catching something from me…..I was sobbing pretty badly and that seemed to really freak the tough girls out. I’m walking some more until finally I spot at a busy intersection which I think was Adams blvd The Children’s Home Society the house which I think is still there to this day resembled something out of Gone With The Wind with it’s massive columns. But it was the CHS billboard facing the busy intersection that caught my attention. I walked right towards it, that was my beacon of hope. I wasn’t sure if this place could help I figured since the sign had the word “children & home” I felt that I could get to live safe from the very same people that were hurting me.
Once I walked across the massive lawn I rang the bell to the CHS & an elderly woman answered. She brought me inside I seem to remember that she gave me some milk & cookies to eat then she disappeared. I’m not exactly sure just how much time had elapsed but I do know that two LAPD officers arrived. Anxiety level heightened code red! At first they seem real stern, and I have to admit those black uniforms they wear don’t do a great job to help one to relax. But after the initial back & forth of questioning the two officers who were Black & Latino warmed up to me & treated me more like a Daughter than anything else. So I went with them. I must have been the only juvenile in the history of L.A. to ever sit in the back of a squad car & NOT BE taken into custody. So began a day long ride that lasted into the evening in the back seat of an LAPD squad car an investigation to figure out what to do with me. It made for one heck of an exciting day everyone!
When all of this flurry of activity happened it was daylight I think it was early afternoon. I’m fuzzy about the events after the two officers picked me up but I remember that when it got dark my memory picks up. Once it got dark the officers did ask me where my Mother lived I was 12 and I really didn’t remember the address but I remembered the street she lived on. I told the officer the one who was driving ( he was the senior field officer) who then would turn to his partner and say: “I know the area” like magic the officer glided the car around smoothly & away we went he drove very fast it felt like the squad car wasn’t even touching the ground. I had to guide the police officer on where to turn I did know my landmarks & a lot of things looked familiar & were pretty much the same as four years ago when I last seen Mom. A swift turn here, another one there and BOOM! We were on the street were Mom & her then 2nd Husband stayed.
When the 3 of us arrived at the address were Mom stayed inside the house was completely dark. Hell I don’t remember what I was feeling. I mean I had felt like I was held in captivity for 4 long years with my Father & stepmother so I think I may have been numb & just going through the motions I just don’t know. At any rate I sure was grateful to those two officers that day they saved my life.
So we get to the house one of the officers rings the doorbell then…..nothing no one was home. One of the officers I think that it was the junior officer who suggested that they try to knock on the next door neighbors door. So the three of us the two officers & I walked over to the next door neighbors house. The officer rang the doorbell. The door opens and the same neighbor is still residing at the house, a Doctor that Mom & her Husband knew. What seemed kind of odd to me at the time was that the Doctor seemed to show little emotion. He didn’t seem surprised to see 2 police officers + a 12 year old little girl standing on his front porch. To this day I don’t know what to make of that, but the good Doctor provided some valuable information.
The Doctor told us that Mom & her Husband ran a gas station on such & such street in Los Angeles I don’t remember the cross street. And that they often worked real late, and that there was a good chance that they would be there right now.
All 3 of us got back into the squad car to race down to the Shell gas station. Here is what the officers chose to do. Now the Shell station in Los Angeles sat on a huge lot. What they chose to do was park at the far end nearest the rotating Shell sign. Back then the signs turned. I was told to remain in the squad car. I turned around in the seat to see my Mother taking meter readings off the gas tanks & oh boy was it both weird & a shock to see my Mother for the first time ever in FOUR YEARS! I had felt like I was intruding on something, I don’t know I’m just telling you how it felt I was 12 & traumatized. About maybe 10-15 minutes later the Officers appear with both Mom than her Husband. Mom is sobbing!
After that brief reunion the 3 of us the two police officers & I had to pay a visit to my Father & his odious wife at their place of residence while I sat in the back seat of the squad car. When the officers returned from the 45min-1hr meeting one of the officers was extremely livid over what I’m not really sure because he mostly addressed his partner in the front seat ignoring me. Now looking back on that night in front of the residence of my biological Father & his 2nd Wife they probably TRASHED me to the police officers, I know it. Especially my Step Mother she probably said some real nasty stuff & THAT was why one of the Officers was mad after the meeting. The senior field officer was so mad he couldn’t drive, an important note? Neither my Father nor my Step Mother reported me missing , I had been gone over 8 hours! And once the LAPD showed up at the residence of my Father & his Wife THEY STILL HADN’T CALLED ME IN MISSING!. The junior officer had to calm him down before we could pull away from the curb. After that I was taken to Mc Claren Hall. McClaren Hall was for me extremely TRAUMATIC with a capital T. To a 12 year old little girl whose first time it was in an institution McClaren Hall was a major scary experience! Because it was sort of run like a jail. The Doctors were creepy one sort of molested me on the intake & when I was escorted down into the girls dorm both myself & the adult who escorted me had to walk this gauntlet of beds which was the boys dorm. As if on cue all the boys jumped from the head of their beds towards the foot of their beds catcalling & whistling! I felt very frightened + traumatized (McClaren closed in 2003) My stay at McClaren which was basically a human warehouse for abused kids that the city had no idea what to do with was at that for me the first time it was stable environment were I got fed 3 times a day! I was being systematically starved by my Stepmother for 4 years I was practically anorexic by the time I got to my Mom. However it was mandatory that my stay would end & of all people my Father was to pick me up to take me back at least until my Mother’s lawyers were finished. All the way back Dad was cruel. He kept saying that I was one disturbed child, which infuriated me. My Mother did end up getting me from school. So here is what happened during physical education class one day I was sitting in a row while the teacher was explaining something to us students I don’t remember what it was. A student office worker (remember you got credit for working as an OFFICE AIDE in the main office?) approached me and instructed me to go to the locker room & get dressed. I was to meet the student office assistant outside of the girls locker room were we were to go to the main office. Once at the schools main office I was instructed to go sit inside the Principals office. Now, at this point I was told nothing. I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was in trouble, because the only time any student went to the Principals office was if you did something wrong. I was scared. I waited maybe 10-15 minutes. The door opened, and in came my Mother dressed in her gas station work uniform with a big warm smile! Best day of my life.
It’s my goal to obtain my sealed juvenile records. I just want them. Sadly my life only got worse & not better after I got back with Mom. Now put that in a movie!
I want to add some more to this post. My Mother did pick me up FOR GOOD from school one day. However in the meantime while I was waiting my Father & his Wife got their abusive licks in anyway they could. Here is what they did. In the wee hours of the night the two of them would deliberately wake me up from a very sound sleep the lights would go on in the bedroom sometime in the middle of the night . At the door’s threshold was my Father & his wife yelling & screaming confusing the shit out of me. I’m pretty sure the wife was behind this. They kept it up for awhile too.
In this way they could do their abuse without touching me. Way to go creeps.