My Parents Who “Neglected Me”

Former Foster Youth Shares His Story in Foster Care | Blog

My parents had many many problems. My father was an abusive alcoholic and abused hard drugs. My mother abused drugs and committed credit card fraud over and over again. To the outside world they were not very good people, and that is putting it nicely. But to me they were both awesome parents. I think children are very observant, they know when mom and dad are doing things wrong, but I think they block those out and tend to focus on the good, at least that is what I did. 

Instead of focusing on all that was wrong with my mom and dad, I saw my dad as a highly skilled carpenter who loved PB&J sandwiches and wrestling. On the weekends he would take me with him to construction jobs and let me help him to earn some money.

My favorite memories of my dad are riding around Charleston in our AstroStar minivan and jamming to old southern rock music, his favorite bands were ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and AC/DC. I can vividly remember singing Back in Black at the top of my lungs as we drove to Hanahan to do a job. When the WCW or WWE would come to town, we would go to wrestling together. I would always dress up as Dink the clown. One time he took me down to the front row and Donk brought me over the barrier and walked me around the ring, it was the highlight of my young life!

 To this day, whenever I think about him the southern rock music and wrestling are the first things that pop into my head, not the drugs and domestic violence.

My mother was known for smoking weed and stealing credit cards. Growing up, she always had a small brown wooden box that would sit on the coffee table that we knew not to touch, because it had mom’s grown up stuff in it. When she would steal credit cards, I knew it was wrong, but I don’t think it ever really registered in my mind. I did register that every time she stole a card, we would end up with a house full of groceries and a shopping spree for toys. I remember one time she bought me a Super Nintendo and I was upset because they were sold out of Super Mario World so I had to get the one that came with Donkey Kong. Another time she bought me Deluxe TalkBoy, the portable grey recorder that Macaulay Culkin had in the Home Alone movies. Looking back now I think she bought us things to try and make up for all the problems we had in our family.

She cried with me when my dad died, she always made sure Candice and I had food and clothes. Like everyone in this world, my mom and dad had plenty of problems and things they needed to work on, but they were my parents and I loved them.

My father has since passed away and my mother has moved across the country and remarried.

While she and I do not talk much anymore, I am thankful for all she did for me growing up and doing everything she could to make us happy and hope she is happy in her new marriage.

Daniel was in the foster care system in South Carolina from ages 11 to 19 years old, where he lived in nine foster homes and two group homes. After aging out of foster care, Daniel received his bachelors and masters degrees and now works at a nearby university. Prior to this, Daniel worked for social services helping children in foster care. Daniel is now passionate about sharing his experiences with others, to inspire more families to foster children. Follow his posts to learn what it is like being a child in foster care!

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