Mother at Seven

Veronika Gasparyan

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CHAPTER 1

On The Edge of the Window

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I stood at the edge of the window in my family’s fifth-floor apartment and wondered if I could fly. Just a few hours earlier, after enjoying yet another dream with my beloved and beautiful brown eagle, I made up my mind that today would be the day. Today I would finally be brave. Today I was going to fly away.

 
Most of the time, I considered Sundays to be my favorite day of the week. I would spend them alone watching over my baby brother which I felt was a wonderful way to spend a weekend. I always cherished Sundays the most because unlike the rest of the week, we were left alone and we were able to do the fun things that we weren’t allowed to do on any other day.
Even though this was the fifteenth day in a row and I hadn’t been allowed to go outside, I still felt strangely happy and joyful from the moment I woke up that morning. In fact, I somehow knew that this day was going to be different and unique even though I hadn’t yet figured out what it was that made me feel that way. After all, I was only a little over eight-years-old, and I did not understand everything in this world so easily. Despite my predicament, and despite the distractions of my one-year-old baby brother who was needy and quite a handful, my mind was still so full of hope. I yearned for brighter days.

 
It was now 11 a.m. and my regular morning routine was finished. It usually took about three hours to complete my chores, but on Sundays, they always took longer because I would pause to play with the baby and have fun. It felt better to be doing things around the house at my own speed without the pressure of adults watching over my shoulder. And now even my baby brother was happy, sporting a set of fresh, clean clothes and a rounded belly full of food.

 
I looked down from the window and could see my friends and classmates playing outside as they usually did on the weekend. I, on the other hand, couldn’t go outside. It wasn’t just be-cause my parents had forbidden it, but it was also because I didn’t want to leave my brother alone. So all I could do was watch everyone from my balcony window and enjoy the bright summer sunbeams as they shone through the glass and warmed my face.

 

 

 

Mother At Seven

Veronika Gasparyan

 

CHAPTER 1
On The Edge of the Window

 

I stood at the edge of the window in my family’s fifth-floor apartment and wondered if I could fly. Just a few hours earlier, after enjoying yet another dream with my beloved and beautiful brown eagle, I made up my mind that today would be the day. Today I would finally be brave. Today I was going to fly away.

Most of the time, I considered Sundays to be my favorite day of the week. I would spend them alone watching over my baby brother which I felt was a wonderful way to spend a weekend. I always cherished Sundays the most because unlike the rest of the week, we were left alone and we were able to do the fun things that we weren’t allowed to do on any other day.

Even though this was the fifteenth day in a row and I hadn’t been allowed to go outside, I still felt strangely happy and joyful.
from the moment I woke up that morning. In fact, I somehow knew that this day was going to be different and unique even though I hadn’t yet figured out what it was that made me feel that way. After all, I was only a little over eight-years-old, and I did not understand everything in this world so easily. Despite my predicament, and despite the distractions of my one-year-old baby brother who was needy and quite a handful, my mind was still so full of hope. I yearned for brighter days.

It was now 11 a.m. and my regular morning routine was finished. It usually took about three hours to complete my chores, but on Sundays, they always took longer because I would pause to play with the baby and have fun. It felt better to be doing things around the house at my own speed without the pressure of adults watching over my shoulder. And now even my baby brother was happy, sporting a set of fresh, clean clothes and a rounded belly full of food.

I looked down from the window and could see my friends and classmates playing outside as they usually did on the weekend. I, on the other hand, couldn’t go outside. It wasn’t just be-cause my parents had forbidden it, but it was also because I didn’t want to leave my brother alone. So all I could do was watch everyone from my balcony window and enjoy the bright summer sunbeams as they shone through the glass and warmed my face.

Steps in My Shoes: The Life of a Foster Child

Ron Deming

 

Chapter One – First Five Years

 

I went into the foster care system with my oldest biological sister because we were severely neglected. I did not learn the specifics, but it was bad enough to be covered on the news in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I went to my first foster home when I was between two and three years old. My sister who I went into foster care with is two years younger than I am, so this move did not affect her in the same way. Our first foster home was meant to be a temporary placement for my sister and I until we went back to our biological family or got adopted.

Being removed from my biological family had a negative impact on my behavior. I had built strong bonds with some members of my biological family, so losing them caused me great pain that manifested itself in the form of anger. One member of my biological family I had strong bonds with was my maternal grandfather. He would give me a lot of attention and I would get very upset anytime he left. The manner I expressed my anger about being separated from my family were not acceptable. This resulted in punishment for me; I was made to stand in the corner.

My biological sister and I moved into our first adoptive home about a year after entering the foster care system. Our parents had their rights terminated and this was a closed adoption, so there was no further contact with our biological family after leaving our first foster home. Our first adoptive parents were amazing people who had their own biological daughter who was older than I was. The anger I developed within the last year intensified further and I became violent towards both of my sisters.

My first adoptive parents tried their best to help me control my anger, but it was too intense for them to handle without professional help. My first adoptive parents tried many different strategies to help me improve before they resorted to professional help.

Despair to Deliverance: A True Story of Triumph Over Severe Mental Illness

Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. and Robin Personette

 

CHAPTER ONE – THE MELTDOWN

 

The story begins with a phone call from Robin. She and I had been working together in therapy for almost ten years. She usually didn’t call between sessions, partly because she was very aware of and careful about boundaries, but also because severe anxiety about making phone calls was one of her symptoms. If she ever called it was only to reschedule an appointment, which was a rare occurrence.

“I’m not doing well. Can I see you sometime today or tomorrow?” Robin asked. I was stunned. This was huge. She had never been this blunt about feeling bad, or this direct about asking to see me.

“What’s going on?” I asked, trying to hide my surprise.

“I don’t want to talk about it right now. I’ll explain when I see you,” she said. Her voice sounded flat, like she was depressed, which was typical for her at that time. She did not sound overly distressed.

“I’m booked today, but have an opening tomorrow at noon,” I said. “Is that soon enough? Are you okay?”

“That’ll be fine. I’ll be okay,” she replied with her voice continuing to sound flat. In retrospect I should have canceled my other clients and squeezed her in that day, knowing how significant it was for her to make this request. But, she said she would be okay. I knew her well and trusted her to be honest with me.

At that time Robin was a 36-year-old, single woman who lived alone and worked as a case manager at a mental health agency in a neighboring county. I was a busy psychologist in the prime of my career, working at a large community mental health center with a full caseload of adult therapy clients. When I walked toward the waiting room at noon the day after her unusual phone call, I knew Robin would be there. She was always on time for her appointments. Always.

When I saw her I immediately knew something was very wrong. Robin was sitting with her head in her hands, looking exhausted. After she got into my office and started talking, I immediately noticed her speech was slurred. She looked very anxious with her leg vigorously bouncing, a sign of her significant anxiety I had seen many times before. I asked what had happened that led to her call the previous day.

“I went to work Monday morning and got a voice mail from my boss,” she said. “She had left it on Friday afternoon. She was saying what a good job I do and how valuable a team member I am, and how important my contributions are. It made me start crying and I couldn’t stop.” Robin said she told a co-worker she wasn’t feeling well and then just went home.

Robin had been depressed for the previous year. I knew she had not been sleeping well, and I knew she had been having suicidal thoughts. Her psychiatrist and I had been trying different medication options to get her significant depression under control, without much success. It had been frustrating for all of us, since medication is usually an effective form of treatment for depression, and Robin had always responded well to antidepressant medications in the past.

9th Street Chronicles

William Self

9th-street-chronicles

 

There is, of course, a more apt description—the manmade version. Junction City is also a town that seldom listened or looked into the plaintive faces that were trying to reach for the American dream. Imagine, for a moment, 1962 when it was an Ozzie and Harriet world clinging to the old-school, mom-and- pop values with the devil center stage; who doesn’t go anywhere without God, the Bible, church on Sunday morning— you better watch out, you better not pout—with an Oh Henry! candy bar, a white hanky and a yoyo in his pocket.

It was a time when divorce was so unpopular that if a married couple split up after 40 years of marriage it made the national news; homosexuals were called queers and fairies, and African- Americans were referred to as “Colored” politely and nigger whenever they wanted.

The “N” word had a unique dexterity in African-American lexicon and could be used affectionately, i.e., “my nigga;” pejoratively, “Black shiny nigger;” or politically, “nigga, please.” Women were tethered with aprons and the lack of birth-control pills; the word, ecology, entered our consciousness for the first time, John Glenn orbited the earth..

My Spectacular Bid

Steven L. Werder

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Before my life as a teenager, not much of anything happened.

 

I was, for the most part, good and rarely got into much trouble.

 

But when my teenage years came upon me, I was pulled into another world. A world that existed at night.

 

Whether that was night world was good or bad, right or wrong, it’s for me to know and for you to decide. A night world that existed for me in Callaway County, Missouri. This is my story…

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