April 15, 2019

Forced to grow up

by Douglas Blaine Matthews (author's profile)



Dear Reader,

Hey. I hope you are doing well!

My last day at wilderness camp wasn't a surprise to me. All the kids who graduated had their families there with them... except me. I was sitting with my case worker. I was still in my camp clothing and everyone else was in nice street clothes. I was hoping I'd see my mom walk in but kinda knew she wasn't going to. Anytime it was time for her to show up for me she seemed to never be around her phone... even nowadays it still happens. Well, on many occasions when my attorneys have called...

So I was driven to my mom's home by my case worker. We lived in a pretty nice mobile home neighborhood. For about 2 months things were going OK. But then my sister started on me. I need to have a job and contribute to the bills or find another place to live. I was "15". In the 10th grade - high school. She was the boss around the house. She still had her foot on my mom's neck. Figuratively speaking. So my relationships in my home life began to spiral so I started staying away as much as possible. My oldest younger bro had my back when it was raining. My mom kicked me out a few times and told them not to let me in... I'd sleep under my brother's bed or in his closet on those nights. I didn't know anybody well enough to crash at their place. But one day, the parents of a friend of mine, we'll call her Ginger :D, found out about my home life. They took me in. I didn't LIVE there, but anytime I needed them, they were there for me. They came to be my family. I was learning what it was to be in a real, functional family environment. I'd go to work sometimes w/the father and learned things like putting in ceiling tile, insulation, mechanic work... and at their home the mother taught carpentry work, sheds, decks, floor tile/linoleum... they were my family. They gave a damn about me... and I felt it. They loved me + I loved them. Still do.

Anyways, the homes neighborhood manager didn't like me. I started getting all the kids to commit crimes in the neighborhood... :/ If you let her tell it. The truth is she was a known racist. She had a problem with all the black kids. Her own family put her out as a racist so... that's why she targeted me. Black, with a troubled home life. Easy target. I jokingly told her one day that I wasn't full black. That I was black + white... so she shouldn't hate me THAT much. My friends laughed and she brandished her automatic pistol... We ran while we laughed... Kids... :/

A couple weeks more and my mom told me I had to go. That the manager had given her an ultimatum. She and my whole family goes or just I go. She told my mom that "16" people complained to her that they'd caught ME breaking into their cars. My mom didn't ask for any evidence of this. If she had she would have figured out that she was lying. But out on the streets I went for good. 16 years old. 16 years old wouldn't be a bad, real bad, age to get out on my own except that I had been in and out of group homes since I was 12 and had no foundation anywhere. No teaching on how to survive on my own. So I figured it out on my own... and made a WHOLE lot of mistakes! By the way, the accusations that I'd been accused of breaking into cars was investigated several years ago, not 1 complaint was found of me doing that. I never did. But my mother didn't believe in fighting for me. For the next year and a half I was arrested several times for trespassing into that neighborhood. One time the manager told the cops I had a gun... they almost shot me because of that. But that was a good sheriff's department. And when they caught me after putting them on a several hour foot chase, it was just that. No roughing me up. They never treated me like that. So I've no complaints about them. I was known by them as Rabbit. They'd chased me maybe 15 times and only caught me that once. Every other time I was in a car or bed. Ha!

Well, this is when I was forced to grow up. And all I knew was what I'd seen on TV. Selling drugs + robbing. So that's what I learned to do. I'll get into that in my next blog.

During this time I lived bouncing from my friend's families home (which became my family) and a friend's home known as "The Boneyard!" THAT was the place to be! Ha! And he's always been my homie so don't expect for me to divulge too much into what went on there back in the day! Ha! Ha! But there's plenty in my life to tell. Starting with my robbery charge when I was 17.

Until next time...

Yours truly,



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