May 16, 2011

Continuance from 4/13/2011

by Melissa E. Colbert (author's profile)

Transcription

5/9/2011
Continuance from 4/13/2011

I couldn't remember coming up, and not having scars all over me, I knew something was wrong in mother's care, and my pattern as a runaway started. I would just start walking, no matter the weather, I would sleep in parks and on benches from New Jersey to New York. I was running from my mother, but then, guilt would overcome me and thoughts of my little brothers always made me return to the house of horror. My school teacher saw blood coming through my dress and for the first time I revealed everything. I remember being taken to a children shelter. In that room I woke up full of toys and abused children like me. I was given a social worker, Constance Love, who worked with the abused children i the New Jersey. I liked her and made progress. She found me a loving family in Orange New Jersey. I had been abused and threw so much trauma, that my health was affected: I would fall out anywhere from seizures (?)... My foster mother was patient and I was very happy and very loved, my foster father was equally patient. I went to church every Sunday and one Sunday my young self stood up to be baptised, all the preachers kept saying was come, Jesus needed me to know he loved me. I just stood up, I was eight years old, the whole church stood up and clapped as I walked to the preacher. These people had to love me. I would wake the whole house up, from screaming and crying. As the months passes, everyone in the neighbourhood began to love me. They bought clothes, sweets, everything for me. We stayed at 88 Crawford St. in Orange, New Jersey. John Amos, the father in the Sitcom "Good Times", mom stayed right across the street from us. I made a lot of friends, Lynette was my favourite, we established a female group and gave talent shows, we charged 25ยข and a lot of people always came. I had a Tudor who came Monday to Friday. And I graduated at age 15 because of my high scores. My life was normal for the first time. I was outside in all the children activities, I would go visiting my mother and brothers, but she was the same plus I was always scared of her. My father was serving a life sentence for killing his girlfriend in Georgia, we lived in New Jersey. Well, one day, I was told my mother was given custody of me, so I wanted back in her care, well, my father was released from prison. And one summer I was sent to the South. My father was my idol, all my other siblings knew their fathers, this was my first time ever seeing my father. His presence was strong, my grandmother ironed his boxers, sheets etc. etc. HE was a neat and very clean man, who was a religious womaniser. My father to these days has been rumoured to have up to 16 children. That house as neat and pretty as it was, wall to wall emotionless, everyone was always serious. I had no other children around, I was depressed. One evening everyone was getting dressed, they were going to attend a religious convention. After they left, my babysitter ordered me a pizza and left with her boyfriend, I was alone. My uncle came home and told me not to cry, later he told me to come in the bathroom, he molested me. When babysitter returned, he was gone, but I was so upset she called the police. He served ten years for that. My father and his family wouldn't send my clothes or anything I possesses, it always seemed as the years passes, I caused them shame, I was a child, I didn't ask him to molest children. Out of that summer, my only good memory is from my brother Wade Clyde Sr. (?) He took me to the movies. Him and his girlfriend, who is now his wife, and a very compassionate woman. My brother Wade loves God and today my brother and his wife Wade & Debbie Clyde of Albany, Ga. (?) are all that I have and helped me without question. When I was returned home, something I was feeling was growing within me. Too much had happened too soon, too young in my life. I tried to commit suicide, but woke up sick. I was crying out for help. The abuse was the same I ran away and went to foster family home. I was beaten up again and they took me back in. My social worker was called once again and some weeks later she came to pick me up and we ate lunch and she said she had a surprise for me. She stressed my foster family was willing to adopt me, but she had spoken with my biological grandmother. She told her my mother had mental problems and she wanted me. I couldn't stop crying because someone in my real family wanted me. I chose my grandmother, my plane ticket, and everything was purchased. My foster family kept my bike etc. I didn't care, because someone loved me. As my flight ended in Albany, Georgia, I saw my grandmother and uncle waiting for me. I knew my uncle, he used to visit sometimes, he also had spent many years up worth. He owned a pool room and was a pimp, he had a lot of women selling their body for him. He was locked up and raped once, he has died of Aids as of today. But, that day, I fell in love with my grandmother. She told me I was pretty, no one had ever told me that, it was the first time I ever expresses to anyone how Melissa felt: I finally had family. My grandmother was an alcoholic and wrote illegal gambling numbers, she had a bootleg house, she sold liquor & beer but she was perfect to my eyes. We were so close that a few of her children were jealous of our unity. She told me one day the insurance man, a white guy, thought I was pretty and to go in the back-room with him, and he gave me money and wanted us to meet again. I saw when I gave my grandmother money she praised me, and all her attention and love touched my low self-esteem. Everybody paid their own way, age didn't matter. There were shoplifters, dope sellers, robbers etc. etc. In the family everybody was making illegal money: my grandmother and southern family were all hustlers. I was new in the rural southern town of Albany Ga. I was growing up fast and using my body. One night at a club a guy named Mr Soul gave me his phone number. He told me I was special, I called him, he came to my grandmother's house and explained to her if I travelled with him all the money I could make. I was 15 with a shape and I could dance. He gave my grandmother some money and we left. I started stripping from Albany to Atlanta. I started making a lot of money and I had met a lot of gay men. I upgraded, I became very stylish, I love fashion, and soon the night life was all I knew and the people in it. I was the only black girl so I spent crazy money in plains to Georgia, home of Jimmy Carter, the gentleman club was a all white setting, but they loved me. Some guys paid just to touch me, because they had never touched a black women before. I had thousand dollar boots and shoes, fur coats, I had started drinking with my grandmother, now I was smoking cigarettes and weed. It would numb me and let the personality I needed to be, take over. I gave my grandmother rolls of money I had made, I was always buying or giving her something. My popularity grew, we started doing dances for judges, lawyers, police officers: you name it, we received money from them. Money became my God, after all, look what it will make my grandmother happy. In that life you meet plenty of pimps, I didn't need one of those, my grandmother was already pimping me. I met all kind of street people, the down low, the dope sellers, prostitutes: you name it, there was always some man who knew a better plan for my life but sex was a factor. Once you become too slave for something, you become a slave to it... That's how my life started in the streets, never having a love to call my own. So I needed that emotional fix, no matter the consequences, no matter the sacrifice. I could have been killed many times, all I wanted was my family, not strange people. For once, there was some place I belonged and, besides, my grandmother was proud of me, I made her money
(to be continued)

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