Alex's Story - AMP | Achieving Maximum Potential
 

Alex's Story

My life in foster care

I was first placed into foster care before my first birthday after my father broke my brother’s leg during a drug induced night terror. Along with my brothers, I stayed in foster for the next five years. My first memory was in foster care. It’s vague but I remember constantly driving back and forth between my parent’s home and my foster parent’s homes, occasionally confused as to where I lived. When I turned five, my parents managed to get things together so we were able to go back home.

Everything was great when I first went home, but overtime my father turned back to drugs and my mom became violent. I guess some people just weren’t meant to be parents. I lived with my parents for the next six years. During this time I was abused physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually. I watched my brothers both turn to drugs and crime. My oldest brother and I were always the ones who suffered from my mom’s violent attacks, but left my youngest brother alone- I’m grateful for that. He wasn’t made like the older brother and I. He wouldn’t have been able to handle it. One day, however, my mother turned her anger on my younger brother. I couldn’t stand to watch so I stood up to her because I knew what would happen to Johnny if I didn’t. When I stood up to my mother she attacked me worse than before. That night I was placed under arrest because she called the cops saying I was being physically violent towards her, which was not true. When the police arrested me, I was beaten bloody and taken to a youth shelter. About two months after the abuse, authorities started asking questions and discovered the truth.

I was again placed into foster care. Over the years I spent in foster care I was placed in lots of different foster homes, many bad and a few good. I was angry and fed up with what I was forced to go through. I hated everyone. I’d start fights with anyone for any reason and used drugs to numb my feelings. It wasn’t good. Everything I did, I did out of spite and anger. I was very depressed and didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t think anyone could help me. I tried to kill myself and when I didn’t succeed the doctors said I was lucky. I looked at like it was just another failure. Over time I realized that I needed help. Unfortunately, I was so untrusting of everyone around me I didn’t know how to go about doing things the right way. So I acted out by breaking things that belonged to my foster parent at the time. The only foster parent I feel ever truly cared about me, but I still didn’t trust her. I got placed in treatment after my outburst, where I finally got the help I needed.

I was clean and less angry than I ever had been. I finished high school and the treatment program within one week of each other, I was getting ready to go to college and play football too. I felt amazing, untouchable. But my college dreams came crashing down when I had an issue with an old shoulder injury that I didn’t let heal itself properly. I turned back to drugs and made a plan to kill myself on my 18th birthday. Not long before my 18th birthday, I attended AMP Camp (Achieving Maximum Potential). While I was there I became part of the AMP family and they saved my life. After camp, I moved so I could be closer to my new AMP family, and signed up for the Iowa Aftercare Network. Even with support from my new family, I still wasn’t able to cope with my depression and turned back to drugs. Drugs cost me my apartment, job, and almost ruined everything that I held close again.

Today:

Finally, I decided enough was enough. After a while of being homeless I called my Aftercare worker. She helped me find all the resources I needed to get back on my feet. With her help and the help of some very close supports I’ve managed to become sober. I’m working on getting into Workforce Training Academy through DMACC and am living at the Buchanan Transitional Living Center. It may not be the perfect situation, but it’s a place for me to start. By keeping in contact with my Aftercare worker and my support system, I feel like I’m on track to achieving something for my future.

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