ISSUE 134 APRIL 2010 BACK

VOICES

Being resilient

George Dean

I entered Community Services at the age of 6 after my dad broke my leg. He threw me on the floor and still to this day, I wonder why. We donít talk anymore. There have been numerous times I have tried to reconcile with him but to no end, every time was a failure.

I was shuffled in between foster homes and group homes for years, struggling to find out who I was. Not fitting in anywhere. Bullied all the time, beat up and bruised. My mind was like a never ending maze and every way I thought was the way out, led me to a concrete wall. I felt like I could never get through.

When I started my teen years, I started living in group homes. Homes for me, and other kids who were also in the system. These homes had group home staff who was supposed to be there for the kids and help them along the way. Some staff did their job, while others sat in the background and did nothing. I quit school in grade 10 after getting into a fight, while I lived in a crack house that community services paid for.

I saw a lot of dangerous things in that place, and at one point even embraced some of it. I started doing drugs and my life started falling from there. I couldnít hold a job and the friends I had made me happy for all the wrong reasons. Some people just donít understand how life is for kids who are shuffled around all the time. Kids who donít have a place to call home, kids who donít have people they can honestly call mom and dad. But I do. I was one of those kids and I still am. I always will be.

Being in the system made me who I am today. It made me strong and opinionated. I have a big mouth to speak my mind and tell people how it is. I have seen a lot of crime and poverty in my 28 years of being alive. Everything that I have seen, heard about, or even done myself, I have learned from. I have taught myself many life lessons that no one has helped me with. I feel the kids' pain. I know what runs through their minds: the pain, anger, sadness, suicide. I know this because it all ran through mine at one point. A lot of people I used to know from when I was growing up are now dead, in jail or on welfare. My whole life has been a complete struggle, and to this day Iím still struggling.

My mind snapped at one point and I think I had just had enough of the life I was leading. I went and wrote my GED. Took a Policing and Corrections course in college and spent the last few years trying to find out who I am. I have learned that some people spend their whole lives not knowing who they are. I am determined to know. If I only live once then I deserve to be happy and deserve to know exactly who I am.

Iím currently a student enrolled at Eastern College taking a Child and Youth services course. I believe that I was put on this earth for the last 28 years to feel pain and anger, and learn lifeís lessons. Now, it is my turn to give back. I have to work with troubled youth who are in the same positions I used to be in a long time ago. Itís not something I want to do; itís something I need to do and have to do. I have to teach kids to be strong and be resilient. I have to teach kids that they are better than they think they are. I have to teach kids about self esteem and values.

I have always said that a person's strength is measured by how many times they can get up and fight back, when life repeatedly kicks them while they are down. I am a prime example of this. I am resilience. I am the future, and choose to be the future of my youth.  

THE INTERNATIONAL CHILD AND YOUTH CARE NETWORK (CYC-Net)
Registered Non-Profit and Public Benefit Organisation in the Republic of South Africa (031-323-NPO, PBO 930015296)

P.O. Box 23199, Claremont 7735, Cape Town, South Africa  /  207 L'ile de Belair, Rosemere, Quebec, J7A 1A8, Canada

Writing for CYC-Online  /  Board of Governors  /  Constitution  /  Funding  /  Site content and usage  /  Privacy Policy   /   Advertising  /  Contact us


iOS App Android App