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This is 4-year-old Kayla

When I mentioned before that I had experienced my first incident with abuse at such a young age, I had no idea that I would endure it for the next 6 years.

Don’t get me wrong I know I was only 4, but even at that age, I figured there was a way out. I thought it was maybe a onetime thing, or that we would just end up going to a new home. I wish my tiny, ignorant mind had been right.

A very SAD situation, indeed...

Instead my brother and I went through 6 horrific years dealing with the abuse caused by this couple.

For years there was a pattern of abuse that we were subject to day in and day out. In the mornings we were fine because “Tina” was never awake then. “Ed” was never really abusive towards us unless she told him to do something specific. He never argued or fought her on it, just did as he was told.

When we came home from school, that’s when we always knew what was coming.


There didn’t need to be a reason it was mostly just because she felt like it.

“Tina” would use anything she could think of as an excuse to beat us. When we came in the door from school the first thing, we always had to do was clean the house. Vacuum, dust, sweep, mop, dishes, etc. She would then go behind us and find something that we missed and use that as reason to start her tirade. She would pull our ears as she screamed in our faces.

She would get the leather belt out of the closet and take turns using it on us. She would throw cleaning supplies at us or hit us with the stick from the broom. The list goes on and on.

Every day for years this is what we dealt with.

“Tina’s” biggest pet peeve though was about food. Her issue with it was either my brother ate to fast or I ate to slow. I have no idea how someone gets to dictate the speed at which you should eat your food, but she definitely felt like it was part of her “job” as a mother. If Josh ate too fast, she would yell and hit him and make him sit at the table longer. But I was a whole other case.

I remember this one night so vividly after all these years, it still makes me sick just thinking about it.

I was 8 years old and sitting down to dinner with everyone. It was my favorite meal: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn. I was in my own little world minding my own business when she started yelling at me. I looked up and noticed that everyone else was pretty much done and my plate was still rather full. “Tina” was irate. She got up and took my plate from me and my first thought was, "great another night without dinner.” God how I wish that would have been it.

Fried Chicken like Kayla was savoring...

Instead, “Tina” took all the food off of my plate and put it in the blender. My eyes grew wide as I remembered her threatening me with this many nights before. She was going to make me drink it. Before I could fully understand what was happening a large cup was in my face. Full of all of my favorite foods, but not so delicious anymore. The site of it alone makes me gag.


She kept yelling this at me and saying something like, “I told you if you didn’t start eating faster you were going to be drinking your food. This is how you will be served from now on.”

I was crying, trying to drink the sludge that had once been my dinner but finding it harder and harder to do through my tears and this woman screaming at me. “Ed” and Josh just sat quietly and watched as I took this torture by myself.

I don’t know how long I sat there forcing myself to take in some kind of food so I wouldn’t be hungry later. I don’t know how many times I kept telling myself not to throw up, because it will only make things worse. I do know that eventually it ended.

I was terrified for what would become of my next meal.

Even though we were young, we did try to tell others that something was going on. We tried to tell the social worker when she came by. At this point in time, investigating an abuse report consisted of the social worker coming to the house and sitting the parents in question and the kids down together and asking questions.

“Your children have reported that you are beating them, is this true?”

This was just one of the questions. How does this benefit anyone?! They swore up and down that they didn’t. and that we were lying.

Because there was no physical proof at that moment, the case worker left. We were left on our own to deal with the fallout of our decision to report them.

Those were the worst beatings, the ones you got after someone left and they had to lie to avoid being caught because of something you said or did.

We tried to tell family members but no one wanted to accept it or do anything about it. It didn’t seem to matter how often we mentioned it, or how much they witnessed. No one ever wanted to stick up for us. We were left to suffer in our own little hell where people who were supposed to love and take care of us did nothing to protect us.

Can you imagine the feeling of helplessness a small child would feel when a family member witnesses the abuse you suffer from? They just give you this look of pity and walk away.

Nothing gets said, nothing gets done, nothing changes.

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Impressing Minds is about creating value in the mind of a child through the foster parents. Imagine the mind of a child being made of play-doh, and you are about to make a permanent impression. What type of impression will you make? I will encourage you to make a soft, lasting, affirmative impression in their mind by giving tools to get started fostering, accomplishing a great foster care home, and serving the children in your care. I offer support to you and others fostering. An important element of Impressing Minds is the support that others have given to those in need.


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