There is a sort of stigma attached to people that come from broken homes. Those of us raised by the foster care system get labeled. People assume that we are going to fail before we even start something. I've seen it time and time again throughout my life and it irritates the hell out of me.
No one expected me to succeed in life. When I was 14, I was standing in front of a judge because my biological mother had once again abused me and they were finally terminating her parental rights. I hadn't been in trouble, hadn't done anything wrong. We were there solely based on the abuse that my egg donor continuously put me through. I will never forget the words that the magistrate said to me. Word for word, they ring in my ears. He said "If it was legal to order you to be sterilized, I would. I hope you never have children because you will not be able to break this cycle of abuse". BOOM, set up to fail long before I even thought about having children.
Then, no one expected me to finish high school. With all of the moving around that I did, and all of the constant changing, I wasn't expected to succeed. I ended up getting my GED, but later found out from my school counselor that I had in fact had enough credits to graduate with my class. I didn't know this because my egg donor had found me and abused me again, so I missed the last several weeks of school because I didn't want to show my face with all of the bruises on it. I didn't want to be remembered that way. I had assumed (wrongly) that since I missed my final exams, I wouldn't be eligible to graduate. So technically, I have both a GED and a diploma. Not too bad for a girl that no one expected to make it past 10th grade.
The worst of it though was when I did become a single teenage mother. I had used protection, was in a steady relationship, etc. But when I became a mom, it was assumed that I was going to fail. Everyone in my life believed it. I seemed to be the only one that believed in myself.
I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy. In fact, it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. Being solely responsible for the well being of another life isn't an easy undertaking. My son's father was never in his life. I had him terminate his parental rights when my son was born. I wasn't going to tie him down with a child and or child support when I knew full and well going into our relationship that he never wanted children. I have never regretted that decision either.
My son is now 15. He's never been taken away from me, despite my biological mother trying her hardest to have it be so. She is bi-polar and schizophrenic and refuses to take her meds like she should. She's called the cops and social services on me more times than I can count. She's called and made accusations that I was abusing my child, even though her and I have no contact whatsoever. Each time, the allegations were deemed not only unfounded, but preposterous. She was even arrested by the sheriffs office the last time for false allegations against me and falsifying a police report.
I've done the best that I can in my life. I try to be the best mother that I can be to my kids. I am in a healthy, happy marriage. I finished high school, went to college, etc. All in all, I think I'm doing pretty well.
But back to the stigma...
In times like now, when my son was severely bullied and is battling with the depression that comes with it, I am being blamed. It's expected because of the life that I had. I hate that. Even mother's that didn't get pregnant until later in life still have children that struggle with bullying.
I have had people say to me "Well, with YOUR past, it's no wonder he's not adjusting well in school".
People, that hurts. What he is going through now has nothing to do with my past. It has only to do with what those other kids put him through.
I may have come from a broken home, but please stop judging me by my mother's choices. I am not her, I am stronger than her, and I will NEVER treat my children the way that she did.
I am choosing not to fail. I just wish you all would stop labeling me by my past. I didn't do anything wrong then, and I'm not doing anything wrong now.
Labeling people based on things that have happened TO them is cruel. Try judging people based on what THEY have done. On their actions alone, not on the actions of those before them. Because even serial killers can come from a stable home. And not all kids who were raised in good homes turn out right.
Stigma's suck. Please stop it.