Wandy came to my office yesterday for our therapeutic session.
Wandy seems sad.
For the first time, she opens up and talks about her family.
Wandy’s family was Wandy’s mom.
Her mom died when Wandy was eight years old. However, I have to disclose that Wandy was taken away by child services from the age of five.
Wandy’s mom died from AIDS. She prostituted and smoked crack. I asked Wandy if she remembers her mom. Wandy looks in my eyes. Of course, she does.
Wandy remembers her songs in the mornings, and her soft hug to wake her up.
Wandy remembers her mom to bake cakes that resulted in throwing flour to each other.
Wandy remembers her mom taking her to the store and buying her toys, clothes, and candy.
Wandy remembers her mom to brush her hair every night and then kissing her on the forehead.
Wandy remembers the sound of her high heels on the floor, and the heavy smell of her perfume.
Wandy remembers male voices and laughs coming from the living room.
Wandy remembers the sound of her mother’s loud bed during the night.
Wandy lived with multiple foster care parents.
She says that she used to feel that her worth did not exceed the Child Services biweekly check.
I ask for elaboration. Wandy seems annoyed by my question.
Corina! She says, ‘I was the dollar for them, nothing more. Ok, not all of them looked at me that way but most of them did’.
I wonder; What does a child need? What does a human need?
Was Wandy’s mom a good mother?
And you can wisely ask me:
“What are you suggesting…, to leave a child around a mother who prostitutes and smokes crack?”
Are you expecting me to answer “yes”?
This is not the question.
The question stems from the stereotype.
The question is sociological in nature. The question is
“Why the answer fits in the how-it-seems-box?”
And on the top of this box, the label says the hooker who smokes crack.
Meghan, another client of mine, told me once that her foster-mother used to tight her and her twin sister on bed, and wrap their faces with plastic bags. This was a disciplinarian intervention. They were naughty after all, two four years-old children running in the house and making a mess.
One day, during the effective parental practice, her sister turned blue, and stopped running and making a mess in the house. She stopped doing that, forever.
Meghan was afraid that I did not believe her story. She asked me to Google the incidence. I did. The incident was written in all newspapers.
This is the child protection services. The job is to find and pay the most appropriate foster-parents.
Oh yes, my example is extreme.
Don’t worry, I will not jump in this conclusion. I will not jump in this box.
Murder, is extreme indeed. However, I will ask;
Does it sound extreme the lack of a comforting hug?
Does it sound extreme the absence of a cool hand on your forehead when you have a fever?
What about the deaf ears that do not listen to your childish questions and stories that you are dying to share?
These are not extreme. These are the life of the foster-child.
Now, I would like to go back to Wandy and Wandy’s mom, the crack-whore.
Wandy sometimes wakes up at nights and cries. She believes that this happens due to her guilt.
I asked her why she feels guilty.
“I think, I feel …that she was prostituting in order to provide everything to me” she says.
Perhaps, Wandy’ discloses a part of the truth.
Perhaps, Wandy’s mom needed fast money for Wandy and crack.
Perhaps, Wandy’s mom smoked crack in order to stop counting the numerous naked bodies that were passing of her bed.
Perhaps, she smoked crack because she fancied being on crack.
On the other hand, I think that Wandy’s mom was not the woman who one day while sitting in her 5th Avenue apartment, with the Harvard Education hanging on her wall…decided that prostitution and getting high sounds like a cunning plan.
In other words, a crack-hooker was the life available, and she did well. She reached her full potential.