Archive for February, 2012

just a wad of gum

Today i took the bus home from work.  I am really tired and my feelings are low, but it was also freezing cold.  As i was waiting for the bus, i put my hand on a poll that i was going to lean up against.  I quickly pulled my hand away, because the poll was covered with chewed gum.  I started to get grossed out, but as i looked at that poll of chewed gum, i became mesmorized by it…because it described me and my life perfectly.

The poll was covered with tons of gum.  I didnt count how many pieces, but it was alot.  Different colors, different types, different shapes, different wads all sticking to the poll.

Chewed-up and spit out.  Maybe even chewed by more than one person -“ABC gum”- and passed around from one slobbery mouth to another.   But mostly… chewed until not wanted anymore… then disposed of or stuck somewhere.  Stuck to a pole.  Sometimes i was stuck on people who didnt want me and sometimes i was stuck in places i didnt want to be.  Mostly i was just stuck.


The gum poll was chaotic.  The gum was not organized, placed in any order, or planned.  My life was chaotic.  There was no plan.  Although my “permanency” plan was adoption, there was NO PLAN for when that failed.  Sometimes workers had no idea where they would place me.  No plan.  Some times i sat in the chairs in my worker’s office ….or the room with a big table, coloring with crayons on books or paper, or supposedly reading a book, or eating the McDonald’s my worker bought to “soothe” me… while my worker played phone tag with foster parents or group homes, trying depaspartely to locate a “place” to stick me.    I was a kid, but I knew there was no place for me at times.  We hear you, workers… don’t forget that.  There was no plan.  No order.  Fucking chaos.


It did not look like anyone cared where or how they stuck their gum on the poll…. most people probably did not give it much thought.  Chewed up, old gum isn’t something to care about, nor is it something to care about how you get rid of it.  Same can be said about kids aging-out of foster care.   No-one cares what happens to them and no-one cares about where they wind up.   I never even thought my worker cared that i was aging-out onto the streets.  I don’t think she gave a flying fuck that i was about to be an 18-year old girl on the streets.  Look at the figure below, even kids coming from low-income families are doing better at AGE 24 than aged-out foster kids.  No-one gives a crap what happens to us, if you did the statistics wouldn’t be so horrendous.

Like the poll of gum, which was a made up of a combination of different pieces, flavors, and colors, i too am made up of a combination of differences.  Each family i stayed with and each home i lived in had different traditions, different lifestyles, different beliefs, different … everything.

It was confusing trying to fit in coming from a different home and family. I always felt like i was doing something “wrong” when i did something according to my last foster family, when the new foster family had different expectations.  Differences.  Some of these differences stuck together to make up my  life.  Some fell off, some disintegrated, and some will be stuck forever … For example, the hippie foster parents taught me to dance… and the rippons taught me i had to give “something” to get something….  Both of these experiences from different families make up who i am.  Both the good and the bad …


Wads of gum can be blown to form bubbles.  Sometimes my head was filled with dreams of family and “home” — but those always POPPED, just as a wad of gum does.  The bigger the bubble, the weaker it becomes… the bigger i got, the weaker my chance of getting adopted into a family.

It sucks to realize that your life is just like a wad of gum…

chewed up

spit out


stuck somewhere

uncared about


hardened over time

a nuisance


February 13, 2012 at 2:02 am 23 comments

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