DQ had court today. I transported her because it was such short notice that the group home didn't have time to make arrangements. Lets be clear. I didn't need to be there. The judge didn't order me to come back to court.
I picked her up, and as soon as she got in the car, she started in on me. About what isn't important. DQ will always find a reason to start a fight.
We get to court and sit around for 2 plus hours waiting our turn. Go and sit in front of the judge, and DQ's lawyer says his piece, DQ talks, and the judge asked for my input. She then ordered a continuance. DQ is to come back in 3 months, and if she is doing well in the group home, the charges will be dismissed.
Groovy. Sounds like a good incentive to me. I think DQ heard something different. Like... Here's another chance.... There is no consequence for putting your hands on your mom... You can do what you want because you're an invincible teenager...???
We get in the car to leave. It's hot. I need gas so I stop at 7-11 to get gas and something to drink for both of us. DQ asked, "Can I get something?" I say, "Yes, I'm getting you some water." She starts to fuss about it and I ignore her. Go in, get my coffee, her water and pay for our stuff, come back out, hand her the water and start to pump gas.
She sat in the car and threw an absolute fit over the water. I ignore her. Fully aware of my stomach churning and burning. Tapping my foot, listening her tantrum.
She doesn't let up on the road. So I take the bottle from her and throw it in the back seat. "If you don't want the water, fine. But there is no need to throw a fit over it." She climbs over the seat to retrieve the water, "Well, I'm still going to drink it, but I'm saying I'm angry." This goes on for another few minutes, so I pull out my phone and start recording it. On and on she goes. Until she finally opens the water and drinks it.
We get back to the group home. I share the recording with one of the Sisters and another staff member. They are both shocked. They wonder how I have the patience not to throttle her. They say I shouldn't have gotten her anything. They say to ignore her, and tell me I need to toughen up and stop being so nice. OK. My day was actually fine to that point. Nothing far removed from MY normal.
And then they called the other girls in for an impromptu group. After a few minutes of chatting, things took a serious turn. This little gang-banger looking girl starts to talk directly to DQ. She looks tough. She talks like she'll stab you if you push her. At first she is angry. Telling DQ how lucky she is. And then she gets quiet and begins to weep. She starts choking on her words. Explaining to DQ that she doesn't have a mother, because the woman doesn't want her. In fact, she doesn't have any family at all. How she would give anything to have what DQ has. And then... everyone in the room is crying. Well, not DQ. She was sitting with her arms crossed looking thoroughly annoyed. I cried.
I was that girl. The one without a family. When I was in the group home, I recall saying those same things to other little rotten girls who treated their mothers like DQ treats me. When all the other girls went home for holidays, I stayed in the home. Or... if I was lucky, I got to go home with someone else and their family. Never my own, because I didn't have one. My biological mother never came to family therapy, or visits. She couldn't be bothered.
I cried. All the way home. It's been a long time since I thought about the little girl I used to be. And I thanked God for sending me my foster Mom. I can only imagine where I would be if she hadn't come along and saved me.