Growing Up in Ghettos. [Stories from My Childhood]

in #life3 years ago (edited)

Though I have talked about my childhood here I don't think I ever did a good job of talking about growing up in ghettos.

Sadly, I have no photos of me as a child to share as it would requite talking to my mother and even then very few photos exist, maybe three.

When I say ghettos I am talking parts of Los Angeles where you can't wear colors outside or you'll get shot and area of Baltimore where you can't walk to the store without being offered drugs or having someone try to pick you up as a prostitute if you are unfortunate enough to be a female in the neighborhood, even when you are only twelve. I have seen some people talk about bad neighborhoods that to me look like Beverly Hills.

My time in Los Angeles.

I moved around a lot when I lived in California. I live there from birth until I was about twelve. Maybe eleven. Dates and specifics are fuzzy due to trauma. I lived in Santa Monica, Culver City, and Los Angeles. I was in a homeless shelter for awhile and actually went to a really nice school for a month. It was heart-breaking to leave and go to a ghetto. We had gotten section 8 and ended up in a complex in a serious ghetto.

I made up a game to play with the other neighborhood kids when we walked to the store called "drive-by" where we would drop on the lawn when cars drove past and the last person to land lost a limb, there was a judge. After you lost I think it was 2 limbs you had a 3rd fatal shot and had to remain in the grass until we were on our way back from the store. This is not a game that a kid would come up with if they didn't have experience with such things. There were constant gunshots. We were evacuated on an almost monthly basis due to a couple up stairs that would fight and shoot their shot gun.

I got bullied at school a lot. I had friends in my complex but at school people did not like me. I was not only the only white kid but I also wore rags. My clothes were often dirty and always falling apart. I was socially awkward at best. I was already experiencing extreme sexual abuse at home and this reflected in my personality. I had a lot of issues on top of being the smelly, poor, white kid and due to this I had no friends at school. I got constantly ridiculed and picked on. I cried on my way home every day. Leaving a place where I was abused to go to a place I would be even more abused.

Things got much worse in Highlandtown, Maryland.

Me on the far right at age 14 with two of my cousins. The only people I talk to from my family. The clothes were borrowed you will see my goth attire at this age further down.

Little did I know when we moved to Highlandtown, MD things would get much, much worse. Not only would my dad start abusing me sexually and getting other men to abuse me but the schools were even worse. I was in highschool now and highschool here was much worse than the middle school in Los Angeles. I didn't just get picked on and ridiculed here I got violently assaulted. I was used to being the only white kid as it had been this way for years but at this school even the teachers would join in on the abuse. They would mock me with the students. The teachers didn't physically assault me but they did bully me verbally and never helped me.

It didn't take long for me to start trying to avoid school. A group of kids was relentlessly trying to beat me up. I had befriended the only white kid in my school because I don't know I hoped for some safety in numbers? This girl ended up being part of a teen gang or something which I joined. I say this because after a few months of hanging out with them I saw a girl get jumped with a metal baseball bat. When I stopped hanging out with them they started coming to my house every day with adult men with them and broke down my door, threw bricks through my window. They called my phone 24/7 telling me mom things like I was pregnant and had STDs. I had to take alleys and backways home every day to avoid them.

Instead of going to school I either hung out in the park hiding in a kid jungle gym hoping they didn't find me as they ditched too or I crawled back into my basement window here my room was to read all day. I had put up a sheet divider closing off a small part of my room because the washer and dryer were down there and my mom would go in there throughout the day. My heart would stop every time she came down as I tried to stop my moving and breathing so she wouldn't find me. Eventually, I took a sharpened letter opener to school and decided the next person to assault me would get stabbed. I must have looked insane because this was the only day nobody assaulted me. I came home and dropped the letter opener on the table, broke down crying, and told me mom if she didn't take me out of school I would end up killing someone and go to juvenile hall. She took me out.

Pretty soon after this the people coming to my home and terrorizing us got so bad that my mom moved us to Florida because she worried I would die. Along with the phone calls, bricks, and broken door they had started opening the mail slot looking for me and screaming taunts. I couldn't be in my own living room. My entire life was lived in fear. Fear of being raped by family members, fear of being beat up by strangers, I was just afraid at all times.

Once, we moved to FL things would slowly get better but it took many years and a final assault for me to actually break away from my abusive family. My father had died right after I moved to FL but I was still connected to my mom and brother.

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Love the story , very inspiring . I also grew up in the getto streets of New York City but man it's a change against the rest of the world

Thank you. I hope you are living somewhere nice now. :)

The battles you have faced , I promise you the wounds will heal and they will give you a better and stronger future , just hang on and don't ever give up

I don't know that they will all heal to be honest but I will work toward a better future. Thank you.

Laura!!! That's a lot of hard experiences sister...god, I can't imagine. Makes me realize how damned lucky I am, we weren't rich, but my parents really loved me a lot, and we lived in relatively peaceful places. That sounds terrifying. I hate bullies so makes me so angry now as an adult.

Your badges are gorgeous!!! I love them! Would you be interested in doing an itchy kitten image for me?

So, my friend Lily just made her first post on Steemit, and I want her to meet all of my favorite people here, would you go say hi?? She's pretty awesome, and I love her lots.

Thank you for sharing part of your story with us. I'm glad you made it through all of that to be here =)

yeah screw money I would have loved love. haha I left out a lot obviously of the details but it was pretty hellish and I was left pretty mentally messed up. Only just starting to try to get proper help.

Thanks so much for the meaningful comment it means a lot. <3

I was offering to do little cartoon people for steemians for a few SBD but do you mean like a badge?

I will go say hi. :) Thanks.

I don't know, I was thinking something small-ish and cute, but scruffy, that I could use in my posts as a signature. I'd love to pay you for it =) ooooh, so I'm actually a tiger's true. a midnight fire tiger kitten!!! Or if you have any ideas / inspirations!

THANKYOU for saying hi!!!! I super appreciate it, Lily feels very welcomed!

So you mean like...a cartoon kitty? Just trying to make sure I have the right idea. XD a tiger cat? What about you with a tiger cat kigurumi/hood with ears? Or I can just do cat. XD I am open to whatever. I was about to bust out my cintiq to do a steemit related comic if you get back to me soon enough I might be able to work on it tonight. Don't worry about paying me until you see it though. Happy to help spread my art skillz around Steemit. :D

And no problem she really seems awesome. Glad you are bringing your friends on here. I am having luck getting my friends over too. ^_^ So many of them are loving it. @ryleh and @stitchybitch are INTO it. :)

ooo00hh I will go say hi! I'm not sure!!! I feel open to whatever you're most excited about...cartoon kitty could be great, tiger cat in kigurumi would be awesome...I dunno! See what comes out I guess? I like cute and surly :P

but also just cute lol!! i have no idea

wow...just wow. Thanks for the eye opening read. I hope you find comfort in this time in your life. I am sure your experiences can help many others who have been or are in a similar situation.

Very well written, I know its not easy to delve into the past like this. Thank you for your courage and exploration in the name of opening a window for us to peer threw, it is deeply meaningful.

Incredible story. Growing up in the middle of Kansas, I can't say that I can relate at all, but I can definitely empathize and feel some of the pain, isolation, and insecurity that you must have endured.

Thank you. :) <3

I'm so sorry you went through those things in your childhood. I went back and read your introduction..Your a strong woman. You got my respect and upvote whenever I see your stories come across my feed.

Thank you so much. <3 It helps to express it and it can potentially reach others who went through similar things.

Incredible story, I've not enough word knowledge for expressing those I feel..

Thank you and it is okay. I assume you speak other languages? Props to you for that and for still coming here and sharing your feelings as well as you can. :)

I speak mostly Italian. In any case, you've been through horrible things, You've borne all this and and now you're here, and you have the courage to tell everything to us. You have all my respect and my esteem.

Great Post!
I grew up in Miami Gardens ,Florida with a lot of similar experiences living in the ghetto and I'm not talking Miami Beach either. Most people think it's all beaches but there are serious ghettos. Thanks for sharing & steem on :)

I believe you! haha I lived in Florida for years and there are a lot of ghettos in places you wouldn't expect them.

Hey @lauralemons, I'm sorry you had to go through all of this as a kid, I'm sure things have been so hard for you but I'm happy you were able to find the better life.

I'm pretty sure it was hard for you to write all of this because you just remember every single hard moment you had to live.. but I'm also sure that you should start feeling better after letting all of this off your chest.

I hope the good life works well for you and you never return back to the ghettos... wishing you all the best

I haven't really found the better life yet. Very physically disabled and isolated. Recently had a serious bout with depression that left me in a hospital on life support. But I am working toward trying to have a better life.

Thank you for the kind words. <3

You will get over it.. just believe in yourself. You're a strong woman and you've beaten all of this shit now so just focus on the better life and you will get there :)

What a touching story @lauralemons I am sorry you had to go through all of that.

Thank you. :)

Great to post story....good luck for you.

Thanks for the story

You are welcome.

If it matters, I would never hurt you.

Thanks. :) Just keep not hurting people. :)

very impressive story. Are you okay now?


You're really really strong

Thank you. <3 It doesn't feel like it at times but when I look back at all I survived even after this it is clear I must be somewhat strong.

I never knew Maryland was so hardcore? I grew up in shitty places but man, yours takes the cake, girl. I am sorry about your past life - if you need to talk, let me know.

But really, well, I live in Oregon, I always thought of Maryland like another Oregon on the other side of the country. Haha. The most hardcore I got as a kid, we made a "Button Gang"! We all carried a cool button... Yeah. I was lame.

Very brave of you for sharing this. It's hard, ya know...I could tell you some of my own stories...Look don't ever let this world change your heart. Only weak people do that. You are a piece of the creator...A piece in the bigger picture of this all, and you are special and deserv happiness...more so than most because you are experiencing life at a very past fast..light speed, it would seem. Feel free to hit me up.

I'm sorry you had to grow up like that.

Thanks. :) Hopefully I can help people some day by writing a book about it.

Books about abusive childhoods helped me growing up to not feel isolated and to know I wasn't alone so I hope to offer the same.

Yes, that's it you can write a book and help people that went through what you have gone through. You are a wounded healer. Wounded and still want to help others in this kind of distress.

I'm glad that you were able to pull through all the pain, suffering and anguish to be here and present yourself on steem with your amazing artwork and tremendous personality.
Don't ever back down, keep fighting!

Thanks for sharing! Love your writing style. Greetings from the other side of the Atlantic ;)

I did not even need a reminder from you today to come back to find this and read it! It was on my mind most of the nite I was offline and out in the hammock. it was the first thing I came to read online today. I had another tough nite sleeping as usual.

Well, you know I can relate to some of your suffering but what does a friend say to all this?

I would say most people cannot really relate to this, but as an activist who has read policy and watched numbers for years, the numbers are actually rising on the masses of people who can relate to one, 2 or 3 angles of this story insofar as poverty and maybe some of the other things you have been through.

For what it is worth Laura, I am sorry.

I like the way you are trying to fight it and figure things out and make a better life.

Clearly a lot of people here care about you. If I was able to, I would come and we would pizza together all day!!

Aw thanks Barry. <3 What a thoughtful response. Sadly, I know many people can relate and hope to write a book one day to help those people feel less alone. I know that during the experiences and abuse I felt SO alone.

Maybe one day we can eat all the pizza together. :)

The past is gone. Look to the future. I send you blessings of peace and love. We can make it. I hope you heal, but scars linger. Scars however teach us personal values to last a lifetime.

It's not gone for people with PTSD and I like sharing to reach people with similar experiences. It is important to share. Thank you.

You can share with us Laura!!!! Better out then in =)

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