The teenager could pinpoint the day her life changed for the better at school. She did not know why? But, she did not say anything because then she didn't want to jinx it. If it was a dream she did not want to wake up.
The teenager began to like her English teacher, she stopped being cranky and stopped sending her to the Big Black Dog corner of the room. She even helped her with her writing, she was actually nice. But for some reason all her teachers changed, they were giving her extra attention. The really best surprise was going to the art room to draw and paint during lunch time. To her it must be what heaven felt like.
Then out of the blue, the principal made an announcement that breakfast would be served in the canteen every morning and it was available for all students.. The teenager blinked to make sure that she heard it right, she was always hungry in the classroom but not anymore.
It was the talking to the psychologist that made the big difference. Her name was Mrs L, a really nice lady who let her play with sand and little toys. She really liked talking about what she had created, it was very easy. Mrs L was a good listener. Mrs L told her that 'everyone had the right to be safe and feel safe and nothing was too bad that you could not talk about it.'
The teenager thought about this for a week or so because she knew that if she talked about her stepfather he would whip her and her mother. Would the system take her away from her home? She had to stay to look after her younger brothers and sisters and her mother. He was molesting her 11 year-old sister but no way was he was going to touch the 3 younger children. The teenager made sure, they slept in her room. The stepfather had not touched her for a year, he believed the teenager when she threatened to punch his lights out if he came near her again.
Mrs L was only patient and kind, she understood. It was when she told the teenager about special laws that were in place to look after children that the teenager knew she had to talk. She trusted Mrs L so she told her the whole horrible story; she was scared of her stepfather and it was at that moment every dreadful thing he had done to her came tumbling out. She told Mrs L about the stepfather molesting her 11 year old sister. Mrs L listened and wrote, she asked the teenager if it was okay if the principal joined them. Would she be prepared to tell the principal? The teenager was.
The principal rang the Department of Child Safety and they came with a policeman to the school office. They talked to her, the teenager liked them too. After the meeting, the Child Safety Officers and the policeman told her that her stepfather had been arrested and her mother was being brought to the school in a police car.
A Child Safety Officer was appointed as a case officer to work with the teenager, the mother and the family for a period of time. Counselling was carried out, money came in with a pension during the time the mother had to stay at home to look after the younger ones. A court case was going ahead and the teenager was more than happy to testify agains the stepfather. The police prosecutor said that he was going to jail for a very long time.
A big positive for the teenager was the fog clearing in her brain, she found that she could learn and was not as dumb as she thought. She continued to have sessions with the Mrs L and sometimes her mother joined them. The teenager was learning to make friends, she was now smiling.
Cheers and Blessings
(Love comes with a gift of flowers.)