New Bridge: Michael's Story

MichaelBorn in Fresno, California but raised all around the US because of indecisive and controlling parents, my life was unbalanced early. At one point in my life I did not see both parents in the same year for a couple of years in a row consistently and they would send me to my grandmother’s house in which I would not see either. Soon my parents would have nothing to do with each other and eventually my father would tell everyone he knew that I was not his child. He was very controlling and wanted perfection in everything it seemed like, but when I could not give him perfection, he was angry. He was strict and had me do dictionary words A-Z along with homework from middle school and babysit along with practice every day for some sport.

With all this going on, we did not stay in consistent household either. We consistently would be moved around from friend’s apts., to other family member’s houses, to motel’s, and even in the car a couple of times. Times seemed hard and when my father started doing well for his self things got easier. He still would be strict on a lot of things, but we eventually started getting everything we needed.

As we finally got settled, and again this is the time during middle school, my father met his baby’s mother and this when I really started to get treated badly. I understand he had to treat me as equal as his daughter and his girlfriends’ two daughters, but he did not and I got the bad way out. I stayed on the opposite side of the house from all of them for starters near the attic, and secondly every time his girlfriend came to him with some drama about what we did, without him talking to me and finding out what was going on, he would take her side and I would be punished.

Eventually I started to rebel a lot, which just resulted in being punished more and more. Soon he took it upon his self to send me to my mother; who I have not talked to for like 5 years prior to this, for punishment since he knew she did not have much and he felt I had it all living with him. He saw me as spoiled when I used to always watch my little sister and I had to work for everything I got with him, and thought sending me to my mother where I have nothing would change me.

One Friday after coming home from school in 8th grade, he told me that I will be going to Arizona to stay with my mom because of the reasons I stated above. He told me my flight was on Sunday morning, and Saturday he tried to butter me up by taking me to do the things I liked doing. He finally bought me a cell phone, and like four to five out fits from Nike factory along with four pairs of shoes. Sunday was the last time I saw him as I came to AZ to meet my mother the first time in 5 years.

She was happy to see me and we did ok as I finished high school until she was hurt on the job and we could not afford our apt. My father’s cell phone he got me immediately lost service in AZ and I did not have his number, but he also did not contact me either. Over this year we moved around at least 5 times in AZ as I was a freshman in high school. During my sophomore year I started to see less and less of my siblings and my mother as I stayed with my grandmother to be closer to school, and I found out she got pregnant with my baby brother.

During the beginning of my junior year, on my birthday, I was already having a bad day because she did not tell me happy birthday before I left the house like she forgot or something, no one did. I got off the bus to find out the locks have been changed with no phone because my mother could not pay our phone bill, and no note or anything. There also was no sign of my family anywhere, and to top it all off, the lady in the office would not even let me in to get anything, not even clothes for the night. I was alone and had nothing but instead of letting it get me down, and knowing I still needed to go to school, I called a friend and his parents picked me up. I was on my own living with friends and on my own for months trying to stay in school. Eventually got a job when I started to stay with one my friends, and finally got a phone in which I started to try and find out where everybody in my family was.

I got a hold of a couple of people in which I heard my baby brother was with my little sister at my grandmother’s house and that my mother left all of us as she went to Las Vegas. Also came to find out my father left my siblings out in Memphis to go to Atlanta. As I was trying to get things straight, come to find out my friend stole money from me. Because I did not have a bank account and could not get any without my parents because I did not have an ID, he stole all the money I had saved when I was at his house and did not tell me. It was well over 800 dollars, and I had to get my phone cut off because I could not pay the bill. I also had to pay my older sister for the phone because it was under her name.

This problem also stopped me from going to college early because I did not have the stuff I needed to pay off. Eventually, I found my uncle and I started to stay with him while I worked to pay off stuff. While I was with him, I could not get a hold of my father still, and CPS was called on my little sister and baby brother.
When Child Protection Services or CPS started dealing with my siblings, I had to get involved also. They wanted to put me into a foster home and I would not let them because I told him I have friends and my uncle. My Uncle finally became my dependent, and then we started to receive a few small checks. Later, when I almost finished paying off my sister for the phone, we needed to pay rent or we would be kicked out. I let my uncle use my check that I was going to pay off my sister with to help with rent since he had a job and he said he would give me the money back when he got paid. He never came back home that day, and we got kicked out again.

I moved in with my friend as I turned 18 and started into a new program with CPS for 18 to 21. I had to take classes until the budget cuts, but it was still hard living with friends. Eventually I received the notice that it was time to leave my friends house by his mom, and she gave me and my two cousins a week to get out. I got us a place with the income I had from MCC and CPS since none of us was working and I was going to school. Within a week I got us moved in and this is where we currently stay now.

My Math teacher named Sue Glascoe, and her husband helped me in school and is one of the reasons why I made it during this past semester. They continue to help now by helping with things around the house, and purchasing groceries for us when we have no other way since we cannot find a job. Without them I would be lost and I am very grateful and I am sure they are qualified to help others that are in need in the same situations I am now.

Now with their help, I attend MCC and I am pursuing my degree in Psychology so I could help other children in need. If I could go through these problems and stay strong and strive, anyone can and with help from great people it is easier.
I’m Michael, and I am trying to become a success story and this is my life.

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