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Sibling Rivalry: Part IV
January 13, 2004

So, one would naturally come to the conclusion that we, as intelligent human beings, would realize the fault in having psycho little boys share a house with my mother and I. And we did, we really did. The third child to become my temporary sibling was Tracy.

Tracy was different. She was 2 years older than me, and seemed to be a lot more stable than the previous incarnations of Beelzebub. At 14, she seemed glamorous to me.

Tracy started Placer High School while in our care. She made friends, albeit slowly, and really became a part of our family. Like most teenagers, she had her share of issues: she would get depressed sometimes and wouldn’t eat for days. On the other hand, she would be extremely happy at other times, and eat a ton of food. As Tracy gained more and more weight, we got her counseling for the issues she seemed to hold inside of her.

When the psychiatrist pronounced that she was bi-polar, it seemed we had made a breakthrough. Tracy was put on some meds that made her feel fine and dandy again, and things quickly returned to normal.

On the way home from the bus stop one day, I ran into the little dirty carnie kids that lived across the street from me. They asked me why there had been an ambulance at our house that day. Thinking they were just screwing with me (as most kids did back in the day), I passed on the chance to even speak to them, and headed up the long gravel road to our house. My mom’s truck was outside, and everything seemed just fine. When I entered the house and called out my mom’s name, there wasn’t an immediate reply. I was used to Tracy being home before me, so I ran upstairs to see if she was in her room. Indeed, when I opened the door to her room, it was empty and clean.

I went back downstairs and eventually found my mother, sitting in a chair by her bed and sobbing. I always felt uncomfortable when adults were crying, so I didn’t say anything for a while. Eventually, I worked up the nerve to ask her what was wrong, and she told me what had happened.

Tracy had come home early from school that day, unbeknownst to mom. She had then taken the key to the medicine cabinet (which she had not given back to mom the night before), opened the lock, and downed as many pills as she could find in there. Tracy then went up to her room and lay on the far bed in her room, as if to take a nap. My mom showed up at home, and, surprised that Tracy was home, went to wake her up. When Tracy didn’t respond to my mom tickling her feet, mom started to get worried. She walked to the far side of the bed and noticed that there was vomit on the floor. She immediately called for an ambulance.

Tracy was taken to the closest hospital and had her stomach pumped. Indeed, she did live to see another day. While in the hospital, she tried to slit her wrists. With only a butter knife to work with, she could barely make them bleed. She was sent to a lockup. Her temper turned violent, and she was put in solitary many times. Eventually, when she seemed to make some progress, they released her into the children’s home. The children’s home eventually deemed she was doing well enough to come back into our care.

Tracy had started smoking when in the detention center. My mom was a smoker at the time, too, and though Tracy was a mere 15 (almost 16), she allowed her to smoke outside. Tracy went back to her old High School, and ended up causing a lot more trouble there. Where before had been a nice girl now stood a pissed teenager bent on making lives hell. She was caught stealing at school, and destroying property. She tried to set the girls’ restroom afire. After getting suspended the second time, the social workers pulled her out of our house, and placed her in a specialist community where she would live with and go to school with others her own age.

We did visit Tracy quite often at the home. All of the kids there were just like her: fucked in the head, and with practically no supervision, ran amok. Most of them smoked. More than a few were gang members, or at least were previously. No one was allowed off grounds except to go on a sponsored trip. They built buildings, planted gardens, and attended classes. We went to her “High School Graduation” commencement. As soon as she turned 18, she was released into the world without a clue, nor a direction. We really didn’t hear from her much after that. Eventually, the news came to us through many sources that Tracy had been raped repeatedly by members of a local college basketball team. No charges were ever brought up. She attempted suicide again, unsuccessfully.

Unfortunately, there is no real conclusion for Tracy. I cannot remember her last name, so even trying to find out where she is or what she is doing is not an option. Glenn and Jason both ended up in NACA (National Association of Child Advocates) home, most likely never to be released.



i guess your mum had really BIG principles. do you feel you have learned anything positive about these experiences? (not cynical question, seriously curious)

Posted by: j-a at January 14, 2004 8:46 PM

one would think i did. i was v. well-behaved as a child, really... it wasn't until i got up to the crazy teenage years that i started throwing fits and the like. i think it made me understand that there are children in the world that were much much worse off than i, really. later, when we got all poor, i don't remember complaining at all. hmmm... thanks for the thought-provoking question, j-a. ^_^

Posted by: devlyn at January 15, 2004 8:33 AM