From: T.A. James
Sent: 2008-01-29 23:12:09
Subject: Message from T.A. James
IN RESPONSE TO: A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS
Do you really want to know what happens to children in state custody once they turn 18? This article addresses the problems associated with transitioning youth out of Child Services and into adulthood.
Miss Desiree and Baby Niya
I have battled for years with shame over my lost years (you know, the ones that keep me awake at night and on my toes when I meet someone new; search the internet; or find myself trapped in a place— a memory that I can never truly escape. The words never fade, the wounds never heal, but I have hope that my experience and my voice will bring services (not just comfort and compassion) but compel people to ACT!
Somewhere between the child I never was and the person I am today… I developed skills. Not just fuzzy words and warm sentiments— but I actually learned how to get what I needed. But sadly, for me, it was too late. I have the basics— for the most part— I can get anybody from here to there, so why then can’t I do it for myself?
Thanks for the encouragement-- I was so afraid that I might compromise my professionalism or my ability to be taken seriously if people knew the truth about my past-- but your words and others who have seen what I am working on give me so much strength that I can channel into my work, and the children I encounter each day.
I was reluctant at first to publish that piece because I was afraid that people may see it as transparent and know that I am really telling my own story-- but the response has been so heartwarming that it almost makes up for the silent years where all I had were my journals, my truth, and myself.
Thank you again so very much-- I cried early this morning over the past, but I thank you for giving me the strength to go forward with the rest of my day as the person I knew in my heart I could become. I am revising something I wrote a few years ago that I think you might enjoy-- my story. No holding back-- and maybe one of these days, I'll have the confidence and the courage to post it online, but for now, I think you may also enjoy you may enjoy "Good Fences."
While I was struggling with PTSD long after I left “home” he always made me feel as though I was more than what the custody papers said— and helped me to find a way to use my past, my pain, and my childhood/adolescent experience to navigate a course that seemed most unlikely and impossible alone.
I took that book title, “There Are No Children Here” and ran with it. Today you will see a sign posted outside my front door that reads, "There Are No Victims Here!"
Have a fabulous day and do not forget to remind someone in your life how they have made your day just a little bit brighter.
With sincere appreciation and gratitude,