What does independent mean?
Am sure to find out soon
Now that I’ve turned eighteen.
Am somewhat quite excited
Am defo ready to have my voice
A chance to make decisions
But there’s no one to direct my choice?
Am not even really aware you know,
Of any choices I can actually make
What’s gonna happen to me
On this independent road I take
I played my music all night long
I watched the sun come up
I sit and contemplate the day again
Drinking cider from my cup
It’s not what it’s supposed to be
Not what I imagined at all
My independent arrogance wans
Am feeling very, very small
Month by month passes by
Longer spent in drunken bliss
It’s just so god dam lonely
Even the shit staff I miss
More loneliness more alcohol
The next few years are quite a mess
I was a massive drain at A & E
This I must confess
I couldn’t bear the loneliness
Started overdosing on the med
Just enough so they would keep me in
On a ward not my lonely bed.
I found solace in many razors
At one point near lost a leg
“I just don’t know where I’m going no more”
My emotions began to beg
Time and time again I repeated this
My mental health completely shot
Carted off to mental wards
Each time I lost the plot
Back into something familiar
Where people were paid to care
Though this system is debatable!
But there was definitely people there
I yo yo’d back n forth this way,
Hospitals, dry clinics and psychs
I swapped my tipple for new highs
Growing more “resourceful” for my likes
Looking back am somewhat shocked
At the places I have been
Situations…I’d left myself wide open
All that shocked, I have seen
My party pal, my mate Jackie
She gained independence just like me
But her escapes turned to heroin
And she eventually paid the fee.
It’s a funny situation care
We’re a similar kinda lot
I moved around so many times
Long-term friends I haven’t got
I never learned to retain them
I just moved out and made them anew
It’s a pattern that has followed me
Of real friends, I have very few.
Social skills had developed
Within a community so unique
Skills that didn’t fit society
Leaving relationships of mine quite bleak.
Not the healthy happy types
Some erratic, hostile and bad
Most I found we used each other
To obliterate all that sad.
I adopted social expectations
Of the linear line of life
I had two kids, they were MINE
Playing house and am the “wife”
I saw to ensure my chain broke
I would wholly do my best
Motherhood was far from natural
A heavy burden on my chest
They saved me in so many ways
In ways I can’t explain
I found the drive to better myself
They took away the pain.
My two little saviours
With all that innocence, they just give
They lifted my heart and filled it
They gave me tickets to finally live.
I didn’t get an education
In that system I didn’t fare
A very familiar tale for most
Who found themselves in care.
I did get lots of other quals
Life skills that where quite unique
Skills that have saw me survive
In a life that was quite bleak
Resilience and downright resourcefulness
Determined and quite strong
Every so called weak state I lived
Has got me where I belong
Here now, on my new journey
One I have waited for too long
Face the fear and I jumped in
am now where I belong.
I always shouted to the staff
You’re shit and I really do know best
I’ve always said I’ll do their job
Now am putting it to the test.
So Eighteen years later am sitting at a desk
Sitting in a classroom trying my very best
Eighteen years later from the other side I look
Learning the practices, of the roads my life has took.
18 years later,
The systems have not changed
Many young people still leave care
No support and nothing arranged
Struggling unidirectional down pathways
Leading to trouble and negative stats
Losing hope, some opt out
Sitting lonely in their flats.
This cannot be a circle or chain
That continues on and on,
We can change things for future generations
And learn from who’s been and gone.
I as a parent will definitely not
Be choosing between my kids,
Who I will love and support each day
And the other nothing give.
Each of my children are equal
I love them both the same
I will cherish and support them equally
Throughout life’s little game
Each of my children are equal
I want the government shouting out with pride
EVERY CHILD LEAVING CARE MATTERS
No matter where they reside.