The Homeless Teenager Experience
By: Frances M Nelson
Who could ever imagine a young fourteen to fifteen year old ninth grade freshman girl in high school would have been sleeping on subway trains in New York City. Surviving on two bags of crunchy cheese doodles, along with a chocolate twenty five cent swiss roll ,and just barely able to take baths? Well that was life for me in the late nineties. I grew up in a middle class well off family. Although my mother was always at work we had everything we needed and somewhat wanted. I made straight A’s all through elementary and junior high school. My mom and her friends would reward me with dinners and trips to Nordstrom. I wanted a different kind of recognition but I was very shy and afraid of being embarrassed. So I didn’t speak up for myself often. As I entered my teen ages. My mother got a new boyfriend. This man was very controlling and forceful. Now don’t get it twisted my mother has had other boyfriends, but this guy was different than the rest. He sort of reminded me of a bully in one of those school movies. When he came around my mother’s normal rules became stricter and unreasonable. After being on punishment for almost two years (aside of going to school or church) I decided to run away. I bagged up a couple of outfits and a few pair of panties and hit the city. Clueless to what I was getting myself into. Sleeping over my friend Niasha’s house only lasted three days before her mom got suspicious to why my mother hadn’t called to check on me yet. So she sent me home. Of course I didn’t go home afraid my mother would beat me for staying out those three days, and punish me indefinitely. Word on the block was my mother told all of my friends’ mothers and all of my family members if they let me in their homes she would have them “arrested for harboring a minor”. Absolutely no one would let me spend a night. They feared my mom was serious being she was a law enforcement agent. Sometimes I would wander the...
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