When Nobody’s Home…Physical and sexual abuse in the home

Perfect example of why I wrote “When Nobody’s Home…” I received a phone call from a distraught 30 year old black female who was arrested for “transporting” narcotics across state lines. She is currently bouncing from pillar to post with a 10 year old son, whose baby daddy is serving time is a state prison.  She called into the office because she stated she had a warrant out for her arrest.  As I looked into the computer, records showed that she has not reported to the office for over a year and since she was arrested in Texas I could not give her an answer.  Be that as it may, I decided to ask her how she got into her predicament.  I needed her to know how her family dynamics impacted her decision making process and how she ended up with a criminal record and a grand of probation.  She stated that her family life was chaotic and unsafe which is why she dropped out of the ninth grade and hit the streets.  She admitted the streets were safer than her home because of the physical and sexual abuse in the home.  She mentioned that her dad was never around and her mother had men coming in and out of the house. She became more frightened as she hit puberty because she saw how her mother’s boyfriends looked at her.  As she talked she began to cry because I was exposing the truth of her life and impact those experiences had on her.  She said she developed specific survival skills to deal the uncertainty of her life.  When I discussed stability, acceptance, hope, love, validation and security of home and family she stated that she has never experienced any of those needs.  One of her responsibilities of her probation is to enroll into a residential treatment program.  She said she did not want to enroll into a drug treatment program because she doesn’t not use drugs.  I said, I understand, however, “do you have a place to live or food to eat?”  She said, “no.”  “Have you ever had any stability in your life?”  She said, “no.”  “So, wouldn’t it be a good idea to live in a treatment facility to the experience what stability looks like or what a routine is? She said, “I never thought of it like that.”  I said this would be a great place to start.  However, there is a price you will pay for this experience, you will need to tell your son the truth of about why you are leaving him and how you are going to maintain communication with him while you are in the program.  Inform him that you want him to break the “prison cycle” of young black men.  Inform him that life does not revolve around the prison system and that he can be different.  Tell him your personal journey so he understands where you have been and the price you have paid for your choices.  I mentioned to her that she can do something different than what was has was expected. I shared with her that her being comfortable with her family members going to prison is no different than my family members going to college.  It is all we know.  She stated that for the first time in her life she actually felt relief about her situation and a plan for herself.  As we ended the conversation she mentioned how grateful she was for the guidance, faith, and information. She said no one has ever talked to me like you did.  I said, I just wanted you to know  your journey is usually what happens “When Nobody’s Home…”



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