Old Memories (from before age 4)
Verbally Expressed by TLP (The Child) - Typed by TLP's Mom
July 2009 (Age 16)
My birth-mom hardly fed me. She was gone for 2-3 days and I didn’t have food. I would sometimes wander around for days in the dark, waiting for my birth-mom to get home. I don’t know why she didn’t take me somewhere when she left. I don’t know why she left me at home alone. I missed her when she left. I missed eating when she was gone. When she left, she would say, “I’ll be right back, TLP.” But she didn’t come back. Sometimes she was gone for a long time.
I was okay with being alone. Sometimes I was scared, like at night. It was dark and I couldn’t see. But I was okay with being alone as long as I could find food to eat. Food was my life! I was hungry and that’s all I thought about was food. I would look for food on the floor. I wouldn’t have lived today if I wouldn’t have done that. I would crawl around looking for cereal and crumbs of crackers. And then when I ate most of it, I was still hungry. But there wasn’t no food left on the floor. I did that every day when I was alone. Sometimes I found little pieces of corn and peas on the floor. Sometimes I took food out of the garbage. It was nasty but it was still food to me.
Sometimes my birth-mom would come home with food and eat it in front of me. And I was starving! And she was coming in the house with a bag of food and ate it in front of me. It was like she didn’t even know I was there. Then she would pass out.
When she did give me something to eat, I ate it like a pig. I ate it FAST! And I would throw some food on the floor when I was eating, so it would be there for tomorrow because I knew she was going to leave me again and I was going to be hungry. The kids at school always called me stupid, and I wasn’t stupid because I was smart enough to spill food on the floor when I was a baby, so I could have something to eat. I would make messes on purpose so I could live.
Sometimes she would leave me in the crib. Sometimes I would fall and hit my head, but I used to get out by myself. When a kid is starving, you got to figure out a way to get out to get something to eat so you don’t starve. I couldn’t find a lot of food to eat though. But sometimes when my birth-home would come home and bring me food, it was like gold because I wasn’t used to her giving me good food to eat all that much.
When I got bigger, I could grab more things to eat. I could climb on things and reach things. I could get water out of the sink too. I could get a cup out of the sink and I could turn on the water. Even if it was a dirty cup, at least it was water and I wasn’t thirsty anymore.
Ice-cream was one of my favorites. I would climb up on a chair and get it, and eat it right out of the carton. I would also eat frozen waffles or Popsicles.
It was weird having people (in my new home) get my food. It was like going to an expensive restaurant, having a mom put food on the table everyday. I wasn’t used to it, and I wanted to grab what I wanted. My mom would say, “Yucky or Dirty” if I grabbed food off the floor. But I was used to doing it and it wasn’t yucky to me. Food was food! I always wanted to get food myself. I just felt safer getting it myself.
It bothers me to eat certain foods still. Anything soft like mashed potatoes or eggs, it tickles the roof of my mouth and my teeth. I like to eat them because they taste good, but they make my mouth feel ticklish. It’s kind of like having a grasshopper running around inside of your mouth and it really tickles.