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Mom and Dad, Please Stop Fighting

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I was doing my homework when my mother sat down in front of me, plopping a cutting board down on her lap. “Where is all of his money going? I just don’t understand why he doesn’t have enough to pay the bills.” She spat this out to me in her thick Jamaican accent while she […]

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Her Hitting Taught Me Violence, Not Discipline 

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Names have been changed.  Growing up, it was just my mom, my little sister Shania, and me in an apartment in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Watching my sister was my job. While my mom was cooking, at the store, or on the phone, I was supposed to keep Shania quiet and still. My mother often complained about […]

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Pregnant at 13: What I Wish I’d Heard

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Names have been changed. Growing up, most of what I knew about sex I learned from TV or heard about from friends. We didn’t know from experience: None of us had had sex. We called ourselves the virgin crew. My Aunt Gina, who I lived with when I was 12, never talked about sex or […]

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My Foster Parents Showed My Son and Me How to Feel Safe

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I am 19 years old, married with two sons. I am surrounded by love and family. However it was not always like this for me. I am a foster care alumna. I first went into care at 3 and exited for good at 18. When I was in care, I felt I had no one […]

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