When Tamara was very young, life was simple. Her mom’s boyfriend Tom treated her like a princess. She thought she could do nothing wrong. However, although Tom treated Tamara well, he was cruel and abusive to her mother and siblings. He brought drugs and alcohol into their home and dragged Tamara’s mother down with him.
When Tamara’s mom met him, he appeared to be a nice, normal guy. Then all of a sudden he changed. He began drinking profusely and transformed, abusing drugs, alcohol, and his family. Tamara’s mom had grown up in a family full of addiction so when Tom introduced her to drugs, she fell hard. Meanwhile, Tamara, who was not yet in kindergarten, thought he treated her quite well because he gave her everything she asked for. Tamara learned later that he was really neglecting parenting by not providing rules, structure, or appropriate discipline.
Tamara’s mother finally decided to escape Tom’s abuse, taking Tamara and her four siblings away with her. She and her children stayed at a shelter, but when the amount of time she could spend there ended, she had nowhere to live. She decided to give up Tamara and three of her siblings into foster care and went back to living with Tom.
Foster care was a huge reality check for Tamara because she had to adjust to following rules, like meal times and bed times. Where she had felt like she was on a pedestal before, she now felt that pedestal crashing down. Tamara now expresses gratitude to her foster parents for loving her unconditionally and helping her adjust to being in a normal family with structure. As a result of the violence she witnessed when she was younger, she was diagnosed with frozen child syndrome, causing her to do everything robotically.
With your help, we can support All that Kids Can Be:
- Help provide comprehensive family supports that empower parents with access to information, resources and early childhood programs
- Provide counselling to families going through changes and crises
- Ensure social and academic supports are available to help youth reach their education goals.