Threat Inside The Home

Photo from: mindandi / Freepik

“I was feeling a little anxious and worried, scared,” said Heather, 13, while sitting inside the courtroom. Her wide-shaped expressive eyes were looking down at the floor at first, turning her eyesight to everybody in the courtroom – she must be observing. The incident happened that night when her father threatened her life. As a teen, this should not be the kind of thing Heather must be experiencing.

“I was feeling really shy and it was hard enough for me to make friends on a normal day. “

She feels discomfort during her stay in the courtroom. “When I was waiting to be called up, first I was thinking, like I said, how I was really uncomfortable there. As a really awkward 13-year old, I was feeling really shy, and it was hard enough for me to make friends on a normal day. That lonely day, I was feeling really anxious and overwhelmed, and there are all these kids running around doing whatever. I felt like that was my first time there, and all these kids have been through this before,” she said.

“I was mainly thinking about what would it be like to see my parents, what would it be like to sit in the courtroom, what would it look like…”

Heather, still feeling all the awkwardness continued, “They seemed to know where to go to do stuff like the computers, they knew how work is done. I was mainly thinking about what would it be like to see my parents, what would it be like to sit in the courtroom, what would it look like. I really know it tweaks back, so I have a lot of thoughts around that.”

A few days ago, she was removed from the custody of her parents after her father threatened her life. One of her teachers took her in so she won’t end up in a foster care. It was Friday, the County sent a van to pick her up and take her to Los Angeles County’s Edelman Courthouse in Monterey Park where thousands of children are processed every year to enter foster care.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be a fun time.”

As a young lady, it worries Heather that she has to undergo this kind of situation. It was traumatic and very confusing for her. Expressive as her eyes were, she continued, “the night before I’ve gotten taken away it was obviously really a bad night – my dad was trying to kill me and my mom, so I didn’t know what to expect as far as seeing him would go. I guess, I knew I’d be safe because there would be so many people around but the thought of seeing him really… I was really scared and my mom. I knew it wasn’t going to be a fun time.”

Heather, despite all the trials, remained grateful. It made her feel safer being around with people whom she knew she can still trust after the said night.

She is now recovering from the incident. However, the memory might still be there, but she is fighting her hardest to remain strong and live through life. She is bound to be taken into the custody of Los Angeles County, to face not the end but a new beginning.

__________________________________________________________

Hostalero, A. L. (2015).
A narrative report for J4SC101 – Journalism for Social Change, the University of California Berkeley via edX. 


Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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