Last night I got a call from a student in need. I get these calls all the time. It’s a part of my daily routine, yah know? Every day there is a teenager I work with that needs more help than I can give them. But last nights call was different. This student I was close to, I had taken him under my wing, helped him get a job and get back into school. Talked him out of droping out to sell drugs here in Indianapolis but couldn’t talk his Dad out of pulling him out to make him sell drugs with him. This kid is a genious, straight up. He could change the world if a teacher gave him half the chance, but since no one ever told him that before he struggled in believing it was true.
I’m not going to use his name on here just for his privacy but we can refer to him as “J”. I could tell by the sound in his voice and his speech that he was high as all hell. I thought there was more there, so I started with the obvious, weed. I know he smokes it daily, but this time was different. He was acting a little bit different. It was almost as though he wasn’t even there, and yet he was talking to me about some of the most random stuff. I tried to keep him focused and find out where he was. When he told me his Dad had flown him to Texas to live with his drug addict sister, I knew he was in trouble. He told me he had been working at Wendy’s and then started talking about the colors dancing across the television screen. As calmly as I could I asked him what other drugs he had been using. He refused to tell me, and I could hear his sister in the background yelling at him for even admitting to doing other drugs.
J is a kid that I trust. Even with his past, he is a kid that has confided in me a great deal, and the least I can give to him is my trust, as blind as it may be. No one else will listen to him, and CPS wouldn’t listen to me when I reported the abuse at his Dad’s house before he was sent to Texas. So I feel I am at a dead end. And I feel like this because only a few minutes after we got off the phone he texted me and told me his sister and her boyfriend had made him do heroin. I’m not sure they made him do it, but it would be feasable. Do I think he might have voluntarily done heroin? Not really. We had talked about the use of drugs before and heroin was one that I made him promise me he would never do. I have seen its effects, I know recovering addicts, I have dealt with its abusers. J is smarter than that, I mean damn it!
I’m not going to attempt to hide my emotion in this because I know I crying on the inside. I was up all night trying to find resources in Texas to contact, trying to find his probation officer here in Indiana and his former probation officer in Illinois. This is a kid that I can’t give up on, that I refuse to give up on. This kid could live in my living room if I could afford it. I am so sick of losing child after child to the use of drugs. I am sick of losing child after child to violence and abuse and neglect. I am sick of the fact that you can report the most heinous crime in this country and have nothing come of it. I wish I knew what to do for J. I wish I could afford to fly him back here and get him the help that he needs. I wish that his Dad wasn’t as messed up as he is and that his sister wasn’t putting him in the situation that he’s in. I am scared shitless that J is going to turn eighteen and get arrested and never see the outside of a prison fence.
I want to save every kid while I work on saving myself and I know that I can’t and every day that I wake up I am reminded of that. I work this job because I know what it takes to beat the things these kids are facing. I beat them. I was there. I was in high school and I was them. Damn the fact that I am only one person who can’t do anything for these kids but listen. And sometimes listening is enough, but not this time. Not for this kid. Why is it like this? Why do we allow for things like this to happen? Their dreams are so beautiful and yet their reality is so ugly.