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Rebecca Rochon

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My Name Is Rebecca

 

Hello, my name is Rebecca but, my friends call me Becky and, I am a 31 year

old who has been of the streets for a number of years and this is my story.

  I was born in Toronto and raised by my mom and dad until I was 13 and my

home was a very religous house. There are reasons why I ran to the

streets, it was not just to do the things I wanted to do. At the age of 4 to

the age of 8 I was sexually abused by a friend of my families who use to

babysit my brother and me. I told my mom, she dealt with it the best way she

knew how but, it only made it worse because she made me confront my abuser

after I asked her to keep this between us and doing this made me lose trust

in her. They never took me to see anyone or never dealt with the pain that

goes along with the abuse. At the age 13 I ran away from home and the

reason was that I desided that the religion that they believed in was not for

me. If you live in my family one of the rules was you go to church with us

and if I wanted to stay home then I could move out. The whole church shunned me

and I lost all the friends I had because they were told not to talk to me.

When I hit the streets I was very scared for the first little while. I had no

idea on how I was going to live so I called CAS (Children’s Aid Society), I

asked for help. The day I called them someone there paid for a cab to get me

to their office. I explained what had happened with my mom and dad and

because I didn't want to go home and my parents didn't want me home they

decided to put me into a foster home. The foster home was not much different

then being at home and almost very similar rules were there. You had to go to

there church, be part of the choir plus on top of that they had 4 little

children, one foster girl plus me. Much of the time that they wanted to go

out and me being the oldest I got told to babysit all of them. They never

thought about trying to get me someone to talk to about the abuse. They knew

what had happened and I had no idea how do deal with the pain, they would

talk to me, then call my parents to talk but they lied to them and me look

like a bad kid, because they did this I lost trust in them too. Therefore I

started running away from the foster home and decided that I would be better

on my own so I went back to the streets of downtown Toronto. I ended up making

friends with some of the older street kids and the street adults. They thought

me how to pan so I could eat and get things I needed. We, 3 kids and myself

found a place on Young Street that had lots of bails of hey so we decided to

make huts to live in so we all lived in these huts. One day I met a young

woman, named Shannon she asked me some questions about my life and I told her

what I could. We went to a phone and she called a woman called Angel. Angel

came down and took a few kids out for a coffee or pop which ever and we

started to talk then we took her over to where the hey huts was and invited

her inside to see the home we had made. When she was going to go home she

asked if there was anything she could help with and we said "we need

flashlights or candles so we had some light. She promised to help in these

way and gave us her number then was told we could call her for any reason or

at any time day or night.

  One day Angel came down with the things that we had asked her for but when

she went to where the hey huts were, they were gone so she started looking

for us. She found us at the Evergreen and took us all for hot chocolate or

coffee. We started to become friends and she would tell us about many things

as we shared stories of our lives, I started to open up with what I could

remember about mine. One day I got arrested and didn't know who to call, I was

very scared. When the police made me empty my pockets, one thing that came out

of my pockets was Angel's phone number so I asked them to call her. They let

her talk to me and she settled me down. The police talked to her and she sent

a friend named "Red" to pick me up. We took the bus to Angel's house. We were

talking and we got into a conversation about me living on the streets. I

asked Angel if I could live with her at the house because I had a hard time

living on the streets and I knew CAS was looking for me. I ended up living in

one of the rooms in her apartment and I also kept running from there back to

the streets. The reason, was not because of any abuse but the fact that after

having hurt, pain and abuse in my life this is all I knew. It seem to matter

how well I was doing the minute I started to do well I had them head games

with me and again I would run. All the love that I received from Angel scared

me to death. I kept running back to the streets. I still saw Angel every night

and all of us knew if there was a problem Angel would help us out. Every night

Angel would walk from Young and Queen all the way up past the Evergreen and

pick who ever she found and take us to the coffee shop and buy us all a hot

chocolate or coffee. At the end she would give us a hug goodbye and tell us to

"be careful and she loved us". As I got older I would live with Angel for

awhile but every time I would start school, start dealing with the abuse in my

life all the pain, my mom or dad would call lie to me. They are my parents

and I want so bad to see them because I loved them no matter what happened

and the only way I learned to forgive them was by watching Angel loving us no

matter what we did or how much we mess up. At first my mom and dad won't talk

to me but, after 4 years of Angel talking to them they started to come around

so that I could call and say at the least "hello".

  Living on the streets you do some really messed up things and there is allot

of fighting, drugs and stealing. I got into the drugs to stop the pain that I

got from all the abuse, the pain came out mostly at night. One day I started

dating a dealer and when we broke-up I stole a Gram of weed from him. It

caught up with me when I was 22 years old. He and his friends knew I was

living with Angel and they knew that if they called with a problem Angel

would come to help in whatever way she could. One night Angel was at home.

Somebody called and asked for me, saying there was a problem and need help,

so instead of me going down Angel did. This is when Angel got stabbed, pepper

sprayed, and hit with a metal rod. They were after me but they would take

whatever they could get I guess. After Angel got out of the hospital we

talked at home and decided the best thing to do was for me to get out of

Toronto, so Angel gave me some money and told me to go somewhere safe anywhere

out of Toronto. I went down to the bus station and caught a bus to Ottawa.

When I got off the bus I called Angel collect to make sure she knew I was

safe I was going to tell her where I was but she told me not to tell her

because if she knew and somebody asked she would have to tell them because

Angle won't lie. In Ottawa I called as much as I could and I stayed in a

shelter until I found an apartment and got on welfare. When I had my own

place because I had not dealt with the abuse still I turned to drugs to deal

with the pain. I started doing CRACK, including STRIPPING in a bar to support

my habit. I year later I meet I guy and he helped me get clean and I have

been of the streets since.

I now live in Toronto and have a 9 year old little girl that because I lived

with CAS and they know everything about my past have given my daughter to my

parents who are raising her. I get her on weekends and can see her anytime I

want. I am now living at Angels and am dealing with my abuse issues and

learning how to handle Savanah properly including talking care of a home,

something I never learned from anyone.

WRITTEN BY REBECCA ROCHON 

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