Who is my hero you may ask? My hero is my father. Despite the fact that we argue all the time and he’s almost consistently in a horrible mood and yelling all over the place, he is still my hero. My father’s name is David Gillotte. He takes care of me and has helped me with my fears and has always supported my many talents (even the expensive ones [sometimes] ) and I know he loves me. He just has a highly strange way of showing it sometimes.
Sometimes when I was younger we would sing in the truck (we’ve never had a car) and sometimes we would dance in the living room. Sometimes my father would tuck me in and read me a bedtime story. Sometimes we would take a bike ride or go to the park or even fly a kite. Though we’ve done many things together that were once beautiful and wonderful my father also worked 3 jobs at times. He had to work all of the time to support the two of us. Sometimes I wouldn’t even see him for a full 5 days because when he would get home he would be sleeping and I would be at school. He forced me to be independent most of the time and sometimes I would get in trouble without him ever knowing it. There were plenty of monsters in the world and all I had to protect me was myself, a teddy bear and a cat at night time.
Despite the fact that sometimes we wouldn’t speak for a week at a time (this was not too rare during summer time) I still went to school and was exquisitely close to my father. We would hold hands at the store and cuddle during movies on the couch. Some people (cough cough Child Protective Services) didn’t think this morally correct. Many people thought that my father sexually abused me because our father daughter bond was so strong. My mother (I love her dearly too, don’t get me wrong) wasn’t in the picture until I was at least 12 years old, so all my life I’ve lived with my single father. When I was younger CPS tried to control our lives (and still do) and tried to force my dad to try and find a mother figure for me because they didn’t think a father and daughter sharing a house by themselves with a few pets was a bad thing for the child. Neither of us liked my fathers choices except for one, but we both knew she would only be a good friend. He tried, but it just wouldn’t work.
After that trial they tried to come up with ridiculous excuses to try and take me away from my father and give me away to the state’s custody, but in 6th grade they fiercely succeeded. A detective tried to tell me who my father was when she’d never met the man. I was refused to go to my own court case because “I was a child and didn’t understand.” Well they were wrong. Every day for a week I was on strike. (I also had a temperature of 101 degrees + with whooping cough and strep throat) My strike consisted of no eating or drinking while at the foster home, cleaning everything I touched that wasn’t my chore. Not doing my assigned chore, and screaming at the nightly drunk foster mom that refused to take me to a doctor or giving me any type of medicine possible. My father never knew this, but I fought long and hard. What was worse is the foster mom plastered my hands in strong moisturizers (I’m allergic to moisturizers and lotions) and made me sleep on a thin mattress that was held up by metal bars. And just as worse, the Hispanic foster father would come into the bedroom of the younger girl’s at night to watch us sleep and once tried to record us. During my strike I also sang improvise song that I would make up off the top of my head until the foster parents would threaten to hit me. When their hand would raise I would stand stock still and sing in a heavy soprano (high female voice) “Strike me! Strike me and see! See who you will be! You will never break me!” My talents bothered them tremendously. Every night I would have to write 500 times: I am a mistake in life. I am unworthy. I will behave like the perfect child that I will never be. I do believe the last line for it is correct, but only partially for no one is perfect. There is no such thing as perfection. When I lived in foster care I had to think with my bronze and brains at the same time. This fairly much so practiced my reflexes for the first time I was hit was when the foster mothers (by the way her name was Vicky) older of three boys tried to touch me inappropriately (he was 18 mind you and I was almost 11) so I used my head against his as hard as possible and side swiped my bare heel across his face. (He was crouched down otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do this for I was only 3’2” and he was almost 6’2”) The foster father beat me for this. I didn’t care though. I refused to be raped in a place that was supposed to protect me. Same way at school except then it was my peers. The first time I was let outside on my own with the younger girl we made sure to be home on time, but what the foster mom didn’t know was that I took the young girl to the park where I would go to think in my favorite tree where I hid my small savings of money in case I would ever get hungry and bought her ice-cream. That was the day before I was to be let out of foster care. The day I was let out of foster care was day I was actually going to run away with the younger girl to the police station headquarters downtown. It was only a 3 mile run and because my dad force taught me to be independent I knew much of Omaha’s places and shortcuts. We would be able to get there in merely 45 minutes (not including hiding timing). I was determined to save the poor girl and myself from more cruelty than necessary. The day I left she still went on with the plan, for at school I secretly made a mad alongside Google’s maps for her so it was quite detailed. She’s safe to this day. (Thank you Google for having maps!)
During this time many people vouched for my father. Including Penny Parker, Ann Lawless, my therapist Melissa (can not reveal last name), my music teacher Mrs. Johnson (can not reveal first name), Roger (can not reveal last name), Tom Olsen, and Mr. Bud Olsen. We all fought a hard battle to release me, the wild child with “special” mental “abilities.” I was tested for the need of being put in a help home for the “crazy people.” I may be OCD, ADHD, Bipolar, an Insomniac, and mildly Lactose Intolerant, but throughout the entirety of my life, I have never taken medications that “would help me.” NO! I refused any kind of medicine unless I was sick with fever and was taking sick people medicine. I love my unique qualities that are considered “retardation.” I HATE that damned word. My first grade teacher Mrs. Stenzl recognized my unique qualities and helped me learn from them. She will forever be my considered “adopted mother.” To this day I see her sometimes and thank her with hugs and a smile. I don’t say thank you literally, but she knows I will forever be thankful for her unique understanding. She cared and tried and succeeded. I love her a lot and miss her all the time, but now I am older and I am a Junior in high school.
Despite all the struggles in my life (for there are far more that I wish not to be put on the internet) this is my most remembered. A person can only learn so much from a teacher, mentor, or school. 99% of the things that make you, well, YOU, are the journeys, hardships, and trials in life (And the wonderful positives!). NEVER GIVE UP! Live life to the fullest and don’t just work on your weaknesses. Work on your STRENGTHS as well. One can never fail so long as one keeps trying.
WHO’S YOUR HERO???