Meet Daniel

I was eleven years old, and this woman was screaming at me down the street, "You're stupid, worthless; that's why I gave your ass up." That was my first interaction with my biological mother. My mind was spinning as I raced home to confront my "mom." That's when my world fell apart, and my life began to spin out of control.

I learned that this woman who confronted me on the street was the woman who gave birth to me and my brother and sister. They both knew all of this, but had kept it a secret from me. I was born addicted to drugs. We were all taken from her when Social Services came in to find the house in shambles. Our clothes were dirty, and we had apparently been picking through the garbage for food. I don't recall any of this, thankfully.

I was already having trouble in school, and I was picked on because I was in Special Ed classes. When I learned the truth, things got much worse. I was angry all the time, and I couldn't control my feelings. When I made it to school, I got into a lot of fights. I even got in fights with my teachers. I just wanted to be left alone. I knew what people thought about me. I just didn't care anymore.

PINS sent me to The House of the Good Shepherd last year which made me even angrier. I hated it, hated the people, and hated being out of my home. I didn't want to do anything or listen to anyone. It made me feel better to fight, so I kept doing just that. I became the person everyone thought I was...a bad kid.

Then, during one of my meetings with my therapist, she asked if I might be interested in taking a dance class. I thought it would be better than just staying in my room, so I signed up. What did I have to lose? My first class was Musical Theater. I was scared at first and didn't want to cooperate so much, but the more I participated the more I liked it! I was good at it, too! I would practice all the time, and for some reason it helped me feel better. It helped me get my anger out. Something changed in me. I don't know for sure what it was, but I felt different. My first performance was awesome!!! People stood up and clapped, and I was so happy! I knew I did a great job, and then lots of people came up to me after and told me how well I did!!

Through a lot of therapy and with the help of dance, I see that some things are out of my control...like my past. But I do have control over my present and my future. I can control my anger. I can be something in life. I am even taking classes for Hotel and Restaurant Management, and one day I want to become a baker. I wish everyone could see me now and see that it is possible to change.