My name is Chloe, I’m 15 and I’ve had a very traumatic time over the past eight years. I’m an orphan you see and things haven’t exactly been very easy for me. Before I start, I’ve heard that some people think that it would be fun to be an orphan, not to have a family and parents to nag and you wouldn’t have any parents setting rules or telling you what to do, but its nothing like that, it’s in fact the complete opposite. You can’t begin to imagine what it’s like and I would never wish anyone to go through what I have been through. So, here is my story and I hope that I can learn to trust people again, which I hope I will, in time. It all started eight years ago. I was so happy. I was only eight years old and I lived with Jill O’Connell, but I called her Auntie Jill and towards the end, I started calling her mum.
I’d only been living with Auntie Jill for seven months when things started to change but it seemed like forever, we really hit it off the first time we meet. I loved her dearly and she was my favourite person in the whole world. She wasn’t just my foster carer; she was also my best friend. My first memories were of her. I’d been with a few families before, but once I moved in with Auntie Jill, I forgot my past, none of that mattered anymore. I looked to the future, and all I could see was me and Jill, together, forever. It was like a dream, Jill was a cool, young, hip foster mum at the age of 24, and I was her little princess. We were inseparable, we did everything together.
Carly Ridout. Jill said, although I should have started junior school at the age of seven, she couldn’t bear to let me go, ‘Not even educated can break up the famous duo,’ she used to say to me. So, she taught me from home for about three months, Basic English, maths and computers. She also started teaching me languages as she had A-Levels in both French and Italian. She said that one day the languages would come in useful because we would travel the world together. That was her ambition as well as becoming famous. But that was where the dream ended. Everything went downhill after that and the dream turned into a nightmare, for me. The education authority got onto Jill and they told her she had to start sending me to school. When she told me, she said that I’d still be her little princess; I’d always be her little princess.
She also promised me that we’d still do everything together, but she told me I had to go to school in the day or the authorities would have her locked up and I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore. I didn’t want that, I couldn’t imagine life without Jill around and she reasoned with me by telling me we would still be able to do things after school because it’s not the whole day. So, I started going to school for her. But I Hated school!!! The teacher was old enough to be Jill’s mum, my grandma and she was strict and smelly. Mrs. Thompson, I’d never forgotten that name. She took an instant dislike to me from the moment I joined her class. No – one liked Mrs. Thompson, but then again, no – one liked me! Mrs. Thompson was so cruel. She was the complete opposite of Jill. The school was nowhere near as much fun as being taught at home and Mrs. Thompson was nowhere near as good at teaching as Jill was.
Carly Ridout. Then, shortly after my ninth birthday when I was at school, Jill would tell me she’d get lonely. So one day, she went out and got herself a job. She said she thought I wouldn’t mind as much now that I was becoming a big girl. She promised me that nothing would change… but it did. She worked at a theatre doing all the work behind the scenes, such as lighting sound and props. At first, it was okay. Jill really liked having a job, especially this one as she said it was one step closer to fulfilling her ambition of being famous. Then she started filling in for people who were ill and couldn’t make shows, doing acting parts. She said she was glad she could share her happiness with the one person she loved. That made me really happy to think I was the one person she loved and that when I was older, I could share all my happiness with her.
But then she started coming home later and later until it got to the point where I was sitting by myself for hours and the promise was broken. I became used to coming home from school with no – one there and having to fend for myself so one day when Jill came home very early, I was surprised. She looked really happy and excited but yet saddened and upset at the same time. She told me she had some excellent news. She’d been offered a job in London, a proper acting job in a big theatre in the west end. I started to get excited about the thought of moving but when I looked at Jill, her expression had changed and her smile had disappeared. Now she just looked sad. That’s when I knew that there was more news and it looked as though it was going to be bad news. She told me that it was the end of us, she was leaving me behind and not to ask her to take me with her. I broke down, I was only the nine and the first person I had ever trusted, the person I loved the most in the entire world was going and I was going to lose her.
I begged and pleaded with her not to go or to take me with her, but she stared expressionlessly, turned away and walked towards her room. But I didn’t stop. Then she started to get angry with me, she said that if I loved her and cared for her I’d be happy for her and let her go and let her fulfil her ambitions. She then went and locked herself in her room. I was so upset; I didn’t know what to do. So I went to my room as well. I sat down at my Barbie desk, got out a piece of blue card, which was Jill’s favourite colour, and I made a ‘sorry’ card. I drew a picture of us two on the front holding hands with a big smiling sun and the words ‘I LOVE YOU’ printed at the bottom. Inside the card, I wrote ‘SORY LOVE YOUR PRINCES CHLOE’. I hoped I’d spelt it right I wanted it to be perfect.
At the age of nine, you think that one little card will make everything better, but I learned the hard way it doesn’t! I then planned everything out in my head, I’d go into her room the next morning, I’d say sorry and I thought she’d give me a great big hug and say she was sorry too and that she’d find a way to take me with her. So the next morning when I woke up, I went running into Jill’s room with a massive grin plastered my face, carrying the sorry card that I made the night before. But as I got into her room, I looked at her bed and discovered that all the sheets had been taken off. I then looked into the corner of her room where her wardrobe was. It was opened and all the clothes had been taken out, it was empty. I ran over to the set of drawers and my eyes started filling up with tears and my focus was becoming fuzzy with tears. I took a deep breath and opened up the draws one by one to find that they were all empty as well.
Then it started to hit me, she’d left me. JILL had left ME!!! Suddenly the most horrible thoughts started to fill my head. I’d blown it. She’d never loved me; I was just something that was there for her until something better came along!! As I turned around to run downstairs to phone someone, I saw a fuzzy outline of a woman standing in the doorway. She’s back I thought, she hasn’t left me after all, and she was waiting for me to wake up so she could take me with her. But as I blinked the tears out of my eyes and the face came into focus I realized that the woman standing in the doorway wasn’t Jill. The woman was smartly dressed but also strict-looking. I started crying and she looked at me sympathetically before saying “She’s gone and she ain’t coming back” The woman was very common for a lady dressed so poshly.
“I’m Barbara from the children’s home and you better be coming with me, my dear,” I screamed, lay on the floor and wouldn’t let her take me. I had a massive tantrum for what seemed like hours and in the end, the lady, who had been trying to persuade me to calm down the whole time, had to call some other people to come and help her. A small group of about three people turned up to help within ten minutes or so. Barbara packed my stuff and took me with her, the whole time with me struggling, screaming and shouting. She locked me in a room by myself at the children’s home and said I had to calm down first. I didn’t understand what was going on as I was only nine. Too young for anything like this to be happening to me. Jill said I was the most important thing in her life. But how could she leave something so important behind? How could she have done this to me? How??!! All sorts of questions started filling my mind and I was confused and scared in this cold lonely room all by myself. I trusted her, cared for her and I thought she cared for me too.
I could never trust anyone again, I’d been hurt too badly. I stayed in my room for weeks and weeks. I wouldn’t talk to anyone about what had happened and what I had been through. Jill was all mine and I wasn’t prepared to share her. I wasn’t prepared to share my last remaining memories of her with anyone else. So, there’s my story!! I’m still living in the children’s home, and it’s not so bad really now that I’ve got used to it. Everyone’s really kind to me, and although I know they mean well, I don’t want to get too close to anyone as I’m scared of getting hurt again. I’m having counselling at the moment and they say it’s for my own good, to help me overcome the trauma I suffered at the young age of nine. But in a way, I feel that I will always remember Jill and I will never be able to let go of that experience completely. I hope that someday I can find a nice family to live with that want me, but I know that it will be a long time before I can trust anyone properly again.