Dr. Allana Da Graca
I was the little girl who hated to raise my hand in school. It was pointless as I saw no reason to care about my existence. My foster mother reminded me about how worthless I was for as long as I could remember. Foster mother seemed like a monster to me. She was the female version of Hulk. A giant that I hoped I could escape from. I stared at anything that would show my reflection to understand what made me so unacceptable. Caretaker told me I was not worth hugging because I was too black for anyone to care. She reminded me that my father would never accept me either as he believed I was a curse for his reputation. Sundays were the worst days, because she hated combing my hair and stated it was too nappy to get a comb through it. It was at that moment, that I would eventually see school as a playground. Truly this was a place I could have a jolly rancher without caretaker calling me names.
I was only four feet tall at this time. A small person who was well aware of the distinct hatred I had for the treatment I received. School was a place that I went to because I had to but gave me an element of freedom I could not experience at home.
Loved walked into my life when Ms. Mamie begged my foster mother to take me to the local park. Grudgingly, foster mother allowed me to go, but I was ecstatic to leave the house as this gave me a moment to breathe. Most of the time I would hold my breath in the midst of being with my caretaker on a daily basis.
Ms. Mamie was sixty years old and spoke French. She brought me to her kitchen table and took out a photo album. She pointed to pictures of children and said their names to me in broken English. She hugged me and held my hand as she talked about the people in the photo. In broken English she said, “You no loved.” She proceeded to tell me that I was pretty. She pulled out a yellow dress with a matching hat and allowed me to try the outfit on. I twirled around like a princess for the first time. Ms. Mamie threw her head back and laughed so loud that it echoed. I returned home to foster mother and realized love had an active definition.
Sidonia Chronicles are a collection of pieces that emulate the stories of innocent children who have endured abandonment, maltreatment, and depression as a result of being in environments that negatively influenced their self-perception. As an educator Dr. Da Graca has taught all levels and found that external influences impact the success or failure of students on a large scale. Her writings bring to the forefront the silent voices of the youth.