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Chavez, B. AHPA

My name is Chavez Cree Taypayosatum and this is my story.

As a young boy, I didn’t grow up in my own home and I wasn’t raised by my parents. I actually grew up in and was raised by the Government of Canada and USA justice system, known as group homes. That meant different foster kids and different foster parents. My own parents could not watch me, they were not stable parents. Growing up in group homes in my youth was difficult and different. I faced my biggest and most challenges in my younger life experiences.

I’m a First Nation aboriginal (Cree) with a Mexican cultural background. I didn’t understand why I could not see my own family and siblings. I was just a boy, and I was told I couldn’t see or speak with my own family and siblings (there was a no contact agreement). I was deeply hurt and frustrated every day. I became angry with the other foster kids and foster parents. I was getting into trouble with public schools and the people around me daily. I was emotionally hurt, and I’d hide every time when I had the chance.

I had no help, no support, and no guidance.

I lived in a different lifetime from today’s generation. Now there is access to help, support, and people to talk with when needed. I am glad to see and hear that those kids don’t have to go through what I’ve gone through or what we as adults had to go through during the hard times, the struggles of the time.

I was in my own home with my own family for once and I was happy and enjoying every moment of it. Until one day, when it turned around and with it my youth experience. I was physically and mentally abused by my own mother and father. It explains now why they weren’t allowed to watch me when I was younger.

I would have marks on me and bruises on my body when I was in school and at my friend’s. I would keep my head down and not tell anyone what was happening.

Social workers and city police would come to check on me because other parents and teachers were concerned about the conditions of myself and my family. My parents abused me every day and put me down with their words. “You’re nothing to us.” “We wish you weren’t our son.”

Those words really got me down and I would cry and go hide from everyone.

Now, being an adult, I learned a lesson from all of this: Reach out to someone and talk about your past to get the demons out of you and start fresh. I’m becoming a new parent soon, and I want to share my stories with my newborn son. I want to let him know that I will not hurt him or put him down. I will do everything in my own power, with all the support I have from my family, friends, my partner, and my co-workers, so that I can be open-minded and share the great memories I have with my son.

I want him to know that he can have life he wants if he allows the path ahead of him teach him the value of life and to understand that HIS five Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How). I want him to know I will motivate him and love him every second, every minute, and every day.

I’ll let him know that there will be challenges coming to him, just as I had my own challenges when I was younger. I’ll teach him about my own life experience, where I came from, and how I got here today.

I lean on my School of Hard Knocks initials, which stands for abuse hardships/physical abuse, so that I can continue to tell my story.

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.”