Painful memories are triggered by seasons, familiar scenes and sounds, and moments of despair.  The boys recall the neglect and maltreatment of their mother who substituted her responsibility with drugs and domestic violence with abusive men. Stacks of unwashed clothes blanket the floors.  Horrible odors from soiled garments and dirty diapers fill the home.  The boys reach into cereal boxes to feed their empty stomachs.  Roaches in every handful of dry cereal as the boys learned to survive on their own.
     The neglect became worse when their little sister was born.  Mother never paid any attention to them and they relied upon their own instincts to make it through the confusion. The boys talked about how mom’s boyfriend would send them outside to look for cigarette butts that could still be smoked. They live in denial that their mother is to blame for much of their current issues.  They want to think the best of her and that she was just a victim, too.
     The boys cannot get through a day without pooping their pants at the foster home or at school (encopresis). They fear that they will be hungry even though their stomach is full. They hide food they trust they will not have.  One of mother’s boyfriends would cook and eat food in front of them while making sure they had none. When sober, mother would engulf herself in romance novels and television drama.
     When asked if they could have one wish; the boys stated that they wish they could be with their mother.  Even though mother would allow others to harm the boys, not pay the electric bill, bring strangers in the house, and simply pay no attention to the lives she brought into the world; the boys wanted to go back.  Regardless of the suffering and pain; their instinct is to return to a life full of abuse and neglect as long as “mother” was there.

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