Patrice M. Foster's descent into poverty, neglect, homelessness and abuse could have broken her. She could have plunged to the depths, forever swallowed by the darkness of depression. Instead, she climb out inch by agonizing inch to surviveâ€¦and even thrive. The Journey Home is a powerful story of determination and survival will show you it can be done. When rock bottom is staring you in the face, what choice do you have? The Journey Home is Foster's story of survival and victory and offers hope for adolescents, young adults, parents, and educators faced with insurmountable odds and the prospect of making real change.
Reviews to come.
Read an Excerpt
"I had learned early to assume something dark and lethal hidden at the heart of anything I loved. When I couldn't find it, I responded, bewildered and wary, in the only way I knew how: by planting it there myself" ― Tana French
Holding onto hope every day, no matter how bad things got, no matter how bleak I felt, I kept me moving forward. I had proven wrong the counselor who had told me my grades would be a hindrance to my success, and for now, getting a high school diploma was good enough for me. I wanted to leave New York and make a fresh start where I could put the pain and dark memories behind me.
The mental scars from my childhood never healed, and over the years it reached a point where I became extremely depressed in New York during my late teens. After graduating from high school, my brothers moved to East Orange, New Jersey. Grace, Davina, and I were living with a woman and her two children in New York, though Grace left to move in with her Haitian boyfriend whom she eventually married.
I thought my diploma was going to be my ticket out. I couldn't wait to get on with the next stage of my life, whatever that was going to be, and finally feel like I was moving beyond my troubled childhood and teen years. Five years after I graduated from high school, long after the celebration died down, I started to ask myself, "Okay, what next?" I had been dodging this question because I was afraid of the answer and unable to come up with any viable ideas. My attempts to find a job had been futile, and all I could manage to do was stay out of trouble. I needed to figure out my next move and how to attain my next goal, but I still had to deal with the unsupportive attitudes of others.
One such attitude that continued to haunt me was my visit to Miss Thomas, my high school guidance counselor. I had gone to see her after mustering the courage, but after reviewing my grades, she made it clear that I'd barely managed to graduate from high school, let alone qualify for the nursing program. She spoke so quickly that at times I had difficulty understanding her, which concerned me because I didn't want to be perceived as stupid. It was bad enough dealing with the reactions of others who couldn’t understand my accent, and every time I asked Miss Thomas a question, she raised her hands almost in disgust. She seemed to be in a hurry, even though the phone never rang once.
"You passed, all right," she said, leafing through my file, “just barely."
I sank into my seat, feeling the last of my hope squashed.
"But where do you think these grades are going to get you? D, D, Pass, C, D..."
I blocked her out, wishing I’d never stepped into her office, while she went on. Her tone was condescending and arrogant, and even the look in her eyes felt like a slap in the face. "You need to get serious if you're going to do anything productive or worthwhile with your life. And Patrice, you have a long way to go, if you ask me. No college is going to take you seriously if you can't prove yourself."
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About the Author
Born in Jamaica West Indies, Patrice and her five siblings endured a barren childhood devoid of love, security, and hope. After both parents abandoned their children, Patrice’s only means of surviving years of mistreatment with uncaring relatives was the hope of joining her mother in America, a country that beckoned with dreams of a better life.
That dream finally became a reality in 1973, but instead of the warm welcome she expected, she was once again abandoned, forever losing any hope of a happy family reunion. Though her eventual descent to the street dragged her to a place of darkness, it never claimed her despite the scars of prostitution, homelessness, arrest and imprisonment, a stay in a mental institution, gang rape, and loveless relationships.
Fueled by her desire to succeed, Patrice overcame at times insurmountable odds to educate herself. She eventually became a nurse and successful businesswoman while raising three children.
Ultimately, Patrice’s journey in search of love and respect became a search for herself and healing through forgiveness and self-acceptance.
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