Pass The Blog to; Claudia Balazs

A life changing moment

Darkness. It was pitch black a month away from Christmas.

We stood in the dark outside these 10 foot tall brass doors, I looked at them and saw freedom. I was finally going to be safe and free. A 30-something woman opens the doors, I was carrying a camping backpack and a huge hopeful smile, she looked confused. She didn’t say much. We step inside and see this incredibly long, cobbled driveway that went on and you could just about make out the tall trees on either side. I look back at my two teachers and they give me a reassuring nod. We walk for a few minutes until we get to this enormous, neglected, old looking house. There are a few girls, of different ages outside, most of them smoking. I smile and say hi, they don’t say hi back. We walk up the stairs, there are two doors: one of them has a bullet proof door and the one on the left has a rainbow on it saying “Lar” which translated from Portuguese means “home”. We were taken through the door on the right, into a very brightly lit, messy office and the woman who guided us locked the door. She’s not the chatty kind. She asks for my backpack and starts taking everything out, she takes my phone away and any documents. I am asked if my earrings are silver and to take them off. “You can’t keep anything valuable on you”. I get searched.

I get asked if I have any drugs on me.

I’m so confused.

I am trying to contain the tears. Both my teachers are too. One of them says “what kind of place is this, why is she being treated like this?!” The woman replies “everyone gets the same treatment. Until the court tells us whether she is the victim or the offender, she will get treated just like everyone else here. The tears roll down mine and my teacher’s face but at this point I am still feeling hopeful, I managed to make it out, I managed to escape. My teachers start saying they do not want to leave me there, they fight and the woman almost with a smirk on her face says “Once you have gone past those doors, the only way she can leave now is with a court order.” They are distraught. You can see them looking at each other almost to say “what have we done?” They are made to leave.

Another woman joins the first one, they tell me their title is “Educators” and that’s what they should be directed to as. I smile and nod. I grew up having to do that whatever was said or done to me. The lady who joined us says to the first one “I think we ought to put this one in a room by herself”. I am shown this small room with a bed and small wardrobe in it but the best of all - a window that looks onto the back. There was this huge tree with dead leaves. They lock my door.

The view outside

They said “ We have to lock the door for your safety”, I’m confused but I smile and nod. As soon as I heard that door lock, I sat by that window watching the leaves dancing with the wind from one side to the other. I sort of let go and the tears just pour out, I cover up my mouth. I felt sad yet relieved. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions yet I knew, being placed into this Children’s home was about to change my life.

Then to now

You can find Claudia on Instagram here @hey.thecloset


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