DCF Needs an Overhaul: The Ballads of Tekiah Innocent and Kayla McKean

Dear readers,

Imagine you are eight years old, were told to do your chores, and for failing to complete your chores, your body was covered in first and second degree burns. This was the case of Tekiah Innocent. This woman was abused as a child, and DCF has had a long history with the innocent family. From the news, I gathered that this young girl was neglected at birth by her mother, so went to live with a divorced father. But there’s a catch. Stepmother Tansy was abusive, making her daughter do drudgery like Cinderella, and for failing to do chores or lying about such things, Tansy spilled hot water all over her stepdaughter. While I tried to research this girl’s life and legacy, I can’t find any such stuff on the web. But I’ll never forget what happened after it was discovered that Tekiah was burned by her stepmom. She was transported to the Shriner’s Burn Unit in Cincinnati, Ohio to be sent there by herself with no family to comfort her. A trust fund was set up for her, thanks in part to the police officers responsible for arresting her stepmother, who was due to give birth again after getting herself pregnant on top of burning her stepdaughter. She had a little Anastasia or whatever on the way and Tekiah could have been sent back to live out her days as a Cinderella in Tansy’s house. DCF stepped in only because the grandmother did something about it. Mr. innocent, Tekiah’s father, failed to report abuse and was charged. Why was this done instead of failing to come through as DCF did for the next girl I’m about to talk about?

Kayla McKean was a girl of age 8 who was killed by her family and there was a lot of signs of abuse in this girl’s history. The family took no responsibility for her death, and worse, the teachers saw a fractured nose and soiled clothes on the girl when she was six. Now, her face adorns a “my expressions” box in her school, and children draw faces expressing themselves for her. Kayla was killed because DCF didn’t notice and didn’t bring charges either. Maybe because she was in a relatively stable family otherwise? We will never know.

Tekiah was adopted by a kinship group out of state, as far as I know. She’s in her thirties, but I’m sure she never forgot the incident with her evil stepmother. There are many things I wish I could have said to folks like DCF regarding my own mother. She used threats of violence to keep me out of her way, worse yet telling me she’d do damage to my humanity if I didn’t behave in a white girl way. Parents, take a lesson from the dead. Kayla McKean was beat up because she was female and young and vulnerable. Take a lesson from survivors like Tekiah. She was burned so badly that one leg was slated to be amputated. Below the knee, she may have a prosthetic. The girl was left crippled and unable to participate in the military, and if she hadn’t needed a prosthetic, she wouldn’t have experienced discrimination against the disabled. I don’t know what Tekiah’s current last name is, whether she married or not, or whatever. Tansy will never see her children again because she committed abuse. Serves her right, for if she struck again, there might have been death in the family.

My own story with DCF was because my mother slapped me in the face, kicked me in the leg, left me with sore bruises and muscles that were sore. I personally can’t forgive her for swatting me at seventeen, telling me I couldn’t cry for help, and when I wrote a letter to the professionals I trusted to help me, the parents retaliated by punishment. Well, they’re probably going to have to answer for going overseas on my dime, selling my things, and allowing Danny to marry before me. They should answer for all that when they meet their creator wherever they may be.

As for the DCF, they could have charged my parents with abuse, which they should have done, and if I had to live in a foster home, so what? My parents weren’t equipped to deal with blind people, much less a mixed race personage. Then my brothers called me crazy and accused me of being in a “crazy hospital” at age nineteen, when I was committed to LaAmistad for brainwashing, since i had no substance abuse problems. LaAmistad actually brainwashed me into accepting control, and they failed to tell my parents they were toxic. I can’t get along with my parents in person now, especially because I want to have children of my own with a black man. my parents probably have disdain for Trenton, for Michael, and for a high school friend whose name I fail to say because he has a slick job as a flight attendant and was furloughed because of covid. Michael Bonnehome was a Haitian born man who swore he had a crush on me, and I understood because we were both singers, pianists, whatever. michael did music for a living, and that was why I was so drawn to him. But the parental units, as my buddy nick calls parents at all, decided to put a stop to the relationship because michael was black, Caribbean, and had a child. They had no right to do this, even under guardianship because then I was relegated to men who were cheaters and losers, the kind of men who would say fuck off because you’re under guardianship. I was abused by a man called jason, of whom much is written here, but Jason accused me of defaming him, but he has been stalking girls a lot. I was told not to speak against him by numerous people, but it is a ploy to keep jason in the privileged white man class, where he doesn’t belong. Jason and Donald Trump have a bunch in common, except Jason’s hair is natural, whereas Donald Trump has a fake toupee. Donald spends millions styling his stupid hair, but Jason? Well, I’ll leave it up to the taxpayer to decide whether it is fair to spend millions of your tax dollars on a disabled and grumpy young man’s hair. jason is also someone I would never trust. There are a lot of men like Jason in the society we live in, and we must confront these stupids. It’s guys like Jason who make it harder for ladies and women like me to cope with all the crap i went through. jason was the reason I failed to go to appointments and failed to pick up prescriptions. I’m in a happy relationship now, but I feel sad for the girls who willfully let jason stalk and harass others, including Caitlin. She was friends with me before, but now she’s gone because she made threats against me for speaking out against jason. That guy seriously has his head on wrong.

Well, to get back to the point, I was relegated to dating guys like jason because all the good ones’ families would reject any possibility that their son could marry me and tell my parents everything. Deq and I sat through a phone call with my parents, and Deq said he wanted to marry me, but the parents rejected, basing their claims on racial bias and the Somali culture. I was a convert to islam at that time, but Deq was a born Somali Muslim, and my parents discriminated against him too. Deq, Michael, and Trenton all have one thing in common: they’re all in one way or another black. Black men are my parents’ worst fears, but they needn’t fear any hellfire from the universe if they can’t answer for their actions. Even on the last day of the world, according to the Qur’an, all people have to answer for their actions. No matter what religion you live in, perhaps my parents will burn with Tansy and kayla’s dad, Richard McKean or something. I forget the man’s name, so please forgive me if I get it wrong.

DCF must be willing to make sure that the first signs of abuse and toxicity in a family are addressed, including bias and racial motivated stopage of relationships like mine. If they planned to sell me to a white asshole, my parents just lost that opportunity. While they send me $200 every Christmas and $100 every birthday, they spend hundreds and thousands more on their sons. That is stupid and unfair. They spent billions perhaps on themselves in a lifetime, if i may exaggerate. DCF failed to approach my parents and they accused me of lying about abuse when it was happening right under my nose.

If you work at DCF or any child welfare org, hear me out. I know you’re burned out, but look carefully at the signs and symptoms of child abuse and family toxicity, and take the kids seriously without telling them you don’t believe them.

Beth