To understand Jane’s story, the story of her family needs to be told. Jane grew up in a dysfunctional family. This was due to the presence of drugs, gangs, and abuse that surrounded Jane’s family. It was because of all these factors that Jane’s family is well known by law enforcement. It was not long before Jane was involved in all the problems that surrounded her family. Jane started to use drugs at the age of 13 which led to further drug use as well as alcohol abuse. Jane has three kids in total, two boys and one girl. However, at age 15 Jane had her first kid which was taken away by CPS due to alcohol and drug abuse.
Jane did everything in her power to get custody of her child back. She got her GED and stopped using drugs. After this, Jane went on to marry and was soon pregnant. Jane gave birth to her second son, however, her drug abuse did not stop and her second son was addicted at birth. This caused her son to have mental and developmental disabilities from birth. Jane later also gave birth to a girl named Ella. Ella is now married and has kids, however, Ella complains to Jane about all the problems she is going through. For example, Ella consistently mentioned to Jane that she needs money for her children. This includes money for food, clothing, and school supplies. It was because of this reason that Ella moved in with Jane and was added to Jane’s bank account.
However, Ella decided to take advantage of having access to her mother’s account by using more money than what Jane allows her to use and draining Jane’s account. When Jane tries to confront her own daughter, it instantly turns into an argument. Sometimes, these arguments turn physical and Ella assaults Jane. When the police are called nothing can be done because “they are family.” The only solution that law enforcement could offer was to advise Jane to move out if she cannot get along with Ella because Jane’s name was never in the lease. After the encounter with the police, Jane found living with Ella very difficult. There are times when Ella does not allow Jane to use her own bathroom. Ella locks the bathroom door and makes her mother find another bathroom to use outside of their home. At other times Ella hides food away from Jane although Jane is the one that pays for it. Ella is not the only child of Jane that abuses her, it is suspected that her second child also steals his mother’s food stamps to buy his own food.
When Jane tried to seek shelter somewhere else, she did not qualify as a senior citizen because she is 60 years old. This meant that she had to go from the shelter to a transitional apartment. Yet, she is unable to stay there because of the love that she has for her grandchildren. Jane is willing to go through a toxic relationship if it means that she gets to see her grandchildren whom she loves deeply. At the moment, Jane still endures abuse to see her grandchildren and refuses to notify authorities about all the abuse she has received.
Like many others, Jane has experienced elder abuse and has also been subjected to many forms of DV: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, deprivation of basic human rights, financial exploitation, and using Jane's love and need to have her family in her life against her. Many of these abuses stem from mental illness, drug/alcohol abuse, and a history of being brought up in family dysfunction. This is not something new. Abuses and situations like this have been happening for years and it is time we make a change to help those who are like Jane. For example, there should be a proper shelter that allows seniors to live a healthy life although they are only 60 years old or a program that aims to make amends between family members and promote a relationship in which Jane can spend time with her grandchildren without the abuse from her daughter.