the lost children of rockdale county
MY MOM WAS SCARED OF ME Here are the teens' answers to  various questions pertaining to discipline and parental strictness.
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ED. NOTE: Not all the teens interviewed by FRONTLINE or who appeared in the program were exposed or even connected to the syphilis outbreak; in fact, many of the younger teens didn't know about the strange events that occurred in Rockdale County in the spring and summer of 1996.

It just seems like you didn't have, you didn't feel like anybody had the right really to tell you what to do, except yourself?

Nicole: No I didn't. You cannot tell me no. If my mom told me no I would take it to the extremes just to show her she couldn't tell me no.

Jenny: Like they used to be real strict on us. It was like us kids kinda took over and started to do what we wanted to and they just gave up.

Katy: There is so many ways that we can sneak around behind parents' back[s] and do what we want.

Heather: Well, it's not that we can do anything that we want--it's just how easy we can do it, you know. How easy it is. Parents think,you know, my kid won't do this, this and that, because, you know, I wanna keep a close watch on 'em. They'll--if they really want to they will. It's not as hard as adults think it is.

Jenny: When I was 17 I ran away because of a me not gettin' along with my parents and everything. . . I was only gone for about a week. Cause I'd come back. I called 'em up and I was like, Look I'll come back under one condition. I'm not in any trouble. I get my car back. And I don't remember what else I said but she was like, Alright, but we're gonna have a talk about this. I was like, Okay.

Nicole: My mom will tell you she was scared of me. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know how to handle me. She didn't-- she kind of felt it was all her fault that this was happenin' because of the divorce and everything that went on. . . So she would let me do what I wanted to because she thought it was her fault.

Heather: Most of the time they didn't even know that I was doin' drugs or that you know that I had had sex or any of that stuff. They didn't find any of that out 'til later. And when they figured it out they--that's when they tried to jump in, but I really wouldn't let 'em. So I mean I it's completely not my parents fault at all. I just would not let them you know interfere with what I was doin' because that's what I like to do.

Are your parents very strict on you?

Brandi: No, they're not. They're--we're pretty much like best friends or something. I mean I can pretty much tell 'em how I feel, what I wanna do and they'll let me do it

Do you feel like she was more of a friend than a parent?

Nicole: From about 14 and up she was. She tried to be. She just tried different ways to get me to do right. And that was one of the ways she tried was to talk to me like a friend would.

Katy: I don't really consider her a mom all that much. She takes care of me and such, but, I consider her a friend more.

You don't really consider her a parent?

Katy: Mm mm, not really.

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