Overcoming my family’s drug history to live a better life
I am a 20 year-old college junior in Texas. I have a massage license and make good money. I have a house and a car, and I pay for school. Also, I have always loved helping other people and making gifts and have a knack for trying things I see on HGTV. And did I forget to mention my mother is a paranoid schizophrenic prostitute who has sex for crack cocaine? So is my older sister. My older brother and father also both have a mental illness and struggle with drug addiction. I had to grow up fast, to raise myself to be something different from what I saw.
My parents divorced when I was a toddler. Mom got custody and often had boyfriends over, who would molest and abuse my siblings and me. One hundred and fifteen C.P.S. reports were made before my father got custody. Things were good with dad until he had a nervous breakdown and moved my brother and me to Central America. I missed years of school and moved in with friends I met because my dad could not care for me. At 14, I found a number for my mom. I hoped moving back to Texas and living with her would allow me to go to school. Little did I know, she had become completely dependent on drugs.
The idea that I could one day have a normal life and my own family is what got me through. I knew I could make something of myself. I had been abandoned by the people who were supposed to be there for me. But I had a choice: I could follow in the footsteps of my brother, sister, mother and father. Or, I could break away and change everything .
I was blessed to have the help of friends. I stayed with a friend, tested out of the grades I missed and got an apartment at 17. I have had to work full-time since 16, but I would not change anything about my life. It has made me who I am. It was hard, but I am so glad I took the risk to be different.
When you can make that first step and realize you can break away from it all, there is no limit to what you can achieve. I have never regretted leaving, and I know if my family was not so sick they would be very proud of me. I know I am.