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I Remember When...the Story Of A Childhood Riddled With Pain And Addiction

I remember when I was young, I had a mom. I remember that she was attentive and thoughtful and we lived in a big three-story house with a matching playhouse out back. I remember her watching ball games and coming on class field trips. I remember when I was 12 and my parents split up, we moved two states away from my dad. I remember my mom working all the time and I never saw her. I remember she locked herself in her room when she was home and I didn't see her, I only smelled something funny. I remember when she started bringing people to the house and that funny smell always followed. I remember when we moved, again, into the projects with her new boyfriend. I remember them staying in her room all afternoon and that smell was in the hall. I remember knowing what they were doing and wondering why she told me not to if she was doing it. I remember moving again, into a trailer, because she left her boyfriend but the smell still followed. I remember when she started locking me in her bedroom with her and the smell, I was 15. I remember going to "the man" in the 'hood to get her dope. I remember being scared because I was 16 and alone and the 'hood was scary, there were shootings and dealers on every corner. I remember my mom partying and doing tequila shots with me and the half-dozen men she invited home from the club. I remember those men looked at me and one of them touched me but she wasn't around, she was in her room with a man and that smell. I remember my boyfriend going to get coke for her and her handing me a straw in the bathroom. I remember being afraid and running away with a man 14 years my senior. I remember being confused, abused, neglected, and homeless half-way across the country and her telling me how worthless I was. I remember going home to her when I found out I was pregnant and she had moved in with another man. I remember having my daughter and joining the Army where I was called to Iraq. I remember leaving my daughter with my mom and begging my friend to go get my child when my mom wreck her truck, 6 times in a week. I remember coming home and moving out with my husband, an alcoholic who ended up abusing me too. I remember moving home again because I had no where else to go. I remember her locking me in her room again and sharing her dope, then she shared her percocet. I remember realizing she was never going to change and getting out and away, going to college. I remember getting clean and staying clean, and away from her. I remember her insults when I wouldn't let my kids go visit her alone. I remember holding my head high and saying no. I remember wondering why she didn't teach me the right way to be, a responsible adult and why she didn't protect me and love me. I remember getting clean and staying clean.

I learned at a very young age that if I wanted to make it in the world and make something of myself, that I had to rely on myself. I was treated as an adult long before I was ready and I can honestly say that I have made my fair share of mistakes. I didn't have a role model to show me the right way. I had to find that path myself. I learned to work, and work hard, to pay bills, put food on the table, and gas in the car before I was even able to sign my name legally. I experienced the pains and realities of war before I could legally buy an alcoholic beverage. I learned to look after my mother before I could drive a car. Life "ain't been no crystal stair" but I "keep climbing," one step at a time and I do my very best to be able to give my children what I never had, the opportunity to grow up and enjoy childhood, all of it.I know now that life doesn't have to be that way and that I am smart and capable and a good mother to my children who are happy and healthy. I know I will never be like her and she will never be in my life in a major way again, it is a dangerous situation no matter how strong I believe I am. She has power over me to tempt me like no other and I refuse to give her that power. I know she will not hurt me again and she will not hurt my children. I know I am better than that. I know that I cannot fix her or make her stop but I can stop her from impacting me. I am graduating with my BA in six months and I will be an elementary teacher and I will be an example and a positive influence on my children and the children that I teach in the future. I know that I will help all children to be the best they can be and teach them the right way, even if their parents don't care, mine didn't.
simmonsr09 simmonsr09 26-30 2 Responses Jun 27, 2012

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I wish I could change things for you. I didn't exactly have a childhood either, and if I ever have my own baby daughter, I hope to give her the childhood, as well as the "life"I never had. I hope you and your little darlings r all right.

SUCH AN INSPIRING STORY! My God!
Please keep on being so positive no matter what happens! Ungrateful people who have so much in their lives need to learn from you!
I wish you all the happiness and love in the world
xoxoxox