Growing up my mom was on many drugs. I used to find my mom’s stashes of meth, cocaine, pot, pills and many other drugs. She had intense mood swings, one minute she was so happy and the next minute she would speak words of hate and become violent. She use to tell me things like “I’m going to put you in a foster home” and “I never wanted you. I don’t love you”. I remember the hatred I had towards her and the hurt I was feeling inside. She would be gone sometimes days and weeks at a time. Eventually it progressed to a month at a time randomly. My dad traveled, so my dad wasn’t really aware of the situation.
My dad had battled drugs and alcohol for a long time before I was born. When I was conceived my dad wanted to quit. It was his wake up call. So he got clean from drugs and alcohol. After he got clean he started his own business and he traveled so much that we rarely got to see him. When he would come home things wouldn’t be so great. My mom and him had many issues together. They would fight, punch walls and throw things at each other. Eventually my mom just picked up all her stuff one day and abandoned us while my dad was out of state in California. It was hard calling him to tell him that my mom was gone.
It was hard because for months it was just my siblings and I. I have 5 siblings. It was hard being around them as well because my brother has been struggling with drugs, stealing and alcohol problems. When my dad came home for good he was okay at first. Then it became not so good. He started to become really mean and say very hurtful things. He got emotional abusive. Two years ago is when it escalated to much more. It would get so bad that he became violent and physically abusive. He told us that he wanted to kill himself because he had to come home to us. Eventually it got so bad that had to put a restraining order on him.
Shortly after I moved back in with my mom because it seemed like she was doing better and that things between us were in the past and that we could move forward. But nothing really changed. Things got really, really bad living with her. She was verbally abusive and I noticed upon moving in how many pills she was doing and smoking which I had no prior knowledge of. My brother started to follow in her steps. It was hard to keep on the right tracks when everyone I was living with was doing drugs.
I hope to one day build a stronger family. I am attempting at another relationship with my dad. I found out in November that he has kidney cancer. He has had surgery and certainly has a journey to face. I recently completely cut ties with my mom and although that was hard, I’ve finally let myself tell her that enough is enough.
It’s been a journey. I have recently moved in with a couple who has taken me as their own and am finally safe. This year, I will be the first person to graduate high school out of 5 kids and my parents, and on time. I choose not to use drugs or alcohol because I’ve been around it and seen how much it can hurt not only the people who choose to do it but everyone around you.
**If you are going through a battle similar to this, know that you are not alone and that there is help. We would be happy to connect you to resources if you feel you have nowhere to go. Share your story and reach out for help, by simply emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Karese’s story truly provides hope that life gets better.**