They Saw Me as a Druggie
My mom was really young when she had me. I don't remember her being around much until I got older. My grandma and grandpa helped raise me. When I was young we always lived in big cities even though we moved around some. The neighbors right near our house were fine, but close by were some bad neighborhoods. There were always people outside. There were drug dealers and crack houses. My middle school was 3% white. The rest of the students were Hispanic or African-American. I'd say it was pretty rough school. There were always a lot of fights and drugs. My high school was pretty good. There was a magnet program within our high school so there were a lot of good kids that were bussed in. There were still gang fights though between different hoods.
I had a lot to deal with as a young kid. My grandpa killed himself when I was 5 or 6. That was really hard because I was close to my grandpa. A year later my uncle came from Florida. He had been on a lot of drugs, but had been clean for a few days when my grandma brought him to her house. He was taking a shower and his heart gave out. He was my mom's brother. He used to make me laugh and we had a lot of fun together, so that was really hard too when he died. When I was in 1st or 2nd grade my mom was dating some guy that beat up on her. She'd always go back to him. I felt useless like I couldn't do anything to help.
My mom, little sister Tina, and I moved to San Antonio where she met her new boyfriend Nick. They had a lot of parties at our apartment with his friends coming over all the time. I remember a lot of beer and drugs like speed, X, and coke. My mom started out smoking weed then she tried crack a couple of times but didn't like it. Then she was into coke majorly. Then she went to X and then back to weed and drinking. I think she was always looking for a different high or a different feeling. I think it made the stress of life, bills, having to take care of stuff, all just go away.
I remember when I was in 3rd grade we had a recital but my mom didn't come because she was partying. In 5th grade I did really well on state tests but she wasn't really there like the other moms were. I wish she would have been there for me. When I got older and went into middle school and high school maybe I wouldn't have messed up so much.
My mom married Nick and he joined the Army. They sobered up and stopped partying. They quit everything together. I think they figured it was time to stop. He got transferred to Fort Hood in Texas so our family moved there. One day he came home from work and my mom was snorting coke. They got in a huge argument and my mom left us there. She was gone all night but she apologized when she came home. She got sober again and we moved onto the military base. That's when my mom got pregnant with my little sister Annie.
One night when my step-dad was at work my mom took his car and sold it for crack. She ended up at some hotel with my sister and a whole bunch of druggies. We went out and found her. We chased down these guys that had the car. I didn't see how my mom could do that.
There was always a lot of fighting between Nick and my mom. Lots of yelling and throwing stuff. He got stationed in Kansas but I stayed in Texas with my grandma because my mom thought that would be best for me. My mom, step-dad and two little sisters moved to Fort Riley.
The middle of my 8th grade year I started smoking weed and skipping classes. For a while I was smoking weed every day. I thought it was fun. It felt like I was free I guess. It took my mind off my mom and all the fighting. My freshman year I really started hanging out with the wrong people and not going to school hardly ever. My sophomore year was the worst. I ran to my friend's house and stayed out doing whatever I wanted. I'd leave to go to school in the morning but just went to friends' houses instead of school. We'd get high. I'd erase phone messages from the school or pick up the mail before my grandma got home from work so she didn't know how much school I was missing. Eventually she found out what I was doing and told my mom she couldn't handle me.
I moved to Kansas, and when I got there my mom and step-dad, Nick, were having some money problems. They weren't caught up on bills. My mom never got around to enrolling me in school so I just stayed home. My mom got a job bartending and it was horrible. She was gone all the time. She'd stay the night at the bar. She'd only come home to take a shower. When she was home there was constant fighting. One time they were arguing and she took a whole bunch of pills and said she wanted to die. Nick made her throw them up so she wasn't seriously hurt.
I ran off that summer. I was staying at different friends' houses. Sometimes I'd see my mom around and she'd tell me to go home, but I kept staying with friends. I was drinking a lot and smoking a lot of weed. I was not really caring about what happened - if I got arrested or got in trouble I just was like, "Oh well."
One time I blacked out from drinking so much. I was doing jello shots. I walked into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and then started throwing them up. I threw up on my shirt and the next thing I remember is waking up. My friends said I went out to the party and was dancing. It made me feel really bad. That was part of the reason I wanted to stop drinking because I didn't want that to ever happen again. I was at my friend's house and my sister and friend dragged me home. They called the cops on me. I went to a detention facility and then to court. They put me on a No Run Order and gave me a curfew. I had to go to an after school program once school started again in the fall. When I went home my mom was mad at everything I'd done, but she was glad I was home. She stopped working at the bar and things got better. We started going camping almost every day until school started.
When school started I don't know if my mom was depressed, but she was sleeping all day. She didn't take care of the house. In the morning I would wake up my little sisters and help them get ready for school because my mom was still sleeping. After school I had to pick up my sister from the bus and make her snack. I usually made dinner and made sure our laundry was done.
One night my step-dad came home, and he and my mom started fighting. She was acting freaked out like someone was chasing her. She took off in his car and crashed it into a ditch. Later she said she thought someone put something in her drink. It was horrible. I just cried because I didn't know what in the world was going to happen to her. I didn't know what she was on.
Last year our family went to the Hutchinson fair. We stayed in a hotel and everything. My mom took my youngest sister to go ride some rides. Nick gave me and Tina some money to get some food and told us to go walk around. I got a call from my mom, and she was yelling at us and threatening to leave us there. We went and waited for her, but we didn't see her. She called us again, and Tina and my mom got into a big argument. My mom was really, really mad. It was quiet all the way on the ride home. Once we got home Tina and my mom started to get into it. Then Nick got in Tina's face. She tried to push him away and he started hitting her. I was yelling and trying to pull him off of her. My mom pushed me off. Nick busted a blood vessel below Tina's eye, which made her eye swell up huge. Tina ran outside to try to find a phone to call the cops. I ran outside and Tina was on the ground. She couldn't breathe. I helped her up and walked to the trailer park office to call the police. When the cops and ambulance came Nick told them Tina went crazy and attacked him. We went to the police station to give our statements and they put us in PPC, police protective custody. We stayed with our friend for a few days until we went to court, and then we were put in foster care.
I've been in my current foster placement since last September. When I went to court they were going to start giving me UA's. Drinking and smoking weed needed to stop if I was going to educate myself and do what I needed to do. When I was drinking and doing drugs I got a bad name. People would say I liked to party, and they would look at me differently. They saw me as a druggie instead of a regular person. My mom tried to talk to me about my drinking. She told me that I didn't want to end up pregnant and messing up my life. She told me to get my head on right and go to school and college. I saw it. I knew it was true because that's what happened to her. I didn't want to go through that.
This year I played softball for the first time ever. I made the cheer squad, so I'm going to be a cheerleader next year. I've thought about going to community college for a couple of years then finishing up at a 4-year school to get my RN degree. Now if I were around drugs or alcohol I would just tell them I'm not into that anymore. I talk to my family sometimes, and my mom seems to be doing ok.
When I was young I would have thought an alcoholic or a person with a drug problem was just wasting their life. Everybody says it's so much fun, but there are so many consequences and negative effects that happen from it. I feel like someone having a glass of wine with dinner is one thing, but when drugs and alcohol are a need in their life or when they use it for an escape then has become a problem. People sometimes can't help themselves. They need someone else to help them stop. People may think it's cool. It's not. It affects you so much. It makes life harder.