Not everyone has the greatest life growing up. Yes, everyone has their struggles as they grow up but some do not realize how good they really have it. Although their parents might fight for what seems a lot, other kids are coming home to beatings from their parents because they're drunk.
As you grow up you start to hate life, wondering, “Why did God even bring me into this world to put me through this?” As all of the cops know you by your first name at only the age of five, you grow up having your life constantly in the paper of that small little town where everyone knew everything the day after it happened.
“Arrest made at 32 Sacandaga Road for domestic violence call.”
And suddenly, you’re going to school having teachers just pass you through because they feel bad, you didn’t have the try, you were barely even at school. You missed 145 days in 4th grade because you were constantly up all night dealing with the fighting, the police, and wondering what people were going to say when they found out. The usual “I’m not surprised” would suffice that worry. The annual 5th grade trip to camp Chingachgook is coming up and the principal notices that you haven’t handed in paperwork to go, he asks your mom about it.
“We can’t afford it.”
How heartbreaking to know all of your friends are going and having fun experiencing new things and you can’t go. The next thing you know, I’m at school the morning of the trip ready to get on the bus with my best friend and her mom as our chaperone for the week - school paid for me to go. It just so happens one the cops who was at my house quite frequently had requested to go on the trip with us just so he could keep an eye on me. He sat with me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We talked a lot about home. For a second, it’s like I escaped reality and could be a kid and not have to go home every day and be a mom to a parent. My dad wasn’t around much as I grew up because he and my mom never got along. Even when he was in the picture, the cops were still at my house almost every other night.
Growing up with two alcoholic parents? It wasn’t until December of 2009 that my dad came back into my life, my mom went away to rehab for 30 days, and asked a friend if I could stay with them so that when she came back I would go back with her. Didn’t go as planned. My dad found out and got custody right away.
Life with my dad compared my life at my mom's was extremely different. My dad had a job, we weren’t always moving around from town to town starting a new school, and there wasn’t a new person always in the picture - just my dad and I with my aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, and grandparents. Life was great, I felt like I could actually be a kid for once, I was finally doing good in school, teachers weren’t just passing me by, I was actually trying. I started a new school after Christmas break. While it was hard at first, it was a change I desperately needed. I played sports, I had good friends, the cops weren’t at my house all of the time, and I didn’t have to be a parent anymore.
I never really talked about my past and what happened as a kid and I still don’t. People tell me, “Running from your problems isn’t going to solve them.” I wouldn’t call it running away per say, I like to call it growing up and not dwelling on the past. Although my past comes back to haunt me most nights, I have sat and thought, “ Maybe I am running from the past and I’m in denial about it because I don’t like to think about it more than I have to.” As I’ve gotten older, I have realized that in a way, yes, I am running from my past because it’s easier to run from something than it is to let the wall you’ve spent so long building to make sure you don’t get hurt anymore break. From experience, if people see the weak side of you, they take advantage of you and hurt you like you’re used to. I see the problem with running from your past, but letting that wall break will be harder to rebuild than running is.
Always remember, you may think that because you didn’t get what you want, that the world is ending. In some instances, for other children, they don’t come home to food on the table - sometimes no food in the home in general. To those going through what I did growing up. Have faith, believe it will get better, and strive to be better and do better than what you had. Everything works out in the end.