Coming from a broken home and gang-oriented neighborhood, I had to fight to break free from this pattern of destructive behavior. With a drug-addicted mother and unforgiving family, my heart was torn in two. I was in and out of social services until just recently. It seemed that I had been sucked right in the middle of an adult world at the tender age of 10. My family’s custody battle for us children took so much of my family’s time that they failed to give me fundamental rules and boundaries that normal children grow up with. The battle brought out a side of my grandparents and my mother I never want to see again.
I never realized how a family could turn against one another until the day I was taken from my mother by the local children’s service. I was 10 when I was officially taken out of my mother’s custody. Even though my mom had a growing drug problem and sometimes avoided me, she always made sure I was fed and had a roof over my head. In my eyes, she was still the kind and loving mom she had always been to me, and she never intentionally hurt me.
My relationship with my family would never be the same after that day. I felt that I had no one to trust. The adults paid more attention to how they felt and did what they thought was best for my brother and me. With being in and out of court and doing everything in their power to outsmart the other, my grandparents and mother forgot to lay down basic rules for my brother and me. I’m still not sure if it was a lack of caring or, frankly, just not knowing how to teach us right from wrong. We lacked a normal family: a mom, a dad, a cat, and a dog. The least my family could have done was give us the structure every child needs to become a successful adult. My family allowed me to stay away at friends for nights at a time, and sometimes didn’t check in on me.
Eventually I learned I could lie about where I was going and go somewhere else. They never told me the dangers of doing drugs and alcohol, or how important...