When I was around 12 years old my grandmother and I got an apartment of our own, I was talking to my mom everday and everything was going good. Until the summer after I turned 14. I would go see my mom every summer in Texas where she was on probation for stealing from my grandma and I and running to another state. So, it was summer break and it was time for me to visit my mom again. My mom and I talked about me going to move in with her over the summer because she claimed things were great and she was clean. Naturally, a child wants to be with their mother so I moved in with her over the summer and things were good until 2 months after I moved. I was noticing little changes in my mom that were all too familiar to me and that’s when I realized she hadn’t been clean at all. After that, things starting getting progressively worse. My mom’s girlfriend (who yes she was still with) abused me along with her 2 sons. They would call me “fat”, “ugly”, “crippled”, and a “crack head baby” (referring to my mom being addicted to drugs and my disability.) I would just cry and wonder why someone could say those things to me. My mom’s girlfriend told lies on me and my mom trying to get CPS to take me away. Until finally a year later we went to visit my grandma in Mississippi one summer and after we came back from our visit that was when we hit rock bottom or so I thought. When we came back we didn’t have anywhere to go because everyone moved out. I can’t exactly tell you why we couldn’t go back because everyone moved all I know is that we ended up staying into Women and Children’s battered shelter. We stayed there for a few months until we finally moved in to an apartment and you are thinking “Well, everything is okay after that.”, right? Yeah I wish I could say that but it wasn’t…
I was born with what they call Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. WOW long words, right? Well, spina bifida is a birth defect that effects the spine, nerves and sometimes the brain. Luckily mine didn’t effect my learning and communication skills. When I was born the doctors didn’t know too much about Spina Bifida they just knew ways to kind of treat the fatal things that could happen to the baby after birth like being born with hydrocephalus aka “a water head baby”. They also knew to close up the spine and correct any deformities. What they didn’t know is how much independence one can have with Spina Bifida. The doctors told my mom I would be a living vegetable and that I would have to have everyone do simple tasks for me on a daily basis like bathing, clothing, eating and drinking. They also said there would be a 50% chance that I would be independent. They told my mom and dad I would be a burden and just to abort me. My mom didn’t care though she went through with the pregnancy despite what the doctors had told her.
Looking back now when I was younger anxiety and depression was no stranger to me. I would obsess over why someone would bully me or even wonder what it would be like without a disability. I would sit and watch the other kids as they ran, climbed, jumped and skipped at recess. From time to time I would get depressed and doubt myself and feel like I would have been better if I wasn’t born with this disability.
Growing up for me everything wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When I was 3 years old my mom and dad split up and my mom was addicted to drugs. After my mom and dad broke up I never got to see him again she met a man that she was with for 9 years who would abuse me and her, but when I was 7 years old all of that changed for the better.
Once again we were back at the shelter and my mom had sold her car for drugs so we didn’t have a way to go anywhere. Only she told me someone stole it. Everything was okay until one day my mom met me leaving out the door to tell me someone living there was going to babysit me until she came back because minors couldn’t be left alone while their parent were out. So she left me with someone she trusted which that was the rules after all. She signed out and like that she was gone. Some time had past and she wasn’t back by the time she wrote on the sign out sheet that she’d be back. The curfew was 10 o’clock and everyone had to be in their rooms. The staff came back to work and called me through the intercom to come to the office. When I got there they questioned me on where my mom could be and I told them everything. She was at the gate after curfew and they asked me if I wanted her to come back and I told them no. I asked them if I could call my grandma and ask her to pick me up and they said yes. So, that’s what I did and she agreed to come get me and told me to just take care of the things I needed to until she got there. I had to learn how to do everything myself with the staffs help but I did it and finally my grandma was there to rescue me. It was a long trip back to Mississippi but it was a weight lifted off my soldiers. By then, my grandma had moved into an independent living apartment for seniors so technically I wasn’t supposed to stay there, but the manager signed me as her caregiver so noone could say anything. Everything was great but I had a lot of mental healing to do. I would wake up freaking out thinking I was still with my mom in Texas only to wake up beside my grandma in her bed. I would also have terrible nightmares and would wake up screaming and crying but my grandma would always be there to comfort me. My grandma signed me up to a Christian school that my church had built because I thought that would help me to be around positive energy but I was wrong again. I was bullied more at the Christian school but I was in public school but I was happy overall until one day my mom called and told me she was coming to Mississippi.
So, my mom and I move into an apartment by ourselves (or at least I thought it was going to be that way) that the shelter helped us move into after 4 long miserable months living there. Everything was great, my mom was clean and we were happier than ever. We didn’t have much but it was ours and finally I felt like things would be like they should be. I still wasn’t making excellent grades in school much less even catching up to my class from the stress I was put under but things at home were good. At least until one day I came home from school and seen a motorcycle in the parking lot that looked very similar to my mom’s ex girlfriend’s. I brushed it off, took a big gasp of air and held my breath until I opened the door to find my mom and her ex laying on the living room floor talking to each other. I looked at her and the only thing I said was “What is she doing here?”. My mom told me to stop being rude and tell her hey so I did with sarcasm to let her know I still hated her for what she did to us. After a while my mom moved her in…again. Things only got worse from there my mom had fell to the bottom of her addiction again. Keeping me up all hours of the night with her fighting and arguing with her ex girlfriend. She would even wake me up in the middle of the night just to go to a motel with me because she thought people were “out the get her”. One day her ex leaves and my mom stays out all hours of the night and day leaving me in the apartment alone. I freak out and ask the neighbors if I can use their phone to call my mom and there was no answer. So, I call my aunt and she comes to pick me up. I stay with her over the weekend and call my grandma to tell her what’s going on begging her to come pick me up from this hell hole. I always felt safe with my grandma, she was my rock. Even talking to her made me feel safe. So, she told me she would come get me but it would take some time. Sadly, my mom came back that Sunday to pick me up without contacting me all weekend because before I left I left her note telling her where I’d be (not that she worried probably). I told my mom I was leaving to go back with my grandma in Mississippi and she refused to let me go. So we went back into the apartment ugh it was so dirty with flip flops I didn’t know who they belonged to, condoms, red cups and alcohol. My mom’s room was the worse but mine seemed to be untouched. My mom made me clean it and I hated that. Why would she make me clean it? I wasn’t the one who partied and left it a mess and left my daughter worrying if I was dead or alive, but still I did it anyway. We finally got kicked out of our apartment because only God knows what mom was doing with the money. I knew but I just didn’t want to think about it. We moved in with my aunt and everything was fine then until they moved out and mom fell back into her pit of addiction. By then I wasn’t going to school, we didn’t have lights or water, and we were begging the restraunts near by for the scraps before closing. The only thing that kept me going was my grandma’s voice. Luckily we had a phone so my mom would let me talk to her every now and then when she wasn’t too paranoid off the drugs she was doing. Then finally we went back to the shelter. We were back at square one…
When I was 7 years old my grandmother granted custody of me because of my mom’s drug addiction. After that my mom was in and out of my life and I became very depressed. My grandmother would sign me up for things in church to keep me busy. We always took trips in church and did skits which I really enjoyed doing. I started making good grades in school and just seemed overall happy.
When I was around 9 years old my grandmother signed me up for a horse competition in Jackson, Mississippi called The Dixie Nationals which I won second place twice. When I was 10 my mom and grandma moved in with each other in a house my uncle owned along with her girlfriend at the time and her girlfriend’s sons. I didn’t understand why at the time but my grandmother fell into a deep depression which caused her to check herself into the hospital. While she was in the hospital my mom was supposed to take care of me until she came back home, but instead she partied and would send me to school in wrinkly clothes. One day after school my mom told me she had to take her girlfriend to the hospital and that I’d be staying with my cousin. She left me a phone number I could contact her, a few pairs of clothes for school, little medical supplies and left. A few days went by and we tried calling my mom with no success. So, my cousin decides to call my grandma because the weekend is coming up and I had ran out of medication, medical supplies and clothes.
My grandmother had checked herself out of the hospital to find that my mom took her car, cleaned her bank account and ran to another state. We went to live with my family members until we got an apartment of our own.