I was born in Atlanta, GA to a 15-year old mother and a 23-year old father. Both of my parents were obviously very young when they had me – my dad said I was almost not here. My mother’s grandmother tried to make her abort me because she did not like my father. But my mother did not listen because she was in love with my father. My mother was an alcoholic and so was my dad – both of them had lost their mothers at a young age. Daddy’s mother left him when he was only three months old and mommy watched her mother’s murdered body bleed to death when she was 13yrs old.
Eventually my mother learned to cope with the fact that her mother was not alive without being dependent on alcohol, however my father never got over his mother leaving him and for that reason he also started doing drugs. So needless to say I grew up in a dysfunctional family.
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We always moved from house to house to house because my dad could not keep the rent paid for his drinking and drug problems. Not only that, I also had two younger sisters and two younger brothers he had to take care of. My father was very verbally and emotionally abusive to every one in the house including my mother because he stayed intoxicated. In October of 1991, we moved to Atlanta, GA in hopes of finding utopia but only found a better life full of the same dysfunction.
My parents kept jobs and we always had a car and a roof over our heads which was more than we could say about the life we left behind in Buffalo. But my dad was still drinking and doing drugs and being abusive due to his soon to be clinically diagnosed depression. So my idea was to leave home as soon as possible by going to college away from home. That never happened because in January of 1997, the year I graduated from high school, my dad broke his leg and could not work, plus my little sister Darlene was just born. My mother had to go back to work and I had to be the live in nanny for the first four years of her life. But the experience was good for me because it allowed me to truly appreciate being able to go to college and discover a love for Interior Design and the Arts.
I started going to AIU in Buckhead in the summer of 2002 and I have been there since. All of my siblings and I are pretty normal for the experience we went through and none of us have been in jail or in trouble with the law. We are all pretty smart streetwise and academically. But all of us except for Darlene have communication and emotional issues. Like me for example, I used to have trouble expressing myself or talking about my feelings and I still sometimes shy away from emotional conflict. I always think someone is out to hurt me or manipulate me because of how my dad treated us when we were growing up. My fathers condition is improving though and there are less arguments and bouts with drugs and alcohol abuse. He has finally recognized the impact of his actions toward himself and his family. And I have learned how to communicate and try not to be so cynical. I am also engaged to be married this fall to a wonderful non-abusive man. So I think that by the grace of God my siblings and I will all make it and will do better than our parents did in our decision making processes. Also, the experience has taught me to be more sensitive to the emotional needs of others and not to be so judgmental because you never know what a person has to go home to everyday.
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