The Story of a Survivor
When I was young I was taught that family comes first. It wasn’t until I got older that I truly understood what that would come to mean. I grew up as the 2nd youngest of a family of five...When I was young up until I was about seven, I had an average good childhood. It wasn’t until then that I was mistreated.
When I was seven my dad got cancer and had to quit his business, but that is when it all started. Because of my dad not working my mom had to work harder and for longer so she was never home. My dad took advantage of that. Unfortunately growing up as his oldest son I got the brunt of it from everyone one. I was physically abused, mentally abused, emotionally abused, and sexually abused. It affected me so bad in the 2nd grade I was expelled. From that point on I was in counseling. It wasn’t until my parents split that things started to get easier for me, but by that point, the damage was done.
When I was 16 I hit a low point in my life and started thinking about taking my life...again. It was at that critical moment in my life that something amazing happened. I met my girlfriend. She accepted who I was and loved me for it. The first time in my life I would feel like I mattered to someone.
It was her and her baby girl that gave me meaning for the first time. Her daughter was 1 ½ years old. When I turned 18 I joined the Army National Guard. It was two months before I would leave for basic that we found out that my girlfriend was pregnant with our son. The 2nd day at basic I got injured and was told that I would be discharged.
While I was away my girlfriend and her daughter were homeless. She would give birth to my son without me. When I came back my son was three months old. For the next year I would battle with things that happened to me in basic. When my son was one year old we had already moved three times. In the next two years I would start to get on my feet and start to make a home for myself.
It was when my son turned two that life decided to throw another punch. The house we had lived in had lead paint. My son had been being poisoned. When we told the landlord she fought me. For the next year we tried to get her to fix the issue. Finally we searched for legal advice. We were told to put money in a second account. Then they decided to turn us to court. Due to a bad lawyer who lost our paperwork we lost and were evicted. For the next few months we would spend all of our money on hotels and friends’ couches.
About a month ago [at time of writing] I sucked up my pride and asked for help from my grandmother. She would agree to help, only for it to back fire on us. My kids, wife and myself would be used and abused by them. Finally just as I would have enough, life threw another punch. My car would be repossessed. So there I was stuck. Thankfully my mother in law would save us. From that point on we have lived at a homeless shelter. The point of me telling my story isn’t for pity or for you to say, “Damn, that sucks.”
Through all of this I didn’t give up hope that things will get better. The point of this story is that no matter what happens, it can always get worse, or better. That is dependent on you.