I was born to a 14 year old girl and a 17 year old boy. I didn’t realize my life was any different than other until I was 10 years old. My mother was loving she cared for me despite how young she was and I had a lot of family who helped to raise me in the early years of my life. My parents had 3 more girls after me and I took great pride in being the oldest. My life was simple and I enjoyed being a kid until I was 10 years old and my cousin told me that my mom was addicted to pain pills. I broke down crying. The strange thing was I kind of already knew but hearing the words out loud felt like a knife in my gut. I started noticing things after that day. I noticed changes in her each day she was less motivated than the last and each day I had to do more and more things for my sisters that she was to tired to do. Once I started making friends I realized how different my life truly was. Their moms cooked them meals and their houses were clean. My mom used to do those things. She wasn’t a bad mom before the drugs took her. I once had a clean house, home cooked meals and outfits picked out for everyday of school by my mom (she liked to dress me matching with my little sister). I didn’t have that anymore now I had ramen noddles or whatever I could find in the fridge to eat and I was making meals (mostly cereal) for my little sisters because my mom was laying on the couch….still. The laundry was piled so high in the laundry room you couldn’t even walk through it and I was washing dishes in the sink as I went so we had something to eat out of. That’s when I realized it was no longer my mom sitting on that couch. It was addiction. My mom would have never left us with little food, uncleaned dishes and dirty laundry. We took trips into town a lot since we lived 30min from anything and we’d alwyas meet up with my uncle at gas stations and I knew what that meant (pills). When he didn’t have anything for her we would drive an hour or 2 to Vancouver and visit strange relatives who I barely knew and get pills from them (my mom always made it seem like we were just visiting but I was smart for 12). My dad worked out of town and was only home on the weekend. My mom made sure the house was in decent shape before he got home and she even got herself made up a bit so he would never know how bad it really was. He isn’t innocent in all of this he knew something was going on and he knew my mom was popping pills but he loved her and she played him. They weren’t happy anymore, they used to be. I remember a time when my mom and dad kissed and hugged and went out on dates. They didn’t do that anymore, now they argued my dad was called controlling by my mom and my mom was called lazy by my dad. Fast forward a couple of years things got worse around my house and I was tired of living that way. I was tried of raising my sister while my mom sat on the couch and I was tired of the mess that we lived in physically and emotionally. I missed a lot of school the truancy officers from the school were at my door often. Life was low and my mom was getting deeper into her addiction. I confided in my grandma and she told me I should tell my dad about my moms addiction and that he would listen to me (she had told him before). I told my dad and it didn’t go as expected my mom convinced him that my grandma has coached me to say it and I was in a lot of trouble now because I was tried of the mess I had to clean the mess, I was grounded, I got my phone taken away and I had to do the laundry and all of the things I had complained about. My mom hated me or at least acted like it and I felt so alone. I also felt so guilty even though I was trying to do the right thing. A few days later my Grandma picked me and my sisters up from school and took us back to our house. My dad was there and everything was cleared out of our house into a truck and my dad was balling that’s the first time I had ever seen my hero cry. We left with my grandma to go live with her and my dad stayed behind to give my mom a chance to go to treatment and get better to keep our family together but she wouldn’t. She resented him and she was angry. He found out about how she was cheating, pawned his wedding ring, his guns and his heart. After we left my mom went off the deep end and started using heroine. She didn’t contact us much I think she was ashamed and eventually my dad got full custody and my mom was no longer about to see us I saw her once in treatment center that she ended up leaving and once at my grandmas and once I when I ran away to her (which was a huge mistake). At 13 I started doing horrible in school , I started hating myself. I had to change school and I had no friends and I didn’t fit in. I was depressed and broken. I felt guilt for not speaking up sooner and getting my baby sisters out of the situation and at the same time I felt guilt for selling out my moms addiction to my dad. I missed my mom deeply and my dad and I didn’t see eye to eye (I was a teenager). My grades were bad and my dad took my phone away, doesn’t seem like a big deal to most but since I was in a new school where I had no friends and my phone was my only form of communication. I felt like my life couldn’t get any worse at 13 so I took an entire bottle of *****. I didn’t know if it would kill me but it was all I could find and I hoped it would. I ended up telling my sister who told my dad and the EMS and police came to our house. I had to ride in the cop car to the hospital where they hooked me up to machines and I was realized that same night. I went home and slept for a couple days it seemed like after that and I was so ashamed. My life started getting a little better I made some friends and got my grades up. My dad met someone and we moved into a huge beautiful house. I started at a new high school and I made some friends it wasn’t to bad and my grades were really good. I got my first job and I was proud of myself! I wanted to live again. I got a few phones calls from the mom through those years. I couple from jail and a couple from treatment. I never gave up on her I dreamed of being able to have my mom again and hug her and tell her all about my life. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It’s been almost 5 years now but it hasn’t faded at all. My aunt called me to tell me my mom was in the hospital. I wasn’t to alarmed people go to the hospital when they are sick a lot, maybe she was hurt but I’m sure she was fine. I called my dad to ask if I could go to the hospital and he said yes. I drove there and was met by a huge group of my family from my moms side and they were all crying, that’s when I started to worry. When they finally let me back to see my mom… I went alone because that’s how I handle things best is alone. She was on life support I had no idea how bad it was until I got back there she was in a coma and the first time I saw my mom in years she couldn’t even look at me. My dad came in the room while in was in there balling! I was holding my moms hand and he hugged me and said this is where it all started with her, Me and you. At that point I lost it and I realized my dad was in almost as much pain as I was that day. They moved my mom to OHSU hospital and my sister and I went to visit her everyday. My mom had overdosed on heroine. She had just gotten out of detox and took more than her body could handle. My moms heart was stopped for 10 minutes before the EMS got to her. She was found in an econolodge hotel in Oregon. My beautiful mother laid dead in a dirty econolodge hotel bathroom floor because of heroine. This wasn’t suppose to happen. The doctors said that she wasn’t getting any better and that if she did ever wake up that she would have serve mental retardation. It was up to me and my sister to decide what to do and after 3 days on the hospital we knew my mom wouldn’t want to live that way so we decided to take her off life support. I stood holding her hand at her bedside with my dad next to me and within a minute of being off life support she passed away. The Imagine of her in that bed and the sounds of the machines when her heart stopped still haunts me today. Growing up this way left me with a lot of scars. You can say that I’m very closed off and I’m hard to love. I don’t open up easily and I’ve left very few people in to my heart. The ones that I did let in I still push away in fear of being hurt or left (I’m still working on fixing that) I am 22 years old now and the road between 17 and 22 was a bit tricky. I made some mistakes but I kept my head on straight, I got closer with my dad and I still did my best in school and work. Today I’m 22 and I’ve met in amazing man who is the first person I’ve ever let completely into my heart. I made him work for it though and I don’t deserve his undying love for me. I still push him away sometimes when I get scared or sad but he’s the only person who knows me for who I truly am. The good and the ugly and I never thought I would let anyone in this deep. Some how he broke down the wall, the castle the fortress that I built around my heart to keep the hurt out. Tonight before I was writing this he said to me “ you can test my love all you want but it’s never going to change and I’m always going to stand by you and love you no matter how much you push me away”. I’ve never felt so loved and worthy of life than being in his arms. I’m going to spend the rest of my life (although I may still be difficult at times) showing him how grateful I am for him saving me. He grew up hard also and he still doesn’t know anything of his father. We’ve made a vow to each other to never let our children live through the things that we have had to and I think so far we are doing an wmdint job. He gave me a beautiful baby girl (19months) and she’s the one who really saved my life. She has given me a purpose to live again, she’s the most precious human on this plant and she makes my heart whole. My greatest accomplishment is that little girl and giving her a childhood that she doesn’t have to recover from. Our home is full of love and kisses and baby giggles. Although life is hard at times and I still struggle with the loss of my mom and depression I wouldn’t want another life. When the three is us are laying together on the couch snuggling and I see the smile on my baby girls face I can’t help but be grateful that god gave me another chance and saved my life because even will all of the bad I would of missed all of the good.