When I was a kid, pretty much every grown up in my life had a substance abuse problem or mental illness.
Until I was 25, the longest I ever lived in 1 place was 2 years. Nobody could take care of me for an extended period of time.
I attended 8 different schools growing up. Being the new kid became the norm and I got pretty good at it.
I spent many nights alone in whatever crummy apartment we were living in, in the worst neighborhoods, taking care of my little sisters. In the morning, I’d feed the baby and get the older one ready for school. I was 10.
I walked myself to and from middle school, through the ghetto, taking shortcuts through dirty alleyways where groups of men hung out during the day, drinking and smoking on their apartment balconies. Looking back, I know I had to have had a guardian Angel. Or incredible luck. Or something.
The only constant I had during my entire life was my grandma. During every custody battle, every move/eviction, every new drug problem a caregiver would develop, my grandma was always there to swoop in and save me, if only for a short time.
When I was 14, I called my grandma collect from a 7-11 pay phone. I was locked out of the apartment and it was midnight. She picked me up and I slept in the bedroom that she had always kept for me. And then I just.. stayed. I officially moved in with her.
According to statistics, I should’ve been an alcoholic or a crack whore or dead.
It’s because of my grandma that I beat that statistic.
Life was smooth for a while. I was able to attend only 1 high school, I was in Honors classes, I got an under-the-table after-school job and saved up enough money to buy my first car.
And then at the end of my sophomore year, I met “the love of my life”; my boyfriend who would later become my husband, the father of my children and my ex-husband (not in that particular order).
My whole life revolved around him. I would pick him up for school, take him home from school, give him rides to and from work, ditch school to hang out with him. I only wanted to be with him.
This, of course, drove my grandma crazy but there wasn’t much she could do. I remember so many times just waiting until the moment I could speed away from my grandma’s house so I could be with him, not knowing that later all I would want is to be away from him and to have my grandma back.
2 years later, the statistics caught up with me and I found myself pregnant at 17.
I continued on following the life-plan that the statistics had in mind for me.
I dropped out of high school.(-Statistic.)
I got married and found myself in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship.(-Statistic.)
I had a 2nd child.(-Statistic.)
And I ended up divorced. (-Statistic.)
And then one day, I decided to stop being a statistic.
I knew that there were many more statistics ahead of me on the “Teen Mom Statistic Train” that I was on and I didn’t want them to come true for me.
*Over half of all moms on welfare are teen moms.
*Teen moms have an average income of $23,000.
*Daughters of teen moms are 3 times as likely to become teen moms themselves and sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to end up in jail.
*and there are lots more…
F*ck those statistics.
I want you to know that wherever you are on the “Statistic train”, you can jump off.
Derail that bitch.
Get on a different train.
Now you tell me, how are you going to beat the statistics?
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