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" When you go in search of honey, you must expect to be stung by bees." -Joseph Joubert
I've always been a strong willed person, I enjoy helping people as much as I can when I can. I didn't have the best life growing up, but without the bad times, you could never appreciate the good. My mom is half Korean and my dad is white. They were married for 10 years before they got divorced. At that moment, I knew that things were going to change my life forever...
After the divorce, my mom had custody of us while my dad went to Iraq to continue with his military career. My dad was in the military for 20+ years and my mom, brother and I moved to Arizona. My mom went down hill from there. She started to do meth. For most of the three years being with my mom, seeing meth pipes, men coming in and out of me and my brother's life had become the norm for us.
I only remember the house being clean a couple times during the three years my mom had us. The house was always trashed with dog shit and the smell of cat piss throughout the house. We had animals that we couldn't afford to take care of. I remember our dog being so skinny you could see his ribs. He was a pit bull mix and for the pit bull lovers out there, you know that they aren't skinny dogs. We didn't have running water, electricity, and heat for a long time. We used to boil water over the fire in the fireplace to have warm water to take showers.
I was in elementary school and about five to six years old when my parents split up. I didn't have clean clothes and missed the majority of my years out of school to go to my mom's boyfriend's house. I started setting an alarm for myself to go to school on time, my mom never told me to do this, but I wanted to go and do well in my academics. Every morning (when I went to school) I would take the bus and it was a common thing to get tripped by kids on the bus while I was walking through the aisle trying to find an empty seat. I was commonly teased and made fun of for wearing the same clothes during the week and smelling bad. It didn't bother me as much as it might have with someone else. I was embarrassed and just ignored it.
My mom would never take responsibility for her actions. She always blamed my dad for "not giving me enough money" instead of just getting a job to accommodate for her spending habits. When I grew up, I found out that she drained my dad's bank account while he was in Iraq and didn't have any money in his name. He had to resort to his mom for financial help to be able to eat and survive being out there. I still resent my mom for doing that to my dad and of course, she still denies ever doing that.
My Mom's Delusions From Drugs
I remember being scared from what she used to tell my little brother and I when we were growing up. Due to her drug addiction and being on meth, she made up delusions from her paranoia and drugs itself.
She used to tell us that she was "God's wife" that she was "mother nature" and that he's waiting for her to "come back home one day," that she can change her face, color of her hair/eyes, that the government was out to get her, the government had cameras and mics throughout the house to watch us, because apparently we're supposed to "save the world one day." She told us that the reason she wasn't going to read the bible to us anymore was because God was evil and the devil was good, that there were "God's eyes in the backyard," that the government was experimenting on people in underground tunnels and that she can hear them cry and screaming for help.
This may sound insane to you, but it gets worse. I remember when we arrived to Arizona, we lived in an apartment complex. I came home from school one day and when I walked in, I saw my stuffed animal tiger laying in the middle of the floor with the stuffing all over the floor and its eyes gauged out. I asked my mom what happened and she said, "Sorry, honey. I thought that there were cameras in there." Those were her words exactly, as a six-year-old I was very scared and confused to why she was doing this. If only I had known what was going on.
My dad didn't know that any of this was going on for the three years we were living with her. My dad used to call us, send us gifts from different countries, and wrote letters often. It wasn't until CPS was called on us, that my dad found this out and was livid—as any parent would be finding out the truth about what was happening to your kids living in such bad conditions.
CPS was called on us by my mom's father and my mom would tell us to lie to them and what to say. I remember times when we were about to go in for questioning that my mom would tell us to lie otherwise we wouldn't be able to live with her anymore. Of course being a kid, we didn't want that to happen. CPS showed up at my school to try to find everything out. When CPS would schedule a day to come look at the house, my mom would spend hours cleaning up the house to give a false representation on what our living conditions were. At the time I thought that this was normal, so I never told my dad about it. There were times CPS would randomly come to our house and my mom would tell us to not make any noise until they left, so that they assumed we weren't there. I could honestly go on about all the bad things my mom did with us growing up, but we would I would be here forever trying to explain everything.
My Worst Memory...
When living with my mom, we would go to our grandparent's house when we didn't have anything to eat. My grandparent's had custody of my cousins because like my mom, her twin sister did meth and drugs. My aunt got in trouble for distributing drugs in Sierra Vista and went to jail for many years. I was close to both of my cousins growing up, we often would get into fights, but we were kids so that's to be expected.
A parent's worst nightmare... My cousin Christina, would ask me to go in her room when I went there. No one would ever bat an eye since they figured that we were just being kids, but that was very far from what was really going on behind closed doors... She used to lock the door to her room and asked me to sit on her bed. We would talk sometimes before what she normally did, but most of the time she would go straight to it.
I was about seven to eight-years-old when this first started happening to me. Christina would tell me to rub her in a sexual way. She would do it back to me and touch me even when I told her I didn't want to do it. We used to take showers with her and she would make out with me and show me how to do it. When someone would knock on her bedroom door, she would tell them to hold on and that she was getting dressed. She would have me put my clothes back on and tell me to climb out her window so I wouldn't be seen. Everyday it was the same routine until my mom started getting suspicious about what was happening.
My mom asked me if Christina was doing things I didn't want her to do and I told her everything thinking that everything was going to be okay, and that she would get in trouble for what she was doing to me. Turns out that not everything would go as smoothly as I thought. My mom called the authorities about this, but Christina never got in trouble for it because they "didn't have any evidence and that they didn't find anything suspicious." My mom's family thought I made it all up just to get her in trouble and Christina would always tell me that I was a liar and that she would "never do that to someone." She only said this in front of the family and would be completely different to my face. I was scared that this was going to continue to happen to me, but thankfully my mom took to my side and believed everything that I told her was going on. Because she believed me, she told Christina that she wasn't allowed to be alone with me or be around me.
There were a couple times where she was able to get me alone and she would ask me if I wanted to keep doing everything and I told her no, that I was going to tell my mom. It never happened again.
The Big Move
When my dad finally got custody of us, my brother and I flew on the plane by ourselves with a flight attendant looking after us. I was scared that we would get lost or not make it to the right stop when I found out that my brother and I were flying alone.
When we got there, my dad was there to pick us up and the first things I noticed were the dark green leaves, the insane amount of trees that covered us on the sides of the highways and the squirrels all over the place. When I was first told that I would be living with my dad, I was excited because it was so long since we had seen him last, which was three years prior when we said goodbye and my parents were officially separated.
To be continued...