Keeping It Short

by Sarah B
(Utah)

I am eighteen years old. My life thus far has been a sea of things that I've blocked out, hoped to forget, or refuse to talk about. But lately I've really wanted to reach out, and tell my story.


I am a youngest child, my brother being three years older and my sister eight years older. My parents throughout my life have been addicted to drugs. The first sign of this I can remember is when I was about nine. It was there before, but I was too young to know. Living in a homeless shelter at the time, my father was drug tested and came up positive for cocaine. I screamed and cried about how I knew this would happen. But in all honesty, I had no clue what was going on. From there, it had been a string of moving. From ages three to sixteen, I can't recall being in one place for more than a year and a half. I've been to dozens of schools, that is if we ever bothered me to enroll me in the school. But none of it was too bad until I was twelve.

My parents had begun heavily drinking and abusing drugs. My sister never left the house, and shut everything out around her except for my brother. I remember my mom threatening me to go to school even though I always refused to go. She used to tell me if I didn't go, that they would take me to foster care, and take me to a new home, where a creepy old man would rape me and abuse me worse than what I was getting. I would scream and cry as she threatened to call to take me away, going as far as calling a few times and I, being scared, ripping the phone from the wall. My mother was an emotional abuser, and my father was physical, it was usually only when he was using. But I remember being beat for being angry that he was using, that he'd spent our rent only on drugs.

The worst fight was when I was thirteen. Though it had began as a joke, my dad wrapped his hands around my throat and next thing I knew I was on the floor.

I started self-harming around that age as well. My father, upon learning I was cutting myself turned it into a joke, cutting his own arm up, telling me he was going to one-up me, and slit his throat.

My parents always fought, and still do. We were homeless the majority of my childhood, and no matter what, would always slip back into drugs and alcohol.

I moved away when I was sixteen, when my father had tried to steal money from my sister, because she wouldn't "Borrow" him money when he was visibly high. My parents still to this day owe my brother and sister thousands of dollars, because they end up in bad situations, and after all, they're still our parents. And I think that's the worst part.

When people talk about abuse, they talk about the bad stuff. But I have good memories of my parents too. Remembering those ones are worse than the bad. Because then I can't look at them as some villainous people. It's easier to forget the good times and slap a label on them. To tell people I hate my parents for everything. But I can't. I don't see them often, half the time I don't know where they are, but when I see them I turn into a five-year-old. I try to show them my latest and greatest achievements, hoping they'll tell me they're proud, and not ask me for ten bucks.

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