Growing Pains

Michelle - Lacombe, Louisiana
Entered on February 28, 2009

Like many people in the United States, I come from a broken home. My mother and father are both alcoholics, so growing up has not been easy. I have been raising myself since I was I was very young. I stayed with friends, went to four different high schools, and worked fulltime as a teenager.

At a young age, my father abused both my brother and me when he was drinking. I remember going to school with long sleeve shirts when it was 90 degrees outside to hind cuts and bruises on my arms. No child should ever go through this.

My mother, finally, divorced my father when she had enough abuse. Life was great until she started drinking herself. As I got older, she got worse. Some nights she would come home so drunk that she crawled in the front door on her hands and feet because she could not walk. I started staying with friends to stay away from home. When I had nowhere else to stay, I went back home to my mother. I love my mother very much, but she does not know how to stop drinking or manage money. When I went back home, she was working three jobs to pay bills and my brother’s fines for a D.W.I. When she could not pay the bills, I had to help pay them. I was now the parent instead of the child. This went on for most of my teenage years.

Most teenagers focus on school and friends. However, I didn’t have time for this. My main focus was making sure I had food to eat and a roof over my head. I made it through high school by the skin of my teeth. It was very difficult for me to work full time and maintain a passing grade in school. Finally, I graduated from Mandeville High School with a 3.0 average in 2000. Instead of going straight to college, I continued working to support my mother and brother.

At the age of nineteen, I met my husband. This changed my life as I knew it. I learned how to love and be loved by someone else. We moved in together after two months. Things got better and better in my life. After one and a half years, we bought our first house. I was only twenty-one. This was the biggest and best thing I have ever done. It was not easy. The house we bought was not finished. We invested time and money into the house. Finally, after six years in the home, we are now almost finished.

Every marriage has its good points and bad points. Coming from a broken family, I did not understand how a marriage worked. Over the years, I have learned how to work through the bad and try to make things better. I enjoy being married to my husband. He is a loving husband. I hope we continue to make it through the bad time. He is a person I do not want to live without. I would like to grow old with him.

I believe things happen for a reason. Even though I came from a broken home with alcoholic parents I turned out okay. It does not matter if you are rich or poor. If you work hard and do right in life, you can still become someone. I look back and say I am so proud of how far I have come. I went from not having anything to having more than I could ever hope for. I do not feel sorry for the life I had growing up. If I did not have the life I had, I would not be the person I am today.