This I Believe

alexandra - palm beach gardens, Florida
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Allie Rodrigues


Life was always hard growing up. My mom had to raise my sister and I on her own, my father was never really in the picture from day one. She was very poor; therefore, there were times when we lived in cars, garages and with family. Not to mention, food, what was food? My mom showed me the stuff we used to eat and the smell was something that stays with you forever.

When my mom would find a boyfriend, they were normally losers. One of them was an alcoholic and abused her. I vividly remember sitting in the basement in one of our old houses and he had come home from drinking, when all of a sudden he lost it, he and my mom started fighting with each other. He began to get physical and picked up a VCR and threw it at her, then they began shoving each other until he got hurt, she broke his ankle. There were others that were just weird and creepy. She would always do everything she could to protect us and she gave everything for us. If this meant her not eating, or her having to be screamed at, she risked it. We meant the world to her.

There was a long time when she would go through many relationships, none of them ever lasting too long. At about eleven years old she met another man. It was hard to believe but this one seemed really nice. He had money, he cared about us, and he treated my mom very well.

This lasted for a long time, then they became closer and he moved in. Not too much longer went by before he proposed. This is when things changed, everything went downhill from here on out.

My sister and I began to see his true colors; my mom seemed to be blind to these things. Maybe, she had experienced something that she had never felt before, whatever it was she was a different person and this change hurt. He always wanted to be with my mom, this left my younger sister and I home alone all the time to fend for ourselves.

The worst was yet to come, one day they came home, and told us we were moving. To where we thought? We loved our house and our dog and did not want to leave. This was one of the only houses I remember my mom being able to purchase on her own. It was trashed when we bought it, but we fixed it up, then it was beautiful, and all ours. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do, we had to give away our dog and move out of our house to go be with his family.

That was the worst experience of my life four years of my life away from all my family and the people I knew that cared about me, many things happened in this long time away. My sister and I were in foster care for two weeks and, my life had begun to change for the worst.

Fortunately, my sophomore year of high school, the decision was made that we would move back down here. This was the best news of my life. Although, I would be leaving all the friends that I had made and shared so much of my life with. This was only a minor set back, I would be able to see my family and have people there for me that cared.

Unforgivably, my mom’s new fiancé was always there to torture me and make my life a living hell. The whole time we had lived with him and been away from family he had abused my sister and me, physically and mentally. It was always me more than her, but she was never too far behind. The abuse never really stopped but slowed down a whole lot when we were close to people who truly cared about us, and would stick up for us.

Then came a day when I would stick up for myself, I got tired of the abuse and was finally at the age when I could do something to protect myself. Therefore, I did and consequences were brutal, I was slapped across the face once, and the sting lasted for hours. The next time I was gone, we got into an argument, and he had it, whatever had happened that day was enough for him and I got kicked out, to live in my car. A week went by and I was allowed back in, with the threat of being kicked out hanging over my head at all times.

The day of my graduation party was when hell struck again. I was kicked out yet again, and of course my mom did nothing to help me or try to protect me. This time I knew it was final, and had to do everything for myself. I had no one and was alone in the world at the ripe age of eighteen.

You never know how good things are until you have nothing. I learned this the hard way, I had my mom and all of her love until a man came and took that all away. I was then left homeless and with nothing to face the world on my own.