Ashley - Centerville, Ohio
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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I believe that a broken home doesn’t have to yield a broken heart. Growing up in my family was never easy. My mother’s ex-husband, Bob, whom I can barely call my father, but whose blood runs through my veins, was more of a hindrance than anything, abusive and drug addicted he cared about no one but himself, not even the children he helped create. While my mom was trying to get an education so she could better support our family of five it was Bob’s job to watch us three children. This consisted of my eight-year-old brother and my five-year-old self trying to tackle my one-year-old Down syndrome sister’s dirty diapers, while Bob sat at the computer and smoked. Instead of watching Annie, the youngest, he would fall asleep leaving her to play with the microwave; luckily my mom came home in time to see what was about to happen. But he claimed he loved her and would kiss her cheek and everything would be fine again. He would have “computer parties” where he would have all of his buddies brings their big computers up to our tiny apartment and stay up all night drinking smoking and playing their computer games, keeping up the children and keeping my mother from her studies. He never wanted her to get an education because then she could leave him and take us with her. My grandma and aunt never encouraged the marriage but did what they could to help get her out of it, with out them she never would have gotten the courage to get up and kick him out. She had had it with the verbal, mental and physical abuse to her and most of all the children.

Sometimes I wish it could have been different. Instead of the yelling and fighting there was love and nothing but love, where I actually had a father, someone to be there when I had nightmares, someone to teach my to ride my bike, or how to fix a car, another face in the family photo. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I look back and think I would never want it any other way. Sometimes I hold so much hate in my heart because of what he did, but then I think of how great my life is now. My family is so close, especially my siblings and me. We would go to the ends of the earth for each other. We stayed strong. My brother is currently attending The University of Dayton studying to be a computer engineer, and I have hopes of going there too to become a pediatrician. We could have used our childhood as an excuse, a handicap, but instead we chose to use it as an example of what not to become, we used the past to make us stronger and better people. So now I thank Bob for giving me the chance to see what I can achieve.