63: Choosing My Own Path

63: Choosing My Own Path

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People

Choosing My Own Path

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.

~Oprah Winfrey

I know everything happens for a reason, but do I really believe that? What has happened in my life should not have happened. I thought my mother was good at being a parent. She was there to listen when I told her things and she got me surprises when I was sad. But what was she really doing? She was lying to me all the time.

She hit me even when I was doing what she said. She left me and my younger sister for days without calling or telling us she was okay. I thought she was just being a parent and taking vacations to get some free time without us kids bothering her 24/7.

My mom would also take me and my younger sister to random houses, get way too high, and leave us there to fend for ourselves. She’s lucky neither of us were raped or killed.

During all this, I took care of my sister by myself. I made sure she ate three meals a day, bathed, and made it to school. I watched her to make sure she was never hurt, and, most of all, I was the only one that stuck by her side through everything. I was her mother-figure for more than half of her life.

To this day, my little sister will never fess up to what has happened in her life. She covers it all up like nothing wrong ever happened, and she is still momma’s little girl. But my mom will never be able to make up the time she has wasted.

She is always trying to buy our love back, but I will not accept it or allow her to treat me the way she has before. She wants me to forgive and forget, but I’m not seeing it happen. Maybe one day when she shows me she cares about how I feel and puts effort into being a part of my life, maybe, just maybe, I will forgive her. But I will never forget what she has put me through.

Sometimes I try to forget everything just for my own good, but it replays over and over again in my head.

It kills me to know that the woman who gave birth to me did this. She put all four of her children through the worst thing possible for a child to experience. Now it is affecting not only one of us, but all four of us.

My older sister is twenty-two years old and still trying to get the love she never had from my mom. Yet, my mom is not giving it to her. She is only making her suffer more.

My brother is seventeen years old. He is still trying to forgive my mom. He is in jail now, because he followed her path and did everything he could to get into my mother’s life. He did drugs with her, sold her drugs, or just gave them to her to make her happy. He protected her when she was being hurt by men she got involved with. He got hurt by defending my mom. He even beat his own father up for her, yet no love was found. He was let down by her and still is being let down.

For me, I am fifteen, almost sixteen years old, and I am always trying to find love from her. I talk to her about many things that I will not share with anyone else, and she lets me down by telling other people and judging me or hurting me. I always wish my mom would just love us kids the way we love her, but what she has shown me since she’s been back in Washington is that she is doing nothing right. She’s not going to be able to fix her problems and show us she really cares about our lives by doing what she is doing.

My little sister is thirteen years old. She is trying to get involved with my mother as much as she can. She calls my mom to make sure they are still having their weekly visits. She does what my mom should be doing, but my mom is too busy with other things to get involved in our lives. It’s not because she is busy with work or financial things, but because she is too busy getting high and doesn’t remember things.

My mom has been into meth for about twenty-five years, and I don’t think she is going to escape her addiction. No one in my family sees what I see. They are all blinded—to the extent that they won’t accept that my mom is a drug addict.

Recovering from all this abuse, I have grown stronger. I am not going to follow my mother’s steps. I’m going to be who I want to be, not who everyone else wants me to be. I hope my little sister doesn’t go down the same path as my family, but I can’t change anyone but myself. So I’m changing the path of my family history, and I hope everyone else realizes they’re not doing anything good for themselves.

I’m proud to say that I am not going to be like the rest of my family, and I am going to achieve a lot in life. I’ll have good things in life and I will be happy. Doing drugs will not make you happy. It’s escaping life the easy way, and hiding from reality because you can’t face it.

My motto is live life to the fullest. Don’t do anything you will regret because it will stick with you through your life. Think before you act and make the right choices. Follow your gut feeling and do what your heart tells you is right. Don’t trust anyone but yourself, and keep your personal things to yourself or they will get around.

The love I need will find its way to me in a better way. Not the way my mother finds love. But when there is really love around me, I’ll know it’s there and real.

Now, I am a ward of the state and with a foster family that I love more than anything. They give me what I need and want, and they are always here for me one hundred percent. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in this world. I am proud to call these two my parents, Monique and Diane.

~Alexis Ludeman, age 16

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