Student Stories

DESTINY\'S STORY

DESTINY’S STORY

My story begins when my mom was 15-years-old. She was raped by my father and that is how I was conceived.

Soon after I was born my mom was diagnosed with postpartum depression.

When I was two weeks old I had trouble breathing and my mom found out I had a tumor in my throat. I had to have surgery to remove the tumor and then was sent home to recover. Not too long after I went home somehow when I was in my crib all my stiches in my neck ripped open. I am thankful my grandmother came to check in on my mother and I because when she did my mother was standing there watching me bleed out and not doing anything to stop it.

I believe my mother was so still so angry and resented me because I reminded her of her rape. My grandma ended up picking me up and holding my head to my body and getting me to the hospital in time.

This was my beginning.

When I was about 3-years-old my mom married my stepdad. They had my little sister and then my little brother.

From as early as I can remember my parents highly favored my siblings.

I remember one time we were back to school shopping at the flea market when I saw the coolest pair of high top Vans I had ever seen. They had checkers and so many bright colors. I had never seen shoes like that before. I picked them up and asked my stepdad if I could have them.

He looked me straight in my eyes and said no, yet he turned to my younger sister and said, “Would you like these shoes?”

It broke my heart so much because I could feel him using my excitement for the shoes against me. It was just another way to make me feel like I wasn’t as important as my brother and sister.

Drugs are another issue that plagues family for as long as I can remember. My mom’s pregnancy with my sister did not even stop her or my stepdad from consuming drugs day in and day out.

His drug of choice was heroin and my mother’s was meth.

The majority of my childhood was spent watching my parents do and sell drugs.

My stepdad became very violent and would beat on me and my mother on a regular basis.

I remember one time he threw my mother through our glass French doors. She landed on the back porch and in the process her two front teeth were knocked out. I saw all of this happen right in front of me. After her teeth were knocked out he would make fun of her all the time.

She became very depressed and tried killing herself in our bathroom. She locked the door and broke the mirror. She eventually let me in and I saw my mother bleeding from her wrists in our bathtub. Somehow my grandparents showed up and were able to get her help and she lived.

You might be thinking, ‘Where was Child Protective Services?”.

They were there actually. My family went through seven CPS cases while I was growing up.

It was basically hopeless though because my parents coached us on what to say to the CPS workers. They would threaten us with beatings if we didn’t say exactly what we were supposed to.

My parents also had us pee in their drug test cups so they wouldn’t be caught testing positive for drugs.

One time we were removed from our house and went to go live with my stepdad’s mother. She was mean herself and also resented me for not being her son’s child. Life with her was just about as difficult as life at home.

The violence between my mom and my stepdad came to a head one day when he showed up unexpectedly at our doorstep. He had been in jail and had gotten out and not told anyone.

He kidnapped my mother that day.

I called my grandparents and they came and got us kids and we went looking for them. Somehow, by the grace of God, we found them at an old motel on the Westside. My grandfather and uncle and the hotel manager broke down the door and we found my mother duct tapped to a chair. I remember the duct tape being so tight her skin was budging out. She was sweating and crying, but we couldn’t understand her because her mouth was duct tapped shut.

He was arrested and sent back to jail.

I wanted a better life, but things kept going downhill.

You see, all of this was happening while I was going to school or trying to go to school.

On the days I didn’t have to stay home and take care of my baby brother because my parents wouldn’t wake up, I would try attend school, but I always had to remember to cover up my bruises and be cautious to avoid questions from adults.

One day I ended up getting arrested and spend three weeks in juvenile detention. One day a school a girl who had been picking on me called me a bastard. See I didn’t know what that meant until a friend told me.

I became so angry. This girl knew my mother had been raped. I got into a physical fight with this girl and caused her to need a few stiches. I guess all my anger just came out that day because I had never been in a fight before.

I was later arrested and found guilty and sentenced to three weeks in a juvenile detention center. However, there was a good thing that came from this bad situation.

I told my entire story.

I told her everything, all the stories I just told you plus so many more I don’t have the time to tell today. This helped me get out of my parents’ house for good. This started the process of me being adopted by my grandparents.

In a way I am thankful for that experience because I was finally able to get help.

I went to two high schools before I found San Antonio CAN. I never felt like I fit it. When I was there I would miss my siblings and worry if they were okay. After the kidnapping incident my grandparents decided to legally adopt me.

I remember I was in class one time and shared with the class that I might be able to go to college since I was adopted I could get grants. The adult in the room asked me in front of the whole class, “Why are you being adopted? You/re parents don’t want you?”

It was like a punch in the gut.

Immediately after finding the Can Academies I didn’t feel lonely. For the first time, my teachers understood and helped me. They made me feel wanted. If it weren’t for them I don’t think I would be graduating. I finally found find the first place where I truly belonged.

My advisor Ms. Simmons and my English teacher Ms. Hatfield made me feel like they understood where I had been and that I was wanted.

If it weren’t for San Antonio CAN I don’t think I would be graduating from high school.

Now my life is different.

Although my mom will always be my mom and I can’t change the past, I can choose what I do moving forward.

My goals are to join the Army after high school and eventually earn a degree in education and come back to teach at the CAN. I want to help students like me find their purpose.

And as for me, I was adopted by my grandparents. My grandparents love me very much. I have a boyfriend who helped me get in my journey to get off meth and I found a great church that I consider a second home.

I am thankful for the Can, my grandparents, my boyfriend and my church. I am also thankful for those of you reading this today.

I found find the first place I felt I truly belonged, San Antonio Can.

I know now that I life of love, faith and hope to look forward to. Thank you for believing in me.

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