Hannah laughs and eats her strawberries out of the pink container that matches her pink lunch-box that her mom packs every night. I laugh along with everyone and their problems, sitting silently thinking about mine. “My mom got mad at me last night because I didn’t finish cleaning the third floor” Lilly complains to people at my seventh-grade lunch table. You have a third floor. “Oh my gosh my dad and mom last night wouldn’t let me go into the living room because they were working with a client.” Sammy shares. Imagine your parents living together.
Having recovering addicts as parents wasn’t something that I could casually explain to my seventh-grade tablemates. It's hard to explain to someone with married parents, college degrees and steady jobs that my mom tried to kill herself last weekend and my old playroom at my dad’s house used to be a meth lab. I became very good at lying, so good I even began lying to myself. The issue with having parents who took away so much of my childhood is that I couldn't share that with anyone. I thought it was normal, I thought everyone's life was like this, a giant rehearsed lie.
I grew up wondering if I would turn out like them, I didn’t take Tylenol until the fifth grade because I heard my mom and grandma arguing about pills, and I thought that they were all the same, and I didn’t want my grandma to be mad at me. I waited until I was at a red light to ever drink my juice box because I knew my grandma had to drive me everywhere because my mom got caught “drinking and driving” and from my car seat, I was afraid of getting in trouble too. Having recovering addicts as parents means I am almost 18 years old and have never tried coffee because I read once addiction is hereditary and I live in fear of becoming addicted to anything.
I could let it control my life, looked at the cards I have been dealt and given up. I could have missed school after all of the mornings my mom attempted suicide, I could have stopped doing my homework when I had to talk to my dad through the prison phone. I could blame everything wrong in my life on the fact that the cards I have been dealt in life suck. I could waste my whole life complaining, or I can shuffle the cards and look at all the good ones, and see everything I am thankful for. I have taken my cards and arranged them in the best possible way. I will soon graduate high school at the top of my class, and will be the first in my family to go to college. People decide what to make out of their situation, I could let the situation control me, or I can control the situation. This I believe.