This is not the typical blog post I share. It’s actually something I’ve never shared in writing. For a long time. I mean a very long time, I was ashamed. Ashamed of my childhood. Ashamed of who I was. My story.
I decided to share this intimate part of my life because I want you to know that even if the odds are stacked against you, you can become more. The better version of yourself. You can break the cycle. Beat the odds.
If you follow my Instagram you’ll see meticulously curated squares. Those are the things I typically share. My home. Fashion. Baking adventures. It may appear that I have a perfect life & home. But behind the squares there is a person that for a long time was extremely hard on herself. Who had little self-worth.
At a little over a year old my biological mother murdered someone. Another woman. She was heavily into drugs and made a series of bad decisions that ultimately led her to a maximum security prison. My biological father is no more than the name typed on my birth certificate. I have never met him. I’m honestly not sure if that’s my real father.
After my biological mother was arrested, my maternal grandparents adopted me & my brother instead of letting the state take us. At that point they had already raised their kids. They were done. But being the selfless, loving, and compassionate people they truly are, they took us in and raised us as their own.
Growing up, my maternal grandparents still wanted my brother and I to have a relationship with my biological mother, so we would make the 2 hour drive monthly to visit her in prison. Getting scanned and taking my shoes off as I walked through the metal detector was normal to me. I vividly remember visiting with my biological mother. The concrete walls. The beige tiles. When the weather was nice, we were allowed to visit outside in an enclosed brick wall with the tops wrapped with barbwire & guards standing in the towers. Rifle in hand. As a very young girl I didn’t shy away from telling my friends and classmates that my mother was in prison. I didn’t know any better. I remember telling my classmates the story and they would attentively listen.
By the 5th grade most of the kids I went to school with knew the story about my biological mother. Something I wish I would have never told. I became the girl with a murderer for a mom. I started to act out. To the point where I would be forced to see the school counselor.
As I got older, I became rebellious. Questioning everything and trusting no one. I was ashamed of my past. What my biological mother did. I remember the school counselor telling my grandparents that the chances of me being anything more was slim. That I would basically be a statistic. That day will forever be with me.
Fast forward to my teenage years, my behavior became worse. But my grandparents, my grandma especially, never gave up on me. She would tell me that I was destined for great things and she would be there for me no matter what. She was true to her word. And for that I will be forever grateful for her love and support.
At the age of 20, I had my oldest son. Before having my oldest son, I had no aspirations. I was falling in line with what the counselor had told my grandparents. But after my oldest was born, everything changed. I knew I wanted to give my son the best life I could. For him to know I loved him with my whole heart and that I would always be there for him.
With the continued support of my grandparents, I became the first family member to enroll into college a couple of years after my oldest was born. Four years later, I graduated with a bachelor degree in business marketing. Two weeks after graduation, I got my first post-college job and now working for a financial company where I am valued.
Although my upbringing was far from “normal”, I can honestly say that I am grateful. It shaped me. It’s the reason I hug my boys a little tighter. The reason I make sure to tell them I love them. Every. Single. Day. The reason I get up and go to work. The reason I am eternally grateful for my life now. The reason you’ll never hear me say “I hate my job”. The reason I work hard. The reason I genuinely care about others. The reason I show love with no remorse.
I look back and know now that the things that occurred in my childhood were out of my control. I am no longer ashamed of where I came from, because I am where I am today because of it. I may not have had what society looks at as a normal upbringing, but I grew up in a house where I was loved. And that’s what really matters. It took me a long time to realize this, but as long as you have someone, anyone, in your corner. Someone that shows you unconditional love, that is enough.
I shared this intimate part of my life in the hopes to help others. To let you know you should not be ashamed of things you cannot or could not control. That you can rise above your circumstances. That you control the version of yourself that you want to be. If I can help one person realize that he/she can beat the odds, then sharing my story was worth it.