My teen years were a struggle

Part 2 of a series about a teen's life growing up in San Diego.

Blanca Paloma, Guest Writer

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During my early teen years, my home and parents were no longer stable and it was heartbreaking seeing them fight and hearing them arguing constantly. It did lead to an ending were they no longer could adapt to seeing each other so my father left home and stayed somewhere else. One morning, I was eating cereal waiting for my father to pick me up, but my mother told me that he got arrested that night and she looked away. When I heard that I knew things were not going to remain the same and he was never going to come home. I had to go to school and pretend that home was okay when it really was not.

I couldn’t see my father for a long period of time because the court wouldn’t allow it. When we went to court, I had the confidence to say positive things but when I saw my father through the television, I just wanted things to end. I hated when detectives would question me and also how Child Protective Services would come to my house, school or just follow me around because it would make me feel uncomfortable and confused. Also, coming home would make me feel so empty because I had to deal with my mother in bed and crying herself to sleep. My mother was going through depression and no longer wanted to live. I felt like I needed to support her such as trying to get her up, feed her, help her take a bath and most of all try to make her happy again. It came to a point where I almost lost her because of the pills that she drained herself in.

After a while, the house that I grew up in, slipped away. We lost our house because we could no longer afford it and we were at risk of being homeless. Many of my family members were not being supportive or didn’t even recognize our situation. I have an older brother who was trying to be strong but it did come to a point were he started dealing drugs and then using. I wouldn’t see him as much anymore. I was dealing with a lot of feelings but it was hard for me to open up to my mother and father because it would’ve been a lot of weight towards them. When I no longer couldn’t function, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd who were not really focusing on their future but at times I felt really welcome. Every time I was with them I was always drinking and smoking because I thought that my problems would go away but in reality it always made me think of doing stupid things. Most of the time, I would skip school because I felt like school was unnecessary and I would rather make easy money. I just felt trapped and stuck because I did feel alone because my mind and trust was just blown up.

On the other hand, my aunt from my dad’s side of the family let us stay at her house until we got back on our feet. I was no longer living in my area anymore and was living in La Mesa. My aunt was someone who understands me because she always made sure I was okay emotionally and mentally. She wanted me to see different perspectives in my life and that I was capable of doing amazing things. I was just glad that I was heard by someone who I was really close with. My aunt was always positive and most of all treated me as if I were her daughter. All this pain that I had in me, I knew that my parents were never going to get back together and due to the fact how my father was no longer here I knew our relationship changed.