I was born and raised in Alabama. I come from a dirt poor, but determined family. My mother was the oldest of 4, and due to my grandma being a maid to a family; she had to practically raise all of her siblings. My grandmother is only 13 years older than my mom, because her middle school friends’ father raped her.
Back in those days in Alabama, when a child was to get pregnant, she could no longer attend school. My great-grandma also kicked her out of her house, so my grandmother had to go live with HER grandmother. Now I am only telling you this story in order for you to get a better feel of my mothers’ relationship and me.
My mother had no childhood. She was the one raising her siblings, that way my grandmother could work for the lousy pay she brought home each week.
Now fast forward some years, my mother is now 16 and met my Arabian father at the mall. He asked her to marry him, and she gladly accepted in order for her to just break away from her life, as she knew it. Soon after, she had my oldest sister, and then my twin brother and I.
My mother was possibly the strictest parent I have ever met. She had rules for literally everything. The volume on the TV, the volume on the radio, I couldn’t use the dishwasher but once a week, I could only go out with my friends every other week, I could only use the telephone on the weekend and only at 15-minute intervals, and well … you get the point.
My mother was not the type to tell me how proud she was of me, instead she would say you could do better to just about anything. If I got a 94% in a class, she would respond with you could have gotten a 100%. I absolutely could not tolerate all the rules and as any “normal” teenager would, I lashed out. That’s right, I simply became the rebellious teenager. I even developed an eating disorder due to the extreme rules and lack of encouragement. I felt like I was never good enough. This is something I still struggle with today. This was my deep dark secret that I only knew about … it was something that I could only control. I couldn’t control my life around me, but I could control what went in my mouth and I could control throwing it up. I have been struggling with this battle for over ten years, and I can proudly say for the last two I have been winning.
As soon as I graduated high school I moved closer to Dallas and I had a blast. I first started working at Hooters, and a girl told me about the amazing money you could make working at a strip club. Hooters was not paying me enough to pay the bills, so I decided to see what the hype was all about. I went in and applied, and became a waitress at a gentlemen’s club. I made SO much money and lived a life of non-stop partying, getting anything I wanted, and just having a blast … or so I thought at the time.
Just like most things, this excitement and life of riches comes with a price. I soon started neglecting my studies and became greedier and greedier for money. It was never enough and I could never satisfy this aching hole in my heart. It was like I lived to just eat at the finest places, take all the money I could from men, and party like a rock star all night.
Soon the liquor and nightlife introduced me the world of ecstasy. I learned if I just took a pill or half of one a night, I could be even flirtier and make (yep you guessed it) even more money. This was my miracle pill in my eyes, but in reality I had become an addict not only to ecstasy, but to liquor and money as well.
I say that I loved money, but I can proudly say I never stripped or sold my body, but when I sit down and face the truth, I was no better than those who did. I was conniving and took money from men just because they liked my appearance and I would lie to them all the time. I would also have multiple guys thinking that I was in love with them, because at the end of the day, they were paying my bills and taking me on trips and shopping sprees.
About a year and half ago, had stopped taking ecstasy (which I was only hooked on for about 5 months) but I had become a full-blown alcoholic. I literally would wake up, not eat anything, and drink from 9 am till I finally passed out from drinking way too much. There were plenty of nights I did not know how I would make it home. To better illustrate, an average day consisted of me waking up and immediately reach to my left and there would always be a bottle of wine. I would drink one full huge bottle of wine a day. When I was done with that, I would go out with friends, (whom we would all have men who paid for everything we wanted and did do), and drink around 10 to 15 shots a night.
My life had become a complete disaster.
Now fast forward half a year, and my world is just continuing to crumble around me. I had gotten fired from the strip club, which I was a bartender at this time, due to not sleeping with the owner for my shifts. I refused to sell my soul for my job so I just left. I had no job.
One night, I was just getting in from hanging out with my friend and I was completely drunk. My boyfriend told me to take a pregnancy test. I asked him why would he want me to do that. He responded you have not had your cycle this month. (That is just how bad my life had become. My only focus at this point was liquor and money. I had totally stopped caring about my own well being and health.) I went into the bathroom and took the pregnancy test.
I looked at the little stick and just began to cry. I could not believe I was pregnant. So many emotions swept over me. The previous few years I had been able to just do anything I wanted. I was living the life, in my eyes. Instead of thinking warm and fuzzy feelings about this miracle inside of me, I was devastated. I did not want to give up the lifestyle I was living … the lifestyle that was slowly killing me inside and out but in my eyes at the time, I thought was the best life I could have.
All I could think of now I won’t be able to drink, now no man will want to do anything for me, and so on. Little to my surprise, my unplanned pregnancy actually saved my life.
I was sooo scared because now I had no job, and my boyfriend did not have one either. How were we going to pay for this child? I was an emotional wreck, but I knew I needed to get my life in order to get ready for this baby. I started back focusing on school. I never stopped attending (I had only missed 1 semester at this point).
During my pregnancy I took as many classes as I possibly could. I made straight A’s, and worked my butt off. By the time I had my baby girl, I only needed three more classes to graduate. I told myself I would be induced, because my due date was three days before school started in the spring. I was induced a week early, and I just knew I had to take the semester off. I breastfed and loved on my daughter for a whole semester. I went back this past May and gave up my whole summer, but I did it! It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I did nothing but go to school and take care of the baby. Studying and taking care of an infant is possibly one of the hardest things to do but I’m so proud of myself for doing it.
If people tell you, well now you have a child so you won’t be able to finish college, please do not believe them. It’s totally possible and with God, you can do it! I did it, and I promise you I am not the first one to accomplish this achievement.
Also during my pregnancy I met an amazing group of women who helped girls like me. They did not judge us and only were there to help and encourage us. I had never seen such a miracle in my life. The women were known as Embrace Grace. They truly opened my eyes, and allowed me to see the potential I had through God. They brought me closer to Him, and showed me that everything would be ok through the almighty Jesus Christ. If it were not for them, I would not have been spiritually back on track for my baby and myself.
Looking back at my life prior to my baby, I am amazed to see how dangerous and out of control my life had become and I had no idea at the time. I did what I want, when I wanted and more often than not, didn’t care who I was hurting along the way. My drinking had become so bad that I would hurt those closest to me. I would get into verbal, physical, and emotional battles with myself and the ones I love. The saddest part about my addiction, however, is that no one seemed to know or really even care to see that I had a problem. If my baby had not have come along, I literally would be doing the same thing now that I was doing then, but probably even worse.
If it were not for my child I can honestly say that the outcome of my life would have been way different. First I wouldn’t have graduated from college as soon as I did, I would have continued to slowly kill myself inside, my drinking would have killed me or someone else, and who knows what else.
My little girl is my true miracle baby and if it wasn’t for her, I would have a totally different life. I do not regret any part of keeping my daughter. She has not only literally saved my life and made me a better person, but this tiny person has united me and my family even closer than we ever have before. God gave me a life to save my own and I am forever grateful to my Heavenly Father.