A 7 year old little girl lies in bed next to her older brother. Tears are streaming down both of their faces. Once again, their mom and dad are fighting. They hear breaking glass and loud voices as they sob. Unsure of what to do, the little girl gets all the courage she can muster and trudges downstairs. She hesitates at the last step and takes in what’s before her eyes. Shattered glass covers the entire floor and she spots one thing amongst the debris; the clay handprint she made at school for her parents, broken almost perfectly in half.  Much like her heart felt at the moment she saw it; broken in half.   Her dad wouldn’t put down the bottle and her mom said she couldn’t do it any longer. 


At 12, she is not a woman but is also no longer a kid. Manipulation from all angles of her family confuses her perception. She didn’t know what she wanted but she would damn sure act like she did. Her mother’s remarriage meant another new house, new siblings and the thing she dreaded most; a new guy who would try to be ‘dad’. The stubbornness radiated off of her. If she felt something, you better believe she would create this façade of confidence and tell you what she thought. Things became strained with she and her mother. She constantly felt mistreated by her mother and step-father. And she despised her step-father, blaming the fighting between she and her mother on him. It was a common fight. Mom got mad, daughter threw her attitude right back at her till one day her mom had enough. Her mother took a handful of her blonde curly hair and dragged her up the stairs. One slap to her face and blood flowed from her nose. The next night, her step-father sat her down and informed her she was a poison to their family. She was destroyed. She left and went to her fathers. Court cases, fighting and ultimately the silence between a mother and a daughter for 4 years to come. 


By age 18, she is broken down. A 3 year relationship ended and a new one had begun. But a new person wasn’t the only thing she would begin to love. A drug addiction crept up on her and she compromised everything she was. Her youth and innocence were consumed by a drug. And she welcomed it into her life knowing she had given up and lost all control. She blamed her addiction on her boyfriend and on her past and all the things her family had done to her. She justified it by saying she was merely having a good time. She was knocked down and abused in every way possible and what’s worse is, she loved it. Those things made her right. She had decided she would never be better than this. At this point, she was completely broken. 


Today, that little girl isn’t so little anymore. Her addiction got the best of her for a while. She eventually went into treatment and got the help she desperately needed. She now helps others by working at a rehabilitation center to give back. She and her mom overcame their problems and are closer than ever. She talks to her family every week. She has a new boyfriend who is incredible in every way and treats her like a princess. Her dad stopped drinking and has created a life that anyone would be proud to live, filled with both old and new family and positivity.


A 10 year old little boy is suited up and ready for the big game. There was a smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of children laughing and playing. Everything was almost the way it was supposed to be with only thing missing. The coach. The coach was his dad. Anxiety began to wash over him. What was he going to do? It was the playoff game. The team was starting to warm up but his attention was on the parking lot noting each car that pulled in every few seconds. He had to be stuck in traffic. Soon enough though, the game began. And even sooner, the game ended. Dad never showed up. He never even called. All the other guys asked him “Where is Coach?” and the embarrassment was evident on his face because he had no idea where his dad was. He had ignored it.  Denied it.  But on that day, he finally allowed himself to believe the truth. His dad had missed the big game to get drunk.

 Later, as an 18 year old boy fresh out of high school, he lived the ideal high school experience; exceptional grades, football star, pretty girlfriends. Popularity and success followed him everywhere. Now it was college time. At the last minute, he made his decision on what school he was going to. Unknown to everyone but himself, he despised the three miserable years there. And when he finally made his decision to leave, he knew what the cost was. His family wanted him to go there. So much so, they ignored all the signs he displayed of his unhappiness. When he broke the news to everyone, they more or less disowned him. They put him down and gave him the feeling he betrayed them. 

 Today, that little boy isn’t so little anymore. He graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree. He mended his relationships with all his family. He is successful in every aspect of the word. He has a loving girlfriend who is amazing and helps him as much as he helps her. He talks to his family every week and sees them frequently.

 The girl and boy mentioned above are siblings. So very different but very similar in a lot of ways. They had similar childhoods. They had equally challenging and grueling experiences during which many would stop trying. For the girl, she gave up trying. But for the boy, he pushed through it all. He had bumps and he made mistakes but never once did he become a drug addict, while his little sister chose to live the terrifying lifestyle every parent dreads. 

 That little boy and that little girl each made their own choices. The little boy’s choices were more ideal than the little girls. He could have easily became an addict if he would have made different choices just as she could have followed the path he led if she had made different choices. It didn’t matter they saw their dad drink. They each made their own bad and good choices. No one forced either of them to do anything.

 It’s not about how you grew up or what you were exposed to. It’s not about what your parents did or do. The only thing that will ever effect you is you.

 I am that little girl and I made the wrong choices. After treatment I was able to press the re-start button and then I started making some more positive choices. I wasn’t chemically imbalanced and I don’t have a disease that made me the way I was. I used my past as a cop out until that no longer worked. It was my choice to do wrong and not it is my choice to make it right. 

 It is never too late to change the ways you’ve been living. If you are using or you know someone who is, do not hesitate to call today for help.


Written By Cori Buck:

Growing up in Nevada, she moved to Hawaii by herself at the age of 16. On a trip home to visit grandparents, she was offered a chance at residential treatment.  Now over a year sober, Cori lives in Denham Springs and works at Narconon Louisiana helping other addicts who want a new life.

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