**Linking up with It's Gravy Baby's 31 Day Photo & Prompt Challenge**
Day 4 - An experience that made me who I am today
Well like most of the mother's in the world, giving birth to my children were life altering events. For the better, if I do say so myself. That's not the first thing I think of when I think of the biggest experience in life that made me the person I am today.
My brothers and I spent our childhood bouncing from place to place, never really having anything of our own. We lived with various family members, while my Mom did whatever she did. Well, I know what she did, she ran the streets. You see she was so far into the horrible depths of a drug and alcohol addiction that she didn't have the strength to drag herself up, and take the proper care of her kids that she should. Sometimes I wouldn't see her for weeks. Sometimes I would live with her. Sometimes it was "her" apartment. It was always clean, and most of the time we had food. It was never safe. It was never home. I never enjoyed being there, I existed. I took summer school to get away from it all. I stayed with friends as much as possible. I loved school days. They were like freedom for me.
One afternoon I came home from school, and she started her verbal assault on me. It lead to a physical assault, and I suddenly realized that I didn't have to stand there and take it. I don't know why or what came over me at that moment, but I felt stronger than I ever had. I told her what I thought of her "parenting", I told her that I was leaving. She threatened to call the cops, I screamed, I didn't care, heck I wanted them to come. Right then I decided that if I was ever going to make, ever going to get out of the ever widening ravine that she was digging for me I was going to have to do it myself. Once she could see that I wasn't going to bow to her hard hand or harsh words, she told me to leave. She demanded that I get out. I couldn't even allow myself to feel anything. I always knew that one day it would come to this, it was only a matter of time.
I left. I packed my stuff into a back pack, a bag and a pillow case. Everything I owned I could carry. I walked out and didn't look back. I hated the sight of that place. I hated the sound, the smell, the very feeling that you got being near it.
I LOVED the feeling I felt walking away. Like I was shedding the baggage of a thousand men. It fell from my shoulders with ease, and I loved every single step into the future that I took. I think back to being 15 years old and moving out into the real world, alone. On my own, with no help from my parents. I had to lie to get a job. I lied about a lot of things so I could keep afloat. Looking back I know that it was the right thing - for me. Not for everyone.
It was hard. It made me appreciate all of the things I worked so hard to earn. It was a struggle. Plenty of times I wanted to give up. It forced me to be strong. Stronger than I ever thought I could be. It made me who I am today.