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May 9

The Light at the End of the Tunnel.


My name is Olivia , i am 23 years old and i live in New York!

I’m not really sure where my story begins, so I’m going to start with as early as i can remember. Thinking back, as Long as i can remember my brother has been a drug addict. He’s 10 years older than me and started at a really young age just smoking weed and drinking Here and there. It got worse and worse through the years, he was getting in trouble, being sent to boys homes, getting arrested. I remember clear as day, i was a lot younger. my brother was fighting with my grandpa and it got physical and the cops were called and i remember seeing him get pepper sprayed. a lot of his problems stem from mental illness that Never wanted to believe that he had.

Not only were things with my brother getting gradually worse l, but my parents were drinking a lot more than they ever had. They fought, both verbally and physically. When i was younger it wasnt so much around me. But there was a time i remember coming home and seeing blood all through our house. It turns out my mom cut my dad with a knife. They separated for a few months but ended up right back where they were. Year after year their drinking and fighting just got worse and worse.

Fast forward to about seventh grade for me. My brothers addiction went from drinking and weed to being a full blown heroin addict. To top it all off, my sister started using heroin as well. She was the closest person to me growing up and i watched her just decline in every aspect of her life until shE was a full blown heroin addict too. They continued using and getting in trouble and going to jail and prison regularly.

Fast forward again to 10th grade for me. my parents were still drinking and fighting, my brother and sister were still using. But i got very close to my other sister in all of this. We had our stuff together and she let me stay at her house a lot because of my parents. i stayed there with her and her boyfriend at the time. I was spending the night one night. I was in the room i spelt in that also had my nephews crib in it. And her boyfriend came in one night when i was sleeping. i woke up to him trying to get my pants off, and i managed to get one leg free and i kicked him as hard as i could in his head. And he just ran out of the room. I locked myself in the bathroom the rest of that night and waited for my mom to pick me up the next day. A week later i told my social worker in school and she got the school officer involved. so my parents found out. My mom took me to a child advocacy center and met with a bunch of people Who helped me feel comfortable enough to tell my sister. They brought her in and we sat down and told her what happened. Her response was “that’s how he got the bruise on his head?” And she cried and hugged me and told me how sorrry she was. They took her statement as grounds enough to arrest him. She came home with us that night with the baby. I woke up the next morning, went to school, and i came home and her and the baby were gone. I didn’t see her or speak to her for 4 or 5 years after that. She left and went back to him. She ended up marrying him and having 2 more kids with him. I see her rarely and i speak to her rarely. That was extremely hard for me to deal with.

Fast forward to my junior year in high school. I met someone in tenth grade. Claudio. He became my absolute best friend. He helped me through everything i had been through and supported me and made me just, a happier person. We talked daily, and i was texting him One night. After about 9 i didnt get a response Which was strange. So i texted him again and told him goodnight and I’d talk to him tomorrow. I went to sleep, and i woke up the next morning to a text message from a friend telling me they’re so sorry. And another asking me to call her. So i did. And all i heard was “claudio died last night” i dropped my phone and don’t remember anything after that. I think it’s something i block out in my mind. There’s a few days i don’t remember at all. I remember his funeral and it felt like a part of me was gone.

The rest of my high school life was pretty much the same. I was sad and angry at my family for what they were doing and it was a hard time for me. but there was a positive. My sister had a baby. His story, not so positive either, but he was here and i was so happy. He was in the hospital for about 2 months slowly withdrawing from heroin and methadone. He was healthy in every other way. He was the good in all the bad, he still is. But, my sister was in prison at the time and he ended up coming home with us. I moved in with my grandma and was raising a baby my senior year of high school. But i wouldn’t have traded it for anything i absolutely adore that little boy.

Graduation rolled around and i made the extremely hard decision to go away to college. I was leaving my family my friends and my nephew. It was so hard for me. But the best decision i ever could have made For myself. I met my boyfriend, who I’ve been with now for 4 years who is INCREDIBLE. and just getting away from home was a good thing.

during of my winter breaks from college i was home. And something just felt off. there was a night i was going to pick my parents up from somewhere. i went outside and went to get in the car and an SUV was driving by. but they stopped right in front of the house. I could see someone through the window but had no clue who it was. So i got in the car and they drove off and kept turning around and driving by. It was strange. But didn’t think anything of it after the fact. Until a couple nights later. A man showed up at the door. It was an undercover cop looking for my grandma. My nephews father wanted to hire this man to kill her and anyone who got in the way. they told us he had a whole plan and that night i saw the car driving by it was the undercover cop and him Scoping out the house. he told the undercover cop that night to kill me right then and there because I’d be a problem with the plan. i thank god every day that it was an undercover cop. He is in prison now and orders of protection are in place of course.

after that happened i didn’t feel safe. I moved up where my boyfriend lives which is about 3 hours away. My life has just changed completely since. i am a completely different person. There have been some bumps in the road, i lost one of my grandmas 2 years ago which was hard for me. But i feel mentally stable now.

For most of my childhood i was sad and angry and depressed and just hated my life every single day. I didn’t want to continue living it. But my best friend that passed away always told me, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And i feel like I’ve found that light. I feel like my life has meaning now and loving every day happy has just made such a difference in my life.

I have always been super open about the stuff ive been though because i know there are people going through the same thing. If you’re going through stuff, please hang in there. It does get better and you are not alone !!!


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