“I am not my DNA”

Like mother, like daughter. Not in my world. In fact, the personality and life experiences between my mother and I are polar opposites, such as the negative and positive end of a battery. Like a battery that decays and leaks, the two ends are seemingly useless, ineffective and unproductive, if you will. The relationship with my mother cannot be better represented than by this analogy.

At birth, the rush of oxytocin and adrenaline filled my mother with joy! She had brought a new life into this world, a life that wouldn’t have been possible without her. I think that is the only positive thing she has ever done for me….but that fire was extinguished within weeks. When parenting became a hassle and interfered with alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use, the new life that needed nourished and loved became a nuisance, an interference across the board. My mother left me with my grandparents while she continued her path to self-destruction.

What more could she want? She had all the clothes a girl could dream of, dazzling shoes and pretty perfumes, but this was not enough. They were all trade-offs for what she really wanted…the drugs. And soon enough, I would become one of those objects too.

I will never forget it. It was the 2nd day of first grade, when I was just six years old, and our new playground opened. I was eating lunch when the principal released me for the day. Confused and utterly shocked to actually see my mother, she had insisted I had a doctor’s appointment. Although I was only six years old, I knew that I did not have any engagements that day other than school. I begged and pleaded with every ounce of energy to stay at school because I knew she was up to no good, but the law is the law. I had to leave with my biological mother.

As we ended up at a trap house, it was confirmed there was no doctor appointment. This appointment would take much longer and be more painful than I could ever imagine. For three months, I was starved, neglected, emotionally abused, physically assaulted, and even sexually violated. I listened to countless threats each and every day, threats that were so terrifying I developed panic disorder and anxiety. I was the product of a drug ransom.

My grandparent’s rose to the occasion once again, hiring an attorney to bring me home, away from this hell. Without them, I wouldn’t be empowered in writing this today. I AM NOT MY MOTHER. People look at me and assume that because I look like her, that I will follow in her footsteps.

I can consume alcohol, go to parties, maintain relationships, and focus on schoolwork with respect and dignity. I will never be this individual. People compare me to her because we share DNA and genes, but we are polar opposites. I am a strong, independent woman with morals and values. I am Victoria. I am dedicated. I am passionate. I am unique. I overcame.