At 15, I had my first ‘real’ boyfriend, and I moved in with him. At the time, he was my hero. He was only a year older than me and he was so nice to me... at first. Soon he began beating me and I became pregnant with his child. After he kicked me in the stomach I ran away, back to the streets. I lived the entire pregnancy on the streets. I chose to give my son up for adoption as soon as he was born because I was too young and his father was abusive. I personally picked the adoptive family and gave them my baby – a healthy 8 pound boy – up for adoption with the help of my doctor. A year had passed and I was still so sad that I gave up my son for adoption, even though it was the right thing to do. I went to my friend’s house to smoke a bunch of pot and to just escape my feelings for a little while. I asked my new boyfriend at the time if he would feed my cat at my apartment while I was gone. 2 weeks had gone by and I got a bad feeling in my belly and a gut instinct to go home. In the middle of watching Gargoyles and smoking a fatty, I left. I got home to find my boyfriend and my roommate in bed together. Nice!
I was so sad that I had a one night stand with my son's father, and got pregnant by him... again. Once again I stayed the entire pregnancy on the streets. I was going to give her up for adoption as well, but I just couldn't. I was 18 now and I ran to the lady that my mom gave me to (for that 3 year stretch) for help and I had my daughter there. Within months it was a bad scene and I didn't want my daughter growing up around the same crap that I grew up around so I went back to Toronto and moved in with her father. Big surprise – within months he started beating me. I thought it would be different this time, now that we were older and had a child, but sadly it wasn’t. One day I came home and he attacked me with a baseball bat. I managed to escape and got the police to retrieve my daughter. I went to a shelter for abused women. Even though he was abusive to me, he wasn't abusive to his daughter, so I tried to do the right thing and brought her to his house for weekend visits.
I went back to adult school at 19 and it was there that I met the father of my youngest child. I never brought a man home to meet my daughter because I didn't want her to get attached to random guys. When I finally brought Ted home to meet her I had already put her in a school for children with aggressive behaviours. It was when she met my boyfriend that she innocently asked her teacher why her Dad and Ted treated her differently and then explained what she meant. I was called and notified that her own father was sexually abusing her! I told them to call C.A.S. immediately and I picked her up from school that same day. I took full-custody from her dad with absolutely no visiting rights and Ted adopted her. Soon after, Ted and I had our youngest daughter.
After years of intense therapy, my oldest daughter is doing a thousand times better. There is no statute of limitations for what her father did, so we will not push her into a court just yet. Instead we will wait for her to be strong enough to face him on her own time.
As for me, I went to college and am working on becoming a glass-artist now. I have a union job, and to look at me you would just think I was another pretty girl. I grew out my mohawk and took off the 20-holed boots when I had kids. Since I watched my mother on drugs all her life, I never fell into drugs or alcohol addiction while living on the streets. I have watched many lose themselves to addiction, and many died young. I may not have lived a pretty life, but I'm very smart; I have helped so many, and I'm proud of who I am. I have rescued hookers from pimps; I have gotten good people off of drugs; and I have made street-kids realize they don't have it quite so bad at home after hearing my story.
I out-ran my warrant for my arrest; I stayed out of Durham for 9 years and called them when I was 23 explaining the situation at the time and it was erased from my record, so I have no criminal record. I have lived a complicated life – that of which this article only captures a fraction of. I tell my story through my art and poetry a lot. I hope that telling my story might help someone get through a hard time of their own.