Name: Vivian Jude Zienty
“Every addiction no matter what it is, is the result of trying to escape from something by going in the direction of a need that is currently not being met.” – Teal Swan
Drugs have taken away arguably the most significant person in an adolescent’s life. Drugs have taken away my mother. And the three years that she was a part of my life definitely couldn’t be defined as pleasant times. It’s a rough approach for a six-year-old to comprehend that it’s more important to get high than it is to be taken to kindergarten on time.
My grandparents had me until I was three years old, and suddenly my mother finally fought her way through the court systems and back into my life. She moved me up to Portland, expecting a second chance to be an excellent mother, because when I was born, she proved to be inadequate at taking care of me. Disturbed as my grandparents were, they had no alternative but to let me go. Driving away from their house on top of the hill, all I remember thinking is whether my kitten Gizmo would be alright without me. She ran away two days later.
The affectionate acceptance that I received upon entrance to the residence in Gresham was a valuable howling about how terrible it was that I still drank from a bottle. My bottle was taken from me and thrown down the stairs. That was the day that I started drinking from a cup. My brother living with us should have been a wonderful thing, but he was around eleven and thought that it was funny to pick on his little sister. So on a constant basis I was reminded that I had a lisp and couldn’t pronounce the word three correctly. He and his friend John would leave me by myself, much while my mom was out getting high. Requiring food for myself developed into an essential at age four.
My mother lost her job, and all of her money was being siphoned into her addiction, so we were kicked out of the residence. Around this time, her ex-boyfriend came back into the picture. He was violent and dominating, but my mother thought that she needed him. He resided with us in all of our destiny, rather special residences. The Peach was a motel that we lived in for quite some time. There were other children living there, and I was able to go out and play with them. On one such occasion, my brother’s father drove up in his giant red truck and told him to get in. He couldn’t take me because he was not my father, so I was left alone in the contaminated parking lot to fend for myself. When my mother discovered that her son was gone, it didn’t disturb her much because she was high, but thereafter I got in trouble because I didn’t stop him from leaving.
When the motel expenses got to be too much to handle, we were forced onto the streets. For a while the front porch of a discarded house across from the Goodwill became our home. This was not a coincidence, being as we stole from the Goodwill. Whenever the workers would leave the Goodwill delivery truck open, we would sprint across the freeway and take whatever we could hold. I was commended for stealing shoes and crayons.
Of all that transpired in those three years, one consciousness stands out above the rest. During another of my mother’s drug binges, we ended up in a tremendous deserted warehouse. This warehouse was in one of the shadier parts of the city, so it was a testament to my mother’s addiction that she even brought me along. Apparently she thought it was safer to bring me rather than leave me on the porch by myself. Upon entering the building, I was told to go into a room on the left. I was given the instructions to sit and be tranquil. So that’s where I sat, all night. As it got ominous I picked a spot on the wall and glared at it. This was an attempt to not become terrified. As a five year old I understood the measure of my determination.
I believe that she wanted to stop, but the addiction had such a powerful hold on her that she just couldn’t. Thankfully my grandparents regained custody of me when I was six, and I have lived with them in Brookings ever since. I have just freshly started developing a relationship with my mother, and it is off to a good start. I actually think that my childhood is a big part of who I am today. I have this desire to accomplish that I cannot begin to explain, and I know that I owe it to that determined little five year old that I once was.