My family has always been extremely dysfunctional. I was born to a drug addict and dealer. My father, at least since I can remember, was always very abusive to my mother. After their divorce, things were great with my mom, sister and I, until my mother was in a horrific car accident. My mother was completely disabled from the waist down and could not even get out of bed. She knew at the time that she could not take care of my sister and I so she looked to as many family members and friends for help. My bachelor uncle was willing to take one of us and my father was only will to take me (he has always denied that my sister was his).

Not thinking that my father would treat me badly, my mother sent me to my father’s home in Texas and my sister to my uncle’s home in Northern California. I was only supposed to be there for three weeks while my mother was learning to walk again.

When I first got to Texas, my father’s family threw a huge party to celebrate me visiting them. I was the only girl in the family so I was treated like a princess but after the three weeks passed, my father and I moved and I was not allowed to speak to my mother. I was then treated like a slave. I had to take care of 13 people within three homes and I was only seven years old. My father did not believe that women deserve an education so I only attended three days of school within nine and a half months.

I remember one day that I was at my aunt’s house alone and my mother called. She told me not to tell anyone but she was going to come and save me. After a month passed, I forgot that she had called.

I was also sexually abused by my sixteen year old cousin who still to this day has not been prosecuted.

On the second from the last day of school, the state of Texas made my father take me to school(since I had missed so much). My mother walked in to my class and said that I could go home with her but I would have to leave all of my toys and friends in Texas. We both cried and I said that I wanted to go home with her. As we were walking away from my classroom, I remember my teacher telling my mom to be sure and sign me out of school. We walked right past the office and my mom told me not to say a word. We walked out to a small car with my uncle and cousin in it.

My uncle drove us 8 hours to Austin, Texas and my mom and I caught a flight with nothing but the clothes on our backs. While my mom and I were on our flight, my uncle called my father and told him that I was with my mother. I later found out that the U.S. coast guard helped to find me. I still have not met any of the people that helped to save me except my mother and uncle.