My name is Jesica, I have two daughters, eighteen and thirteen. I became a mother at seventeen and again at twenty one. Raising two girls scared the Hell out of me. You see, I didn't have the best parental examples so I kinda had to just figure it out. Of course there's never been a handbook for raising kids but at least most people (if you're lucky) have people in their life to help guide them. My parents divorced when I was five years old, their relationship was a toxic one and definitely not a great example of what a marriage should be like. Cheating, drugs, alcohol, you name it, they did it. Most kids pray that one day their parents will get back together... Not me. The thought of them reuniting terrified me. When they divorced, my mom was granted full custody. I always resented my father for not putting in the effort to fight for me. Living with my mother was far from easy, we never had any resemblance of a stable life. We bounced from home to home or hotel, whatever we could afford at the time. Then of course there was the revolving door of men. When I was ten years old my thirty two year old mother married again to a eighteen year old guy that she knew for about six months. He barely spoke any English and hated working. As an adult myself now, I really don't understand what she saw in him or what she was thinking. When they married, my mom and I lived in a studio apartment and once they married so did he. Needless to say, it was cramped. I always looked forward to summer so I can go be with my dad, especially this year. Anything to escape my life. As time grew closer to summer my dad decided to finally tell me that he had gotten married as well and that his new wife had just given birth to a baby boy. I was so excited to meet my little brother but at the same time was upset that I was left in the dark. At ten years old I thought, Yay! Maybe we can be a normal family and maybe my step mom will do things with me my mom didn't. I was so determined to convince my father to let me move back home with him and our new family. When I got there it definitely didn't go the way I had envisioned in my mind. My step mom and I got along fine and I adored my little brother... But when I begged my dad to keep me he said I could stay for the next school year but after that it would be better to go back because my step mom had two other kids that were gonna be moving in eventually and there wasn't enough space for me to move in permanently quite yet. Of course I was devastated... In my mind at that age, I thought that he was just trying to find another reason to not keep me. I couldn't understand why he was ok with the way my mom was raising me. At the time I thought he knew everything that was happening but of course he's not a mind reader. I would tell him some stuff but not everything and it's not like my mom was calling him to tell him how awful everything was. He didn't know how my step father would get drunk and beat on my mom. Or that we had no electricity for days but that my mom always found a way to get high. And worst of all he definitely didn't know that I would wrap myself up in my blanket as tight as I could when I went to bed, praying that my step father wouldn't try to lay with me again and try to force me to do what my mother wouldn't... How could he know something that's never been said out loud?