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Britni Stocks has had a rough life. She was abused as a child, became pregnant at 16 and dropped out of high school. If this was your neighbor or your niece you would think that nothing good could come of a teenage mother from an abusive home. The life she has endured has had its challenges, something you wouldn’t wish upon others, so would it surprise you if she used all the cards she was dealt and ended up with a winning hand? Could a woman from a tortured past beat all the odds and statistics that society challenges us with every day and raise above the standards?
Growing up seems like an innocent thing. Full of love and freedom. However not every child gets to grow up in that simple happy bubble that all children should enjoy. In 2014 around 702, 000 children were victims to abusive homes. That doesn’t include the kids that don’t get help and suffer silently for which was the case for Britni. Her and her two siblings at the time, even her mother, were victims to mental and physical abuse. It wasn’t just an abusive father but the emotional neglect from an almost invisible mother, who seemed to slink in and out of their lives only to show up to buy them things and vanish again. The results of such a damaging home life caused Britni to constantly run away and serve detention regularly. To put a label on it you would call her a ‘trouble child’ and in societies point of view she could possibly be a criminal one day. According to www. childhelp. org “Children who experience child abuse and neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity. ” Pregnant at 16 and desperate to free herself from her endless abuse at home she moved out, bought a trailer, and with pressure from her mother even got married to the father of the child. About a year later she was divorced and a young single mother with nothing but the few things she owned and her beautiful daughter. Struggling to make ends meet and having issues with drugs she found herself in a woman’s shelter trying to get back on her feet. About 2/3 of people seeking treatment for drug abuse report being abused as a child it would seem that she was becoming a victim of societies standards and proving all her naysayers right. Finally, being able to get on her feet she told herself that she would be a better parent, that she would show her child what it feels like to be loved.
In an interview with her she stated simply, “I didn’t want what I had”. She wanted more, a better life than her past and so she began the climb. Recovering and starting to move forward in life she met a man, who also had a daughter before the age of 17, and they started dating. After dating for a while Britni became pregnant and had another baby girl. By the age of 21 she was remarried with three beautiful daughters. Britni felt like she had a bright future ahead of them. She finished her high school diploma and they even bought a home, this one a lot nicer than the trailer she had bought what seems like ages ago. But no marriage is perfect and after a while it seemed like she had hit rock bottom again. Britni’s marriage was at the point of breaking and depression had grabbed ahold of her. With the threat of yet another divorce and financial issues the household was strained. Yet again the odds seemed to be against her but she managed to persevere. She patched up her marriage and began to move upward once again, she even found out that she would be having another baby. Although everything had seemed to work itself out, financially they continued to struggle and they had to eventually file for bankruptcy. After two years and two kids later, she slowly started rebuilding her credit. Two more years later and with the help of family and friends who supported her and her growing family she was able to buy her current home and now even attends a local college to get her degree in medicine and anthropology. In a world of statistics, she seemed to beat them all.
An abusive home can leave scars that run deep. Drug abuse, depression, suicide, and risk of repeated abusive relationships are all long-term effects of child abuse. Society was her Goliath and she seemed so small, just another number, but she didn’t let her past define her future and refused to be another product of a cruel environment. She was the victor not the victim in the end.
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