Story 8/25 Survivor: Brea Quinn -13 years old
My Dad is homeless. He often says “Pray for the less fortunate people, like the homeless. We are good people.” He is in Kelowna on the streets with his girlfriend. She freaks me out. She looks like a witch. I miss the memories and all the bonding time that we had. I remember that almost every night we would watch Space Movies. During this time was when my mom got the first hint that something wasn’t right. When we were watching a movie I looked over and saw that he was “nodding off.” If you don’t know what that means, I will explain. When this happened, I was about 6 and I was wearing my Green Eggs and Ham T-shirt and we were sitting right beside each other. When I looked over, I saw that his head was up and his mouth was open. I was pretty smart, so I went upstairs to see my beautiful mom and I imitated him, showing my mom how he looked. She knew that something had to change.
The Drug he was on is heroin and my parents are divorced now. To be honest, I wasn’t even hurt by it. I didn’t care if they were together; I just wanted him to see me grow up. I try and try to get him clean, trust me. It does not work. I still try to be mad at him but I can’t. Like, I can’t be mad at him! It’s hard. He has missed five Christmases – in 2010 he was loaded but he was still there. He was not around in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015… and this will be his sixth year. Also, he missed vacations in Hawaii, Mexico and Cuba and he will miss New York coming up. If emotions could change his addiction, they would have changed it a long time ago. When he was in Jail, I was happy because that meant he was clean for at least two weeks.
He went to the hospital and that’s when he got addicted to morphine. The last time I saw him was at our closest family friend’s Jason’s funeral, which was in 2014. That was a pretty hard week. I cried and cried and cried because I lost my best friend and my Dad. I just did not want to let go of him. When this happened, I felt alone. Like there was no hope. It was like no one understood how I felt. I went to counselling and it kind of helped, but not a lot. It only helped temporarily. I felt like he didn’t love me or care about me anymore. I feel like I have abandonment issues because every time my mom has to work somewhere, I’m always worried she won’t come back. My Dad ran away from home twice and I watched him from the bottom of the stairs. I remember he looked at me and he didn’t even say goodbye. He didn’t even look back. I never told anyone this, not even my Mom. I am still terrified my mom will leave me, like my Dad did.
My mom doesn’t want me to see him. I think she feels that I would want to go with him instead of her. She would always say she was trying to protect me, but I felt like she was trying to hurt me. I finally realize now that she really is just trying to protect me. Also, I would still pick my mom over my Dad any day, even if he managed to get clean. I am a survivor even if I am not fully healed. I feel like I have been through World War 2 and I feel like I have won the war because I have accomplished a lot and it feels good. Of course, I miss my dad but there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. I hope I can help a lot of people with my story and one day, I want to help little kids with it. I am just glad that I am here today and I am able to share my story.
13 year old daughter/sister/student
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