Shawna's Story

My name is Shawna.  I am forty years old.  Last night I stayed at a friend’s house.

My friend, she allows me to stay there because I have nowhere else to go and I help them out, too, by giving them a little bit of rent and because I’m sober.  I’ve been sober three years. 

I became homeless because I’m an alcoholic.  And I lost my children.

My mother my father got divorced when I was six months old and I went to live with my mom and she was an alcoholic.  When I was 8 years old my mom took me to Arizona and she left me.  And when she left me I thought it was all my fault that she left me.  And things happened to me and I also thought that was my fault.  As I got older I started having children of my own and I didn’t have no one to help me know how to be a mother or anything. 

Three years ago I sobered up because my oldest child called me and told me she was gonna have a baby, so I sobered up so I could see my grandchildren.  My boyfriend gives me strength because he’s been sober--January first it will be eleven years.  And my grandchildren give me strength because I think of how I treated my children and I was wrong and I’m trying to change it so I can help my daughter better herself for her children.

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