So how did I become a teenage mother with five boys? If I had to sum it up in one word, I would use the word addiction. No one can convince me otherwise that the part of town where I grew up was cursed with a curse.  Many homes just like mine were filled with mothers and fathers who were struggling to combat various addictions. Sadly, my father fell victim to some of the addictions running rampant within this town. For instance, he battled alcoholism, gambling, and sexual addictions throughout my entire childhood. At times, I would speculate that his over-indulgence in these addictions had prevented him from fulfilling his fatherly duties—such as protecting his family, and more specifically, his little girl. Now, as I think about the lives of my adult sons with their daughters today, I would hope that they would never allow their daughters to experience what my father allowed to happen to me. However, I have long since forgiven my father of his transgressions, because I acknowledge that he was a product of his upbringing. Consequently, the addictions that he suffered with were passed down to him by his parents.

Being exposed to an adult’s behavior as a young teenage girl was the same as “taking fire into one’s bosom.” There was absolutely no way of coming out of the situation without getting burned. My youthful brain could not begin to comprehend or fathom what I was dealing with at the time. Furthermore, since I experienced puberty at an early stage of my life, it was not unusual for older men in my community to take notice of a young girl’s physique. My first interaction with a man came when I was only twelve years old. This man was already married with a child. Our conversation was just casual at first, however, as I would later discover, our casual conversation was only step one of his plan to get me more comfortable in his presence. My contact with him eventually led to intercourse, and six years later, five sons with no husband. As a result, I lost control of my hormones, and subsequently found myself addicted to sex. At no time did my father step in and put an end to a predatory situation that was transpiring in my life.  All in all, I was a child caught in the midst of an adult’s game.

Essentially, the following dilemma was probably one of the greatest concerns that I had while raising my five sons. How do I prevent the addictions that I saw growing up from overtaking my sons? In response, I decided to ensure that my guard was always up, and that I closely monitored the crowd that my sons enjoined themselves to. Most importantly, I did my very best to always keep them surrounded by “positive” role models. This included getting them involved in the local Boys & Girls Club to keep them off the streets.  Additionally, through having them participate in team sports all-year-around, they had the opportunity to stay occupied thus dissipating some of that pent-up energy in a positive way. Furthermore, they were fortunate enough to have good coaches who kept them on the right track. In their youth, they were sent to church on Sundays. As they got older, we also started attending church together every Wednesday and Sunday. All in all, the good news we all learned about gave my five sons and I the “the roadmap” to overcome our addictions.

Photo by Phinishing Touches LLC

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