135 Years, 135 Stories title image

My Baby Changed My Life

SHANNON, New York

I met my father for the first time when I was 5. He was violent with my mother, abusing her and it hurt me to see what he was doing to her. She was my best friend and I didn’t want to see her injured or crying. Then when I turned 12, I got into an abusive relationship. This time it was me and I didn’t know how to get out. I started running the streets, doing drugs and drinking. I became homeless and slept in stairwells. I was stealing food or begging for money to survive. I felt like I didn’t have anyone but myself to depend on. I felt all alone and I had to grow up by myself.

I was already a month along before I found out in January of 2011 that I was pregnant. I was scared. I wasn’t sure how I was going to take care of a baby when I was living on the streets. I knew I would need health care, a way to get to doctor’s appointments, and food and clothes for the baby.

I was lucky, I learned about and got into Inwood House. At first I did not trust anyone, but I’ve been there for six months, and I’ve learned to trust people and to make friends. This is my family now and no matter what I go through I have someone who is there for me. I am very excited to meet my daughter and to become a mother. I am naming her Asia. That’s my mom’s name and I respect my mom so much.

Without Inwood I probably would have lost my baby because of drugs or be in some crazy place. My baby depends on me and I am going to take care of her. I’m still learning, but now I know I can do anything I want to achieve.

Shannon's Photo