My family have a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. As a child, I watched my father get into a lot of trouble and fights because of this addiction, and their were times that our lives were at risk. After my father died, my mom started hanging out with our neighbors. They were known as drug and alcohol addicts, and it was not long before my mom started to use. The children ages ranged from 4 to 12 years old and there were seven of us at that time. My brother and I had to work after school collecting aluminum items and selling them to recycling plants just to keep food in the house. I was nine, and and my brother was 8. Because of our effort to help feed the family, we became very close. One of my older sisters cooked the food after my brother and I bought it and brought it home each day. We worked every day and tried to keep the amount we had made hidden from our mother. We felt that she would try to take it and use it for drugs. We also had to suffer physical and mental abuse. I feel very blessed back reflecting on our experiences because I was told later that my sisters actually suffered sexual abuse on top of everything else. Today people say that I am too nice, and I spoil my children. I realize that I may be compensating for what I experienced as a child, but I believe in treating everyone with kindness. I will not let people take advantage of me, but I will try to help them until it is obvious that the help is not appreciated of useful. I work hard everyday in the efforts of trying a be a better mother and all-around person. these attributes is something that was missing in my life as a child.