Robin begins her story by explaining, “I come from a broken home. My father was an addict and I grew up with a lot of emotional baggage.” Her father abused her mother, who eventually left the family when Robin was 14. Robin is the second of eight children, and when her father spent all of the family’s money on himself then 14-year old Robin started stealing to feed her younger siblings. At the same time, Robin began smoking marijuana as a means to cope with her home life.
Robin got into a relationship with a man when she was 18, who offered her a place to live, food, and care. She had a baby girl the next year, and also became a licensed foster home to take in her younger siblings. When this man started abusing her and taking her money, Robin was scared to leave him for fear of losing her siblings.
By the time Robin was 26, she was no longer with the same man but she had 3 daughters and had begun using crack cocaine. “I liked getting high to numb the pain – I no longer had to process my emotions and think about the pain.” She eventually lost custody of her girls, who then went to live with her aunt.
Robin spent years getting high regularly; her addiction took its toll and she grew tired of running from one apartment to another. When she was pregnant with her fourth daughter, she tried to stop but relapsed twice during the pregnancy. She began at another treatment facility for 2 months but it wasn’t working for her, so she came to Meta House when she was 3 months into the pregnancy.
Although Mariah was born healthy, Child Protective Services removed the baby from Robin’s care immediately. “It killed me when I couldn’t take my baby home. My other 3 girls came to visit me at Meta House afterwards, and I couldn’t look at their faces when they found out that the baby wasn’t with me. I was determined to get my life back.” Robin is even thankful that Child Protective Services was involved because “that’s what it took for me to understand.”
After only 3 weeks, she regained custody of Mariah because of the court’s confidence in her progress at Meta House. She hopes to get the older 3 girls back soon and already has a court date for placement. Her oldest recently turned 13, and when Robin was able to take her out shopping for a cell phone it was a proud moment, since only a year earlier she couldn’t buy her a birthday present.
Robin is currently in the Meta House Residential Women and Children’s Program and will be going to Meta Housing soon, likely with all her children, and “finally have my own address, my own home. After years of bouncing around and all the trials and tribulations, there is truly a happy ending.” Robin plans to obtain her GED and would like to go on to college to become a social worker. Back to Get Inspired…