My Growing Up Essay Example

Your childhood is said to shape you. You find what you like, dislike, and believe. As a child, I was oblivious as to what was going on around me. I thought my family was perfect. We had annual dinners and sent birthday cards to one another as if our lives depended on it. In my eyes, the world was this amazing and hopeful place where you could do and be exactly what you wanted to be. But as I grew up, things changed and my eyes began to clear. The internet became a big thing in my life and I was learning a lot of this so called "amazing and hopeful place." People were dying, buildings were blowing up, and jails were being filled. This is what started my idea of the world and more specifically America. I've always been told America is an amazing place where there are opportunities for everyone and to some extent I still believe that. But something happened that made me realize America isn't this fair and equal place I once believed it was. The effects of my brothers arrest.

I've never had the biggest opinion on America. I think, "I can't change much, so why worry?" But when things come home with you, you begin to realize the small things that affect America gravely. My biggest opinion on America surrounds the judicial system. I'm not an expert on it. I don't study it day in and day out but I see things. It seems on many occasions, killers and rapists go away for half the time drug dealers do. Which makes my head spin a little. How can someone who affects another person directly go to prison for less time? Many may argue that drug dealers do affect people directly but, are they putting the needle in their arm for them? Are they forcing them to do something they don't want to do? Those are the questions that showed up in my brain when this all first started.

It was sometime around March. My mom had a birthday and it was great. But then she got a phone call telling her that her son was in jail for selling drugs. It hit her pretty hard and I noticed she wasn't acting like herself. A few days after that, my dad told me about what happened. Honestly, I didn't have a knee jerk reaction to it. I was confused, numb and asking questions. "How long will he be in?" "Is he going to get out?" "What's going to happen to the kids?" I was being told he would get a life sentence. Then the next day it was 8 years. Everyday was full of different sentences. But I was more worried about my niece and nephew. My nephew is autistic and at the time he was 4. My niece was 3. Their mother isn't the best person and I was having a spaz attack everyday thinking about them.

Time passed and my brother made bail, got picked up again, made bail and was picked up in August for the last time. During this period of time, his girlfriend lost their place and was finding couches and cars to stay at. She would leave the kids with random strangers and not come back for days at a time. After August is when it got really bad. At times we didn't know where the kids were and we would have to go on family scavenger hunts. Looking for certain cars or people to get some kind of clue as to where they could be. Their mother would call us and ask for money and tell us how great of a place she got. We would have to pick her up from the side of the road once a week because we didn't want her walking 7 miles with her two toddlers. People called social services multiple times but it never successfully did anything. Those kids were always hungry, dirty, and deprived of basic human needs. Yet, nothing was done about it.

Skipping a few months down the line, the kids are with their grandmother (mothers mother). She legally has custody of them for a year and most likely more. She's a good person who takes care of them. They have a bed, food, and best of all, each other. Their mother isn't really in the picture, she calls once a day and says she's going to get clean and take care of her babies; she's said that before. My brother is still in jail and looking at 7-8 years.

Our world isn't perfect. People do stupid things. Kids are put at the bottom of the food chain and expected to pick themselves up. We grow up thinking we are protected and safe. I hope people still have that hope. That's my hope. I want the next generation to grow up feeling okay and safe in their own home. We have a good home. It may not be the best it could be but it's pretty okay right now. We can always get better though.


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