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Accidented Chelsea Seeks Government Grant To Help Turn Dreams Into Reality

by Chelsea Wright
(Chittenden, Vermont, USA)

My name is Chelsea Wright and I have a story to tell. This is my life.

I hope those of you reading can get a feel of where I am coming from when I say that I need help.

Starting from the beginning: From as far back as I can remember, hard drugs were the most crucial thing in my parents lives. They were addicts, as many others are.

The sad thing about this situation is that they did not try to hide it from my siblings and me. They used their drugs in front of us, and made it very clear that it was what they based their daily lives and needs on.

My brothers and I raised ourselves. Through this experience, we have become very strong, both mentally and emotionally. The things we saw as children were far from normal, but every experience was a lesson nonetheless.

I witnessed years of drug, mental, and physical abuse between my parents. The ones who were supposed to be taking care of me, teaching me, and loving me. I knew nothing of this.

My parents were married for 20 years. Throughout that period of time, they managed to go from having nice houses, cars, pretty much everything they could, to having nothing but a constant desire for more drug use.

They went from rich to dirt poor, and very quickly. I was a very confused child, and went through a lot of different mental states because of all of this.

At the age of 12, my dad was put in jail for drug dealing, and my mom was an abusive, raging alcoholic. This was strange timing, for I had been praying constantly for something to happen so that my parents would stop using hard drugs.

I went from having a family consisting of both parents, my two older brothers, and my newborn sister in an apartment -- very small and dirty, but an apartment nonetheless -- to living in motel rooms, with all of them except my oldest brother who moved out after we got evicted from the apartment.

Then when my dad was arrested, my other brother moved to my grandparents. My mom, sister, and I stayed in motel rooms until we couldn't afford it anymore due to money being used on more important things, such as drugs and alcohol.

We then lived in the battered woman's shelter in Rutland until my father got out of jail. I then went to live with him in Florence. My mom went off on her own with my sister, who was then taken away from her shortly after by state custody, for her being drunk in public.

At 12, just going into middle school, I had to watch my family get torn apart because of my parents drug and alcohol addictions, and worry about my baby sister who means the world to me. I took care of her for the first two years of her life and she was the only thing that I lived for, which she still is today and always will be.

When I realized that there was nothing I could do to change the circumstances, I started praying, and had hope for the best to come out of it.

I started not caring about school-for I had no reason to at the time, and with no guidance I was led astray. I started doing things that I said I would never do.

At 13, I started smoking weed daily, and drinking liquor heavily. I stopped going to school halfway through 9th grade and by this time, was what one would call an alcoholic. I lived with a friend for a while, and furthered my drug/alcohol abuse.

Then randomly my mother contacted my father after not having heard from her for almost two years. She told him I could come live with her out in Hubbardton, and she would bring me back and forth to school.

This option started looking good considering how I started feeling health-wise from all of the damage I was doing to my body.

I decided to move in with her, and after a while we ended up moving to West Rutland. I went to school there from 10th to 12th grade. In those three years.

I made a lot of friends but little did I know, they were not real friends. They were people who wanted to hang out, smoke weed, and get messed up constantly. I went along with it for a while, until it became routine.

I screwed up quite a few times throughout my teenage years. But I learned a lot of lessons, and health-wise regret a lot of the decisions that I made. I came to a lot of realizations through this process.

The most important one was that I will not ever be like my parents because I want more from life. I want to make something of myself. I decided I was going to do whatever it took to succeed.

I made up for the credits I lost in 9th grade, and graduated. I got away from the bad influences, and started working a lot. I bought a car, was working with the elderly, and had plans to attend college at CCV in Rutland the next fall semester. I was starting to get my life together, and then it all came crashing down.

My mother decided to kick me out, her reason being that I am an adult. I had no other option but to stay at my grandparents in Chittenden. My boyfriend at the time wanted to live in Bridgewater, so in December 2008, I moved there with him. I worked at Killington Ski resort, making barely enough to pay rent. I finally knew what it was like to not have food, or heat. It was a rough winter, simply put.

This living situation was not good for the relationship between my ex and me, so we moved back to Rutland. We got our own apartment, but continued to fight. We ended up moving out of the apartment, and broke up.

My mother told me I could come live at her house again (end of June), with the guarantee that she would let me stay until I had money saved up to support myself and go to school in the mean time.

So I moved back into her house, which was a very ignorant decision on my part, for the whole time I was living with my mother previously, she threatened to kick me out every two weeks.

It was mentally painful, as having to worry about where I am going to live all the time consumed my mind. Things didn't go well, to say the least. She and I clashed on a daily basis. She treated me badly, and did not appreciate any help that I gave her ever. She decided that she was going to kick me out again, at the end of August.

I didn't have anywhere to go, so I stayed in my car for two weeks. My grandfather found this out, called me and told me I could come stay at his house for a while. I was very lucky to be offered this again, and am very thankful for having a good grandfather.

I was very depressed at this point in time though, for my ex and I breaking up consumed me. He was my first long-term relationship, and only real experience of love ever in my life, so losing him was not easy for me to deal with. I thought about suicide daily.

For the first time since my childhood, I felt what it was like to lose all sense of security again, and not only that but I lost someone in my life who meant so much more to me than anything I have ever known.

I started my classes at CCV around exactly the same time as all of this was happening, so I had one thing keeping me from going totally off track again.

But I started binge drinking because of my depression, and became brutally sick from not eating, consuming only alcohol. It took me almost six months to be able to cope with the relationship ending.

By this time, I had a job at the Vermont Country Store, and classes. I finally felt some sense of stability, and security. I picked up snowboarding while living in Bridgewater, so I finally found something that I enjoy doing that is good for you as well. I finished my classes for the fall semester with good grades.

Literally the day after my last class, I got in a car accident, literally 10 seconds from my driveway, on my way home from Killington. I found out after I got out of the hospital, that my mother stopped paying the insurance on my car. I also learned that my health insurance ended on my birthday, 12 days previous to the accident.

This was all very disappointing. Luckily I didn't get badly injured in the accident. God was watching out for me. But in one day, I totaled my only means of transportation (living 30 minutes outside of Rutland City) and also found out that I had no insurance for either my car or my self.

This seemed like the end for me. I felt so hopeless, so worthless. I needed help. My uncle, who has always helped me by talking to me through rough times, helped me a lot. He opened up my eyes to a new way of thinking.

I was almost in that last horrible part of my cycle of depression, but he helped me to prevent that from occurring. I realized that everything that happens does so for a reason. There will always be someone out there who has it just as bad, and many others who have it worse.

I have found peace mentally/emotionally from all I have realized due to what I've been through. This is the best progress I have made in my life, and it makes me very happy to see this change in myself.

The fact that I didn't die in this accident, which very well could have happened, was a sign. I can replace a car, but I cannot replace my life. This made it easy not to dwell on the horrible circumstances. It makes me appreciate things a lot more than I did prior to the accident.

But I do need help. I do not have anyone who is willing to help me financially, or to lend me money until I can get back on my feet. I need any help that is available to me right now, in order to get a vehicle. I need to continue my education, attain a job and support myself. Without a vehicle, considering where I live, I have no way to do any of this. I have had a pretty rough life, and have been through a lot.

I'm trying to get an education, make a life for myself. I aspire to be a traveling photographer, and a nurse. I'm very set on what I want to do, and plan on furthering my education, as well as working enough to get by.

I am hopeful for whoever is reading this that you understand the position I am in. Nothing would be appreciated more than the caring hand of another. For me, I do not see a way out of this seemingly endless cycle. Please help me find my way out.

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