Teenager shares heartbreaking photos of squalid conditions she and her siblings were brought up in by drug-addicted mom
Childhood photos posted by a 17-year-old girl have revealed the shocking reality of being raised by a drug addict mom.
The Idaho teen shared the heartbreaking family album on Reddit and Imgur earlier this week, detailing the squalor she and her four siblings endured growing up, Daily Mail reports. One of the photos showed a toddler lying in a filthy room filled with drug paraphernalia.
"This is me at 18 months," the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wrote alongside the photo."Yes, those are needles on the windowsill and yes, this is what the entire house looked like. #druggymomlife"
In another image, her then-toddler sister was seen crawling across a floor covered in soiled clothes and household waste. And in yet another photo, the family's kitchen was seen with cupboards with "more pills than food."
According to the teenager, the photos were taken by her older brother, who was 16 at the time, in a brave move to expose the horrific conditions they lived in. The images were then shared with his teacher, who subsequently contacted Child Protection Services (CPS), and they immediately took the children under their wing.
Reddit users were shocked by the post and related discussion, garnering over 60,000 upvotes and 2,500 comments.
Users noted the girl looked quite small for her apparent age in the photos. In response, the girl said her age was difficult to identify as she and her siblings "were all pretty malnourished and underdeveloped" because her family was living off food stamps and her mother was abusing drugs and consuming alcohol throughout her pregnancy.
Nonetheless, she clarified she might have been less than a year old, or even younger, in the photos.
The embattled teenager shared more photos following the discussion, recounting her childhood while living in a house with a dirty carpet, cluttered living areas, grimy bedding, and a filthy bathroom floor with a knife on it.
She said her brother took it upon himself to deal with their pitiful situation and took the pictures to show them to his teacher. Subsequently, the CPS removed all children from the home and placed them in foster care, and the girl was eventually adopted at age nine and taken to a different state.
When users asked how she coped with her troubled childhood, she said she preferred to adopt a positive outlook on life.
"Weirdly enough, I actually love these photos!" she responded. "It just reminds me of how far I've come and what I can accomplish!"
What's more? She has also chosen to forgive her mother.
"They've both passed away, unfortunately. My father wasn't an addict. My mother did fight her addiction till the day she died," she said, adding, "My mother was not her disease and it took me a long time to realize that."
According to her, things have improved drastically since she was adopted. Nonetheless, she admitted she still continues to suffer from PTSD and anxiety.
"I'm a lifeguard, I'm about to go onto my senior year!" the 17-year-old added. "I have a super awesome boyfriend and a college fund set up!"
Also, she has already decided that she will foster or adopt an older child instead of conceiving her own when the time comes. Ending the discourse on a happy note, the girl shared that her brother is now happily married and his wife is ten-weeks pregnant with their fourth child. Her sister, who she says "basically raised" her, is now a Behavioral Interventionist in an Autism Unit after having graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Science in Child Development.
Some users have now encouraged her to write an autobiography to "inspire others in similar situations."