Hello there. My name is Monique Herrera. I am a mother of two wonderful baby boys. Not many people have. Everyone has their struggles. I just need help because I’m so lost. I feel like im slowly losing my hold on life. I have children and i just want to be the best i can for them. I live with my sister and i have to pay rent but every job i apply for she says it doesnt work with her schedule since i need her to babysit. Im so lost on what to do. Daycare is beyond expensive and way more than i would even make a month. I want to do everything in my power to give them the life i never had. Please let me tell you a little about myself. My mother had 7 children by the age of 20. Through out my early years i have memories of living with random people. Sometimes with my mother sometimes withought. I remember as a little girl being touched. By who i have no idea i will probably never know. But this was all before i was adopted by my grandparents and that was at the age of 6. Imagine some of your earliest memories are of being touched and being raped. When i was 6 CPS finally came in and took ahold of all my siblings and I. We were put into foster care. That wasn’t the best. They ended up investigating our foster family because they started abusing my siblings and I. 6 short months later my grandparents slowly started getting custody of us all. I was young but i knew this was a start to a new life. Who knew it would be worse? I don’t know why and i probably never will but my grandmother hated me. She did so much to me. I can’t even describe it. I was enclosed, I never got to experience most things children do growing up. I was so tiny all the way up till i got to highschool. I was malnourished. I still have a nickname that sticks with me. Little monique is what everyone called me in school, because of how tiny i was. I couldnt understand why she hated me. Why she locked me in the closet under the stairs why she tied me up at night. Why she sometimes made me sleep standing up in the linic closet. Why she would beat me and choke me. She would fill the sink up with water and hold me under. I would try and kick her so she would release me. She told everyone i was horrible and i tried hurting her. She turned everyone against me. They thought i was crazy. I remember one night waking up because she was on me with her hands around my throat telling me nobody loved me and nobody would miss me if i died. I had 2 little sisters under me that got treated differently same as me but not quite. They mostly werent allowed to do things my youngest and 2 older siblings did. I would take up for them all the time. When they did something wrong i would say it was me so they didn’t have to feel my grandmothers wrath. It turned into the blame game. They realized they could get away with anything if they blamed me and. Tried getting on my mothers good side. They found that if they told my mom i did something wrong my mom would put them in her good graces. They were young. They didn’t know it was wrong and i don’t blame them. As long as i was getting hurt and not them i was content. So many time’s i tried to get help but i never could. Nobody ever believed me. Nobody wanted us to go back to foster care. So everybody kept their mouths shut. I don’t blame anyone for what has happened but it was rough. Very rough. I turned to books. I would throw myself into stories and i escaped my hell by entering into entirely different realms. Reading saved me but it couldn’t hold me forever. I read the bible from front to back. It was one of my favorite books. Stories full that were just extraordinary. I prayed and i prayed to be saved but i never did. I slowly lost my faith. And so i tried taking my life. I thought it was my only escape. I went into the back yard in the middle of the night i was 12. I had a Jump rope. I got a chair and tied it at the top of the playground and then around my neck. I kicked the chair from under me and i was hanging in the air. I felt my life slipping away. I fought and then my body went limp. I thought that was it. But then i hit the ground. The rope had snapped. I remember laying on the ground crying. Not because i was scared i almost died but because it didn’t work. I tried another time i took a razor apart and when i went to CCD school i sat in the restroom and i tried to slice my wrist open. I remember bleeding into the toilet. And i tried going deeper and deeper. I didn’t know what i was doing. But all i know is i wasnt dying. I gave up and wrapped up my wrist and covered it with my sleeves. I remember my family seeing it and asking me what happened and i told them it was the fence. A nail cut me open. I know they knew what happened. But nobody ever reported it. Or took me to get help. My grandfather was sick. Very sick. He had leukemia. He was always in the room. I don’t think he had any idea what my grandmother was doing. But when he felt good he would take me outside with him and we would just work on the yard. He tought me so much and i built so much with him. I would pretend i was a princess and he was the king. And we were fixing our kingdom. I lived for those moments. My grandmother never hurt me when he was around. But when he was really sick the abuse never ended. Not untill i ranaway. The first time i ran away for 3 days into the woods. I ate cactus. I slept in a tree or on the ground. I woke up to deer not far from me. I started believing i could live out there forever. I remembered a book i read about The Boxcar children. I tried to remember how they survived. I found jars and would run into peoples yards and fill them with water. What brought me home was the cold. All i could think about was my pillow. And my little corner on the floor in the room. I missed it so much. The nights were way too cold and the days were way too hot. I just wanted my pillow. I finally officially ran away when i was 14. I got ahold of my birth mother. I went to stay with her. I got to experience a little bit of life. She grew tired of me fast though. I was a 15 year old with the mind of a 10 year old. Everything excited me and i wanted to do everything. She ended up leaving me with my older sister. We were finally found out and i went home. Things were a bit different. I was still treated differently but it was like the physical abuse was gone. It was just emotional. I ranaway again the following year. I kept getting in arguments with my grandmother because of how she was treating my 2 sisters. I was still constantly in touble and i missed my freedom. I went back with my birthmom. This time i was older i was 15 gonna be 16. I learned why my mother lost custody of us. I realized she wasnt fit to be a mother. I went home after awhile. I went crazy for about 5 months. I took drugs and i went crazy. I found out i was pregnant and it all ended. I was scared i didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want kids. I was afraid. I had just started experiencing what life was. I was 17 and i had just got my life to myself. Then i found out my grandfather was dying. And my life felt bitter. I loved him so much. I told myself if he died i would go as well. January 12th i gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My heart stopped when i looked into his eyes. He was absolutely perfect. And all i wanted to do was protect him. My dad ended up passing away January 29th. I was broken. I really believe if i didnt have my son i would have killed myself. I was so sad but i looked at my baby boy and told myself i would get my life together. And learn to live for him. I would protect him and never let harm come to him. I am not the best mother but now i have 2 baby boys. I want to give them so much. Put them in music classes and let them find what they want to do in life. I want to teach them about love and finding yourself. Becoming who you want to be. With nobody to tell them they cant be great. But i don’t even have my diploma because i left home. I dont even have my life together. Daycare is so expensive i cant even take a moment to try and go to school. I feel so dumb. I lost all my knowledge and i never even learned a lot of things i should have. I just want to be a person my boys can look up to. A person i can be proud to be. Im tired of struggling. Please im begging you let me know how i overcome struggles. How i find myself. How i become succesful. Im so lost. But im doing the best i can for now. I want to be greater. My boys deserve the world. I want to provide it for them. And i have to start somewhere. I don’t have anyone to turn to. Please if you can help it would mean the world to me.