University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Keyla always had a difficult relationship with her mother, who struggled with drug addiction. Because of this, she was unable to care and provide Keyla with the love and care she truly needed. After living in a shelter for a year, Keyla now has her own apartment and is pursuing her GED. “I did learn one thing from her — that it’s not about me anymore,” she says. “I have kids now, and a life to build.”

Video Transcript

The first time I knew me and my mother didn’t get along had to be when I was in the 3rd grade. I remember walking to the bus stop alone, and coming home to an empty house. At that time she was using. But even when she wasn’t on drugs, we never had that mother/daughter bond. It breaks my heart that she pushes me aside, especially when I needed her the most. As a single mother we both are. She always cared about herself more than she does for her kids. We fought and fought so much, we would just pass each other on the street, like strangers. I can still hear her voice, (in Spanish): “I can’t handle that girl. I hate her, no!”