How the experience of my teens changed my Life – #ROW80

Everyone has their fair share of experiences. What is something that has had a positive effect on you today? – This question was posted by the Phoenix House on Facebook.

It goes with the quote – “I know people who feel like they’ve wasted years of their lives because of poor choices. They spent years in a relationship that was toxic, years with an addiction, years at a job where they weren’t fulfilled. But you have to realize, nothing you have been through is ever wasted. Your past experiences, good and bad have deposited something on the inside of you. Those challenges have sharpened you, to make you who you are today.” ~ S. Wimberly


What mother wouldn’t feel upset to learn that their children have terrible issues, like drug addiction or being a runaway, hanging out with the wrong crowd?

They fight with you every step of the way and try to tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about. – Welcome to the teen years.

I have seen and met women who have not gone through what I have with my own children when they were teens. Sometimes I envy them. But do they envy me in return?

I’m sure they have had some sort of trial with their own children. It may have happened when the child was younger, or it is yet to come. I do not wish trial periods on anyone.

But how has my children’s experiences changed me?

Well, until 2005, I don’t think I knew much about myself. Even my opinion of myself was pretty low. Then my son entered rehab for the very first time. I was embarrassed to admit I was the mother of an addict, or that my child had gone to jail.

I began to accept things as they were. Slowly I began to see I was not the only person in the world that this was happening to. There were thousands upon thousands of other going through the same thing at that very moment. My embarrassment went away. That was the true beginning of my journey. I learned to accept myself as I was.

Then the incident with my daughter happened. That was when she left home unexpectedly – she became a runaway for whatever reason. This led to her little road trip with friends who happened to be part of that crowd that my son would keep company with, more addicts. Though to this day, I don’t believe she ever developed an addiction as her brother did.

When she took off, that was when I began to truly write. That was the episode that caused me to write Friends of Choice. No – None of Karla’s experiences in the first book ever happened to her, as far as I knew, except for the part where we had to move because the house we were renting was taken off the rental market on short notice and we were forced to move to another county. That is how we wound up living with my mom who has been happy about the living arrangement ever since.

But the book Road Salt does have some incidents in it that did belong to my daughter. Like the road trip, I don’t know about the complete details of the trip except that they stole cars on the way from NH to Texas and back. They were down south when they were caught and arrested. The phone calls home from the prison was doctored with fiction, but our phone company would not accept calls from a prison facility. She was beside herself for this.

Yes, the experiences of my children have changed my life, sort of for the better. I am now a writer with five published novels. Three of these novels have small incidents from my children’s’ lives decorating them.

My daughter recently read Along Came Neil and this is what she said, “Really good series. This book has a lot of funny areas and some sad parts. The writer is also my Mother. She writes this series sort of based on my brother and I growing up making friends in the wrong crowds and other teenage troubles. Thanks for sharing this story with me mom!! :) Can’t wait to read the next book!”


ROW80 Check-In:

My daughter asked me what I would be working on next. I told her it will be the fantasy series.

I have been revising and editing Aaron & Keja for the past week. It is going slow, but will be well worth the effort. After that, I will give Witch Book a go around and then I will begin making the plot of the next book in the series. I still have a long way to go. Hopefully all the edits will be done before NaNoWri Mo. I would love for the fantasy book to be my next NaNo Wri.


Have you had a past experience that change your life for the better? I would love to hear your story.

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