Need to Know
by Megan Huggins from Jefferson High School
Published in the 2006-2007 WITS Anthology Mostly What I’m Made Of

You have to know my past if you want to know me, who I am, where I’m from, you can’t judge me. From my own dirty diapers to changing them, life went by too fast. Only sixteen, and a parent myself. Never had a daddy, mama not around, raising four younger siblings and one of my own. Why does life have to get so complicated? Had to become the adult at six just so the State wouldn’t take us away.

Never knew how to be a kid, until now. Staying out late, smoking and drinking, that’s how it is, I skipped it all and went to adulthood. I watched my older brother and sister both get shot down in the front yard because of drugs. Life goes by too fast, got to live it while you can. If you don’t, you won’t notice until later and when you do it’ll be too late to go back and change things.

Coming out of Queensland, that’s where I’m from, but it’s the same shit no matter where you live. I see it all the time around Portland. It’s a lot like Brisbane, kids on the streets raising a family, while their parents are out drinking themselves to death, or so busy snortin’ shit, they don’t care about their kids. That’s how my mama was for many years, I used to cry myself to sleep as I watched my little brothers and sisters wonderin’ if she was coming home that night.

Life was hard but I made it through, I’ve had to live through my son’s death but it only made me stronger. I still got my daughter, she will never go through what I went through, cuz I’m not my mama. You have to know my past if you want to know me, who I am, where I’m from, you can’t judge me.