At 23, Brittany has overcome more challenges than most endure in a lifetime. As a child, she assumed everyone grew up in drug-addicted households, punished by the hands of their parents. She didn't even know the meaning of safety. Stability. Love.
When Brittany shares memories of her turbulent childhood, you begin to understand how much she yearned for approval and acceptance from her family. She craved it.
"I wanted my mom to love me, and I wanted to be close to my older brother, so I just did what they did. I started using drugs when I was 12," Brittany explains. " I felt like I could have done whatever I wanted to do, and I never really got in trouble. When I did, it was just a quick punch in the face."
But when Brittany became pregnant at 20, everything changed. After Jaylyn was born, Brittany became her own person - strong, independent, responsible. She stopped partying. Quit using drugs. She started taking significant steps toward a brighter future with her daughter.
Then she broke up with her abusive boyfriend ... shortly after, she went to a party to numb her sadness with drugs and alcohol.
That was the decision that forever changed young Brittany's life.
Brittany remembers the pounding at the door. She was terrified when law enforcement officers kicked their way in to the house. She failed a drug test on the spot and her entire world turned upside down. Her shared custody of Jaylyn was stripped away in a moment.
For a while, she continued down a path of self-destruction. And then she'd had enough. She pledged to get her life back together - for herself, for her daughter - and went through a painful path toward sobriety and self-sufficiency.
She embraced help she received from Children's Home Society of Florida. Finally, she had guidance and stability.
With the help of Children's Home Society of Florida, Brittany set goals, attended parenting classes, and completed domestic abuse education and substance abuse counseling. She had structure and tools to achieve her dreams.
Today, Brittany lives a clean and healthy lifestyle, has a job and an apartment by the beach, and, most importantly, she's with Jaylyn.
Brittany cherishes raising her daughter in a stable, safe and nurturing home. She strives, every day, to give her daughter something she rarely experienced herself as a child: happy memories and a loving family.
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