living on the navajo reservation

I grew up most of my life in the city and coming back to my great grandmother’s house was a regular event throughout my entire life. Nearly all of my aunts, uncles, and grandparents have spent most of their lives around that house and it has become the place where parties and holidays are held and it really is so stereotypical and happy there.

Almost 30 feet away was the house that belonged to my paternal grandmother and that’s where I currently live with my son. We’ve lived here for a year now and I really do think that he loves being here, so close to his grandmother’s every day. It’s definitely a big change in environment for me every day but I  really wouldn’t want to change a thing about it.

It is really unfortunate the kind of circumstances that brought us here though, but as always it is because of my boyfriend’s actions and choices involving heroin. For at least 4 months before we moved he was taking money from my account to spend on his habit. This money was what I made at my full-time job, money that I worked hard for while pregnant might I add. This decision to basically steal from me was the reason that we almost didn’t make our rent payment for those months. And why for the last two months that we lived there we didn’t pay our rent at all. If we didn’t move when we did we would’ve eventually been forced to leave by the constable with our 2-month-old infant.

And even after moving and being away from the toxic environment that was our apartment complex sobriety wasn’t a priority to Kannon’s father. Just finding some way to get a buzz even if it wasn’t from opiates. And for other dramatic and just stupid reasons and events, Kannon’s father was no longer welcome on my grandmother’s property.

But that’s all changed and we are happy here on our own.  We live at least 45 minutes from a Wal-Mart and a mall and other main food places but the view every day is fantastic and so worth it. We live right across from this small mountain and it is just gorgeous. My family each year goes on a group hike and we get right up to the edge for picture and just for the thrill of it.  We have our Easter egg hunt at the base of this mountain and my Great Grandfather was even laid to rest nearby. Each winter we also go sledding and tubing down the roads too. There have just been so many memories created by my family on this lands that make it so unbelievably special.

It definitely is a shock not having a heating a cooling system like most civilized areas but it’s nothing some hard work and elbow grease doesn’t fix. It was a struggle to keep the wood stove constantly going and warm with a young baby but you know next winter will be a different story and experience because my son will be much older. Even now we are fortunate enough to have an air conditioner in our bedroom now that it is getting to be warmer each and every day. Even living on the reservation we are very fortunate and privileged to have running water, electricity, and gas in our home readily available to us.

Many of the residents of the reservations including elderly don’t have access to these kinds of basic needs. Many people living in more rural areas than myself have to go and get water and bring it back to their home and conserve this water for possibly a week or more before they can go make the trip to get more. Many of these same homes don’t even have access to electricity. This could be because of the cultural preferences of the elders but that doesn’t make it right. If anything because they are elderly they should be receiving access to electricity more than others. But this is just the cold hard facts of the lifestyle of that is very common on the reservation. Each Native American reservation is considered sovereign land and only receive a predesignated amount of fund from the US government and as much as the Native governments try their best to distribute assistance to those who need it the fact is that we as Native Americans are struggling each and every day.

 

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fathers day ’17

First and foremost if I haven’t made it clear enough before my son’s father is addicted to heroin. He has been since about January or February ’16. I tried hard to allow him to be a father to our son because that what Kannon deserves a rounded development with a mom and dad. But life isn’t perfect and there are evil things in the world that can draw in the most beautiful souls like my ex-boyfriend.

I know without a doubt that he loves Kannon but the fact is he loves the drugs more. Its baffling that someone could choose a high over the perfection of a child, but drugs do that. they poison the mind body and soul, and no one can make an addict leave it behind expect themselves. It took me a long time to realize that.

I cut contact with my son’s father not long before I started this blog. But I got slightly drawn back in the past couple of days. He called me from the hospital and since I didn;t recognize the number I answered. We talked, cried of course but then didn’t speak for the rest of the day. I realize faulting in my no contact self-agreement is kind of a setback in recovery but so far I think I’m alright. He called again the day of Father’s Day and I allowed that because no matter the past he is my son’s father and nothing can change that.

But what makes the day a bit more strange is that Kannon’s paternal great-grandmother drove over three hours just to meet him. I was expecting that lunch to go so many different ways but honestly really enjoyed myself. It was really a huge weight off my shoulders being truthful about why her grandson and I are no longer in a relationship. Being truthful about how that relationship was becoming more and more poisonous to me each day. And how it has affected my college career path and such was such a relief. She understood and sympathized and it allowed me to justify my feelings of disappointment in myself and other factors of why I decided to leave college.

I felt so terrible telling her about what was going on and seeing how much it broke her heart. She is a kind lady and really cares about her family and I could tell she tried her best to help her family. Hearing about her experience trying to help her daughter, Kannon’s paternal grandmother, with her addiction just made me realize that I am making the right choice. That I don’t have to drag myself behind my ex-boyfriend’s path just because of his decision to bring a dangerous drug into his life.

I told her all about what he’s done to my family and how there were conditions made so that we could reunite as a family but he couldn’t follow through on any of them. I told her about his many stints in a detox facility and his experience in rehab and half way houses and how none of that still didn’t seem to stick. After each time he attempt to get help it would be quickly followed by a relapse and the cycle that was just constant and that i really couldn’t see the end of it insight.

I think right now my ex-boyfriend is much too like his mother, just because fo the addiction and the fact that I have separated us physically and emotionally. listening to his grandmother’s stories just shocked me so much, the similarities between them was uncanny. I Have plenty to say about my experience with his mother but most of that could probably be a blog post all of its own.

My lunch with Kannon’s great grandmother made me appreciate my outlook in my future. I choose my son, I choose to show him a happy fulfilled life. I am so glad that he has started to meet his father’s side of family because I know how much my family loves him and how much joy he brings to our lives and if I can give that joy to others through Kannon just by the fact of him being created then that is something I can get behind and support.