An academically successful teenager has written a searingly honest open letter to her drug addict parents, thanking them for showing her “life is not sunshine and rainbows”.
Chelsea Cameron, 18, says she grew up watching her mum and dad pass out after taking drugs, while people would bang on the door looking for drug money.
But in a heartfelt blog post, the Dundee teen forgave the pair for not being there for her, saying the experience has made her “a more patient and tolerant person than I could have imagined”.
She believes that her parents gave her the “greatest lesson” in how to be independent by missing some of the most important days of her life, including the day she was named head girl.
The teen wrote on her blog: “Life is not sunshine and rainbows and thank you for teaching me that life is unfair, people disappoint you and there’s sometimes nothing you can do about that. A lesson well learnt from the both of you.”
She said her parents’ addiction also warned her off ever taking drugs.
“Parents, both of you, thank you for teaching me that taking drugs ruin lives, breaks families apart and gives no one a quality of life worth living,” Cameron continued.
“I’ll be eternally grateful for this lesson you have taught me which has a message which has stuck by me until this day and always will, I have never and will never have a desire to take harmful substances through your example.”
As her mother and father’s addiction ripped Cameron’s family apart, the young girl was almost expelled from school. But the determined teen turned her life around, becoming head girl and acing her exams.
Despite her difficult home life, the admin apprentice still credits her success to her parents.
“Thank you for teaching me to be ambitious,” she wrote.
“Your example showed me that no ambition for education, work or any type of success is very harmful and leads to not a lot of self worth.
“Your example showed me that life is all about choices and that I didn’t need to make the same ones you did.”
The Times reported that the 18-year-old published the letter just days before her father, Alexander, was sentenced to a year in prison for drug offences. Cameron is currently estranged from her mother.
Ending the letter, the teen added: “I hope one day that you’ll wake up and realise there is so much more the world has to offer you guys and when that day comes, please come to find me so we can enjoy life together.
“I’ll show you some nice restaurants I like to go to and if you’re lucky I might take you to Germany one day.
“Until then, I’ll dream of what my life would be like with parents to enjoy it with.”
Cameron’s mother Tammy told the Dundee Telegraph she was proud of her “amazing daughter”.
“No child should have to go through what Chelsea did and live that kind of life,” she said.
“I am ashamed and upset at my behaviour and am so sorry and so proud of her.”