Cyira's Story

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My Name is Cyira Hayes, I'm a single 25-year-old momma of a beautiful baby boy and a soon to be born baby girl.

Growing up I never had a mom or a dad and so my grandmother raised me. My grandma did everything she could to love me and care for me the best way she knew how, she gave me everything I'd ever wanted. My grandma raised all of her grandchildren and 3 foster children on her own. She taught me to be STRONG, loving, forgiving, and independent.

 

When I was about 16 years old my uncle came to help my grandma with taking care of us because it was getting a bit hard for my grandma to keep all of us teenagers in line. My uncle was abusive and very strict.

 

By the time I was 17 years old I had my very first boyfriend who I loved to pieces. I thought this guy loved me the same way I did him but, in all reality, he was out to hurt me and ruin my life, this guy was 26 years old and had already finished school and had a baby. For three years we were together before we started to grow apart but I didn't understand how or why. I found out he was using hard drugs and was more into that life now and so because I loved him so much and I was dealing with abuse from my uncle at home so I was willing to do anything to keep us together just so I wouldn't have to be alone. I loved this guy; he was my FIRST everything.

 

Growing up I was never told not to do drugs, so I didn't know how it would've affected me or my life for that matter. I started hanging out all night for days at a time I would stay gone without calling home. My grandma was extremely worried all of the time. When I would go home, I would be so distant from the rest of the family because I didn't feel loved or welcomed there by my uncle. When I left home for school, I would make it halfway through the day sometime before My boyfriend would call me to tell me he was in the back of the school waiting to pick me up. I would ditch school to get high and hang out with this grown man who I thought was my best friend. I dropped out of school in the 10th grade, so I had little to NO credits. By the time I was 20 years old we had broken up but now I was alone and strung out on drugs. I had lost all of my "friends" and my family disowned me. I had nowhere or no one to turn to. Finally, my uncle caught up to me and brought me to the church me and all of my cousins were brought up in and I was delivered from all of my sins. I moved back with my family and decided that it was time to get back in school. At this time I was living in California and going to a continuation school to earn most of my credits, but then I moved out of my grandma's house and with a friend because still my uncle wasn't very nice. I was back and forth living with different friends all while trying to earn my high school diploma. It was never easy for me. After a while I started working as a cashier at a grocery store and made it to a supervisor position. I was still in school and working full time, but I decided to move into an aunt's house who lived close to my job. I asked to stay there until I finished school and she didn't mind. The living situation was horrible, but I still managed to get up every morning to get on the bus to make it to school because I was determined to earn my high school diploma. While I was working as a supervisor at the grocery store and continuing my education a guy would occasionally come into my store and was interested in getting to know me better. I had been without any type of relationship since my last relationship because I was focused on bettering myself because I wanted a better life, and I didn't see any future without working towards one. I thought to myself maybe I could give it a shot what's the worst that could happen, right? I had already been down a terrible road with a significant other and I know what could happen if I made the wrong choices so I gave in and we started dating after a couple of months This guy would bring me lunch every day without me asking, he would be there when I closed the store down at night to drive me home so that I wouldn't have to catch the bus. I thought he was a great guy. I started staying out with him every other night in hotels so that we could spend more time together. My aunt kicked me out because she said she felt I didn't need a place to stay anymore because I wasn't there as often. Living with her wasn't great anyway, I was never given a key to get in even after I asked but she knew sometimes I'd have to close the store and would get off late. A lot of people were already living there and so I slept in the front of the house on a small couch. But this was all supposed to be temporary. Eventually, my boyfriend decided that we should move to Indiana where he had a cousin who lived alone so that we could live together until we could find a place of our own. I decided that would be a great idea. I could finish school there and be with him all of the time. 

We moved to Indiana and after a month of working at a call center together we found subsidized housing and were able to move in right away. I started looking for adult continuation schools and found the Anderson Excel Center where I would earn the rest of my credits and a certificate or license to further my career. After moving into the apartments and starting school I found out I was pregnant with my precious baby boy. I left the excel center for a while when I was close to my due date and had planned on returning after some time. I stayed home for almost a year before returning to school. When I returned, I was close to finishing, but I had just found out that I was pregnant again. I was given the opportunity of earning a Pharmacy Technician license. While I was trying to finish school and take care of my baby my boyfriend started drinking excessively and being verbally abusive, physically abusive, and mean so it was VERY hard to concentrate on just school because I was always hurting inside. I was trying to stay strong for my son who is only a year old who had already seen his parents fuss and fight his whole first year of life. I started my Pharmacy Tech class with Ms. Katie and with everything going on at home I was still very determined to finish school, earn that diploma and now a certificate; not only for myself but now for my baby. My son needed someone he could look up to and I knew that it had to be his momma. The Pharmacy Tech class was time consuming and sometimes intimidating because the term was almost over, and I only had 8 weeks to learn everything! I needed to do well and pass my mid-term and most importantly the National EXAM. With everything going on school and the abuse, trying to keep a smile on my face and trying to stay happy for me and my son, things got hard, and I wanted to give up SO bad.  Ms. Katie wouldn't let me give up and she pushed me through most of the way. Ms. Katie. was like a mother to me throughout the whole thing. I could call her any time of the day when I needed to vent, cry, when I needed advice or when I just wanted to talk to someone. Ms. Katie and Mrs. Miriam from the Excel Center were both very big support systems for me, and I could call on them for anything at any time. I had never in my life had anyone believe in me as much as they did. I knew that the way I was being treated wasn't right and that I didn't want my son or daughter seeing their mom being mistreated. I knew that it was time to get help so that I could finish school without all the extra burdens. I decided to move back across country to California to get away and finish school in a safe environment. The Excel Center helped me get away safely with my baby so that I could live the life I had been working so hard toward living. It wasn't easy taking care of a 13-month-old by myself, staying up late most nights, studying, and being 29 weeks pregnant. But I passed my mid- term with the highest score in the class, and I passed my National Exam. I am officially a CPhT and it feels so good because I did it for my babies. So, I am here to tell You that if I can do it then SO CAN YOU!! 

"You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages" - Michelle Obama