This was one of Herald Lifestyle’s most read stories in 2019.
A teen has shared shocking photos of her childhood which reveal what life was like for her and her siblings being raised by a drug-addicted mother.
The girl, now 17, shared the photos online and they quickly went viral.
The shocking pictures show her playing in a room strewn with needles and living in complete squalor, with rubbish and drug paraphernalia everywhere.
“This is me at 18 months,” she wrote as the caption to a photo showing a little girl in a filthy room.
“Yes, those are needles on the windowsill, and yes, this is what the entire house looked like. #druggymomlife.”
She went on to describe how both her and her siblings were taken into foster care after her older brother, who was 16 at the time, grew “sick of (their) conditions”.
The brother reportedly took the photos to show a teacher at school.
The photos were then handed to Child Protection Services (CPS) and the children placed into foster care.
The girl revealed she has spent the last nine years on and off foster care but is currently doing well.
Reddit users expressed their shock after seeing the photos.
“My daughter is about your age and this breaks my heart,” one person wrote.
“Please accept a really big mum hug, you deserved better.”
“It physically hurts to think of how many children are in situations exactly like this or worse right this second,” another person said.
Other users applauded the girl’s bravery for sharing her story, which prompted them to share theirs as well.
“So many of us try to hide our childhoods — myself included,” someone wrote.
“I do want to be more open (in the right settings) but first I have to be brave with myself.”
The girl thanked people for their support.