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Please Help Us Keep Our Family Together

Organized by: Anniba Cox

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About Me
My name is Anniba. I am a wife of 7 years & a mother to a wonder 12 year old daughter. We reside in California and I've never stopped missing the rain of other places. As a family we enjoy video games, Monopoly, cooking dinner together & rollerskating.
I am very shy and afraid of people, but I am trying to put myself out there for the thing that matters the most to me: my family.
The Story
The first thing I remember as a child is my mother telling me that it was my fault that my father hit her. Because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, because I cried too much, because I existed at all. Half of the time she didn’t even bother with excuses; it was just my fault because she said so.

Growing up, my household was a very abusive one. Both of my parents drank heavily, did drugs and fought all of the time. From elementary school on, it was entirely left to me to take care of the household, to look after my younger sister and, too, to look after my parents. I can’t count the number of times I had to stay up to talk my mother out of killing my father, the number of times I had to stay up to cook them dinner or listen to one of them sobbing or watching my mother cut herself or... a bunch of other things of a similar nature.

When I was thirteen, my father died due to his alcoholism. He had been without alcohol for 24 hours when he went into a seizure outside of a local grocery chain. He had a fifth of vodka in his hand and I remember that it broke everywhere, cutting him. For as much as he hurt me, losing him was losing the last wall of protection I had, because he always ultimately kept me as safe from my mother as he could.

After my father died, things only got worse. My mother sunk deeper into her alcoholism and her hatred for me. In me, she saw much of my father—from the way that I looked to the way that I refused to baby her—and so she took a lot of hatred out on me. She would beat me, deny me basic things such as a proper pair of shoes or clothes that fit and would even sometimes go so far as to cut her wrists and shove them into my face, telling me that she did these things because I existed.

When I was 15, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, known here simply as V. I had hoped that my mother would calm herself in the face of a granddaughter, but it was stupid of me to even think about it. She used my daughter against me, telling me that I was an awful mother that V would wind up being stupid or unhappy or damaged because of me. I could not even hold her without being criticized.

In the years up to my 21st birthday, a lot of things happened. My sister followed in my parents footsteps with her alcoholism and drug addiction and became very physically and emotionally abusive to me. I was molested by two people very close to me and my mother blamed me for both instances. V & I spent a long while in foster care because my mother decided her unstable new love interest was more important than her children. (At least until she got bored of him.)

Around my 22nd or 23rd birthday, I finally gathered up the nerve to leave. I had met an angel, who went on to become my spouse, and I packed up my daughter and we fled to California to hopefully start a new life & finally learn how to become happy.

It’s never that easy, is it? Because the past leaves scars and the distance began to show me just how deep they were. I was unable to believe that anyone loved me, that I was worth anything. I believed myself cursed, a terrible being who only brought suffering to those around me & I was fully convinced that everyone hated me, that they were just using me or otherwise out to cause me harm. All of the things I had suffered as a child—the anxiety, depression, self-hatred—just intensified and I would spend days lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling and wondering why I was alive.

It also did not help that I was not yet free of my mother. I had spent so long looking after her that I didn’t even begin to know how to turn away from her. I still listened to her abuse, her guilt trips. I would do anything to help her, though I later found out that she was paying me back by using me or speaking poorly of me. (Telling me she had no food in the house so I’d spend my last 20 to send her money only to find out later she had plenty of food, she just didn’t want to cook. Or telling everyone who would listen how horrible my spouse & I were as parents.) I even paid once for her to come out to visit and she spent the entire time complaining and spending what money I had. (And yes, I know, I should have learned to stand up to her. It wasn’t that easy, though I did eventually draw the line when she wanted me to choose between her and my spouse.)

Then my mother’s cancer—which we thought cleared up some months ago—came back and spread into her lungs. She denied it and lied to me over and over, even though she had hospice involved and several people back in my hometown who could tell me the truth. My last conversation with her was an argument, in which she screamed at me, “If I’m going to die I’ll give you thirty days’ notice.” She went into heart failure the next day.

When my mother died, as has been the theme of my life, everything was left up to me. I had to fly out there, make arrangements, make the difficult decision of taking her off life support and... I can’t even begin to tell you what that was like for me. I begged her to please pass whilst I was there so at least I could be there, but she waited until the very next day after I had flown home.

After my mother’s death, I slid quickly toward alcoholism. All I did was stay in bed and drink for weeks upon an end. Everything around me had shattered. My life had been composed largely of taking care of her and I blamed myself for her death. I had nightmares about how maybe maybe maybe she could have survived if I hadn’t had the plug pulled. I had to deal with the bitter knowledge that I would never get to confront her over the things that she did to me, that she would never grant me an apology.

With the help of my spouse, I tried to pull myself together. Though I had been in and out of hospitals for suicide attempts and I had had countless therapists and psychiatrists, I never felt that they helped me. They wrote me off as simply being depressed and went about their way. My spouse pushed me to try again, though, and I finally found someone who knew what they were doing.

In time I was diagnosed with Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and they are currently leaning toward Bipolar. (Which is something I have put up resistance to because that is what my mother suffered from.) I was put through many classes and many treatment plans, including DDIOP (for my drinking & mental health) and partial hospitalization (I spent all day at a psych hospital but got to go home to sleep.)

Quickly, they learned that none of these things were making much of an impact. They spent a year trying to stabilize me from a chronic suicidal state before they finally realized that’s my stable. I always think about hurting myself, I always think people would be better off and regardless of where I am or what’s going on, I have a suicide plan on hand at all times.

Still, I did not want to be useless. I wanted to carry my own weight in our family. I tried repeatedly to work, but I always wound up having nervous breakdowns. My anxiety is constant, always thinking that I’m on the verge of dying, that my loved ones are, that they’re going to leave me. I am paranoid to a fault, forever thinking that everyone hates me and wants to hurt me. I don’t even leave the house unless I have someone with me because it causes me such stress. In all of my short lived jobs, I wound up spending a lot of time hiding in the bathroom crying and thinking to myself that if I didn’t do everything perfectly, no one would want me. There were many days that I couldn’t even convince myself to get out of bed.

Two years ago my family made the decision that I should apply for disability. Under the mental health guidelines, I meet every criteria. This entire time, however, they have dragged their feet and been as difficult as possible. I am almost to the point where I can hire a lawyer, which will hopefully get me finally approved, but in the meantime my family has suffered a great financial loss. We have had to move out of our various homes three times now due to inability to pay.

Currently, we are living with a roommate. She is a very mean, very cold woman. She takes out her bad moods on us, leaves everything filthy and will vanish for hours at a time without warning, leaving me stuck babysitting her 8 year old kid. (Who is a complete brat.) They are both unwilling to help out or to be understanding of issues we might have. (Such as the fact that my daughter is severely autistic. One of her big things is that she can’t handle noises and they will purposely be loud and then tell her that she’s just being a whiny baby and needs to get over it.)

Some personal things have gone on in the roommate’s personal life and she has decided to move out at the end of the month. This increases our bills greatly—I will put an update with our current bill situation—and puts us in a situation where we are likely to lose everything yet again, only this time we don’t have anywhere to go. I do not have any family & what family my spouse has has no room for us, as a lot of them are already bunking up together.

(To make the situation better, this happened 2-3 days after the salon where my spouse was working closed without warning. So now my spouse is trying desperately to find work, but with CA market what it is, it’s not going to be a quick or easy process.)

I don’t honestly expect anything to come of this, but I am putting what little hope I have left into this fundraiser. I have seen people raise tens of thousands of dollars for things like critiquing video games or rebuilding kitchens or what not. What I’m asking you is to please help me and my family get on our feet & stay afloat until my spouse finds a job and I (God willing) get approved for my disability.

Any little bit you can donate helps immensely and I appreciate it beyond

Our Bills
200 - Currently owed to the electric company under my roommate's name. (We are in charge of utilities.)

500 - Currently owed to electric under my name, which we will need to switch over to before she leaves.

170 - Deposit for electric in my name required because of past due balance.

500 - Current over drawn balance on bank account from some bills.

600 - Currently owed on our phone bill. (Includes past due amounts.)

1500 - Currently owed on our phones that we've been trying to pay off for the past two years and increase our phone bill dramatically. It would save us almost 200 a month to have these paid off.

865 - Owed to a friend for covering a few bills/food for us a few months ago.

2000 - Misc hospital bills & other bills that are way past due as a result of my inability to work.

400 - For car insurance for a few months. (We have been currently loaned a family member's car whlst they are away.)

1600 - Rent for 2 months.

500 - A credit card bill that we maxed out buying groceries.

900 - Surgery for my cat who has severe gum disease and needs antibiotics and all of his teeth pulled.

50 - Internet.

Misc - School clothes for my daughter. Shoes for all of our family, as we're all currently running around in flip-flops. (Minus my daughter who took my old sneakers when hers broke, but these are years old now.) School supplies for my daughter. Various other necessities such as toilet paper, shampoos, soap, cleaning supplies, etc.

The Impact
The impact to this would be life saving. We would be able to stay in our home and have the things that we need until either I am approved for disability or my spouse can find another job. This would prevent us from losing everything, the life we've built together. If I fail in this, we have nowhere else to go.

Risks & Challenges
The biggest risk is not being able to raise the money, obviously. Should I be able to make this dream come true, everything will work out perfectly.

Other Ways You Can Help
Please, please help spread the word! I don't know many people, so it would be very helpful if you could let your friends and family know or even just share to other websites.


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Anniba Cox

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