Tasha's 56-year-old mother, Monique Smith, says, "Tasha was angry, disappointed and embarrassed about her mother being on drugs. I thought I was hiding the drugs, but my children could look in my eyes and see through me. Sometimes I didn't want to come home because of the guilty and shame I felt; I was afraid of how they would look at me."
It wasn't until years later that Tasha began to put the pieces of her broken childhood back together. Tasha, 40, tells us that she's now very proud of her mother. "We are not defined by our mistakes. We are defined by what we're able to overcome."
Monique adds, "Somebody suggested that I ask my children to forgive me. So I said to Tasha, 'Baby girl, I'm so sorry for what I did to you and to us. I'm working on forgiving me. Can you please work on forgiving me, too?'"
Tasha's mother has been drug-free for 24 years and it's been six years since Monique started the process of forgiveness and repairing their mother-daughter bond.
For more of Tasha Smith's December cover story, pick up the latest issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands now.