A teenager has written an open letter to her “drug-taking” parents to thank them for showing her that “life is unfair” and “people disappoint you”.
Chelsea Cameron, 18, also thanked them for missing her younger brother’s first day at school and for not being there when she was made head girl.
In the letter posted on her blog, she said the difficulties she faced at home taught her to be ambitious, tolerant and independent.
She went on to become head girl of Menzieshill High School in Dundee and spoke in front of hundreds of people at her school prize giving at the city’s Caird Hall.
She wrote: “Parents, both of you, thank you for teaching me that taking drugs ruins lives, breaks families apart and gives no-one a quality of life worth living.
“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.
“Thank you for teaching me to be ambitious. 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.
“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.”
The teenager told the Dundee Evening Telegraph she was aware of drug-taking in her home from the age of seven or eight.
Her mother Tammy told the newspaper: “No child should have to go through what Chelsea did and live that kind of life.
“I am ashamed and upset at my behaviour and am so sorry and so proud of her.”
In her letter, the teenager tells how she hid the truth about her home life until the third of fourth year of high school.
But she overcame her difficulties and did well at school, developing a love of languages and travel, and has been on a “trip of a lifetime” to Uganda.
She says she is a Mormon and “trying to live a Christ-like life in a world which has increasing chaos”.
She has also said she sees her father often, although she has not seen her mother for a while. She dreams about a future involving both of them.
She wrote: “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.”