Her adoptive family
Cyntoia went to live with her adoptive mother, Ellenette Brown at the age of two-years-old. While it was a more stable environment than the one her teenage mother could have provided, it was not perfect. Her adoptive father would often hit her simply because, by his own admission, he could.
In the documentary, she also mentions asking about her biological mother and why she never came to visit her. The Browns never gave her an explanation but later they gave Cyntoia letters had mother had written and pictures she’d drawn from prison.
Cyntoia didn’t believe she could fully trust her mother and lived much of her life in a code of secrecy. Her decision to distance herself from her adoptive mother is one she said she still regrets today. And at 15, she ran away from home.