I am an addict; before I could walk my lungs were filled with cigarette smoke. I had my first drink of beer before I was five. Before I spoke my first word my lungs were filled with marijuana. I was left, alone in a trailer home with people I didn’t know, whom were most likely drunk and high on God knows what while my mother split for days. I couldn’t hear until I was almost in 3rd grade. I had a debilitating lisp and stuttered so bad I couldn’t cry for help on the school yard in grade school as the kids kicked my ass because I had a “girls” name. I was left alone with strangers on a farm in Maryland before I hit puberty, without a proper goodbye, without a kiss, without any explanation.
I was with my best friend, my neighbor when we discovered her dad’s brains all over her bed one day after school. I think I was about eight.
I was told by my mother, that she would divorce my father a year before she did it and told to keep it a secret or she, my mother would have to leave. After my mother divorced my father, and fell deeper into drugs and alcohol I took care of my sisters, washing them, feeding them and walking my youngest sister to school every day. Then she, my mother married Jerry, that man brutally beat me and my sister regularly. After I caught him beating my sister and told my mom I was shipped off to live on his family’s farm in Ohio for the summer so I couldn’t get between them again. After I came back I chose to sleep under a bridge rather than in that house with them.
I found out that the man I thought was my father was actually my adopted father and I had another dad out there, so I reached out and thought I could kind of start over, so I did, and we consumed mushrooms and drank vodka and got into fights together at the bar. Then he decided I wasn’t good enough to actually be part of his family.
I was an addict straight away. I knew abandonment, I knew how it felt to be beaten, and neglected before I knew what the word “love” meant. I learned before I was out of grade school that when adults said they were going to help you, it meant they were going to help themselves to you. I drank scotch regularly, before I got out of Junior high. And I smoked weed and cigarettes every day. I was dropping acid in every form before I turned eighteen, I snorted cocaine, I smoked PCP, and I saw a boy my own age shot to death when I was 16. I learned by the time I hit puberty that there was only one person who was going to look out for me, and that was me. I learned how to abandon myself, and pretend to be someone else before I knew who I was.