I was eighteen years old the first time I used cocaine. had no idea I was doing cocaine the first time I did cocaine. Worse than that, it was not just cocaine, it was crack-cocaine. Until that day I had never tried any hard drugs, unless you count marijuana, mushrooms and LSD as hard drugs, which I do not. To me, hard drugs are the drugs that turn you into someone you can’t even recognize, yourself, much less, anyone else. Hard drugs are the drugs that make you steal from people, mostly the people whom you love the most. Hard drugs are the drugs which make you steal from stores. Hard drugs are the drugs which make you sell your belongings and sell your body. Hard drugs are the drugs that you can’t stop doing even though you hate doing them and anything fun about doing them ended almost as quickly as they began. Hard drugs are the drugs that cause you to lose your job, your home, your friends, your family, including your children. Hard drugs are the drugs which cause you to find yourself locked in prison. Hard drugs are the drugs which can and do kill many but before they do they take absolutely everything from you. Weed and hallucinogens never did that to<$wc> me and I am still alive but to say that is a miracle is really stretching the meaning of the word, “miracle” to it’s limits.
In May of 1994 I graduated from high school in the small city in which I lived. I was an honor graduate and my overall cumulative GPA for my high school career was 3.67. That wasn’t too shabby, considering I put in zero effort my senior year. I was even accepted into LSU which required me to take classes that really did not mix well with the less than half-assery I put into my school work in the twelfth grade. Biology 2, Physics, Algebra 2 , and Honors English IV are hard classes for any 17-year old. I was taking those classes during the day and sneaking out of my window almost every night and then doing it again, getting up and going to school the next day on little or no sleep at all. I honestly do not know how I passed. I don’t remember any of it except for a few of the bad things that happened at school that year and I hate that I do not remember.
Growing up for me wasn’t fun at all. I was always a very depressed child. I lived with my father and my stepmother. My stepmom, Penni, was a teacher at the high school from which I graduated. My father sold pump repair to the plants in south Louisiana, where we lived. I visited my biological mother, Sue, every other weekend.
My dad and stepmom were extremely strict and except if it was with them or my grandmother who lived with us, they did not let me leave the house very much. Sometimes it was an issue for me to even go outside and play in the yard. I was never allowed to cross the street. I never had a bike I could ride and no friends ever came over to play with me at my house. Before I got to high school, there were only two girls I went to school with whose houses my parents would let me visit and sometimes spend the night. That did not happen very often, at all. When I got to high school I made a few new friends and it took some time but eventually my parents would let me go to their houses, but again, not very often, at all.
I always felt like a loser at school on Mondays, listening to the girls talk about the fascinating things they did over their weekends. I always just listened silently because I never had anything I could add to the conversation. I suppose the inside of me was always a mix of jealousy, anger, sadness and wonder. Mostly though, it was anger.
I was a good kid. I never got into trouble either at home or at school, but especially never at school, and up until about the age of 14 or 15 I was always respectful to my parents and did what I was supposed to do. I guess the disrespect began in my eighth grade year because that was the year the boys started to notice me and I started noticing them. There were school dances but I was never allowed to go to them. That really pissed me off because I loved to dance. There was literally no reason I should not have been allowed to go.
My stepmom hated me but she pretended she loved me. I do believe her intentions concerning me were good and from a good place when she married my dad. I was three years old when they married and at the time, I had no mother. I had no mother because my father took me from my mother when I was 18 months old and successfully managed to keep her away from me until I was almost seven years old. My mother brought him to court and was granted some very modest, I would actually call them restrictive visitation rights. I will never know for sure but I have little doubt that Whatever happened in those court proceedings definitely included some money changing hands and alot of fucking bullshit lies about my mom.
Within weeks or possibly days of me having to meet my own mother for the first time, my stepmom gave birth to my sister and that was the day she completely changed the way she treated me. I was no longer important. I became an irritant and a hassle. I was so young and so very confused about everything that I blamed my sister. I never liked her and the truth is she never liked me, either and as she got older she got meaner.
Doodie* was mean in a different way than me. Where my meanness was more reactive than anything, her meanness was just innate in her. I know that there are probably mountains of things she was told to make her hate me but I will never know what those things were. I know she believed my dad favored me, and I used to believe that too. I do not know why or how either one of us could believe that shit because my dad was a mean son of a bitch. He constantly made fun of both of us. He never, ever had anything nice to say to either of us. NEVER. I always made excuses for our dad as to why he would say the horrible things he would say and that only infuriated Doodie. What neither one of us understood, and she still doesn’t, is the reason why I did that. My dad was, for all intents and purposes, my only parent. For me to believe that he said those things out of pure meanness would be for me to believe that my one parent doesn’t even love me. I now know that he does not love me and I don’t think he ever did. I have had years to remember and think about everything that was said to me by him about my mom and what she said about him. It is now my belief that the only reason he took me from my mother was out of revenge because he wrongly thought that he was not my biological father. I now believe with very good reason that he took me from her as an act of revenge and he used me, a child, as nothing but a way to continually hurt my mother in the worst possible way.
The saddest part is that I only recently, in the past few years, figured this out and my mother drank herself to death in 2004. I never allowed myself to get close to her or love her like a daughter should love her mother. I never asked her any questions about any of this and I am quite sure she wanted me to ask more than anything. I regret that I did not. I regret everything about how I related to my mom but I was a child. I was an extremely emotionally abused child and it took everything I went through including all of the horror stories in the pages of this book for me to realize how abused I actually was.