I moved around a lot in my childhood and my mother was my only friend. We moved 4 times before I was 5, and I believe the moving affected my ability to make friends. My mother would go out at night leaving me with strange babysitters. I would want so badly for my mother to hold me. Little by little I concluded that I was just not fun. I was not handsome enough or entertaining enough to keep her home with me. I believe this also kept me from making friends.
The schools I went to offered free lunches for needy children. I went to breakfast and lunch because I never knew if I would get food at home. When I was 7, my mother left and the man we stayed with called my maternal grandmother; a year later, she adopted my brother and me.
My mother got married and had 3 more children. I felt she forgot me and didn’t love me. From time to time she would come over asking to see us, but our adoptive parents would not allow it. My mother ended up getting run over by her husband and suffered brain damage. Consequently, she got involved with drugs and went to prison.
My adoptive parents started getting money for my brother and me. They made me play baseball and go to church. They never went to church because they just wanted us out of the house. This made me feel upset and I lost my belief in God. I had a hard time playing baseball because of knee pain as I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. I was 12 years old when I took my first opiate.
My maternal step-father would belittle me and hit me for everything. Consequently, I moved out to be with my maternal grandfather. When I was 15, my uncle tricked me into using crack. I skipped school and stayed up all night. When I was 17, I prayed to God to help me NOT kill myself—he answered my prayers, but I was lost. I was trying to fill a hole in my soul with all the wrong things. I am very introverted; I’d get my pills and retreat to my fortress of solitude. My grandfather didn’t know until I stole $800.00 from him. My brother and I would steal to get high, but I didn’t want that life for myself.
I didn’t think I was going to graduate but the principal called me into his office to tell me not only was I going to graduate but that I was a Mississippi Scholar. I had more math and languages than were required!
I continued to take the opiates for my knee pain, but my use continued to get worse; first before work then after work, then during work. This is a glimpse of what led up to my addiction. Stay tuned for Part 2.