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Jean Armstrong - A Brief Autobiography

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I wasn’t always like this. My father didn’t always beat my mom, and my mom didn’t always shoot up heroin. Life just does that to some people. It picks the ones no one cares about and uses us as an example. See that folks, that there is the perfect example of scum. Of failure. Is it fair? No, but it is what it is.
That’s why my mom started using, to escape. Father would come home in a drunken rage and just whale on her, and she’d take it all. She was so quiet; sometimes I’d think he’d killed her. Then dad would pass out and I’d run to my room and cry and cry. Sometimes my mom would ask me to drive her to the hospital, even though I was too young to drive. Only nine when it started.
He cracked her skull. She lay on the floor, completely motionless. That’s when I lost it. I ran to my mother’s room and dug through her drawers until I found it. I’d watched her enough times so that doing it was easy. The needle stung, but it was no matter. As soon as I felt it rush through my veins, nothing else mattered. I was fourteen then.
When he came after me I laughed manically. He couldn’t catch me. I was so high, floating just beyond his reach. I ran away that night. I stole my mom’s stash, some clothes and just left. There was nothing to stay for. I had everything I needed in a little baggie in the pocket of my back pack.
I bounced around for a few months. I lived with a couple of friends, but they told me I couldn’t go to my happy place, or if I did, I had to leave. So I roamed the streets, living the life of a hobo. Just like the movies. Except, my demons weren’t catching up to me. I was a free girl.
I had been earning enough by begging, but soon I became just another homeless person. So I had to find another way to support my fix. Stealing. I started out small, just nabbing stuff here and there and selling it. Then that wasn’t enough, so I moved onto bigger things. Like houses.
That’s where I made the big bucks and soon I was able to shoot up every day. Of course, that had its downfall. I started screwing up. When I’d go to break in, I’d forget to check for dogs, or an alarm. Then the cops would come sniffing around, and I came close a couple of times. I always managed to slip away though. Until I quit getting money.
I hadn’t been able to buy in two and a half weeks. I was starting to feel sick, the shakes were setting in and I was hallucinating. I NEEDED my fix. I was walking down the street and saw a house. It was a nice house, older. There were no beware of dog signs or children’s toys, so I figured it was a safe house.
The lights were off. I remember that much, and the door was open. I remember that too. The weird thing is, I knew. I knew I’d get caught. Somehow a part of me was ready for that release. I had become a monster and I was ready to sleep.




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