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Grapevine : May 2011
My parents divorced before I was released from the center and it was decided the best thing for me was to remove me from my old friends. I got into a new school and moved in with my father. Unfortu- nately, my father’s apartment was lo- cated in a bad part of town, close to adult theaters and I was introduced to a darker side of life. Waiting at the bus stop on the first day of school, I met my first love, the local dealer. All the girls wanted him and all the guys wanted to be like him. Wherever he was, the party fol- lowed. I recklessly ignored warning signs of impending disaster. I would do anything for him. By the time I turned 16, he’d broken my nose. When I was 18, we got ourselves into some trouble and had to leave town so we picked up and left for Ha- waii, where we stayed for three years, partying non-stop amidst increasing abuse and growing insanity. During this time, I had no contact whatsoev- er with my family. My mother, whom I adored, didn’t know if I was alive or dead. My boyfriend was arrested and looking at doing some time, so I called my mom and went home. I will never forget the look on her face when she picked me up at the airport. Her sweet little girl was now pierced and tattooed, with dyed jet- black hair and a very jaded attitude. I did okay for a short while, un- til I met my next victim, a.k.a. boy- friend, and he turned out to be even worse than the first. This guy was a professional car thief. He supplied my habits and turned so abusive, the last time I saw him, he broke my jaw. I was twenty years old and truly scared for my life so I moved to Geor- gia, where my father lived with his girlfriend. I got a job at a local con- venience store and started drinking beers at work. After three months, I returned to California to see some of my old friends. Almost immediately, I got right back into the swing of my old lifestyle, hustling and doing what- ever I could to stay as numb as pos- sible. When I was 21, I met the man who would become my husband, truly a larger than life character who stood about six feet six inches tall, rode a Harley, had lots of money and was a walking party. I loved him with my heart and soul, altering my role in order to take care of his four-year- old son. I was not allowed to party, When I phoned my sister frantically from the accident scene, she would later tell me that she had assumed I had had enough of my husband and killed him myself. 34 May 2011 GRAPE_32-38.indd 34 4/5/11 4:00 PM