There’s no way to pinpoint exactly when my life sloped downhill. As far as I can remember, things have always been a mess.
When I was four years old, I lived with my grandmother. I had no memory of my actual mother as she was a meth addict and was never allowed to see me. All I knew was Grandma. She took great care of me. I idolized her. Grandma was the kind of woman that everyone loved and respected, but also feared. Everyone was always on their best behavior around her.
I stayed with her until I was 10. Just months after my birthday, as I was walking home from school when an old rusty red Pontiac pulled up beside me. The man driving the car honked loudly. I looked and saw my mother in the passenger seat. Her hair was matted and stringy. Her clothes were old and worn, and she had scars on her face.
“Get in Anna”. I looked at her perplexed. Who was this woman? “It’s me. Your momma. See!?” She rolled up her sleeve to show me a tattoo on her arm. It was an image of a banana with ‘Ana’ written in cursive along the peel. “He spelled your name wrong, I know.” She shook her head and laughed. “My Anna Banana”. This woman looked incredibly desperate and sad. Not knowing what else to do, I got it.
That may have been the biggest mistake of my life because, from that day forward, my life spiraled continuously out of control. After months of battling, my mother somehow managed to keep me. That’s when I got my first taste of coke.
I was 11 when my mom and her then boyfriend threw a party. There were drugs and alcohol everywhere. A much older man came up to me and asked if I liked powdered sugar. “Sure,” I said. “Have you ever sniffed it?” I shook my head no, and he asked if I wanted to try.
He lined the white powder along the glass coffee table and handed me a straw. He snorted half the line and smiled. “Your turn.” Swiftly, and without hesitation, I did the same. The coke burned through my nose and down my throat. It seemed to set all of my insides ablaze.
After the burning subsided, I felt this lull. I immediately began to feel calm and comforted but as quick as the calm set in, it left. I was suddenly hit with an energy I never felt before. I felt so happy and energized.
I was no longer worried about Mom’s addiction or her boyfriend sneaking into my room at night. I wasn’t thinking about what Grandma would say if she knew what was happening. For once, I felt like I could take on the world.
That’s how it got me. That’s how I became hooked. Over the next few years, I developed a relationship with the mystery man. By the time I turned 13, the relationship became sexual and I became a full-blown addict. I stayed with him for nearly 10 years, and during that time, we fed our addiction nonstop, without a care in the world.