Normal is not normal to me.
“My mom visits me once a month. This is my fifth time here. I’ve been in and out. I’ve been off paper [not in the system] for two years. I was twelve when this first started. I was charged with assault for defending myself against my stepmom. I’m a drug addict with a run record. I have a hard time staying in one place. Normal is not normal to me. When I take responsibility, I get overwhelmed. I’ve been to drug and alcohol detox twice as an inpatient, once as an outpatient. To Buckley center Chrysalis, they’re all great services, but I was not in the right mind for it to take. I was ten when I started with marijuana. I don’t think its bad, but I personally can’t handle it. I’ve been doing heroin and alcohol. I do lots of thefts for my expenses. Bikes, cars, houses. For a long time, I took pride in not prostituting. My last relapse, I started prostituting on my own. I’m not measure 11. This commitment is for selling. This arrest is for PV [probation violation] and using and running. I been here over three months. I’m going into a transition program. I hope I can step up to the YWTP [Young Women’s Transition Program].
My mom and dad were both alcoholics. They owned a bar. I was left alone a lot. When I got a taste of a social life, I was resentful that I couldn’t participate. My mom was drunk when she found me on the street; I had run away. She attacked me and wouldn’t let go, I punched her in the face; it wasn’t that hard. But when she appeared in court a month later, she still had an ugly bruise. I think it was self-inflicted. When I was taken into custody for 28 days, I was in shock. I didn’t consider the crime, I was uneducated and had poor representation. My stepmom and dad divorced. I’ve seen my dad twice in the past six or seven years. I haven’t lived with my mom for a long time. My mom rents a room at people’s home, so it’s not comfortable for me to stay with her. Mom’s a recovering alcoholic, who is three years sober.
Me and my fiancé both write poems.
He’s in prison. He’s thirty-seven.
I was on the street and coming down off LSD,
he rode up on his bike and came back later with blankets and food.
First time I was here for a year. Second time seven months, third time three months, and fourth time nine months. Now I’ve been here three-and-a-half months. I dropped out of school almost right away, like sixth grade. I’ve been doing school since I was locked up. I have my GED and I am working towards my diploma. I want to be a certified nurse assistant and I want to study welding. I got third prize in a poetry competition, called split personality. It’s about my addiction and me as an addict versus the polar opposite of me sober. got it published in the Oregon Vagabond. Me and my fiancé both write poems. He’s in prison. He’s thirty-seven. I was on the street and coming down off LSD, he rode up on his bike and came back later with blankets and food. We camped together, we were both in active addiction. He encouraged me to get my shit together. We stole for support. We’ve been together four years. I was 14 when I met him. He was 33. “
-B.X., age 18, Oak Creek Oregon, Albany, Oregon