I was 12 maybe 13 when I had the talk with my father. No, it was not THE talk. At the point I snuck in enough late night Showtime and rented crappy titles like “Poison Ivy IV” from the corner store to get the just of what happened when naked men and women got together. We sat on the roof and smoked cigarettes. That was the only place my mother couldn’t smell me. My father didn’t really care if I smoked, for him it was someone new to hang out with. We sat and smoked in relative silence. What do you say to old people anyway?
I don’t know how to write this without being sentimental or without sounding like I went through something horrific. It seems proper form, at least for my own emotional body, to relate this effectively by doing a bulletin list. This way I won’t romanticize my own past to either make it seem more traumatic or to maybe excuse any behavior.
- at the age of 12/13, my father told me the amount of debt he owed. It was so staggering that I figured out we were living in poverty. The food drives that my own school funded would be donated to my family. No wonder we had two turkeys on Thanksgiving. We also collected lettuce not fit to be sold at the asian market from the truck loaders. They were for the rabbits which was all well in good until the rabbits died and we still collected the lettuce.
- At the age of 12/13, I picked up my first drug shipment. And found out that it was not like in the movies. It was so much easier and so much more fun.
- I gave my father $1000 every few weeks giving him some bullshit excuse about how I found it or how I was saving. My father is not stupid but poverty is one hell of a visor. He accepted the money; no questions asked.
- At 15, I was robbed at gun point.
- At 16, I bought my sister a car. And paid off our debt. We also moved to the suburbs.
- At 16, I also got addicted to the drugs I sold.
- At 17, I was robbed at gun point.
- I graduated at the age of 18 with a 1300 on my SAT. I had successfully built a mini empire.
- A month later, I was arrested. July 1st 2009 11:28 am. Gun possession and drug distribution.
- I went to prison. My father visited me once. We didn’t talk about much. While I was away my mother was diagnosed with cancer. A battle she lost recently.
- We still don’t talk, my father and I, about anything what went on before my 18th year. There isn’t much to say. I am not going to blame my father for turning the other way when I was young. I won’t blame him for sharing our economic woes with me.That’s it. Drug rehab, therapy, and im alive. College educated, pretty smart I’d like to think. I’m a corporate outcast with no professional job opportunities. I’ve learned to live with my past. I guess I don’t need a cathartic experience. I’ve learned to objectify my past as if it belonged to someone else. Now I’m not saying this is healthy but it works for me.Thank you.
-Anonymous, 23 years old, NJ