My name is “Jessica” and I am 31 years old. I am in a recovery program/safe house so I am using a fake name and my face is not visible in pictures.
I was born in Gallup, New Mexico and I have a brother that is two years older. My parents divorced when I was seven, I think because my dad was in and out of prison a lot for drugs and stuff. My mom, brother, and I moved to Oregon after the divorce to live with my grandparents. I felt alone in Oregon. My mom was always working and I felt like she never really cared about me. While in Oregon I was raped and molested by babysitters as well as my brother.
I liked school, sports, and worked hard at my studies but the rapes and molestation put me in a bad place. I was always closer to my dad than my mom and finally decided I should just be like him. I started drinking and using drugs. I was expelled from 8th grade and was put in the Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy rehab when I was 13.
I met a man in Arizona. He was a construction worker and he took care of me. “He was in love with me but I didn’t love him. I stayed with him because he always took care of me. I never wanted for nothing.” I went to jail for possession while we were together. I have a big arrest record in Arizona, by the way. I got sober and my GED while I was in jail, and got pregnant after getting out. We were together for 8 years and have a son.
After we split, I moved to Colorado. I had to work when I moved to Denver. I had never had to work jobs before. I had always been taken care of, by the cartel family and others, so I didn’t know how to work and be a mom. I relapsed into drinking, partying, and crack. “I stayed in that destruction for a while.” My mom turned me into social services and I lost my son.
In the last two weeks before my case was closed, I relapsed. At the time, my mom was pushing for me to support my oldest son, who she has custody of, and taking care of everything else was too much. I went into this mental funk. I felt like I had no viable options. I was a single mom with two small children and it was all too overwhelming. I eventually lost my kids and they were adopted out. I met a man named Mario. He used me, beat me, and kept me high on crack and heroin all the time. I lost everything and had nothing.
While with Mario, I met a woman who introduced me to prostitution. It felt like at least an option at the time. She had been in the business a long time and, “she knew I was pretty and she would get a lot of hits and I didn’t know nothing. She used that to her advantage.” She had me raped. She did a lot of bad things to me. She was my pimp and an evil person.
Because we are so pained from what we were doing that right away we think we should get some sort of accomplishment, but it’s not accomplishment. All it is that you are living life on life’s terms…it is a choice to be clean, not an accomplishment. Recovery is not a celebration, it is your life. It is either life or death.
I am bi-polar, severe PTSD, OCD tendencies, and have borderline split personality disorder. I am artistic, a mother, a believer, and a leader. I love my kids and life.
Everybody makes mistakes and everyone is a product of their environment. I just think that me being in the environment and under the circumstances with my mental health, I just fell into a path of destruction. I had a hate for men, for what had happened, and so that was my way of kind of getting back at men in general. I didn’t like being with men, so I took it to a level of where if I was going to do this, you know who makes a $100 a half hour? It’s very good money and I was just looking at it for the money…I know I had a lot of pain and hurt from my past and childhood that I did this above and apart from my morals and values. But when you get into a circumstance and you have so much hate and frustration built up you act out of anger and do things that are harmful not only to yourself but to others. And I just learned that no amount of money is worth me and my body. My body is priceless.
For a while my parents got together again and we all went back to New Mexico. I was still having problems in school and kept getting expelled for fighting. I didn’t finish high school.
When I was 16 my boyfriend forced me to go to Mexico with him. I was down there for three or four months before he finally let me go back home.
I eventually had a falling out with my parents. I left New Mexico and went to Arizona where my bother and other relatives were living. I lived with my aunt and uncle for a while but I got in trouble while living with them, so I went to live with my brother. We partied every night. My brother eventually lost his job and we lost everything. He went to live with our parents but I stayed in Arizona. I lived there for a long time. I just moved from house to house. The Mexicans taught me Spanish and took care of me. I sold drugs on the streets for the Mexican mafia and I was addicted to crack.
While in this destruction, I met a man, who later became my husband, and got pregnant again. He was working as a cook and got us an apartment. I struggled with the addiction while pregnant but I got sober at the end. He raped me shortly after my daughter was born and I got pregnant right away with my second son. I struggled again with the addiction. I finally got sober and did okay for a while. I used several programs to help me keep clean and take care of my kids. I went to culinary school and worked as a cook.
Things went bad again when legal actions started moving forward on some of my drug cases. My husband and I separated. “He went to Mexico when [the authorities] opened my case and I called immigration on him.” We are still married though and still talk on the phone periodically.
It took me a while to get away from the woman and to detach from Mario. My faith was a big part of me getting away. I have always kept a bible with me. “I just knew that if I kept reading the Word then some kind of change would come about.” My greatest asset is God and I am a loving person by nature. For my future, “I see a lot of possibilities, a lot of happiness, and a lot of joy and accomplishments, and a lot of sobriety.” I want to have a food truck. My kids are my whole life. I want my oldest son back for the summers, a house, and to go back to school.
I have a whole new outlook on life. My head is clear and I can see the hurt and pain of others. But I am learning that I need to help myself right now, not others. “Being clean doesn’t change the game and wipe the slate clean.” Addicts want instant gratification. Everyday lives and everyday people are sober. Normal people don’t use drugs and prostitute their bodies.