A Diary of a Teenage Drug Queen
Warning: Contains Spoilers
People often ask how my life has been since I was a teen. I'd like to summarize it for you, but it is not so simple. I never married, I never even came close to marriage. I never went to college. I never regained a passion for life but spent most of my life hoping it would be over soon. I can say I was never around hard drugs or dangerous criminals again after my teen years. I was one of a few juvenile delinquents who was scared straight by a stint in jail. I quickly learned that life in jail was not anything I wanted or was willing to risk. When I became a teenage drug queen, I had no idea of the true risks I was taking. I was simply self-destructive, lost, hurting, addicted to alcohol, and just plain stupid.
I still feel guilt over those days. I'll probably feel it until the day I die. Self-forgiveness is a long process, a lifelong process. There are days I accept that I was a very messed up teenager and that I had no idea what I was doing. There are other days I still feel responsible for Seely's death, and I don't know how I can live another moment with that burden.
I have spent my entire adult life in therapy, and I feel that helps tremendously. I had to learn everything my parents didn't teach me. I had to learn how to function in the real world, not that imaginary world that dealers inhabit; a world where they are stars, and they feel invincible, yet ultimately they self-destruct.
I've also spent my adult life doing volunteer work. I’ve worked with the hungry, the homeless, and the elderly. Volunteering helps me feel better about myself and more hopeful about the world. People are always telling me I'm a good person, and I’d like to think that maybe I have become one.
I've also developed a very strong spiritual foundation. Prayer and service are part of my routine each and every day. I have deepened my spiritual practices over the years and became a calmer person with more inner peace, and in some ways, I represent the cliché of 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
I didn't find out Armando got out the easy way until I wrote the book. I was devastated to find out he hadn’t been imprisoned. I sat in jail not talking about him yet the minute he was caught he ratted on others and put them in prison without compunction. If I knew then what I know now, I would have turned on him. My sister could very well still be alive. I followed a code of honor that no one else seemed to follow. I felt it was my duty to take the punishment for the crimes I committed and not drag other people down. Looking back, I can see that my loyalties were insane.
I never regretted leaving the life of a drug dealer behind. Those were dark days where I drank heavily on a daily basis. I hurt all the time and often cried myself to sleep. I was always afraid, but at the time, I saw no way out.
After Seely had died, I got into computers, and I loved my work. I didn't miss the fear, the stress, and the backstabbing of the street. I didn’t miss the petty life I led daily, filled with gossip, drama, and worthless pursuits. I thank God every day I got out of that life, and I owe all of that to my poor sister. Her death changed my life dramatically.
There are many things I wish were different, but the one that haunts me most is that I wish I could trade places with Seely. That was my seat in the car, the front passenger seat. She took a ride one time, and it's simply not fair. That's my biggest regret, that I got out alive and she did not. That’s what I tear my heart out over daily. I don’t care about anything I left behind except for my little sister.
I live in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature, with lovely dogs. No one is abusing me or hurting me in any physical way, and I certainly am not in any danger of being arrested or having my world turned upside down. But I never completely escaped my past. I live every day without my sister, the person I would imagine would be the closest person to me on earth. I live with a great many unbearable losses, including my father's suicide.
I have always been a reclusive type. I tend to spend the majority of my time alone, which is ultimately good for writing books as well as poems, one of my great loves. I am working on another book, it takes place in my twenties while I traveled the US and beyond on a relentless, obsessive search for redemption, atonement, and inner peace.
Closet Full of Coke