I was going to let it go on until it killed me

Unsplash, by Tobias Van Schneider

This entry is part of a project called Craigslist Confessional. I have spent the last year and a half anonymously meeting people on Craigslist and listening to their stories of hardship. Each story is told with a first person point of view and is absolutely true. I have only changed names and locations to protect the subject’s anonymity. I hope that by listening to these accounts, I can bear witness to someone’s story, and provide the subject with a healthy outlet, a judgment-free ear, and a sense of catharsis. By sharing them with you, we hope to engender an acceptance and understanding of issues that are seldom unfettered from fear, stigma, and ostracism. You can read more about how this got started here.

I was going to let it go on until it killed me. From the time I woke up to the moment I went to sleep, it’s all I thought about. Every single thing I did was for one purpose alone: getting a fix.

I started getting high and drinking with my mom’s third husband. He would ply me with booze and weed because it made me more submissive — easier to control when he molested me. I knew that what he was doing was wrong, but he threatened to hurt my younger sister whenever I resisted. So, in my mind, I was sacrificing myself for her sake. I’ll never forget the moment, years later, when she told me that she used to be jealous of all the time that “daddy” spent with me. She had no idea.

My real father was drunk when he died. He must have been in his early 20s, and I was barely three. My grandparents had substance abuse issues, too. My mom was clean, though. But addiction definitely ran in the family. They say that it’s a disease — like cancer. Well, this was a cancer that was growing inside me ever since I was born. I feel like I don’t remember a life in which alcohol and drugs weren’t everywhere.

To read the rest of this Confessional, please head on over to Quartz. I promise you, it’s worth it.

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