Tera Leigh

He locked the door behind me. At that moment my heart sank and I realized that something was really wrong here. That moment of impending doom. I ran for the other door in the classroom. He jumped over the desk and locked that door too.


My mom saw something on Facebook that I "liked". Some lesbian page or something, and she emails me. She asked if I was gay. I didn't want to say no again, because this was the third time she'd asked me in my life. At work, I sat there typing the email, crying...


My life changed after that completely. They sent me to a camp in Montana and they beat me and electrocuted me. I fought everybody who touched me. I fought until they had enough, and sent me home. 


I miss that person who was sensitive and  cared about everybody's feelings, but now I don't take no shit from nobody. To go back to that really insecure person that I was... I know a lot today about the child I was. 


 I had just discovered that I had bipolar depression. I just thank God that he brought me through so much. That's why I want to get my poems out there, cause I want to help somebody who been through what I been through. 


My daddy use to drink and get drunk and wanna come home and beat us up, but my mama always took the beatings.


They kept telling me how great it could be in recovery. I thought that it was bullshit. My whole life I'd always heard, once an addict, always an addict. In my mind I was never gonna get any better. Never... I wanted things to get better, but I never knew I could live life without using dope, because I'm an addict. 


I started going to jail when I was like 12. I've been to juvenile like nine times, penitentiaries, all types of shit. I'm 23 now and I've been out of jail two years. Every charge I ever caught was burglary. Breakin' in shit around here, know what I'm sayin'? But I just had a little boy the other day. That's all I think about.


You hear about it on the news with people wanting to drown their babies and stuff. It was never like that for me. With my first child, I had a form that was on the other end of the spectrum. I was really obsessed with if I was doing things wrong. 


I was driving through Rainsville, Alabama and I saw a sign that said Addicts 4 Christ. I had heard that there was a bad meth problem in the area and was interested in talking to someone who could tell me  about their experience. I called the number on the sign and connected with Tina.


I believe in God. I believe he has a better place for me, I hope... My faith isn't that strong, but I do hope that there is a better place for me, because nothing could be worse than what I've been through here. 


I found what appeared to be an abandoned trailer park in Luthersville, GA yesterday, so I stopped to explore. As I was driving through, I heard someone holler at me. It was Trena. I told her about the project, and asked if she'd tell me her story. We talked a lot about God and how she felt abandoned by her spiritual family at the local church. 


Atlanta's a great city, man. Every city has it's ups and downs, but for me and my healing process, Atlanta's been a great city. I've been in and out of Grady and Emory hospitals having research done and tests done. 


We had only been in the neighborhood for about 10 minutes before I saw a young lady. I can usually tell by the way someone carries themselves if they are walking to get to a destination, or if they are working on getting their next fix. I could tell that she was in the later category. I pulled up and told her briefly about the project and asked if she'd like to tell us her story.


I'm scared, you know? I don't want to be Tory. Honestly Brent, I'm afraid to say that I'll never do it again. When you do that, you're putting yourself above what you've been through. I'm human and I have a problem. A real problem. That's the beginning of it when you can say, I got this issue and I'm not like everybody else.


It's like I tell the youth, What y'all doin' it could be a blessing and it can be a curse. It's a blessing now, you enjoying life. You get everything. You get to buy this and buy that, but when that curse comes... and the judge say 32 years and you 19 years old... 


I found out I was adopted when I was nineteen and that’s part of the reason I’m out here. It messed me up. I was lied to. I’m not out on the street by force. It’s really because of pain. 


She struggled with depression. I'm not exactly sure how the pain pills got involved but at some point she was given pain killers. Things started changing. 


I've overdosed too many times to count. You don't even know it happens. There's times when that's what I was trying to do, go out. I'd do a death shot.


I have four small children. I was in a happy marriage. Everything going good. For some reason I decided to leave him for another man who ended up passing away. He died of a heroin overdose.