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.


Dad was a gun collector. I went into his house and stole three really nice pistols. My plan was to sell two of them and use the third. I sold the two pistols and I went and got a bottle of Xanax, a bottle of Crown Royal, and some crack. I got in my car, loaded the third gun and put it on the seat. 


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. 


I've been a working girl for a very long time. I grew up in Ben Hill. I learned the streets at 14 years old right here on MLK and Fulton Industrial and now I'm 43.  


This story contains graphic descriptions of molestation. I fight everyday of my life, but here's the messed up part, Brent [crying hard] when you get sober all these feelings are coming back that I'm used to medicating... what do you do? What do you do when you have to deal with this shit...


So I was sixteen driving around in a brand new Lincoln Continental. My stepfather gave it to me because I was playing the game. When I graduated I was supposed to go to University of Louisville or Tennessee.


My family always take care of me no matter what. I think that has a lot to do with me still being out here. My mom will send me money and pay up my motel room. They don’t know no better.


You’re giving someone $1000-$1500 a day and for him to just down me, down me, down me, all the time. I tried to be whatever he wanted me to be. 


some things have happened. Like he hit me once or twice but he apologized after that happened. He cried and said “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to do that.” And now I’m having a child from him. I want a boy.


I had to give him up for adoption because I had thoughts that shouldn’t be there. In other words, I prefer not to be around little boys. 

BW: So, you were worried about doing to him what had been done to you? Did you voluntarily give him up?

Betty: Yes. I broke the chain. 


She was my motivation and when she passed away, that’s when things started going down hill. I started using marijuana and popping pills. Then it went to doing cocaine. Then I moved back from Peurto Rico to here and started using methamphetamine.


For a long time I tried to keep everything as clean and perfect as possible, so that nobody would get angry. After a while I realized that it wasn’t working, so I started doing other things. I self injured [cut] for a while. I wanted a way to control the kind of abuse that was directed towards me. If I abused myself, at least it was me choosing it.