Kathleen: I was raised in a strict Catholic family and went to Catholic school. I moved here [Georgia] when I was nineteen years old. I was pregnant and going to the university of Arizona. My parents made me give up the baby for adoption. They said, “If you don’t give her up, we’re gonna put you out on the street.” Well, I didn’t know anything about Atlanta. I didn’t have money and I didn’t have a car here. I had nowhere to go so…
I got married two years later and I had four children. I was married for thirteen years and got divorced. For me to be an Alpharetta housewife, raising children, playing ALTA tennis, teaching swimming and then ending up knowing some of the biggest dope dealers in the state of Georgia… is kind of bizarre.
My biggest regret is losing custody of my children and having to go to rehab. I had full custody of my children when I got divorced. I got everything.
BW: How did it start?
Kathleen: It started with alcohol. Three years after my divorce I went to rehab and met someone who used cocaine. We both got out of rehab and started doing cocaine. He introduced me to a ton of different dope men. I got a cocaine charge. I went to prison for that. It changed my life. It made me angry, more street smart … Once you go there … have you seen Shawshank Redemption? Morgan Freeman made a statement about how being in prison teaches you how to be a criminal. You learn more about crime and what not to do and what to do by being locked up with those people. All you have is time. All they do is talk about their sentences and what they did.
Down here [Clayton County] you can stand at a gas station and people will walk up to you and say, “you need anything?” That doesn’t happen in Roswell. It’s amazing. There’s such a big drug problem. There are some good people here but if you’re an addict, it’s not the place to be.
But I’ll never stop drinking. I love alcohol. It calms my nerves. I have a lot of anxiety so it calms me down.