I met Kristen at Bridging The Gap, a community outreach center in Newnan GA. She was less than a week sober when we met and was looking for a way to get her life back on track.
Kristen: I chose to turn my back on my family to stay with [my ex]. I believe it was all because of him abusing me. He told me when we was living in Puerto Rico that if I ever left him and took his kids away he’d kill me, so I stayed stuck with him for four years. Now, since he went to jail it’s my [chance] to fix myself.
BW: Do you know when he’s getting out of jail?
BW: Are you scared?
Kristen: Yes, I’m terrified that he might get out tomorrow and I know the first place he’s gonna show up is my mama’s house, but I call every now and then to make sure he’s still there.
BW: Did he hit you [recently]?
Kristen: Yeah, two or three hours before he got arrested he punched me. It’s still sore and it happened on February 23rd. It was 5 A.M. in the morning and he punched me in the side of my face. I have a little bald spot where he would grab me by my hair.
I went to court for my children and they told me that I needed to go to rehab because my methamphetamine use was really high. At first I was like, no, no, I don’t need it. Then I got to thinking back on everything that’s happened and I do need it.
I’ve done some stuff that I’m [ashamed] of. I’ve experienced bad dope where I was literally talking to myself for three days. It made me feel like something was crawling up my face. For three days I felt like someone was after me.
BW: Do you have any idea why you started using?
Kristen: My childhood wasn’t that great. I was raped when I was thirteen and me and my mom always had disagreements because I felt like she was pushing me away, and would rather have my brother and sister there. I also lost my favorite person, the person I could lean on. She passed away.
BW: Who was it?
Kristen: My Aunt Carol. I was born on her birthday and got her middle name and everything. 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.
BW: Are you sober now?
Kristen: Yes. I’m as sober as sober can be and It feels funny, feels weird… I’ve been fiending for [meth].
BW: It sounds like they’re going to try to get you into treatment in Griffin?
Kristen: Yes, I’m required by DFCS to do a six month program but this one is a year and I think it will help me more.
Everything happens for a reason and God’s got me here today to get the help that I need, so I can give my kids a better life. Better than I had myself.