Lydia: I’ve been through hell since I moved to Georgia.

BW: What did you move here for?

Lydia: Honestly… to detox and get clean off heroin.

BW: Judging by the neighborhood you’re in I’m guessing it didn’t work out?

Lydia:  It worked for a little while and I’m actually in the process of trying to get back off of it. I’m working on getting together a deposit to get a room at a boarding house. 

There’s a person that’s making me want to change my life and that’s my son. 

BW: How old is he?

Lydia: *Sobbing* He’ll be five months old at the end of this month. I didn’t even know I could have kids. I’m thirty-one years old. I mean I’ve gotten pregnant before but haven’t ever successfully held a child past three months. 

So, when I came here in September, I was clean for ninety days and then I relapsed. Then, right after my relapse, I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t able to completely get myself back off the dope so, I ended up having to sign my son over to my mom in order to keep him out of foster care. 

So, it’s been kind of a hectic thing. But God kind of put his hand on Sean because he wasn’t born with anything in his system. He didn’t have to be detoxed.

BW: Is your mom in Birmingham?

Lydia: No, she’s actually right down the road from here. That’s why I stick around this area. Every now and again I’ll see my mom and get a glimpse of my son. She won’t let me come and visit him, which is understandable, cause I’m not doing right.  And, a… I’m trying. It’s just hard. People who haven’t been in my position wouldn’t understand why I do what I do or why it’s so hard for me. 

BW: What would you like to tell your son?

Lydia: I would want him to know that even though it seems that I’m choosing the drugs over him, that it’s really not the case. [bawling] I don’t know… I just… I don’t know where to start to even get right. It’s not really stopping using the drugs that I need to deal with as much as why I use the drugs in the first place.

BW: Why is that?

Lydia: Um… I don’t know for sure… but I’m assuming that it uh… probably has something to do with events from my childhood. 

BW: Were you molested?

Lydia: Um, yes. But it’s not really so much being molested as much as by who it was. That’s the hardest thing for me. 

My mom was a drug user as well. She started using crack when I was a kid. I have six siblings. They’re all younger than me. So, I ended up being a mom at a very young age. I didn’t want to see my younger brothers get put into foster care so, I got emancipated. I was made a legal adult when I was sixteen in the state of Alabama and got custody of my two youngest brothers.

BW: Ironic that your mom has custody of your son now and you had custody of her two kids.

Lydia: Yeah… Different drug but same situation. 

BW: Who molested you?

Lydia: I mean, it was more than one person. But it’s the first one that’s the hardest for me.

BW: I’m sorry. Do you remember when it started?

Lydia: I think I was about three or four and it went on til I was about ten. At that point I started rebelling against the situation. I started realizing that what was going on was wrong and that it did not happen to everybody. It wasn’t something that should be happening. So, once I realized that, I quit being so cooperative so, he stopped. He backed off.

BW: Did you ever tell anybody?

Lydia: Um, no, I didn’t. My mom knows now.  She kind of had an idea that it was happening but she wasn’t for sure. Last year I actually told her myself. 

BW: Do you think you’ll ever forgive him?

Lydia: I’ve actually already forgiven him because I understand that he is not a well person. He’s very sick.

Part of these collections: Opiate Addiction