Melissa, New Orleans, Louisiana
Melissa: I’ve unfortunately been shooting heroin for about 10 years now. Trying to get off the streets while you’re shooting heroin is next to impossible.
BW: What lead up to you using heroin?
Melissa: I have a daughter. *crying* She’s 13 now. I lost custody of her and when I lost custody of her, that’s when I started using. Just trying to cover up that pain, you know? Cause that’ll kill you.
BW: How’d you lose custody?
Melissa: I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have anything. I couldn’t provide for her because I was dependent on him. When we split up, there wasn’t anything I could offer her.
BW: Where’s she at now?
Melissa: She’s with her dad in Oklahoma.
BW: Do you ever get to talk to her?
Melissa: *Tears* No. For her birthday and Christmas, I send her money, but I can’t talk to her. I know they don’t give her the cards I send. He says he’s saving them and he’ll give them to her when she’s older.
BW: Do you ever see pictures of her?
Melissa: Yeah, I go on Facebook and I’ll look at her pictures.
BW: Does she look like you?
Melissa: Yeah, a lot.
BW: If you could send a message to your daughter, what would it be?
Melissa: That I’m sorry that I didn’t step up and be the mom that I should have been.