Shannon: I used to run track. I used to model. I did a commercial for Washington State apples. We [biological family] moved to Georgia in 94. I only had one girl then. She was two years old. She’s twenty-four now.
I met someone [when we moved] here. We came to a motel down here [Fulton Industrial BLVD.] and they were getting high and stuff. I didn’t know… I’m from a white neighborhood. My family’s got money. I was more naive than the average black woman. So, I tried some dope [crack] and it didn’t really do nothing to me.
When you do it the first couple of times you are like, these people are stupid. But then you start wanting it more and more. When I got hooked I was out here for like four years.
I just relapsed about six months ago. I’d been clean for the last five years. This is my third relapse.
BW: How did you get clean for five years?
Shannon: I never went to rehab. I never had no treatment. I just be getting tired.
I want to go home. 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. My mom says, “You’re my child. When you ask for something I’m gonna give it to you.”
I didn’t realize I was hurting my family so much. My youngest daughter is twelve now. My mom says she used to hide my shoes so I wouldn’t go nowhere. My mom tells me when she gets a late night phone call, or something she’s scared to answer it. I never knew the other side and what they going through.
BW: What do you think keeps you out here?
Shannon: I don’t know [tears]. I’m from a life where I don’t have to want for nothing to a life where I’m degrading myself hustling for drugs. I’m supposed to go home tomorrow… but I don’t go home til I’m ready to go home. I don’t want to be in and out. I am getting tired…