Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

The Born Again Addict

Please note as you read this that all of the numbered points and bullet points below represent actual conversations that I have had with men and women in homeless addiction over the past several months...

As I type this and as you read this, less than an hour's drive from your seat and mine there is a woman who
  1. barely understands that the sequential lines on a page represent letters of her name because she was never in any school or she does read but
  2. never graduated from high school or
  3. never saw college or
  4. graduated from college with a 4.0 in history or nursing or
  5. graduated with her Master of Social Work degree and saw her own clients until four years ago or
  6. was a partner in a law firm or 
  7. was on her way to becoming a plastic surgeon or
  8. as a heart surgeon, saved your life five years ago when she inserted that stint.
As I type and as you read, she is
  • in a pickup truck down by the waterfront or
  • in a dark and secluded back ally or
  • in a sleazy hotel or
  • in a high-class center city hotel.
She is with a male who 
  1. barely understands the sequential lines on a page represent letters of his name because he was never in any school or he does read but
  2. never graduated from high school or
  3. never saw college or
  4. graduated from college with a 4.0 in history or nursing or
  5. graduated with his Master of Social Work degree and saw his most recent client at 4pm or
  6. who recently guided you through that legal issue as your attorney or
  7. is on his way to becoming a plastic surgeon or
  8. as a heart surgeon, saved your life last week when he inserted that stint.

Don't be fooled by those two seemingly equal 1 to 8 lists.
In this world, wherever she is on her 1 - 8 list, 
she freely intermixes within his 1 - 8 list
as she funds her need to avoid dope sickness 
and as he rents her for his sex addiction.

She is fearful that he will 
  • overpower her and throw her into that water or
  • knife her in that alley or
  • beat her or
  • leave her tied to the bed when he leaves that hotel.
As she performs sex acts on her "date,"
  • tears of self-humiliation roll down her cheeks as
  • fever and chills and fear of vomiting and uncontrolled defecation brought on by advancing dope sickness overwhelm her.
She shuts off her intellect as best as she can as she fulfills the requirements of her income: her "date."

How did she get to this point in her life?  Was it the time 
  • she slid into third base in the girl's high school baseball game and broke her leg so severely that she was prescribed heavy and severely addicting painkillers?
  • her uncle "played" with her as a child and gave her a quarter not to tell her mother?
  • she found opioid pain pills in her family home and wondered how they would make her feel?
Regardless of how she got to this point, deep within her soul, she knows this is not what her life is to be about.  She reaches out for help and is told that because she does not have a piece of plastic that shows her name and photograph, hospitals will not help her find healing.  And so she continues all of the above because she can't gather the needed $30.50 for a new ID.  

If she does have an ID, she probably does not have private insurance and is reliant on Medicaid to cover her expenses.  In the years since this blog was originally written, I've written quite a bit about this topic.

In desperation to get off the streets and regain normalcy, she calls the police and tells them that she will be soliciting as a prostitute at a specific intersection and exact time and to please come to arrest her.  She does and they do.

She is put in a jail cell where, with no medical intervention, she endures suffering through days of detox which includes vomiting, diarrhea, severe head cold type symptoms and occasional seizures.  

After several days in the jail cell, days which actually brought her through detox and back to being "clean," she is told that she will be released the following day.  She informs her family so that proper plans can be made for a somewhat smooth transition back into some degree of normal life and rehabilitation.

At 11:00pm, the night before her expected release, she is dismissed from jail.  Due to the late hour, her family can't be reached and so this young lady returns to the only area she knows and for as much as she did not want to do so, she slips right back into her addiction.

And that's how Philadelphia Pennsylvania gave birth to The Born Again Addict.

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