Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jan 2007
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2007 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Anonymous
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Hallucinogens)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methadone)


In AA they say that a person can only get clean and sober once they
hit rock bottom. Well, I can't imagine being any lower than the
situation I am in right now. I am at the bottom of the darkest well
known to man - prison.

I haven't disclosed my name because I am ashamed of my actions and of
how my life has turned out.

How did this happen -- family trouble? No, that isn't it. No mother or
father? No, I have two very loving biological parents and I had a
fantastic childhood. Some sort of abuse, then? Absolutely not -- well,
I guess that wouldn't be totally true, because I put a lot of effort
into abusing myself and everyone who ever cared about me.

I was a happy child with two loving parents who brought me to church
every Sunday. I never missed a day of elementary school and I always
had good grades. I was involved in Little Lad football, Pee-Wee
baseball and karate classes. I was the perfect little blond-haired boy
that everyone adored.

The only disconnect in my family life was the tremendous age gap
between my parents and me. By the time I was 8, my father was in his
60s and my mother well into her 40s. They loved me and I loved them,
but we sometimes had trouble relating. Seeking a bond I could not find
at home, I looked outside the family and found love, attention and a
strong sense that I belonged -- in the projects of Portland.

I remember my first teen-age friend. His name was Chris; he was a
homeless kid who had run away from the Maine Youth Center. My fondest
memory of him is how he laughed when I got into petty trouble or
choked on smoke. What I could not possibly have realized at that time
was that this was the beginning of the long fall to where I sit now.

My descent was a blurry 20-plus-year addiction spree. In place of all
the good morals instilled in me by my parents, I substituted drugs and
alcohol. I interpreted my family's pleas to stop as a means to hurt
me. I pushed them further away. They became the "enemy" against my

At 10 years old, the police removed me from my home for fighting with
my mom and dad. I was put in a jail cell for the night. Now, you would
think that at 10, a jail cell would be a rude awakening and a reason
to quit my rebellion without a purpose -- but no, in that cell I was
introduced to the thugs that I now call family. Jail only solidified
my stance against all those who truly cared for me.

When I was 12, my descent picked up speed. I assaulted my mom, dad,
and older sister and was sentenced to time in the Youth Center. I was
in and out of that revolving door until my 18th birthday. I took LSD
and got into cocaine use by the time I was 14. By the age of 16,
cocaine and other pills were my favorites, but I would take any kind
of drug I could get my hands on to escape into the reality of
addiction that I had come to love.

When I was 19, my 75-year-old dad died, and a year later my best
friend died. If I did have a spark of life in me it was surely gone
now. I became a heroin wraith at age 20. I used my addiction as a
shield. It was all that I knew. The love of my family was only a
distant memory. I was arrested for robbing a pizza man; that led me to
a halfway house in Bangor where I stayed clean for 18 months.

But I was still a prisoner to my addiction.

On Dec. 2, 2002, in a haze of Klonapin and methadone, I walked into a
sports store and shoplifted an item of clothing. A store clerk chased
me down the street, and in the end, I committed a homicide.

Now I am sentenced to a term of 35 years for the crime of felony
murder and robbery. I wake up every day wondering if my sentence is a
blessing or a curse. I did not mean to take a life on that cold
December morning. I cannot bring back the life of my victim and I know
I will be in torment for the remainder of mine. I can only hope to
reach others through my story and stop their fall before it's too late.

Name withheld, Maine State Prison
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake