I guess you’d call me a survivor although there have been many times when I didn’t want to. The best years of my life so far have been the ones that I can hardly remember, from a baby until I was 9 years old. My mum’s new boyfriend sexually abused me for two years and then when I was 12 I was in a bad car accident and in hospital for 7 months. I didn’t know it then but I had become addicted to morphine and to top it all developed severe epilepsy. I think I gave up then. I couldn’t handle school. It was easier to be in the ‘wrong crowd’. I smoked cannabis and heroin with them and got into shoplifting.
I was 20 when I was arrested for robbery with a firearm. So then I was in prison. Funny, because when I was in prison I felt safe and started to get a life back. I stayed clean and volunteered as a peer mentor.
The fear came back when I was released and I was housed on a dodgy estate, known as a drug ‘hot spot’.
It was at Job Centre Plus that I found out about Blenheim. I knew that I needed routine and the structure that I had in prison. I went to Life Skills and Harm Min groups and all was going OK until I met Monica. We started a relationship and started using crack together. Monica ended up in prison and I ended up using more crack, falling out of treatment and becoming a sex worker. I went back to Blenheim a couple of times in crisis but I was too chaotic to keep my appointments. When I thought that I was pregnant I went back to Blenheim again to ask for their support, not to get clean but to come clean with my mum, about my drug use and career as a sex worker. My key worker was amazing and sat in the meeting with me and mum.
Opening up to mum must have given me some inspiration. I couldn’t get enough of recovery than and took up everything on offer. My key worker helped me through detox and I got a ‘glowing’ report. My first ever good report.
I am now in residential treatment in Dorset. I like it here and I am doing well.