My name is Jessica, my friends call me blessed Jess.  I’m writing this today with ten years under my belt.   My clean day is Feb 14, 2011, the day I decide to truly fall in love with myself.   You see I never had time to learn who Jess really was. I was born in Louisiana to a sperm donor Leroy and my mom. I had one sister and two brothers, I am the baby.

By the time I was three years old I was being sexually abused.  I was so ashamed I would run out into a cornfield which is where I hid, I didn’t want my sister and brother to know what had happened.  I thought if they knew I was being molested they wouldn’t want to be my brother and sister anymore.

When mom got terminal brain cancer at age of five.  She was prescribed medication but Leroy turned her onto heroin.  Eventually, he taught me how to make her “medicine” every day.  He would be so high he didn’t trust himself doing it.  So I was taught how to cook it in a spoon, fill up the needle, put a tourniquet around her arm, find a vein and inject the heroin. I think he did that because it was cheaper than prescription drugs from the doctor.  When her product got low he sold me to his work clients.  I remember times where my mother was just so high while she sat in front of the windows while I brushed her hair and talked to her.  This was one of my better memories.

I learned early on if I just am nice to the gentlemen they’ll be nice to me.  On the big day at school Leroy made an overdose amount for me to give my mom and when I got home from school mom was dead. 

One thing that I  still think about is if Leroy purposely loaded the needle with too much heroin to kill my mom.  I know I usually made my mom’s “medicine” except that day Leroy had prepared it.  I was the one who shot her up so he later said it was me.  I still believe to this day that he did that on purpose.  

I still remember walking up the hill leading to my house and just seeing all the red and blue lights.  For some reason, I just got the feeling it was my mom.  When I finally reached the top of the hill I saw them bringing my mom out in a body bag.  I asked the paramedics if I can kiss my mom goodbye and they said yes.  Leroy whispered in my ear as I leaned on to kiss my mom goodbye that I killed my mom. I believed that until I got into the rooms. 

One day while the entire family was in the car Leroy decided to shoot up and passed out.  As we waiting for him to wake up a highway patrolman came up to the window and Leroy pulled a gun and shot him in the head.  Leroy went to prison.

Not long after that, we all ended up in foster care where a couple adopted us all, Jack and Robin. We moved to San Diego to a beautiful house on the outside, inside we were locked in our rooms with nothing but a chart to earn points for chores and a bucket to use the bathroom. We were given two sweatpants and two T-shirts.  Many times we went without showers, food, and clothes. By elementary school, I was bullied. We all were in separate rooms on concrete floors.  Then one day after being physically and sexually abused by my foster mom I started fighting In school.  Eventually I got expelled and went to a school for bad kids.  Looking back I now see that was my first taste of addiction.  I was addicted to fighting, the more blood I saw the better the high.  It was all about that rush.  At around that time I was ten and started having sex with the school janitor who was around forty.  He was eventually arrested.  It ends up he had been doing that a while.  I was not his first victim.

I met a boy and hung out drinking and smoking pot for two years.  Then one day we went to his friend’s house to get weed and I was injected and then knocked out suddenly by someone and woke up chained to a bed in a warehouse.  I had been kidnapped.  While I was being kept I witnessed the death of four of the girls I was held captive with.  They had contracted STDs and were no longer good for business.  Luckily I stayed clean.  

I was trafficked by these men until I was sold to a pimp.  I was injected with drugs and highly addicted. I stayed with a pimp in Las Vegas until I was 13.  He kept me high.  But we did have more freedom with him.  We weren’t tied down like in San Diego.

When the feds came in I was thrown off a building.  I survived and I ended up somehow back on the streets at thirteen homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. I tried to do a geographic change and moved to LA only to end up on skid row. I met my now-husband when I was seventeen and he rescued me from the streets but not myself.  

I was twenty-one and one day I decided I had enough that I failed at being a wife, sister, and mother.  I climbed on a chair rapped a rope around my neck and hung myself, only God had another plan. My husband forgot his phone and came back home, saw me, and cut me down.  

He took me to my first meeting.  I came in angry, resentful, not trusting anyone. I am now compassionate, caring, and a little more trusting. I am part of a no matter what club. 2 years ago I had a bad seizure had a stroke had to learn to use my hands and talk again. 1 year ago I buried my brother, 6 months ago I had surgery for lung cancer, 1 month ago I buried my nephew.  

I haven’t had to use or drink. In fact, the storms are where I find my strength, and my roots grow strong in the rooms I write and work harder.  It’s in the storm that I learn faith, hope, and courage.  Today I am the woman God created me to be. My God is great outdoors.  I have learned to forgive everyone for the pain endured in my life.  I forgive the inner child of the adults who abused me.  Today I am still happily married for 25 years now, I am the manager of two sober livings and do what I love and what the program has taught me, giving back what has freely been given to me.