Sidebar: Each year, it is estimated that more than ten million people experience domestic violence with women more likely to be the victim. In 2010, Tennessee ranked as one of ten states with the highest rates of female murder. 93% of these women were killed by a male they knew; 63% of them in the context of an intimate relationship.*
But those streets were her family, for better or worse – the drug man, the johns, whoever could pay her, either in money or drugs. Her children did not feel like family to her. “They couldn’t give me what I wanted.” They were remanded to their father for custody. At that time, D “lived to get high and got high to live.” And high was fun. All her “friends” were junkies, but only when she had dope.
Looking back on her earlier life, D remembers being a “good little girl.” She was a curious child and wanted to know what was going on. She was allowed to drink out of her mother’s cup, alcohol most often, and sampled cigarettes, getting hooked on both. Addictions know no boundaries for age or substance.
At age 14, her mother died and that’s when it completely went to hell. Her father was not around, actually never around. D doesn’t care for him and why would she, having never seen him in 35 years. She and her brother indulged in sex with each other. That dynamic carried over to D’s daughter when he tried to have sex with her. That’s unacceptable under any condition.
It’s no surprise the law finally caught up with her. Upon one of her arrests, the police allowed her to smoke the last bit of dope she had before tossing her pipe away. They then hand-cuffed her, put into the police car, and then drove away to the station. All told, she’s been in jail 7-9 times for drugs (selling and possession) and prostitution.
After years of this, D claims she heard from God about bringing her back to life, a second chance. She was tired of getting high only to see life fade away. During a visit to a mission where women such as herself went, she was directed to Thistle and Bee. But she would have to pass a drug test in order to get in. And she did.