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La Madre Mala's Story

My name is Beatrice Collins, I am 56 years old…., well 57 in September 2002. I was raised in a relatively strict ˝ Roman Catholic home. I was an honor student at the local Catholic High School and a closet trouble- maker. I had been drinking at home since I was 13, now I recognize that my father was a "functional" alcoholic. I smoked my first joint to the strains of "Country Joe and the Fish". I had been smoking cigarettes for many years by then. I was asked (not politely) by my mother to "get out" in 1965…so I did. What an adventure I had! I met some really intense people in Washington D.C. in about 1968, learned how to snort cocaine and still maintain a job. Mellowing out with hash, or good reefer. LSD and Peyote were often available, and diet pills were only a cheap visit to the doctor. I made a serious error in judgment and learned what "domestic violence" was long before the term was coined by law enforcement or the courts.

So I fled in 1971, and ended up in St. Louis, MO. It was there that I first used IV drugs. Preludin (speed) , Delota (synthetic heroine) , all pills that had to be cooked and then shot. We used a "spike" and a Murine eye dropper. It could have been then that I met the dragon but it wasn't even a known disease at the time. Neither was AIDS actually. Things in St. Louis got a little ugly about 1973 and I learned that "criminal justice" is an oxymoron. I ran away again, this time back to the East Coast. I met my daughter's biological father, smoked plenty of dope, and did Amyl Nitrate till I thought I was having a stroke. Fortunately my daughter was born perfect in 1977. Her father was not even close to that so I ran again in February 1978. This time to Texas.

I met a man, in December 1978, who was to become my entire life, and the "daddy" my daughter had never known. I will not go into details about our ups and downs with smoking and drinking, but we had finally worked it out in 1983. And on July 13, 1983 he met a most unnecessary and violent death. I was totally gone (mentally and emotionally) for about 6 weeks. I moved from the apartment I had shared with him. In November 1983 on Thanksgiving Day, sitting at my kitchen table with some new friends from Louisiana, who had come up for Thanksgiving to a neighbor's house, I used my first real syringe and "shot" coke for the first time. These people were all strangers and aside from the peroxide and alcohol we used to "rinse" the "works" we shared, there were no precautions taken. . THIS is where I met the dragon, no question in my mind. All those people are infected and most do not even know.

I got clean in 1985, came to California, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1992, had surgery and radiation and now 10 years out, no evidence of cancer. I was diagnosed with HCV in March of 2001, at my request for the test. Hey who knows my history better than me. Risky, or as Steve Irwin would say "danger, danger, danger".

So now it is 2002, I have survived a lousey childhood, domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, breast cancer, and here I am a senior Heppo. So glad I found you all. My daughter is still perfect (tho I won't tell her that now).

Thanks for reading a very long story.

Love, to all. La Madre Mala. Lamadremala@yahoo.com


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    Page last updated: March 7, 2003

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