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,
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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