Growing up, my stepfather was my
hero in every way. I wanted to do everything he did.
He was my Batman and I was his Robin; we were "Partners
in crime," my mother would say. We had a bond closer
than blood. We had an everlasting bond of love and drugs.
I remember walking home from school one day. I was nine
years old. The day was as bright as the sun. I had on
my new sunflower dress from Kids-Mart. My hair was flowing
in the wind as my friends and I ran down the steep hill.
I remember smelling my friend Karen's shampoo; it was
either Johnson & Johnson or Mr. Bubbles. We ran
down the hill so fast, as if we had a reason to be running,
and reached my home out of breath. As I walked in the
door I smelled something so strong I almost gagged.
I had a terrible feeling and sent my friends home. I
remember creeping to the bathroom like a wolf
after his prey. I called to my father from outside the
bathroom door, but I got no answer. I put my ear to
the door and I heard my stepfather weeping like a baby.
He wept and then screamed in pain. I called him once
more, "Daddy are you okay? Let me in!" I opened
the door. The smell of burnt flesh and cigarettes was
so strong I could taste it. I saw towels on the floor
as red as Merlot wine. I looked around the bathroom
and saw my stepfather on the floor near the sink. He
had tripped on the rug and hit his head. There was blood
all over my precious father. I tried to help him up
but his 5'10"; 160-pound body was too much for
me. I was looking around for the phone when I saw a
syringe. I looked at that evil entity on the floor,
overwhelmed. I picked up the phone and dialed 911. I
have little recollection of what words came out of my
mouth. It might have been, "Help my fathers on
the floor bleeding to death," or,
"Help-911-my father's a drug addict." My stepfather
died in my arms that sun-brightened day. I could only
stare at the syringe. That same day, I made an oath
to myself to never be like my stepfather. However, Batman
and Robin work best as a team and Robin always wants
to be Batman.
After my stepfather's death I tried
my hardest to keep sane for the welfare of my mother.
I did a good job at acting happy and content with life.
My mother was happy and that's all that mattered to
me. Years passed since my innocence was lost that day.
I was seventeen and attending a high school known for
good drugs. My mother had remarried, and was trying
to go on with her life. I, on the other hand, felt as
if part of me was dead. I no longer could hide my pain
from anyone. My mother sent me to a psychiatrist. "Psychiatrists
are for crazy people," I told my mother. I felt
that the trip to the psychiatrist was my breaking point.
I had kept all my emotions and frustrations inside me,
because it was too horrible to talk about them. I felt
as if this doctor was breaking my mind open and stealing
all my emotions and memories. I never went back again.
I had taken an oath to myself to never be like my stepfather.
But whether I knew it or not, I was heading in the same
direction. I was depressed, and I felt an emptiness
inside that never left me. Depression wrapped around
me like a snake. I couldn't free myself from it.
I remember the night my friend Grace
and I tried marijuana for the first time. I was seventeen.
I remember being at a house so unlike my own. There
were flowers in the yard and very expensive vases on
the table and popular art on the wall. I sat on the
balcony with my friends feeling so afraid and so free
at the same time. I knew exactly what these parties
were all about. I sat watching everyone pass the bong.
I was so nervous my hands shook and one of the guys
from the party saw this. I remember him saying, "Relax
Erika, it's just weed, not heroin." How ironic,
I thought, that he would say that. My turn finally came.
I inhaled as much as I possibly could with the hope
that this drug would heal me of all my pain. My body
felt so free that night that I felt I could do anything.
The marijuana god had rid me of my pain, or so I thought.
After that night I smoked weed every chance I got. I
wanted to escape reality whenever possible.
I have heard a phrase that marijuana
is a gateway drug. This is entirely true. After awhile
I forgot my oath to myself. I felt that by doing drugs,
I could be at the same level with my stepfather, almost
to my grave, but I promised myself that I would do anything
and everything except heroin. My first and last gateway
drugs were Acid and Mushrooms. My friend Jo and I tried
them at her house when her parents were away. I remember
the look on her face when she saw the Acid and Mushrooms
in my hand. Her face turned white as milk, and it looked
as if she was staring death in the face. She and I took
four acid tabs and three mushrooms. I was so high that
night that I only remember one thing-being in my friend's
bathroom and screaming out of control. The drug made
my heart race so fast, I thought that any moment I was
either going to die or pass out. I awoke three days
later up in a hospital realizing I had been in a coma.
I had tried to commit suicide and almost died of a drug
overdose. While in the bathroom I had downed some pills
and slit my wrists. My friend's parents had come home
early and found my friend unconscious and me almost
dead. They said that I kept mumbling the words "Here
I come daddy" over and over again.
It has been four years since my crash
and burn. I am living drug and depression free. The
best thing I can say is "no to drugs and yes to