The following post contains graphic sexual scenes and may trigger memories in those who have also experienced addiction.
Dark, angry clouds coated Kings Cross. I was standing on the corner of Darlinghurst Road and William Street, the night so cold, yet my clothes drenched with sweat. I stood there for one reason, yet a million circumstances led me to that lonely corner. It had been six hours, 10 minutes and I don’t know how many seconds since a needle last pierced my skin. My existence was only to use and I did whatever it took to exist. Fifteen minutes later I was on my knees, half naked in a back laneway with a middle aged man’s penis thrusting in and out of my mouth and deep into my throat. I held off my need to retch; relief would take place when I purchased the little coloured balloons containing that magic white powder. My mind floated away as the man continued to thrust. I looked down on the little girl that was me, her body so tiny, her eyes so dark, weary and soulless, they barely resembled the child that she was. Her innocence had been ripped away.
It seemed like just yesterday that I ran into that cold, wet Night, my memories and the school uniform I was wearing the only reminders of what I had left behind. Unfortunately those memories were more powerful than I had realised: they burdened my heart and confused my mind. I had to do whatever it took to escape the nightmares that stirred beneath my skin. I yearned for escape, I needed to put something into my body that would soothe my heart and ease my disturbed mind. I took refuge in the magic white powder known as heroin and tiny little pills of many colours. My idea of being intoxicated was to dull myself to the point of unconsciousness. To this end I would inject immense amounts of smack and ingest a ridiculous number of pills. My life was more than unmanageable; I was a ticking time bomb destined to explode. My prognosis seemed terminal. No one (especially not me) believed I would make it to adulthood. I had no fixed place of abode; the street had become my new home, that’s if I wasn’t incarcerated in juvenile detention.
I was consumed with so much anger it was the only emotion I dared feel. Violence was part of my daily routine; I gave it and I received it. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to be charged with several violent offences within a week, nor was it strange for me to be the one beaten back and blue.
My mind found its way back into my body as the man came. I spat out the repulsive fluid as I slipped back into my clothing. My client, aware of the legalities quickly marched off. I made my way back to the main strip, $160 safely secured in my bra. I handed the money over to the waiting lady and she gave me three balloons and 10 little white pills. Forty minutes later I stumbled up the church steps: my home for the night. I lay down on a dirty blanket and closed my eyes, falling into the nightmare that was my life for the following five years.
Now, when I remember that confused child who fought so hard, I realise that everything in life happens for a reason. I have gained such strength and resilience from that little girl and no matter how painful it was back then, I am grateful to her for her experience.
This morning I awoke as the sun was rising. Beautiful shades of cherry and crimson painted the horizon. I threw on a sweater and walked outside. I made my way through a tamed jungle, the soft breeze dancing through my hair, and watched the wilting leaves spin to the ground. As the sun climbed above the trees, hope warmed my heart.
I know deep inside that my life is good and that the universe will provide me with all that I need at the perfect moment. I have peace and happiness and no matter where the wind carries me, I will take the beauties of life with me wherever I go.
by Akeelye Browne
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