Warts and all, I own my regrets
Warts and all, I own my regrets

One of my favorite songs, on one of my favorite albums, is “Regrets” by Jay-Z. He states, “this the number one rule for your set/ In order to survive/ You gotta learn to live with regrets”. Don’t I know it HOV.

Sadly, or perhaps more accurately too common to be sad, my regrets start well before my addiction. Everyone has regrets. Addicts have mountains of regrets that can define you if you are not careful. “You gotta learn to live with regrets”

I regret letting my cousin molest me as a child. She wasn’t much older than me, but she was bigger. After the first time, I should have said something but I didn’t. I let it continue. Ok, in my defense I was 5. I regret that I didn’t tell my mother until I was 26. I let that define my views of sexuality, and yeah, I’ve been kind of fucked ever since.

I regret that the first person that I opened up to about the molesting, the first male that I got close to since I watched my father die was a total douchebag. I regret that I trusted him to sleep in my room that night. I regret that I past out only to wake up with him on top of me raping me. I remember the most sickening thing was that when I was trying to squirm out from under him, he kept telling me how good it felt when I “moved my hips”. Asshole. He told me my boyfriend would probably dump me because I was a whore.

My boyfriend didn’t dump me, he was actually the only person close to me who stood by me. My mother didn’t she still baked cakes for the asshole. She told me not to go to the police. Although, in her defense, I never should have gone to the police. All the did was make it feel like it was my fault. Thus started my hatred of police, but that’s off topic.

I regret that I just assumed my boyfriend wasn’t mad at me, knowing what kind of person he was. He never said it, but his alcoholism turned way worse, as did his verbal abuse.

I regret that I stayed with said boyfriend for 3 years. This changed the entire outcome of my life. I was accepted into to NYU. That was my dream. To study music business at NYU and work for a record label. I had a 4.3 GPA in high school 1475 SATs. Did I go to NYU? “Gotta learn to live with regrets”.

I went to University of Maryland College Park. It is a great school, and I was on the honors program on an almost full scholarship. But they don’t have music business, but I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend so, I figured I would become an elementary school English teacher.

This is oddly one of my biggest regrets and one of my biggest blessings. The year that I lived on campus, I started to learn that he was an asshole! and  didn’t need him. I was to weak to do anything yet, but the seed was planted.

I was so depressed the second semester that I failed all but one class (English). Since the dean saw how good my grades had been first semester and since I had a note from my shrink explaining how I had PTSD, anxiety, ADD, and depression, he excused all my failing grades and took them off my transcript. But me and College Park were over.

I regret so much that I didn’t stay at that school. My life would be so different. Although you can not touch the butterfly and only change the bad, I would loose all the good too.

I finally broke up with rage-aholic, alcoholic man. I decided to work full time at a preschool and take classes full time at the local community college. I had gotten almost a full scholarship at Maryland so I was allowed to cash out my college savings. I was single, 19, I had a brand new car, and $25,000 in the bank. Here comes fun.

Here is where the drugs start. Remember, I was working full time too, so I had money. Neiman Marcus every week, sushi lunches everydya, and coke on the weekends.

Here comes turning point. One night after snorting coke all night, the new guy I was seeing offered me some dope (heroin) to come down on. I was hesitant, but the coke was gone, so, fuck it.

Biggest regret of my life. I started with almost all coke with a couple dimes of dope to come down, before you know, it is mostly dope with a little coke.

That boyfriend got locked up on a bunch of violation of probation warrants. One had no bail attached, so he was sitting. His brother in law, Aaron, called me for a ride in town. I told him my boyfriend was locked up, but ok, I would pick him up.

At first it was once or twice a week, then I am picking him up daily. After about two months of this, we finally slept together one drunken night. That was all she wrote. A few weeks later he told me that he loved me, and over 10 years later we are still together. Except we are both clean.

I should have been smart enough to know what was going to happen. Shooting dope everyday for months, come on! Actually I had gone through minor withdraws when my last boyfriend got arrested on the warrants. But they were so slight that I just thought that I was a little sick. I figured it out later. I would wake up throwing up, but I assumed that I was hung over or it was food  or something.

By now the money was long gone. I was 20, I already had one arrest and was stealing all day, everyday. I was racking up theft and possession charges. Then Aaron and I started hanging out with a guy that I had known from elementary through high school, but hadn’t seen since. Straight crazy motherfucker. We got him stealing too. Now my habit is up to $1100 a day on coke and dope. I had four warrants, my husband had three, the friend had some, so we were living in hotels. That of course didn’t last forever and in December of 2006, we all went down. Seperatley. One of my warrants, a failure to appear on an assault charge, had be assigned no bail, I had to sit in jail until I could see that judge, and it was December 22. I spent the next three weeks in jail including Christmas and New Year.

While going to jail and visiting my daughter in half hour increments through glass should be a huge regret, it isn’t. I got my shit together. I quit drugs in jail (fun let me tell you). I got a job. I did the single mom thing, while Aaron did a year in prison, driving an hour each way twice a week to take my daughter Ariel to see he dad.

We did great, but I regret the shame that I felt about being an addict. Aaron had knee surgery while I was pregnant with Aidan. With surgery came pain pills. soon he was back on dope, but I was clean.

I regret not being strong enough to continue to stay clean while he struggled to get sober. We fought endlessly, I understood why he fucked up, it is easy to do, but I was mad. I regret not refusing to let his dickhead “friend” who continually brought it to him, in the house. I regret that I didn’t ask for help.

i stayed clean all through the pregnancy (his surgery was when I was like 7 months) and for a few months after. I regret that I lacked the streghtn to stay clean. I really knew better. I knew how this story was going to end.

By 2011, Aaron was back in jail, and I was taking care of kids alone. This time it was two. This time I joinee a methadone program. I was not going to be getting high when he came home, or he would star using again, and we would both be down the rabbit hole.

I don’t regrett he fact that a lot of people say you aren’t clean if you are on methadone or suboxone. Are you not clean if you have a prescription for pain meds? A doctor writes my script. I have been clean long enough now that I only go once a week. It is legal. I don’t have to hustle to get money for it.

i live with my regrets, because I would not be me if not for them. If I had gone to NYU, I would not have necessarily had a drug problem, but I might still have, I had done most other drugs except heroin during high school, but I wouldn’t be me.

I wouldn’t have met my husband, my soul mate, the love of my life. We have been through hell and back together and we are still united. Most couples would have split or turned against one another if faced with the adversity md obsticles that we faced, but not us.

I don’t regret dropping out of Maryland, because that is when I got together with Aaron. With him, I made my reasons to live, my two children. They are everything.

Lastly, I don’t regret the drugs, the jail, or any of it all that much because it made me who I am. I  look past peoples pasts, their covers, to see why they act that way. I am compassionate (honestly I was always a bleeding heart liberal, but now I really am). Jigga man told me “You used to hold me/ told me that I was the best/ Anything in this world I want/ I could possess/ All that made want is all that I could get/ In order to survive/ Gotta learn to live with regrets”.


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