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For Maia and All Exploited Women

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My sister was a crack addict for more than twenty-five yrs before she finally stopped. In those twenty-five years, she made life a living hell for those around her. I was fourteen years old when she had her first hit of crack; it came from step-family that we were introduced to by our new step-father. We had moved to San Francisco, California because my mom married someone she had known before and thought as many moms do that she was doing something good for the family. It was both good and bad, the good part I take from it is that we had new experiences that we would have never had, had we stayed in Ohio and I thank my mom for that. She could not have known what was to become of our family once we had moved there, to me that was just life and you cannot change life once it start. I tell my son and people who think about what they have done or want to do in life, I say we are all on track A and we can stay on that track by not doing anything in life. It is when we start to look at the rest of the tracks that are ahead of is when everything else starts to come into play. You will have track B and C in front of you and you have to be able to accept the outcomes that will happen when you choose either track. That is life, you choose track B, it was good, and you are happy in your life. You chose track C and your life is Hell, oh well, you cannot dwell on the fact that you choose track C you have to live with it no matter what you do.

I looked up to my older sister so much, she terrorized the hell out me when we were kids but I loved and looked up to her. All the boys wanted to take her out; she was so pretty and knew how to do her make up. She could fight as well; one time when she was on the seventh grade she knocked some girl out with one punch; her nickname in school was “Mad Dog Mattie Reese.” No one picked on me when we went to the same school, my eldest sister Connie was the smartest of us all but she was not as wild as “Tina” Mattie. She was sick and would eventually die of Renal Kidney Failure at the age of twenty-nine. She was 5’10”, dark chocolate and pretty—all the guys wanted to date her as well, me I was the skinny, glasses wearing one of the family. One boy from the neighborhood gave me the nickname “Dessert Lips” because I have extremely chapped lips. I say have because I still do and love some lipstick, anyway we were something to see and I love my sisters dearly and when Tina was strung out on drugs it was hard to see. 

We were living in S.F. and I hated it with a passion; that first summer was the start of seven years of hell and I will never allow what happened then to happen to me in life again. My sister moved to S.F. with us while she was pregnant at the age of sixteen and her first of six kids. My nephew Jason was born and is the sweetest, I have to say this to all mother who are on drugs, if you cannot stop it get out of your kids lives now. You have no right to destroy their lives I have seen it first hand I am sick of society having to fix your broken kids when it could have all been avoided if you had stopped the drugs once you became pregnant. Since my mom took care of my oldest sister little girl when she had her it was natural that my mom would take care of her grandson. Life went on and my sisters drug abuse escalated to a habit that I started to wait for the police to come and tell us she was found dead on the streets. Now while all of this is going on with my sister, my stepfather is showing his ass in a big way, that first summer he tried to kill my mother by choking her. I had to pull him off her and she knocked his ass eye cock eyed with a baseball bat to get him to stop. It was knocked out of whack so bad he had to have surgery to set it straight. This man was a Paranoid-Schizophrenic who drank like a fish, his choice of beverage were a six-pack of Budweiser Tall Boys everyday before work. He went to work drunk everyday and they could not fire him because of his union, they did one time and the union said they had to hire him back and he worked there until he died of Colon Cancer one week before Christmas. I am not going to say where he worked, we endures his rantings. my life was hell and I am telling anyone who wants to use the excuse that they had it hard. I had it hard and I still graduated from high school and college. I have my mother to thank for that, which is why I get so mad at the Black Community, when you see a child having problems take them in what is it going to hurt to help this child make it to graduation from high school and possibly college.

My sister allowed herself to be used and abused by so many men I don’t want to know how many or what they did it would not change that it happened. One funny part of all of this and my mother and I comment on this when we see so many Black Women walking aroud looking crazy. My sister would not walk out of the house unless she had her hair done, clothes tight and body washed. She could hook her eyebrows up in a minute, when she came back home she looked like hell, but when she left she was fly. Guy’s still wanted to date her even when she at her worst on crack. What happened to my sister and Maia Campbell never had to happened, they have a pain so deep they wanted to escape it the fastest way they knew how and that was with illegal drugs and alcohol.

My sister has some real demons I know of a couple and I know she wishes she did not have them and like most Black people do when we have not other way to help ourselves we self medicate. I am not talking about the occassional drink or sometime you get drunk once in a while I am saying my sister woke up and smoked a blunt before she got out of the bed, and that was when she was fifteen years old. For Maia Campbell the one thing I know that she has pain from is the death of her mother. I am now finding out that she has been grappling with demons her whole life and no one knew how to help her. Just like my mom did not know how to help my sister my sister other than to be there for her. I did not understand it then as a teenager and young adult but I do now if it wasn’t for my mother my sister would not have any of her kids. My mom had and has custody of five of my sisters kids, as they turn eighteen she no longer has to take care of them. She has three left with time ticking away, tick tock, tick tock. I always tell everyone I know I could not have made it without my mother, nor would my sister be alive as well. When she called my mom and said she needed help my mom went, we went to get her when this man carved ‘I love you into her eye lids”. She had to fight this guy that came into the house looking for my sister when he climb through our front window. The last time was when one of the fathers has taken my sister and the baby to another state and decided to fight my sister and leave her and the baby she, my mom and dad got into the van and got them. My mom saved my sister from dying and is trying to help her to live but much like Maia Campbell they can’t see it because of the demons they are fighting inside of them.

Maia Campbell does not have her mom like my sister does, who does Maia have that can help her is what I want to know. If anyone can help her please do see I know the reason why my sister survived her drug addiction for so long is that she knew in the back of her mind she had someone who loved her more than anything and that kept that part of her alive knowing she is loved unconditionally. I don’t think Maia knows anyone who is there for her like that, she doesn’t know she is unconditionally loved. She knows people ”love” her because of “In The House” and her mom was a best selling author, but who ”loves” Maia unconditionally? I know people want to say “when she ready I will be there” but that next minute could he last. With what was shown on that video she may not have long if someone does not get he out of Los Angeles and put her in rehab. That was the only way my sister finally got it together, my mom moved back to our hometown and we know it saved not just my sisters life but her oldest son because he was getting into that dumb gang non-sense. I told him we know it saved his life, his best friend in the world was killed three years ago in a drive by, they wanted him brother not him. I know I love Maia Campbell as a beautiful sister who like me is trying to have a life to live and be Loved. Who else is going to show her unconditional love to save her life?

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