I didn’t realize I was an addict until I attended a P.O.P.S. meeting.
by Luis Fajardo
P.O.P.S. stands for Pain of the Prison System. It’s a club that meets on Wednesday at Venice High. It was my first time attending and a guest speaker, Khanisha Foster, talked about her experiences living with addicted parents.
That’s when I realized I was an addict.
As far back as I can remember someone in front of me had used a type of drugs. Living in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood in East Hollywood, drugs were in everybody’s hands. As a 10-year-old boy I knew very little, but I watched, listened and caught on.
My sister was 15, hanging out with gang members and shooting crystal meth up her nose while our mom was in the next room. I would sit against the door in case my mom came in so my sister had enough time to hide the magazine filled with white rocks. All the while I pretended to play in front of the door.
I feel partially to blame for my sister’s addiction. I lied for her many times. And I would stay awake til after midnight to let my sister in the house without our mom finding out.
Eventually, my sister was caught using.
After going away from three months, she was sent away and we could not see nor hear from her for six months. I felt horribly because now I was smoking on my own and telling myself I would be different and never be an addict.
Now, seven years later, I’m following in almost the same footsteps. Not to the same degree, but I have been cited, failed classes and lost my mom’s trust and love all because of weed.
I don’t want to see my mom hurt like she was hurt when my sister was sent away.
My mom hugged me while crying, “Please mijo, don’t be like your sister. Be someone in life.”
I can’t let her down.
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