The First Time I Said ‘No’ to My Drug-Addicted Mom
For years, my mother woke me up to take my money on a regular basis. One day when I was twelve, I finally stood my ground.
Illustration by Marly Gallardo
“April. April.” I knew it was Mama trying to wake me up. It was the middle of the night, my room was pitch black, and I was lying on my right side facing the wall, with my back to her. I had been mentally preparing myself for this test. Now the time had finally come.
“April, give me five dollars.”
She spoke in a light, kind of high-pitched tone, without yelling. Her voice was really happy, almost child-like. She always sounded like that when she was high.
Mama was short, just over five feet. She was thick from the waist down and somewhat chubby from the waist up. We looked a lot alike. Same short, round nose and full lips, same light-brown skin and innocent brown eyes. Physically, I had nothing to be intimidated by, but mentally she held power over me.
I didn’t tell Mama I had any money, but I didn’t have to. She always assumed I had money after coming back from my dad’s house. This time she was only asking for five dollars, which meant she and her boyfriend …
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