Addiction can take you down a dark road, but recovery will help light your way back. Marina started using Meth when she was in high school. When she first tried it she saw it as a way for her to be able to hang out with her big sister, but it turned into an addiction that took control of her life.
“I was 15 years old, I wanted to kind of be like her. I wanted to go out and have fun like she did and so she took me out with her and her baby’s dad. We used meth … we partied like all night and it felt good at first,” Marina said.
When she started using on a daily basis she dropped out of school.
“I decided I wanted to go hang out and … be like my sister … I looked up to my sister’s life I thought what she was doing was okay.”
When Marina was 17 she got pregnant for the first time.
“When I first got pregnant I wasn’t using – but then after that I started using, before I had her I started using Meth again.”
The stress of the pregnancy and issues with her mom and the baby’s father were too much for her to handle while trying to stay clean.
After she gave birth CPS took her daughter.
“That was one of the hardest things in my life. He grandma took care of her, and I was going to court and doing classes for CPS.”
Knowing the situation, she was in, still fighting her addiction, Marina made a tough decision.
“I decided that she was better off with her grandma … I let her grandma keep her and I told the courts I would sign over my rights to her, and that’s what I did.”
In the process of going through court and dealing with CPS, Marina got pregnant with her first son.
“At this time I was really into drugs,” she said.
After talking with a social worker, she decided that the best route would to be to give him up for adoption. She found a family who was not able to have kids, and she stayed clean to make sure that when he was born her son was healthy for them.
“They took care of me, they paid my way, got me an apartment, they did everything they could. Paid medical bills, I didn’t have to pay for anything.”
Because of all of this, when Marina’s son was born he was healthy and not addicted to any drugs.
“I think I did that because they wanted a healthy baby boy and they were helping me out, other than that I don’t think I would have been able to do it.”
She was able to spend four days with him while they were still in the hospital.
“That was really hard for me, because I stood clean to have him – for someone else. So it kind of broke my heart … They asked me if I wanted to spend time with him and I told them yeah. I probably shouldn’t have because when I left that hospital, the first thing I went to do was to go get high because I was depressed.”
Marina continued to use Meth and do whatever she could to obtain it.
When she had her next child, she was able to take her home. Marina and her daughter’s father moved in together. However, he was abusive and it wasn’t too long until things took a turn for the worst.
“One day he went to hit me and threw a beer mug at me, it almost hit the baby. So the next day I left him [and took] the baby.”
Since she went back to where she had been staying before they moved in together, he found her and took the baby.
He took her to court and won full custody.
“He told the court all about my past history with my other kids and that I was using drugs … I refused to tell on him and say that he was a bad father too, because I’d rather have my kid with at least one of us.”
Marina’s Meth addiction caused her to lose several more children, and she became more and more willing to do anything to get it.
Marina began to sell herself in order to make sure she had the money she needed.
“I used to talk shit about my sister about her prostituting herself … I was pregnant with twins and I was selling my body on the street.”
After the father of the twins found out what she was doing, he pleaded with her to stop, they started to work on their relationship and go to her doctor’s appointments together, but they were both still using.
“I had a doctor’s appointment and, of course, I got high before the appointment. I was in the shower … and I started having a pain in my stomach and it really scared me.”
Marina was in labor, at seven and a half months. Do to the pain that she was in, the hospital wasn’t able to drug test her.
The twins were both healthy and she was able to take them home with her. A couple months later the boys caught pneumonia and were hospitalized. After they were treated, CPS came and took them from her.
After she lost the twins, Marina started prostituting more than she was before, which led to arrests, rapes, and a kidnapping.
“At one point I was kidnapped and kept in a motel room for almost 48 hours. The guy … kept me handcuffed to his bed and – I thought I was going to die.”
After a weekend of being subjected to all kinds of abuse, he un-handcuffed her to allow her to use the restroom while he was gone getting his finger prints taken at the police department.
As soon as he left Marina ran down to the receptionist and told her what was going on and asked her to call the police.
“Since he was downtown when they called it in, the only thing they did to that guy was give him a violation of his probation. They didn’t charge him with anything that he did to me – because, once again, I’m selling my body so it’s kind of like a ‘you get what you deserve’ type of thing.”
Turning it Around
After moving to Arizona, Marina was convicted of a crime and was given IPS, Intensive Probation Supervision. A few months later, she violated that probation and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
“When I got to Perryville [Prison], it was the scariest thing in my life. I had never been to prison before and it wasn’t what a lot of people make it seem like it is … female prisons are just as bad a male prison.”
Marina went into prison determined that when she got out, she was going to be a different person. She started to attend meetings while she was there. When she got out she moved into a halfway house, completed her probation and when to school to become a peer support specialist.
“I work a 12-step program on a daily basis.”
Now she not only has a sponsor, but she sponsors others as well as working on her service commitments.
Marina is now in contact with her son that was adopted and her 15-year-old daughter.
“In February I get to go see [them] … things happen when you get sober. I believe that it’s awesome, I’m nervous, but it’s awesome.”