I don't intend to rehash the entirety of my teenage years, but I do want to paint a picture that accurately portrays the difficulties that I went through at the time. I can safely say that with the exception of right now, those were some of the most trying days of my life. During the latter part of my teenage years, The Terrorist was alternately in jail, prison, or rehab many times over. I loved when he was away; my mother would be depressed as hell, but at least there was some semblance of peace in the house.
I had a best friend back then and I spent a lot of time at her house. She had normal parents and a normal life; I always wondered if she realized just how lucky she was...and I was and still am eternally grateful for the safe oasis her parents provided for me time after time.
In 1989, the Terrorist was diagnosed with AIDS. There was very little known about the disease at the time, and I was afraid for my mother, and for what the situation would bring. It was a rocking revelation that I told no one at the time; I tried hard to focus on normal teenage adventures like graduating High School and growing up, and getting out.
Back then, that was my solitary focus.