The Free Press, Mankato, MN

No Direction Home

December 22, 2013

No Direction Home, Day 3: From prison cell to college campus

She credits the Welcome Inn with helping her climb out of despair


"They just gave it to me," she said, insisting it wasn't a trade.

She came back to Mankato when she was 16. She was living in her own apartment on Front Street and attending what is now known as Central High School, but back then it was called the alternative school. She got caught shoplifting once, which was just one of a long line of misdeeds, she says, but it was the one that prompted a school counselor to suggest her drug use required inpatient treatment.

How much was she using? A lot.

"It was an everyday thing," she said of her cocaine use. "About a teener a day. A gram."

Around this time, she also started taking acid, dropping a couple of hits every weekend.

"I started getting tattoos and living the dream," she said.

She did take that counselor's advice and enrolled in an inpatient program. She lasted 70 days. Her stay there ended when she returned to the treatment campus after a break to find a surprise.

"Got back to the house one day and there were cops there," she said. "I was arrested. They said I was sabotaging the treatment program."

She spent a week in juvenile detention, and after a court appearance, she was released to her dad. But she wasn't about to stay with him, so she left, bouncing around from place to place.

"I didn't want to stay with my dad," she said. "I wanted to be wild and crazy."

At a party at her sister's house, she met a man who was her equal when it came to partying.

"Cocaine every day. Every weekend was a huge party," she said. "Then I got pregnant."

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No Direction Home