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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Belinda – Growing Up in Middle Class Long Island, Raped and a Heroin Addict

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:41 AM | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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I grew up in Long Island and had a middle class upbringing.  When I was 12, I stayed at my best friend’s house and we all drank screwdrivers. I ended up on the stairs throwing up. I have not had another screwdriver to this day although I am an alcoholic. That’s because I found lots more out there. Not sure why all of our parents turned a blind eye but they did until it was almost too late. My almost too late came many times. First kiss was behind the bleachers – typical, hey? But the excitement wasn’t there. After all, it was the late 60′ and I was at middle school.

We wore skirts that barely were there and black pointy shoes. I personally wore two pairs of false eyelashes and black liner up and down. We sharpened our nails in case a chick wanted to fight us or we were attacked. And my hair? I don’t know what was more important to me, the teased hair or the drugs. That was an early addiction. Everybody smoked pot & hashish and I went along with it – but I wanted something different. I soon found it.

That commercial about frying an egg is like your brain on drugs?  It’s true. But I remember most of everything. Not much about the sex because I was so near unconsciousness during it. I remember the guys but not much. What a dud I must have been, yet they were usually as high as me. I do remember the special times – like my first – not the multiple random ones.  And I remember the rape. This is about drugs and what they can to do a girl who was not ugly, yet not pretty, and from a wonderful family who loved her like life itself. 

What drugs do to drag you down – you watch your friends die when you wish it had been you instead; making a fool of yourself while not understanding that people still love you. Car wrecks, ODs, sex with everyone – yet no one. I tried to make a list of my sex partners once and my friend was doing the same. She got to around 20 and I stopped there too. Truth? Just for the ones I can remember, I can count way past 100. I’m lying again. Maybe three partners a week for a minimum of five years?  I wasn’t a nymphomaniac – I was a druggie. And I felt accepted and loved by everyone – after all, peace and love was our motto and there was no AIDS.
At elementary school, my friend Claire and I were always the teacher’s pets. Every class picture, we were right there at center stage. We loved school and loved life. The May Day Pole, Halloween costume contests, spelling bees.  I started a kissing club in kindergarten. On the playground, after lunch, we would chase the boys and give them a hug and kiss. I was president of the club. I don’t know if I got that idea from Lil Rascals or just wanting to play. We all had strong bonds in elementary school and not really any cliques.  I was spoiled and got so many Barbies that I can’t even count. The Sears Christmas toy catalog was my dream come true and I often got most of what I wrote to ask Santa.
My very first crush was on a guy in 6th grade. He remained an exceptional student throughout school, never did drugs, football player, yet he was killed in a car crash as a senior and this may be where my survivor guilt started. After all, he was always a wonderful person, yet I used to be and wasn’t anymore. In the long run, my best friend Claire succeeded and I failed big time. We are close again today but that is because she always loved me, I know now. I wish I had known that when “Self Destruct” was my first and last name.

I’m growing up and  I get to leave that silly playground  - I’m going to go to junior high and then on to high school and then college and I am going to be a brain surgeon. You go to school with the same people for 7 years in elementary school and you are going to meet people from all over – how cool!    The problem is, no one told me that there were too many paths to choose. The nerdy crowd, which was nerdy then but is cool these days. Then the jock crowd, there  were regular, non-descript people,  then the hippies and druggies.
The last crowd which no one wanted to join was the “loners” club. I’d rather be anything but. Well, in the day, it was revolution and The Beatles. I wanted to be hot, like most girls my age but I and my group took it to the extreme. False eyelashes, black stockings, short tight skirts (from the finest stores thanks to my parents), tons of black eye make-up, white lipstick. The drug thing was new to parents and hit them like a ton of bricks when they finally found out.  I never left my house for school in the way that I arrived at school. I’d wear one of those down to the knee gathered skirts I made in Home Economics and my Mom would be so proud. Then I would get to the bus stop and slide it off, under which was a mini.
How many times the vice principal would ask for my brush, to comb out my teased hair in the hallway and try to humiliate me. He didn’t know, it made my friends and I revolt more against authority. I was basically still a nice kid but got suspended for teased hair and twice for go-go boots!  Too distracting they said. Then why not suspend us for miniskirts?  Well, too distracting came in the way of cigarettes and liquor. 
Then pot. Then downers, seconal. nembutol, tuinol ( they might not be spelled right but I can tell you what color they were and what sizes the capsules came in). Downers were my ultimate downfall. I was never high in junior high while at school  - but after that last bell rang …. wooohoo! Unfortunately, because of my suspensions, my parents thought I better go to a private school for 9th grade.  I was so angry!  I had other plans, as I was not going down the path of the straight & normal. I liked being a little daring and when high school rolled around, I exploded like a ball out of a cannon.

Which group do I choose to hang with? The “Who Has Drugs?” group. After all, I knew a lot of these people and they were welcoming me back with open arms to public school. I hung out with different people along the way, the first not a drug person. Anne was my first best friend that was Jewish and we were joined at the hip. I never had a close Jewish friend before and don’t know why.  We smoked our first cigarettes together and it made us throw up. But I continued to smoke my Marlboro reds until the day my father died, some thirty plus years later.
Anne and I were the hot chicks and wore the best clothes. She didn’t seem different to me because she was Jewish. Her family just had more money than most. I remember her mom was always in bed, yet she wasn’t sick. I now know it was a deep depression. Her father left soon after and Anne found a boyfriend at school and that was my last drug free friend for at least 10 years. I wasn’t jealous of Anne but I so wanted a boyfriend too. My major crush and the guy that took my virginity was just a few blocks away.
I was adopted and always thought that they matched you with your adoptive parents by origin. My parents bought me my first car, a used turquoise Mustang, maybe ’69? Had that white lace painting on the side and a white convertible roof. I so loved it and put a sticker saying “Germany” on the dashboard. My father said “What are you doing Belinda? You aren’t German, you are Irish & Italian.” I felt lost for a while on that one. How could I be Italian?  All the kids at school were Italian but not me.
Lots of us hung out at shopping centers after school and played handball. I used to play on the side of a bank with some of the big boys (seniors) and I was damn good! But then we would go home for dinner and at night the drugs flowed. Pot was not my favorite. I wanted those damn downers. I could work my way up to 20 a night of the little red ones. Lots of dating going on but back then if you got felt up on a first date, you were a slut. 
I didn’t do that. I went from kissing only to full-fledged fucking. I can’t remember when that happened. I still had my virginity and only God knows how but that guy I fell for got me to his parents’ house & boom. All gone. He fell in love with another girl but I was always there on the side, just in case he wanted me. 
We all had a blast, hung out on a dead end where my new best friend lived. The narcs would come down the block all the time. Sometimes I thought they were hitting on us but I couldn’t tell. I was walking down the back neighborhood streets when I was going to meet friends for the night and some Nassau County cops that were “friends” would stop me and tell me to give up my drugs and I did. Then they let me go on out to wherever I was going. 
They were trying to save my life, as I was an aided case a few times and once an OD at the hospital in East Meadow. They were kind enough to look out for me. But where were they when one of their own raped me?
We all hung out at the same bars and shopping centers and blasted Joplin and Led Zeppelin and The Doors and The Beatles – especially “Hey Jude.”  It was about heroin. I was the only girl in my circle that shot up back then, I was maybe 15. My girlfriends snorted everything. But I always thought that was such a waste of good dope.
One night I was so stoned on downs and booze and here comes the cop who was at the little cop booth when I passed by.  I was walking home. He raped me in the back of a patrol car about 1/4 mile from the church. I was 16 and he was married and in his late 30′s. I remember one thing – I asked him to please stop because I was embarrassed and if someone came by I would be arrested and I know I was extremely high.  We were behind a business off Hicksville Road. I will never forget.
Thank you, Belinda, for courageously sharing your life story and providing us with helpful perspective about life and its challenges.

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