162 • pearls around the neck
slightly drunk. That’s when he was fun to be around. I did the groceries and the cooking. When he had
too much to drink, that’s when he was violent.
The relationship was not good. But I could not leave him. I could not “abandon” him. My mother had
abandoned me, I was not going to abandon anyone or be part of an “abandoning” situation. So we
thought that building a family would be a solution. I became pregnant. I never got high and he was
supportive. Puff got a job.
In 1994, Auriel was born. I had a post partum depression.
Me and her didn’t click. She was colicky and cried all the time. I had nursing problems with her. Puff
saw me as a bad mother… but he was good to her. I was so depressed and frustrated, one day I called the
nurse and said: “I see why people kill their babies, she’s going to be one of them!”
Now we were both working trying to make ends meet. And I’m pregnant again. Puff brings me to the
same abortion clinic my father had brought me to years ago. I relived the same nightmare.
Later, when Auriel is a year old, I’m pregnant again of Tiana. Now Puff is into heavy drinking again
and we are both high on pot. One evening, I come back from the movies and he has that bad alcohol.
So he picks a fight and starts beating me, kicking my belly- “I don’t want that child”- and choking
me…I run away to be safe. When I come back: Puff is gone with my baby! I press charges, I’m frantic…
Still I miss Puff. So I go where he is. He cried and promised me to never do it again. So we get married
and spend some time in Birmingham, all the expenses are on me.
Now here is what my Mother said when she heard about my marriage:” If you are going to live with
him, you better start acting LIKE him, act crazy like him. You better fight harder if you want to
Those were her words. And that is what I became….
We settle in a house. I have the same job so I get credit for my professional stability. Tiana is born. Puff
works or not, it is irregular. From there on, it’s all down hill! The girls are 1 and 3 years old and we are
serious about smoking pot. It is on the budget: rent, groceries, electricity and pot. The kids live in the
fumes of it! I remember Tiana laughing on her high chair watching Barney on TV and she was acting
out so much. We’d say, it’s because of the marijuana smoke and start laughing too!
Now, he was a nasty drunk. If he had been a nice drunk, I wouldn’t care. I was not comfortable with
our mortgage and the spendings, plus I started to be really hooked on pot. I would bring the kids to the
nursery smoking pot in the car, the window open, early in the morning. It was my way of getting away
from the arguing.
Now Puff has a job as a newspaper delivery guy and he meets this white man, Jim, and he spends
evenings in the basement of that man’s house… late. I could not have been happier. He is out of my
house. I can lie in bed, the kids sleeping, me watching TV, with a little pot, alone, quiet.
After months, Puff tells me he is in Jim’s basement smoking Crack. How could I have found out: ‘cause