Freedom or an Illusion

…In middle school I started to smoke my first cigarettes. At Vale’s home I could smoke freely, her mother’s never at home and I started to enjoy a freedom that perhaps I have always sought because of the overbearing nature of my mother. Marina’s father’s had a season tickets to the stadium, my parents would not want me to go, but he always brought us secretly.
In my second year of middle school I started to go to discos. I told my mom that I was sleeping at Vale’s house and then secretly we went out. Her mother was never there, but the few times she was in the house she covered for me.
I followed Vale to the classical high school, I wanted to go at the Art Institute, but my parents would never have accept it. That was the school for the addicts of Arezzo. I hated to study, in the afternoons I spent all my time hanging around with Vale and Marina, these were also the same times that we began coming home late, our first nights out with the older kids.
One day I met a guy, Delo, he was three years older than me. Almost straight away he offers me a joint and I accept it without even thinking. I don’t remember the effect that it gave me, I just know that I felt at ease, a little strange, a feeling I liked. The joint was like the dress that my parents could never quite buy me.
Soon Delo became my best friend, I was fascinated by their world, the world of the older kids. However he fell in love with me, but I realize I don’t like him that way. Even Vale and Marina initially come out with us, but they have always been more frightened of that world than me, so at some point we stop hanging out. After a while my friends just become a burden, they didn’t want me to hang out with Delos’ friends and use drugs. I was changing, I started to tell lies not just to my parents but also to my friends.
I got to know Alessio, a friend of Delo, he becomes my spring board into that life. With him I start to go to parties, to dress in large clothes, got piercings and finally began to feel for the first time that I was wearing the right cloths. I was with Alessio four months and with him I began to trying synthetic drugs. I wasn’t even interested in having sex, I was only interested getting high.

During the same time that I hung out with Delo, my sister goes to the United States for school. She came back after a year and she had completely changed. She had gotten bigger because of the bad diet that she had had that year and so a little because I felt sorry for her and also because she was always alone I begin taking her with me. I was a little embarrassed to take her with me, but I understand now that that was a part of me back then, a part that doesn’t belong in me. She begins to smoking weed, then at school she meets a girl, Elisa, who gives her cocaine.
She desperately wanted to loose weight and knew that cocaine could help, it was a no brainer. Initially I didn’t know anything about it, but one day I caught her. Until then I had always stayed clear of the so called “hard” drugs, they scared me. I wanted to tell my parents, but then I thought if I did she would have spilled the beans on my smoking weed and taking pills. From that point, in no time at all, my sister helps me try cocaine which begins for us an intense period of complicit behavior. For me she had turned from a loser to an ally.

In school things become difficult, at the end of the year I have to retake two or three exams to advance to the next grade. I avoid Vale so much that I no longer even go to her house. She was very worried about me, she saw that I was losing weight and I had started going out with older guys, so she gets her mom to call my mom and let her know. At school word spreads that I’m taking drugs, even the professors warn my mother of the changes, by now she is so worried that she enrolled both me and my sister in Ser.T. Thus begins the first controls by my parents, the first time urine analysis came back dirty and they cornered us and threatened to throw us out of the house. But I did not stop, I didn’t wan’t to stop doing what I was doing, so I begin to gradually distance myself from my parents. I stop coming home to sleep, I stay at Delo’s house, but my sister goes to her friends Elisa. With time I realize she has a strong influence over my sister and this worried my a lot, so I’m always meddling in their business trying to get her to open her eyes. Elisa begins to see me as an obstacle, so she begins to discredit me in front of my sister for this begins to discredit me in front of my sister who’s being dominated by her beliefs. We begin drifting apart more and more.

After a while I meet Matta, I was with him for almost two years and during that time I was forced to set aside my friendship with Delo because Matta was jealous. He was a dealer and my sister and I got drugs from him. One day we were leaving to go on vacation and he was with us, so we had everything we needed without even having to pay.
He falls in love with me, but for me he is simply a guy that I can get along with.
My sister starts going out with his neighbor, Marco, he was also a dealer and came from a impoverished background. But he was dating the daughter of a policeman, he was with her just for the sake of appearances, to avoid getting caught. So my sister for two years became his lover. I was against it from the start, as usual though my was influenced too much and again I began meddling to try to protect her.

This was the time when we had decided to leave home, at first we stay where we can until we move in with a bum that Matta knows who lives in public housing. Our last months of high school are past living in that house.

This is also when we got to know Gianmarco classmate of mine and Martina my neighbor both of whom share the same passion for drugs that we have.

My sister was still secretly in contact with our father who just wanted to know how we were doing. My mom instead, had made a decision, she did not share our new way of life and eventhough she was suffering she never called.

I never ate, just did drugs, I had lost so much weight and the few times we would eat it was because we had stolen something from the supermarket. Sometimes my grandmother, unbeknownst to my parents, brought us some groceries and the stuff would last only one night for all the hunger we had …