Everyone has a different way of coping. It’s life. Some eat their feelings, others starve them away and exercise until they feel nothing. That’s the goal anyhow. Some turn to the bottle, others the needle or the pipe. The smart ones give it to God. A lot of these are learned behaviors, some of it’s nature? Some is nurture.

Parents try to teach their children right from wrong. How to see the evil in the world before it swallows them alive. They want them to be survivors and try to give them the best chance possible. Lying is bad don’t hit your brother, your words your bond. I got the moral of those stories, couldn’t tell you what day they happened on, what I was wearing when I got the messages. I just know the seed was planted and it took. I do however remember everything about heroin and Hitler day. I was wearing my bright blue hip hop sweatshirt. Favorite black jeans. My very open hippy father was trying to warn me about the evils of the world and told me about Hitler and WWII, the Jews and concentration camps. Genocide…It was a big jump from don’t hit brother and eat your vegetables day. He had my attention though and something had my stomach in its fist, wrenching it back and forth. How do you go from listening to Bob Marley with your tie dye Dad to this. Don’t worry, be happy my ass.

Then as if that weren’t enough he kicked it up a notch. Nobody likes a one upper.

“Cocoa whatever you do never touch heroin.” The fuck? Who has this talk with an 8-year-old, way too much on Hitler Day! Overkill. No pun intended.

“It makes you feel nothing.” His eyes cased the room and locked on her little brother. Playing in the corner of the room. Innocent and pure. Lacking in flaws. “Someone could walk into a room and tell you your brother died and you’d feel nothing.” Alright that stomach that the Holocaust was wringing in circles just got kicked in instead. Way too much, but I remember the day I learned that lesson.

I remember the day I applied it too. What I was wearing, how old I was.

I was 26. Red and blue flannel ¾ length shirt, denim mini skirt and more pain than I knew what the hell to do with. I knowingly, sober, wounded, sought out someone to teach me how to shoot up heroin. A wise man once told me it was the only thing would numb the pain and make you feel nothing.

Be careful what you teach your children. They on every word you way…or have the potential to.