I moved in with my mom was I was 16 years old. Up to that point I had only spent time with her during summer breaks from school. It was definitly a learning experience for me, because, at my dad’s house, it had been a very standard life dynamic. Work and school during the day, homework, extra-curricular activities, dinner and bedtime in the evening. My dad was always home for those.
At my mom’s house, she had to work two jobs in order to put food on the table for me and her, and she was gone a lot, especially at night. It gave me a lot of freedom to do what I wanted, and for the first year I was able to manage my life like a responsible teenager. But when I was 17, I was badly injured playing basketball, and my entire life changed forever.
After the injury, my life spiraled completely out of control, and I fell into drugs, drug dealing, and eventually found myself joining a gang. I won’t get into the details of what happened during the next eight years, but suffice it to say, I wound up in a maximum security jail cell, awaiting a potential lengthy prison sentence.
The district attorney didn’t want me to be released on bail, and before they would even consider it, they needed someone to step in to guarentee my bail, and put up a $40,000 bond.
I found myself in a position where I had to make a choice: I could either attempt to make some changes in my life, or I could keep doing the stupid crap that I was doing, and end up costing my mom $40,000 that she didn’t have. And trust me, my mom wasn’t messing around. If I screwed up even a little bit, my mom wouldn’t hesitate to throw me back to the wolves.