Authors: Katrina Robinson

Tags: #16 and pregnant, #bullying, #domestic violence, #justin bieber, #myley cyrus, #prayer, #pregnancy, #self esteem, #sex, #substance abuse, #teen, #teen mom, #young, #youth


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My second child was born
right on schedule. No C-section this time. I had a healthy baby
girl by regular birth. She wasn’t like her brother, she cried a
lot. It didn’t bother me any. It’s something about motherhood that
helps with all the pain and strain. When I left the hospital, I
stayed with my mother for a few days to recuperate, then went back
to my house. Anyone who came to visit that had a car got the royal
treatment. I had one baby on my hip and one baby in the stroller
riding the buses to get around. Can you imagine trying to go
grocery shopping on the bus with a toddler and an infant in the
strollers? Can you imagine the days it was raining?
I didn’t have enough hands to carry the
groceries, stroller, diaper bag, and pocket book.
We did a lot of borrowing too. I can see how God
kept me from getting hooked on drugs or alcohol. That’s all people
did out there in those woods was get high, get drunk, and have sex.
I still had a made up mind
that I can do
. My father brought a few pieces of
used furniture to start us off. My boyfriend re-appeared for a
short time, bought a few things, and then disappeared again. This
time, I was ready.


The unemployment job
service helped me get a resume together and start applying for
clerical jobs. I kept those resumes and applications going out
despite deep depression, anxiety and hopelessness.


A community college
contacted me for a job as a grant funded part-time secretary
position. You talk about excited! That wasn’t the word! An
interview for a real job – with real benefits. What was I going to
wear? None of the money that came through my hands was spent on
clothing acceptable for office work. One black dress hung in my
closet that covered enough of my body to pass an interview. What
would I say? A serious salvage of the memory went on. Attempting to
recollect my work experience and communicate it effectively to
others would be a challenge. Especially since my brain was so
scrambled I could barely remember if I was coming or going. How
would I get there? I laid out the connecting bus routes on paper.
It took three buses just to get to the daycare. Then a 2-mile walk
to the college campus.


6am came quickly the day
of the interview. Actually it felt good to have a reason to dress
up. A diaper bag packed with diapers and milk was on my shoulder.
Princess was in my arm and baby J was at my knee. In the other hand
a stroller, for when my shoulders and back would fail. On the bus
off the bus, on the bus off the bus, on the bus off the bus, and
then walk to the daycare. Then the 2-mile journey began. The
college was two miles from day care and sat on a high hill. I
walked from childcare up the hill. So much went through my
They won’t hire me. They’re going to
look at me and know I’m struggling to make it. They’re going to
laugh at me. Can I answer all the questions? I should just go
But one thing stayed on my mind. If
didn’t go to the interview, my fate would
be sealed
as a statistic. That was
not an option. By the time of my arrival on the campus, I needed to
rest just from the journey. The interview didn’t last long and
surprisingly I got hired. I finally landed a job. Happiness is
getting hired! A secretarial job was good money compared to an
unemployment check. It was at a college with health benefits,
retirement, pre-tax plans, and credit union options.
Being gainfully employed changes your whole life.
I found out my new employer even paid for college tuition. Wow! A
second chance at a college education was more than I could


I could see a dim light at
the end of a long tunnel. Then the
challenges began. Getting up
everyday at 6am, riding all the buses and then walking to work.
Then doing the same thing to get home, whether it rained,
thundered, or snowed. Snow and ice bruised my feet as I carried the
kids on and off the buses. It was hardest on the days when Princess
and Baby J did not cooperate. They had days when they slowed me
down crying, whining, or not wanting to get off the bus when it was
time. I stayed skinny those years. I had plenty of daily exercise.
I’d get blessed sometimes with a ride by one of my co-workers. The
money I made part-time was just enough to replace the social
service benefits that were cut. My budget was very strict.
My clothes had holes in them, but I ironed them
and wore them to work anyway. I went hungry during lunch most of
the time, but the joy of having a job kept me going. It was HOPE
for the future.
Some days I would just
cry. Wondering when would things get better?
I cried and kept pushing. I was ashamed, but I kept pushing.
Thinking about suicide, but I kept pushing.
Some days it would rain on us so hard on the bus stop. God
forbid there was a storm with high winds. Sometimes, I just stayed
at daycare and made my journey later on in the evening. Often, I
would forget it was the 1
day of the month and my bus
pass would be expired. I didn’t know what day of the week it was
most days. I would have to get off the bus and go buy a new bus
pass. Some days we had to run for the bus. Other days the bus would
leave us and we had to wait an hour for the next one. Every now and
then, the bus didn’t even show up! And rarely, I’d treat myself to
a hacker or taxi. I cried a lot during those days and nobody heard
my cries but God.


I finally got a car and
started gaining forward momentum. Someone told me about car
auctions and I saved enough to show up and take a chance. Without
any idea what I was doing, I bid on a two door hatchback 1989
Renault Alliance. Few people bid against me that day so it was
mine! It cost $500.
I shouted every day
for a year
. No more two mile walks,
strollers, taxis, begging for rides, heavy grocery bags, and bus
transfers. Life was getting better. I would definitely get my
money’s worth even if the car just lasted for 3 months.










“Life is short, and sometimes


Katrina Robinson













While everything was
getting better on the financial and career fronts, the social
front, where all that inward pain originated was in turmoil. I
didn’t understand my turmoil, but I knew I wanted to ease it. I
found a few ways including shopping, dating and bar hopping.
Financial freedom brought me to a place of real life exploration. I
had my own house, automobile, and job. I had a little attitude too.
I was about to learn some hard lessons about friendships,
relationships, and my foolishness.


By this time, I was well
into my 20’s. Lord have mercy. It was a ham! (I hope you know what
that means). I was very blessed that my close friends and I were
never on the drug scene; but I drank enough liquor to bury a whole
herd of horses. I would get tore up at one of those “hole in the
walls.” The drinks were the bomb. St. Ides, Crazy Horse, Rumn’
Coke, Long Island Ice Tea….I used to lift my drink up to God and
say, “Thank you Jesus, for whoever made this liquor.” Then I would
fall out laughing. Pitiful. Trying to escape from the struggle came
easy between the liquor, night clubs, and boyfriends. When I was
drunk, nothing mattered. One night I drank about six Long Island
ice teas. Now you know! I remember I was with my girlfriends, then
I flashed I was in the back of the car sick on the stomach, than I
flashed being on the staircase. I woke up the next morning in bed
wondering “How did I get home?” “Is my car outside?” “Oh Lord, did
somebody steal my car?” I ran to the window despite my pounding
headache and looked for my car. It was there. My girlfriend drove
me home and parked the car. I don’t even know how she got home.
That was the end of drunken nights for me.


For a while, I was at the
night club 4 nights per week. Sometimes until 5am. My friends and I
were so well known; when we showed up we were escorted past the
crowd and into the club. All this while working and going to
college. I never missed a beat. All of my obligations were met.
When I was dancing on that club floor where nobody knew me,
everything was alright. Dropping it like its hot had a way of
making you feel sexy, desirable and in control all at the same
time. Gambling became a big part of my life at this point too. I
loved the lottery and Atlantic City. I would cuss the counter lady
out if my lottery ticket numbers were printed wrong. Of course I
rarely won, but it was the rush of chance taking. I also developed
a violent streak. I busted a few people’s windows, flattened some
tires, fought at the bar, and in the streets. My success became the
target of great jealousy. It is always easier for individuals to
try and destroy you than channel their energy into pursuing their
own success.


Definitely nothing
mattered when I had a good dude in my
life. (Or so I thought). Looking back, how in the world could
I define a good man? I had no clue. I should’ve gotten some
insight. (WarHorse) Having a man should not been the ruling factor
in my life, but it was for a long time. If I had a man I was happy.
If I didn’t have one, I felt like I was searching for something.
That meant my worth and value was driven by validation from the
opposite sex. That’s beyond dangerous. That can cripple your
success quick! Along with the men came the problems. Not that the
fellows were wrong. The choices and consequences of my actions fell
solely to me. But I opened the door for drama to come in and it
did. Like a Mack truck! I never lacked dates. I was very popular
with men. My interest was usually in older men. Younger guys
weren’t attractive to me. I think that had a lot to do with being a

I met Renard at a
convention. Good looking, sharp, and a visionary. He could tell
that I had low self-esteem. We dated, but it went from dating to
him showing up whenever he
. (Warmonger) A few dollars,
borrow the car, always something. He would take my car and be gone
for hours. And then he had the nerve not answer his cell phone when
I called. Now I’m at home with children, and he’s out with my car
gone! One time he brought it back with a flat tire. He fixed the
tire, but I wondered where had he been driving that would flatten
my tire? He had to go. When I made a decision and said no to
anything he asked for, he disappeared. That situation showed me
that the power to change my life was going to come from the inside;
not the outside.


Drug dealers were not off
my list. I had it real bad for hood boys. A real hoodboy, not the
fake ones. (Fantasia and MC Lyte helped us out with that.) The ones
with the swagger, managing his money right, always respectful,
never abusive, love kids, always clean…..but dangerous. On the
outside, I guess one would wonder what would make a person like
somebody doing something illegal. Well, like anybody else there are
more aspects to a person’s life than just street life. (Some guys
anyway.) It’s like they’re two people, the coldblooded drug dealer
and the normal guy. Not all of them are on the street. Either way,
it’s a risky, draining circumstance. I dated “John” knowing about
his past. It was supposed to be his past. He had been to prison and
had the body to show for it. I had to ask God for forgiveness every
time he came over. Great personality, charming, romantic, athletic,
never broke, and best of all no kids. We started dating and had a
great time together. He was so compassionate. My son got sick one
night and vomited all over the floor. I was so tired that day. He
got down on the floor and cleaned that mess up just like my son was
his. John acted like the man of the house. But the call of the
streets was louder than the call to pursue something legal to make
it a reality. He hid it from me for a while, but eventually I found
out he was back to his old ways. They’ll do that. They know it’s
hard for women to leave them once feelings are involved. We had
countless conversations about his street life. Then I would look at
him, and give him another chance. He would make more excuses; I
would look at him, and give him another chance. Next thing you
know, chances have turned into years. Years mean there’s time
invested now. Your lives are intertwined. Hoping that they’ll
change is what’s keeping it going. Well it didn’t. Drama…probation
officer, bail money, home arrest, and finally re-arrest. I was
drained for years over a relationship that I should’ve walked away
from long ago. It was 10 years of love, anger, resentment, and


Another bright Sunday
morning, I was sitting in church service and met the nicest guy. We
talked after service and exchanged phone numbers. He took me out
and we had a good time. He had a secret life. Guess what? Yup,
another drug dealer. One of the most dangerous kind. That’s all I
can say about that. Thank God I’m free.


I even had a couple of
trips down to the prison. You know, when someone is coming home
soon, they always looking for a “good woman”. I must admit, there
were some honeys in there. But what I failed to realize was there
was a reason why they were behind prison bars. Don’t get me wrong.
People deserve second chances. I was just in no position to be
involved with someone with large life issues. It’s seems to be
popular these days to “hold the fort down” while your man is in
prison for illegal activities. Ladies, before you sing the songs,
make sure you know the true price to be paid. Your time is
valuable. Songs sound good,
but they don’t
tell the entire story.

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