Keeping up

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I am a caucasian woman from a family of means. I committed many, many criminal acts in my youth: shoplifting, selling drugs, buying drugs, fraud, breaking and entering, burglary, forgery, DWI so many times I can’t count. Christ, the list goes on… The only time I was caught and punished for anything was for possession; my parents paid a fine and that was it.

My adventures were hardly the worst I knew of: I was simply trying to keep up with the other kids. Part of the fun of being a privileged white kid is to break the law with impunity (or so I thought). The admiring stories that went around about kids who were pushing the boundaries inspired me to do the same. The wrenching wrongness of what I was doing expressed itself in my gut and my heart, but the lure of danger and the desire to outpace my siblings and friends made it hard to stop.

Letting go of all that and finding a place for myself within the larger human community has been and continues to be my life’s work, and so I felt I needed to contribute a brief version of my story to this excellent effort.