I got this tattoo last month, “Always and forever.” No, I didn’t realize the “and” sign is backwards! I’ve been here 2 weeks.

This is my 8th time here. Usually I’m here for 2 to 3 months at a time. I’m waiting to try and find placement, group home that deals with rehab for drugs and alcohol. I was using E but here they call it THIZZOES, the street name for E. I should be a sophomore but I have no credits for school. The last grade I completed was 8th. My mom visits. She isn’t a parent; she’s a teenager in a parent body. She has 5 kids; one put up for adoption; one died; she has no job. My Mom is 40, into drugs and alcohol. She has a husband but he’s not my dad. My dad died when I was 5 or 6 from a morphine overdose. I have a boyfriend in school. When I run away I go to a girl friend’s house. The home is stable but the way we live is not. My girl friend’s parents both have jobs. They’re civilized, but they both sell drugs. I was abused by my mom, my mom’s husband and my dad. I was sexually abused by my mom’s husband. I was abused by everyone! He was charged but booked to Mexico. My mom is a citizen. Always and forever means I’m never going to give up; I’m going to always try. I’m not done yet. My boyfriend is christian and 20 years old. I’m a member of Barrio Libre Sotucson. I like doing yoga here.

–M.O. Age 16, Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, Tucson, Arizona

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