By Shane Buffaloe
Who I became has a lot to do with my upbringing and the adversities I faced.
Growing up biracial and without a father in a predominantly white, affluent New Jersey suburb left me with feelings of abandonment and indifference. While most of my friends had two parents and nice houses, I had a mother and a one-bedroom apartment.
I was 12 when my brother and I learned our father wasn’t in our lives because of his heroin addiction — I always wondered how someone could choose drugs over a relationship with their own children. My mother did the best she could to raise us, but I never shook that feeling of abandonment. I told myself I would do everything possible to avoid my children enduring the same pain.
But my story didn’t go that way.
At 11, I took my first hit of marijuana and fell in love. It became a way for me to suppress my feelings and stay out of my head, so to speak. Not long after, I was introduced to alcohol, and the two drugs were an outlet for me throughout grammar and high school. I loved playing sports but never…click here to continue reading