I was born in 1967 in Wisconsin. I really do not remember my time there, I am guessing I moved from Wisconsin to Chicago at a very early age. I have lived in several states &/or cities within varying states. I have four siblings. I lived for a season of my childhood with my mom & dad; my mom & stepdad and my dad & stepmom. As you can imagine, that made for an interesting childhood.

A few of my favorite childhood memories were spending time with my Aunt in Chicago. She loved bingo so we spent quite a bit of time playing bingo. Now as an adult, I’m not a big fan of bingo, perhaps I played too much as a child. I also enjoyed when my dad, brother & I would go on a road trip back to WI to visit my grandparents. I really liked my grandpa, he was pretty down to earth. We would go visit Reds Tavern while there on Friday nights for their all you could eat Fish Fry. That was the only time I would eat fish, when visiting Reds Tavern. On one of our drives to WI we were rear-ended. I was the passenger in the back seat. The pin in my dads seat broke so the back of his seat ended up in my lap. The car was still drive-able so we continued down the road, me scrunched in the back seat, knees up to hold my dads seat up so he could sit up straight to drive.

I started playing with drugs in the 5th grade. I still cannot believe how easy it was to get speed (Black Beauties). Unfortunately, I did not stop there and I became a full blown alcoholic and drug addict at a very early age. I ended up being suspended in my sophomore year for coming back to school from lunch break drunk. However, that was not enough to stop me from continuing down the path I was on. One drug led to another. I wasted many years of my life on drugs and drinking. I did many things that I used to be ashamed of. Notice the words, used to be, as I am no longer ashamed of them. They made me who I am today.

I learned from those mistakes. It hasn’t been an easy road or easy lessons learned, but I can honestly say, I wouldn’t trade anything for what I’ve gone through as what I’ve learned has been valuable for myself and for others. It makes me appreciate the small and big things in life. It gives me a respect and understanding for others that struggle with things that I’ve gone through. Where others may judge them, I can empathize with them. I get it.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have. I appreciate you taking the time to read part 1 of Who Is Lori?