Cami, 49- Albuquerque

“My dad would fornicate with me in front of my brothers without taking my virginity. He said it was okay that way.”

DISCLAIMER: In my interview with Cami, it was clear she was suffering from a severe mental illness. She could not stay on track with any of her thoughts and claimed strange conspiracies she had been a victim of throughout her life.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness, compared to only 6% of the general American population.  These are her own words from her interview and should be read with regards to her mental health.

“I’ve been homeless since 1998, it’s been a long haul. I’m homeless because my identity keeps getting stolen. There are people, people who act like me and say they’re me. Two people. I entered the psychiatric system in Arizona and was in a ward for 8 months. They started out diagnosing me with schizophrenia. They went through several diagnoses throughout the years. I don’t know what I have now.”


“I had 2 kids, both from C-section. But when the nurses came back they didn’t bring me my kids. They switched them, they gave me someone else’s kids. I didn’t want that. I wanted them extinguished. Just like my father wanted me extinguished. They didn’t treat me like I was theirs. I couldn’t hang on to them. I started off taking care of them even though they were someone else’s. Every two hours breastfeeding her until I got her on a bottle. But she didn’t like it. So I started letting her cry for herself, I started drinking and not care for her. I was smoking six packs a day then I started smoking twelve packs a day. I let her fend for herself. I wasn’t financially stable or mentally stable anymore. I started being immature about it. Eventually, I went to court and CPS took them away.”


What was your upbringing like?

“My upbringing was horrible. My mom had cancer when she was carrying me. My dad wasn’t allowed to come to my appointments because he wanted me terminated. He didn’t want me to be born because they thought something was wrong with me . I wasn’t supposed to be born.

My dad was not my natural father. I was always smacked in the right hand so I would be left-handed when I was a child. My dad wanted me to be like him. My dad would fornicate with me in front of my brothers without taking my virginity. He said it was okay that way. My older brother would shoot me up with meth. I was raped over 7 times. He would say things like ‘I’m going to do this to you, ‘I’m going to make you bleed’.”


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