"The House That Broke Into Me": An autobiography by Anthony McKee

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The House That Broke Into Me

My mistakes caused me to lose a year of my freedom. Through my own stupidity, I managed to get arrested as a teenager for second-degree burglary and spent a year of my life in repentance. I was devoid of all of the freedoms I had always taken for granted. Though my actions would state otherwise, I wasn't ready for consequences. However, I had plenty of time to reflect on how I had gotten myself into the situation.

To start, family life wasn't a walk in the park. Being the first son of an over-protective mother wasn't easy. My mother had always kept a stranglehold on my freedoms; I wasn't even allowed to ride my bicycle out of her sight until I was thirteen years old. This was about the same time, ironically, that I sought escape so fervently. Many people would say that this didn't warrant the things I had done, but there were other complications.

My father hadn't been around since I was two years old. He was a convict, a drug addict, and a boxer, in that order. Mom married my stepfather when I was eight or so, and he began beating her on their wedding night, almost like he'd been waiting for the chance. I hated him, and it only got worse. Though he never hurt my brother or me intentionally, watching what my, at the time, "speed freak" mother had to endure was torture enough.

Add poverty to this already volatile concoction, and you had the formula for a repeat-offending runaway. From thirteen on, I ran away from home weekly at least, sometimes longer. I learned to live on the streets, stayed with people I'd only just met, and did anything I could for food or cigarettes. Anything was better...