Michael Patrick Carey

Michael Patrick Carey
Atlanta Straight, Austell Road, Marietta, Georgia
January 15, 1983 to January 12,1984

Well I guess I need to begin with how I got in Straight Incorporated in the first place. It all started when I had my first brush with the law as the result of a juvenile prank. I pulled a false fire alarm at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia. I was criminally charged and sentenced to 6 months of probation with the usual curfews and what not. I was raised by my maternal grandparents and god knows I tried their patience on many occasions but I was not a drug and alcohol abuser by any stretch of the imagination. Anywho, My grandmother would call the probation department if I was only 5 minutes past my curfew attempting to display “Tough love”. This led to a few probation violations where they just added a few months to my probation and sent me home the next day. Well the third time was the charm. The judge decided I was to be “committed to the Department of Human Resources to be dealt with as they saw fit”. (her words verbatim). So with this commitment came a drug and alcohol assessment. I was clear that I rarely drank and only beer when I did and I had tried weed a few times. That was my entire drug and alcohol history. They came back with two options for me and I got to pick. The first option was Milledgeville Juvenile Detention Center for 1 year. Yes, kid prison. The second was a drug rehab that was designed to be completed in 6-9 months. I asked why a drug rehab would be an option and the court service worker said and I quote “you said you tried marijuana right?” So that was the first clue of how the system worked and I missed it. Of course a 16 year old would take a rehab over jail, and less time too? Seemed like a no brainer to me at the time. I only wish I had known what I was in for. So I take rehab. If you haven’t figured it out yet the rehab was Straight Incorporated on Austell Road right down the street from the youth detention center I was housed in at the time. So my grandparents come get me on Janurary 15th 1983 and take me to Straight and once the intake started I knew I was in for something I was sure I wanted no part of. So fast forward to December of the same year. I had been on first phase the whole time for only two reasons. One, I refused to stand up and just say what they wanted to hear. I tried to come up with some stories that would move me along in the program but I just couldn’t do it. Second reason was because anyone who remembers me in there knows I was sat on behind group on a regular basis for misbehaving. So I finally make 2nd phase….I still don’t know how, and I began seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. I got to spend Christmas that year at my home with my family and the coolest foster brother I could have asked for. Ashley Owen if you are reading this, message or call me 937-515-4079. I started thinking now that I was at home that this wasn’t so bad. I can do this.Then I caught myself being a dick to my new comers. I realized then that I had to go and I was only going to get 1 shot at it so I had better not screw it up. I watched many people run for the doors and get tackled and their hopes of freedom shattered. I knew that was not the way I was going out. (no pun intended). Then it occurred to me that I get to find a job and go to work on third phase. That was it, get a job, go to work, leave. It couldn’t have been simpler. I put in for third phase the first chance I could but didn’t make it. The following open meeting was on a Monday. I put in for third phase again and made it. I stayed with my grandmother, grandfather, foster brother, and newcomers until about 3:00 am waiting for my job permission to work at head start across the street from the building to get approved. Finally when they came back with it approved I could only think of leaving. The next morning I stuffed some clothes in a gym bag and headed out. My grandmother asked me what was in the bag and I wasn’t prepared for the question. I told her the first thing that popped in my head; “oh just some games and stuff to play with the little kids at Head Start”. She bought it and we were off to the building to drop off my new comers and foster brother. I signed out with a 5th phaser, got back in my grandfather’s Chevy Chevette and he drove me across the street and dropped me off at Head Start. I slowly walked along the side of the building looking back over my shoulder watching for him to pull out onto Austell Road and then I could go and go I did. I kept walking to the fence line behind the day care. (Head Start was a day care for those of you who don’t know or remember). I remember climbing over the fence and being in some apartments which I think was The Doral apts but am not sure. I flagged down this lady who was pulling out of her parking space and asked if she could give me a ride to the Atlanta airport. She did and I called my biological father in Ohio and told him all the shit I went through there and he had me on a plane the next day. Once I got to Ohio he hired an attorney and got the State of Georgia to release me to his custody and I never saw the inside of that place again. I wish I could remember the new comers I had when I left so I could apologize to them so if you are out there and remember me I am sorry.

Thanks for reading,
Michael Patrick Carey
1/15/1983 to 1/12/1984
Atlanta Straight, Austell Road, Marietta, Georgia