Beginning with her illegitimate birth, Chris Kitch had always felt
the outcast. This is her story, sparely told, of the long road down
to bag lady and drug addict, and the slow slog back up. Born in
Bradford, where she was resented from conception by her family,
Kitch was sexually abused, taunted by classmates, and tormented by
a growing awareness of her lesbianism. Though she loved reading,
Kitch was expelled from grammar school for offending its
middle-class sensibilities. Soon she was hanging out in city pubs,
running on self-destruct, and drinking and sleeping with anyone of
At 21, she fell in love with Jean, a prostitute and heroin
addict. For fifteen years, the two drifted around and downward
through flats, B & Bs, hostels, prisons, and, finally, the
streets. When Jean died of drug-related illnesses, Kitch sank lower
still. The years lurched on, a blur with bits blacked out, until,
in Kitch's words, "I was looking at the grave".
For 32 years, Chris Kitch lived in the netherworld of the
hopeless. How did she get out? She's too honest to point to one
solution or incident; it took a series of treatment centers, the
affection of nuns, Jean's death, and a potpourri of 1990s solutions
ranging from acupuncture and feminism to the music of Clannad.
Originally published in Britian by Orion Books Ltd., this is an
inspiring story of incredible courage crafted by a positive,
humane, intelligent woman.
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