Upon arriving to New York I rented a room in a house somewhere in Brooklyn. There I met Polina, a girl my age that also came to the US recently.

Polina Kosolapova (Royzman) was a native of Samara, Russia. In 2010 upon arriving to the US she was caught selling drugs in Colorado, which later she claimed she didn’t. Then, she relocated to New York and started to sell drugs first in Colorado, then in New York.

She had an abusive mother back in Samara that she had ran away from. According to Polina’s story, her insane mother used to beat her and slap her face with a sponge that in Russia we put on the floor to clean the shoes. Yes, in Russia shoes become dirty every day, especially during fall and spring. If Polina was late home, her mother would hit her with that sponge. She would be abusive towards her daughter whenever she wanted to. Her mother’s insane behaviour was paralleled with a pediatric career. At work she was nice and warm with other kids, and at home she was beating her daughter. They lived together with her grandmother and her uncle, too. They all were afraid of her mother and did not protect Polina when she was abused.

Violence destroys the bond between child and parent and therefore maladaptive coping skills start 
to form

In 2009 at 19 y.o. Polina begged her mother to borrow her money for the trip to the US via student exchange program. Her mother, then, borrowed money from everybody she knew to make Polina’s wish come true. Polina promised to return money to her mother as she said her “job offer” is going to be well paid. Back in Russia she found some criminals in the US who told her she can sell cocaine to American students and make a lot of money in a short period of time.

Here you can see how maladaptive coping skills formed into actions that lead Polina to pursue criminal activity which I describe as self-harm behavior.

As Polina arrived to America, she did not use her job offer, instead she decided to sell cocaine in Colorado, where she got caught.

After some jail time, Polina could no longer return to Russia, as her return would mean that she would never be able to come back to the US. She, then relocated to New York where we met.

For a long time I didn’t know where she gets money, without having full-time job and always had a lot of cash with her. After we became friends she told me she sells drugs. I didn’t judge her, but decided to move out from the house where we shared a room together. She quickly gathered money for a lawyer who later submitted a case to clear her charges and because of her conviction she couldn’t sell as much drugs as she used to, she found a job in S&M club.

Her life scenario was next – one bad thing equals one good thing. The bad thing she does must bring her to the level up. For instance, She moved to the US (good thing) but in order to stay and have the life she wants she needed to sell drugs (bad thing) which lead her to jail (bad thing) which later lead her to New York (good thing) Found a lawyer who cleared her charges (good thing) In order to pay for her lawyer needed to sell drugs and work at S&M club (bad thing) The combination of these things later lead her to find a man who would pay for her tuition and fake marriage but in order for him to pay (good thing) she had to do many inappropriate sexual things that she hated. (bad thing) Her green card let her date with guys her age who were from upper class families (good thing).

Attachment disorders in early childhood lead to impaired self-regulation and self-perception distortion of self-esteem the formation of maladaptive ways of coping with stress

She still worked at S&M club when we spoke last time, and still sold drugs because her man would not cover her expenses in full, but somehow she made her way into getting a green card and finally become legal in the US.

Polina loved to full people around her; sometimes she believed in her lies herself. For instance, she went horse-riding to the Upstate New York and paid for classes in order to take a picture. She thought these hobbies that usually fit upper class teens would somehow show she belongs to them. Polina told everyone she met she is kind of “Anna Delvey” – she loved to tell stories that she was from a very wealthy family and that (if it was a girl) she gets a lot of money from her parents (it was drugs) and if it were men she would say her parent’s business is now very slow and going through crisis and therefore they cannot pay her expensive tuition that’s why she needs money asap. Her Mexican boyfriend believed in her lies, and helped her financially whenever he could.

Combination of using people throughout her life and thinking bad decisions would lead her to upper lever brought Polina to the life of lies.