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[ Personal Narratives ]

Speaking Out: A Victim of Sexual Abuse and Addiction

“Little Girl Lost”

My story isn’t glamorous or fun, frankly I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone…

My sexual abuse at my fathers hand started around age five and lasted until I was about thirteen.  Fear, chaos, and instability was all I knew. I was living with a dirty little secret. I felt dirty and bad, like it was all my fault.  I carried that feeling for the majority of my life. I’ve seen things that a child shouldn’t ever have to see, and made to do things that a child should never be made to do.   

Neglect was always prevalent in my life. It got even worse when my father remarried after my parents “War of the Roses” divorce, for all of you that have seen the movie you will understand the reference. If not all I will say is that it was horrific.   

My father married Ann who had two totally different personalities. When people were around she was fun, charismatic, and you could even say charming. She was well put together, smart and a successful architect.  The other side of her when it was just her and I was sadistic, I would even say evil. She took joy in breaking me down mentally and spiritually.  I was fourteen and had a five year old sister which Ann loved and my sister eventually came to call her “mommy”. When my sisters hair started to turn a golden brown she started taking her to the hair salon at age six and dying her hair to blond to match hers.   She locked up the food cabinets and she would say it was because I was too fat and didn’t need to be eating anyway.  I was forbidden to buy new clothes for school and even came home one day after school to no one  home. I went to my neighbors house to call my father to find out the they went on a family vacation and he had left a window open in the garage for me to crawl through to get clothes, although I was told that I couldn’t stay.

This is my story and I don’t tell it to make anyone feel bad for me, there is no need my experiences brought me to my knees and it has also made me a warrior!

I was an addict and had addictive behaviors before I even knew what an addict was. I used shopping, sex, and food which eventually led to a few eating disorders, or I used anything  I could use to get me out of myself. I always wanted MORE…  My main “drug of choice” before I had a drug of choice was relationships.  If I was in a relationship I felt whole, like another person would fill my heart and soul and and show me my purpose in life. The problem was I was so insecure, I had no self worth, or self esteem. This led me to chose mostly or shall I say it left me open for predators, narcissists, and a few sociopaths to do with me as they wanted. I am not blaming old partners, I let it happen, I was an active participant.   My relationships until my last one was always tumultuous, one sided, manipulative and empty.  

My addiction with pills started after a back injury, I went through spinal blocks, and that’s when the influx of pills started coming my way. I was being prescribed Percocet, OxyContin, oxycodone and fentanyl patches all at the same time to try to control the pain. At first I used them as prescribed but when I realized that they helped numb the pain that I still carried around I was in love.  Pain pills became my first real love and Xanax my second.  

I needed more, a new rush, that’s when I was introduced to adderall.  The first time it passed my lips and seductively slid down my throat into my stomach making me feel like I was on top of the world, that I could do anything ,and I had more energy than I ever had in my entire life.  I was hooked. This cocktail of pills I used for two years straight, I almost gave myself a heart attack, the doctors told me I was very lucky to be alive. This lead me into a depression so deep that the only way I could  see out of was to end my life. So I tried, I popped a lot of Xanax and all I wanted was to drift off into a peaceful sleep not to wake up. I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. My best friend found me and called 911, I will never forget hearing the paramedic say as they were putting me into the ambulance “she should of used a gun, it would have been much easier”. 

I sobered myself up after that and used occasionally. This is when my drinking career picked up. Another relationship failed and my drinking got progressively worse. I felt broken alone and that I was worth nothing if I didn’t have someone by my side. 

This is when I met Kim, she was good and fun, she had her crazy but I loved it. Her childhood had a lot of neglect and pain. She understood me, and loved me unconditionally. Something that I had never experienced from a partner. She asked me to marry her and I said yes. I felt if she were to love me enough to marry me I was worth something, and that the peice of paper that would bind us together meant she would stay and never leave. I was more concerned with that ring in my finger than actually building a strong foundation and organically letting things grow. It worked for a while and I experienced a love that I’ve never known. But our issues collided and it fell apart. I was insecure and honestly a child in a women’s body.  She left me and the sad part is I understood why.  

This was the tip of the iceberg for me, all of the pain, the abandonment, and the neglect I had been pushing so far down inside me finally exploded and I didn’t know how to handle it. So I drank and drank to numb all the pain. I also started to use pain pills, Xanax and adderall to abuse again. Anything to take me out of the hell and the pain I felt inside.  I was broken, emotionally broken and spiritually depleted. I was a shell of a human being that couldn’t go on anymore.  My life was completely out of control in every aspect.  My apartment was a disaster, I didn’t do dishes for a weeks on end. My clothes would stay In a heap for weeks and I saw no issues with picking dirty clothes out of the hamper to put on again and go to work and I wouldn’t shower for days.  My performance at work went down, I got drunk at a company function and made a complete ass out of myself.  I would drink so much and use Xanax that I’ve woke up soaked in my own urine more times than I would like to admit. I was spending all of my money on alcohol and didn’t even care I wasn’t paying my bills. 

The letter of eviction finally came. So I drank more…Until I didn’t contact my two best friends for three days in a row.  My best friend Jamie came to my door and found me drunk, and dirty. She wouldn’t go away until she came in my apartment and saw how I was really living and saw the empty pills bottles and she found about 75 empty bottles of wine that I didn’t want to throw out because I was afraid the garbage man would know I had a problem. The INSANITY OF IT ALL! The next day her and Nini had my intervention. They didn’t know what to do with me anymore and they had seen my suffer over the years. That is the day I surrendered, and admitted I needed help. I was checked into the hospital that same day. I spent a week in the psych ward detoxing and then went on to rehab. 

Rehab and the extended care program that I got into was the best thing to ever happen to me in my life.  It helped me save my own life, it gave me the tools to live and cope like a grown up.  To realize that there was a far better way to live. I surrendered again and let the God of my understanding, which I choose to call God take over my life. My life hasn’t been the same since then. I checked into rehab in January and left this past May.  

I will have six months clean and sober on July 3rd. I will not say that my life is perfect or that I don’t have struggles. I am in early sobriety… I am always trying to do the next best thing, and a lot of times I fall sort and that is ok. Recovery is a process and I get humble enough to know that I don’t have all the answers. I still have urges to use, I still have my old thought process that I now have tools to change thanks to my amazing therapist at my extended care program. 

The most amazing thing that I have gained along my journey in recovery thus far is hope. Hope for having the best life that I can possibly have whatever that is going to look like. I am slowly gaining self esteem and self worth. Something that I have never had. I have a life now! How amazing is that !! I have dreams, I have friends in this program that love me unconditionally as I love them, they lift me up on the days I need it and the women with time that guide me and believe in me. I have an amazing sponsor and a network of woman that I am truly blessed to have in my life. My life has gone from hopeless to so hopeful.

I smile and laugh now just because! I practice self care now, something I never did. 

Recovery thus far, and the work I put into it has helped me into being the woman  that I always knew I could be and I still have a long way to go and I’m excited about that.  

I have realized that I am perfectly imperfect and my imperfections make me beautiful. That my past is the past and I am no longer a victim. I don’t have to be a victim ever again. I can use my experience, strength and hope to help the next person who needs it and to give back what has so freely been given to me.

At the age of fourty I am finally growing up and that is ok! It’s more than on its AWESOME sauce!  

I look forward to growing in this program, to give back, to finding my purpose and helping others. None of this would be possible without me wanting it more than anything and the twelve steps of AA.

I am truly blessed! 

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