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[ Staff Picks ] [ Personal Narratives ]

We All Have Scars, Both Inside and Out

Ever since I was a little girl, I felt like I could never find a sense of peace, a sense of belonging.

I was born to a momma and a daddy who did not want me, it really just wasn’t a good time in their career. Their first record had just been released. After traveling with a rock and roll band for a few years, I was then delivered to my grandparents just in time to witness their son (my uncle) commit suicide while high on PCP. Grandma says I came to them at just the right time. That makes me feel good as now she is 87 and has Alzheimer’s disease. I believe we were God’s gift to each other. Her husband (my poppa) was a raging alcoholic. He was eventually forced to quit drinking when he had a stroke a few years later.

Mama and Daddy’s band eventually broke up, and Mama came home. She was like a fallen star.

Unfortunately, my Daddy did not come with her. She was forced to get a job in a dress shop in the daytime and in a lounge at night. It was time for me to start school. We lived in the worst neighborhood of a cushy resort island. It was clear on the very first day of first grade what my life would be like for the next eight years as I stood in the free lunch line at school. All the kids were laughing. I had gotten myself ready that morning, my socks did not match, I smelled funny and I was poor white trash among the rich white kids. I was a target, and it stayed that way for the next eight years. “Welfare Princess” would be my nickname (one of many) from then on. The irony is that we were never on welfare; mama always worked hard. I was so sensitive. Dad was in and out of our lives here and there. He was an alcoholic. He lived at various hotels and still played in different bands. Mama was very depressed and suicidal. She self-medicated with marijuana and the Dr. prescribed Ativan for her. She constantly threatened suicide and then one day when I came home from school, she was gone. She was in the hospital for about a month. I thought it was my fault.

By middle school, things had gotten really bad for momma and me, and we were living in the projects in the city.

I had started working by age 13. I was walking everywhere I had to go, to and from school, to work, to piano lessons… I was fearless. I went to the library instead of the lunchroom because I wanted to avoid the bullies. Actually, I was more fearful of them than of the rapist that lived next door. I always lived in another world in my mind. I created an entirely different life for myself than the horrible day to day life that I had to live. I always wondered, what did I ever do to deserve this? What was the purpose for my life? I was always kind to people and animals and considered myself to be a good God fearing girl. Grandma had always taken me to church. So what was I being punished for? I was very blessed to have my relationship with Grandma after Papa quit drinking, she became very active in Al-Anon and got me involved in Ala-Teen. This helped me understand what Mom and Dad were going through.

Well, by high school. My Dad had quit drinking and met a wonderful woman who is my stepmom.

They have been sober for over 25 years now. My Mom finally married her boyfriend, and they have been married about the same length of time. I had started to bloom and started working three jobs and doing some modeling and pageants. I graduated high school with honors and was accepted to a great University with a grant and two scholarships. Little did I know, my problems were just beginning.

After only two semesters at GA Southern University, I had to prepare for the Ms. Georgia Pageant. I was told COCAINE was the best weight loss OFF THE MARKET. So, against my better judgment, I tried it, and I got hooked!

In a matter of weeks I was a full blown drug addict!

One of my jobs was in a bar so I drank some wine and vodka and could not believe what I had been missing all of my life! Those feelings don’t last. It did not take long at all for me to turn into a street junkie. During the next 15 years I was married to 2 abusive men, lost custody of my child, Lost my home, cars, everything!

And that’s is just what I lost physically.

I was beaten, burned, my skull was fractured, my jaw was fractured, my ribs were broken, my nose was broken, I had numerous black eyes, always bruised, weighed 30-40 pounds LESS than my average weight. I was kidnapped, raped (more times than I can remember) and bought and sold.

Emotionally, it took me years to recover from the trauma that I went through while I was strung out on crack and opiates.

After being married to my wonderful 3rd husband for about a year and having my last relapse, I went to Upstate NY for Long-term Treatment where I met with an Addiction Specialist. I would come back to GA where I am from, once a month, for a week a month, to visit with my children and meet with my spiritual advisor (Mrs. Edith Wrangofski of St. Simons Island, GA). About three years into my recovery, the day before my spiritual advisor passed way, she took my hand and said “Katie, you have a gift, you have many spiritual gifts. The pain you have suffered has prepared you for what you are going to do. You are anointed. God told me to tell you to take over my ministry. Work with the women in recovery. You can do this. God wants you to do this, I want you to do this.” She died the next day. I had known Dee-Dee since I was a little girl. She was well aware of my life’s history. I loved her. A few days later, I started a small Facebook page as that was the only way I knew how to “start a ministry for women in recovery” That was over 2 years and several certifications ago. I will have 6 years clean and sober Oct 6, 2015. My husband Scott and I live back here in Brunswick, GA. I now have joint custody of my 7-year-old son Asher and my 18-year-old son and I have a great relationship. I ended up spending three years in long-term treatment, and I am still in therapy for PTSD. Now, between my Facebook page and website, I am able to help around a minimum of 100K people a week in recovery.

Together, WE DO RECOVER.

My hard journey DID have a great purpose! A miracle DID happen in my life; the miracle of pain DID transform me into my highest self!

Katie Maslin, Women’s Recovery Activist, Certified Recovery Coach, Addiction Consultant and Motivational Speaker

Katie Maslin is the founder of Sisters of Serenity and Sobriety, Inc. Along with her website, Katie has a Facebook page and a private Facebook group for women. Certified Life and Recovery Coach, Katie has dedicated herself to women who are battling the diseases of addiction and alcoholism. Katie’s life story is one that travels from early success in the areas of education, pageants, and a strong spiritual life that one trial of a mind altering substance resulted in a downward spiral of pain, heartache, addiction and alcoholism that lasted 15 years. She now has almost 6 years of hard fought recovery. As an Addiction Consultant, Recovery Advocate, Writer, Blogger and Motivational Speaker Katie meets individuals and groups of women where she shares her failures and successes with the desire to give hope to those who have seen the dark side of life and the hell that is world of addiction. Katie spends each day counseling, supporting and at times “tough loving” the sisters that share her life through social media. She is facilitator of weekly meeting recovery meetings for the Federal Law Enforcement Agency; Homeland Security at Glynco, Georgia. Katie attended Georgia Southern University, College of Coastal Georgia and Wainwright Global Inc.

“I know I am right where I am supposed to be in my life. I consider myself a vessel through which God can use to minister to those who are going through what I have already conquered. I often tell the women that I work with, the same God that got me through this addiction and experience is going to pull you out of the pit you are in, you just have to be willing to reach up, grab a hand and start crawling.”

Katie Maslin