Breaking the Cycle: A Life of Sexual Abuse and The Alcoholic it Created

Breaking the Cycle: A Life of Sexual Abuse and The Alcoholic it Created

My parents divorced when I was probably about 6 years old, and my brother, Bryan, and I were stuck with my mother. I would learn several years later in life that our father did try to get custody multiple times, but every lawyer he turned to said the same thing: In Texas, the only way a man would be granted custody is if he could PROVE the mother unfit. Had he known the truth about what I was to endure, he would have had all the proof he needed.
Our mother spent our entire childhood lying to me and my brother, convincing us that our father (who I now know is actually a wonderful person), was an abusive rapist who would have eventually killed her had she not “escaped” their marriage. I say “rapist” only because she recounted a vivid horror story to me when I was about 12 years old sitting in a Sonic parking lot about the time after their divorce that he “came to the house and raped her”. As a child, you instinctively believe whatever your parents tell you. My father lived 100 miles away at this point and had slowly started accepting the fact that I didn’t have any desire to come see him. So he didn’t have access to me for me to ever even hear his side of the story. And I certainly wasn’t going to bring it up and ask him about it. So he never even knew I had been lied to and that I thought such a terrible thing was true.
Starting soon after their divorce, at the age of 7, I was molested and terrorized by my oldest brother, Trace, on and off for years.
My mother, sister and grandmother did nothing about it. I couldn’t really turn to Bryan for help, as he was mentally younger than I, even though he is technically 18 months older than me. He was born with intellectual disabilities thanks to what I would later learn was our mother’s misuse of prescription drugs during her pregnancy with him.
I did tell my mother and my older sister what Trace did, the very next morning after the first time it happened. I can clearly recall sitting in the back seat and recounting to them what happened. I remember they both sat in silence, looked at me, and looked at each other, and my mother just kept driving. We were on the way to meet Trace at the movie theater, and I was afraid of seeing him. That was what prompted me to speak up. Neither of them said I word. I would later learn my sister had been molested by him as well, but our mother put a lock on her bedroom door to stop it. So Ainsley was “safe”.
After a few more years of turmoil and continued abuse, I began trying to fight back and I was getting stronger. But it wasn’t enough. I would constantly feel a rage within me, and I was physically violent with Bryan out of my frustrations. He didn’t deserve it, but he was the only one in the house weaker than me, and so I guess some how I thought it was okay to take it out on him. This didn’t last long, as I have always loved Bryan with my whole heart. And it didn’t happen often, but I was also becoming a problem child in other ways.
Around the age of 11 or 12, my mother actually took me to a shrink to have me “diagnosed” and drugged to help eradicate my “attitude problem”, yet she had me too afraid to tell the shrink why I was so upset in the first place (you know, being molested and all). She convinced me as a child that if I told the shrink about what was happening, CPS would take me away and send me to my fathers and I’d never see her again. Of course when you think your father is an abusive rapist psycho, you stick with the evil you know. She had me scared silent. And Trace used that as a way to continue the abuse. I had been prescribed Depakote and Celexa, an antipsychotic and a mood stabilizer. I was labeled as “bipolar” and was told I must have “inherited” it from my abusive psycho father. Keep in mind, at the time, I still had no idea my mother was lying about our father. Who knew that all the while, he was a perfectly normal human being? I was living with the psychotic parent, yet completely unaware that she was just manipulating me. Of course I always felt like she should have been protecting me, but since no one was doing anything about it, I guess a part of me resided myself to the idea that this situation was supposed to be “okay”. I sunk into a deeper depression the older I got.
By the time I was 13, it had gotten so bad, I actually wrote out step by step plans on how to get away with murdering Trace and disposing of his body. I was going to wait in my room for the next time he came in and stab him to death with a kitchen knife. I believed I could drag him into the bath tub and cut him into smaller pieces. I would then use trash bags to bag up his remains and wash the blood down the drain. I would bag up the blood stained bedding in my room and carry all of these bags out of the house. The plan was to quietly, sneak out of the house with these trash bags and two at a time, carry them down the street to the play ground of my elementary school, where I could bury them behind the treeline. Of course, I had written this all out in my journal and one day when my best friend at the time actually found this plan, she immediately tore it all up and tried to help reason with me. I never did try to kill him. Looking back, I know I never would have been strong enough to drag him from the bedroom any way. That was the only fault in the plan, really. Our neighborhood wasn’t patrolled by cops. The play ground was within a quarter mile of our house. As long as I didn’t get too carried away, I could have kept the blood splatter confined to my bedding. At least, that’s the reasoning I had. But instead of killing him, I turned my rage against myself. At least that much, I could control.
When the depression and fear finally became too much to bear I resorted to trying to kill myself. I was too chicken shit to cut myself so instead I took half a bottle of the anti-psychotics the shrink had put me on and combined it with a bottle of Excedrin. I thought for sure, “This will do it. I’ll be free.” I woke up the next day, 9/11/01 having slept through all of school, to find my grandmother and sister’s boyfriend standing over me in my bedroom looking puzzled. As I came to, they decided I was fine and left. No one said a word to me about it. Eventually my sister’s boyfriend said something about planes having hit the twin towers, and I was quickly pulled from my own inner turmoil into feeling terrible for the thousands of victims of the terrorist attack. I never tried to kill myself again. But it hurt when a year or so later I tried to open up to my mother about all the pain I’d been dealing with for so long, pleading to her for Trace to be sent to live with his father. I asked her if she even ever realized I missed school on 9/11 because I tried to die. She said, “No you didn’t. Why would you say that?” I was stunned. How could a mother not recognize something so big as a suicide attempt, after covering up the sexual abuse, after continuing to enable the abuser, after brainwashing their child and forcing them to take medications to fix the “bipolar disorder” that the child should never have been diagnosed with in the first place? I wasn’t bipolar. I was suffering. I was traumatized. I was a child. Why didn’t Ainsley’s boyfriend, or my mother’s mother say anything about the pill bottles on the floor, or the fact that I was unconscious for an entire school day? I felt even more worthless after that. No one gave a shit.
My mother put a lock on my sister’s door after Trace molested her. Why didn’t she put one on mine after I came to her as a terrified 7 year old? Why did she look the other way?
I remember finally telling my grandfather about what Trace was doing one day when he was driving me back home from a weekend at our grandparent’s house. I was scared to go home and I was BEGGING for him to take me to my friend’s house instead. He could tell something wasn’t right, and as scared as I was to speak of it all out loud, he simply asked me if Trace had done something to hurt me. I sobbed uncontrollably. He of course HAD to tell my father. At the time, I still thought my dad was a bad person, and when he called and said he was coming to get me and I was going to live with him, I threw a fit. I didn’t want to live with him when I thought he was this horrible monster. I didn’t want to leave my friends and my school. He actually came and got me and I screamed at him the entire drive about how it was “kidnapping” and I wanted to live with my best friend at the time or go home. At the time, I guess I thought the unknown was scarier than the familiar monster living in my house. How sick is that? So he took me home. I couldn’t tell him what I was going through. My father knew something was wrong, and I was being hurt. But he couldn’t get specifics out of me. And My mother and Trace counted on that.
I began to abuse alcohol the first day I ever drank. I remember being in middle school, escaping to my best friend’s parent’s lake house for a weekend. I was still 13 at the time and they said we could drink with them and their friends. I went fucking nuts. I drank so much so fast, I was laying in the sand on the lake shore, making “sand angels”. I was pissing myself on the dock, unable to hold it all the way from the boat to the cabin. And from then on, I had an outlet. Alcohol. I obviously couldn’t easily access booze at such a young age on my own. So I would steal my mom’s at night. And any time an adult was willing to let me drink with them, I did whatever it took to get drunk.
Eventually, our mother sent Bryan, who was having trouble fitting in at school, to live with my father’s parents in a town 2 hours away. He wasn’t being molested. I was. Why didn’t I get to go with him? Why was I forced to stay behind and live my entire childhood and middle school and high school years in fear and suffering?
Child support money. That’s why. My father was sending her $1400 per month to care for Bryan and I. And the only reason she agreed to even LET Bryan live with our grandparents, was under the condition that our father would CONTINUE to send her the full $1400 every month. I was nothing but a pay check. For 10 years. Ten years I spent every day and every night wishing I was dead or Trace was dead or I was anywhere but there. I thank God Bryan was never harmed. I thank God he was protected, and he got away. But I was 14 at the time. And I was still there.
It wasn’t until I was 17 that I finally said “Fuck it” and left to live with my father. I was scared. I barely knew him by that point. As a small child I was a daddy’s girl. I remembered fishing and camping with him, riding in his work truck, and only good things like that. But for ten years I’d been repeatedly told over and over again what an abusive psychotic person he was. I was told I “must have blocked out the memories of the abuse” because it had been so traumatic.
Well fuck. If I could “block out” those memories that she claimed I had, then why can I still VIVIDLY remember every detail of the nights Trace came into my room? She lied. She robbed me of so much time with him. When I finally left home and took a chance on living with my father, I was all kinds of fucked up. I had no understanding of what it meant to feel safe, or have a normal family, or have a normal mother. I treated my stepmother and step sisters like complete shit for the next five or six years, all the while, not knowing how to accept their genuine love for me and Bryan. I didn’t speak to my birth mother for two years. And even today, I have to be drunk to talk to her on the phone or even to see her briefly. Now that I’m getting sober, I don’t know how I’ll maintain (or if I even can maintain) any kind of relationship with her.
When I’m drunk, everything that hurts finally shuts the fuck up. I can silence the pain. So it escalated. I did well enough through high school in spite of all of my issues. Moving in with my dad right before my senior year was a huge adjustment, but it got me away from Trace. I still wanted to drink though. As soon as I could, I made friends with the kids who had access to alcohol. The summer after graduation, I had made friends with all the right people. We partied all throughout the summer. I was 18. I was escaping my issues every night. And it escalated.
By the following year I had slept with I don’t know how many guys. All while drunk. I hadn’t been raped by any of them. That would come later. I thought it was normal. I thought everyone was doing it. It escalated again. By 19, I was getting black out drunk almost every night of the week and had been raped by a “friend” during what was supposed to be a run for cigarettes. I couldn’t process what happened. I felt like that child all over again who just wanted to scream out “STOP! NO!” but didn’t have the voice, or was too overwhelmed with fear to vocalize. I did finally manage to actually say the word “No” multiple times. But I was too weak and he was too strong and fighting it was hopeless.
You’d think an event like that would scare someone straight. You’d think, a normal human being, would never allow herself to get that drunk again. You’d think all of the abuse I’d suffered for years as a child, would have added fuel to the “better get sober!” fire. But all it did was make me feel more hopeless. I had more to drink over now. I had one more bad memory to try to escape from.
Then it escalated again. By 21, I had been engaged, broke it off with that guy, and then shacked up with another. This one got me into pot. When I discovered how easy it was to fall asleep high, I added it to my nightly drinking routine. I eventually couldn’t sleep without it. After a couple of years I broke up with that guy and stopped getting high every night. I looked down on my pot smoking friends, because “I got off that shit”. But I was still drinking. Every day. To the point of oblivion. All the while, I’ve made it through an associates degree in business management and have been learning my trade working for a high end portrait studio. I had everyone in my family, my boss, and all of my friends completely fooled. It was like I was two people. During the day I was this responsible, well spoken, artistic business woman. At night, I was binge drinking like it was my last night on earth every night, trying to kill the memories I knew would keep me up at night.
Around 22, I remember finally finding justice for what Trace had put me through. It turned out he didn’t stop at my sister and I. He continued to prey on children for several years and traumatize several more people. When his ex wife finally came to me after she learned he had been raping her daughter for years, I finally had a support system to help put him away. I finally filed a statement in Harris County, just in time before the statute of limitations. Trace found out what was happening and reached out to me on Facebook, begging me not to go through with the charges. He destroyed 10 years of my childhood and permanently damaged me. The things he did to me were far less damaging than what he did to my young niece and to other kids he managed to make contact with. He is a full on pedophile. I felt no remorse. At trial, I’m not sure why, but they gave me the closing statement. I didn’t expect them to do that. I didn’t know there was such a thing. So, I just spoke from the heart, as cliche as that sounds. I said exactly what I meant and I meant exactly what I said. All I said was, “I’ve spent most of my life trying to get over this. It’d be really great if no one else had to.” I may not have had the stamina to elaborate any further at that point, after being berated by his defense attorney like I was the problem, but the judge looked into my eyes and heard me. She heard me, and it felt like it was the first time in my entire life anyone had. Our mother actually didn’t even know about the trial or the charges until after he was sentenced to 40 years. My sister came through at the last minute and agreed to testify for herself. We didn’t want our mother to know about the trial or the charges until it was all over, because we knew she’d try to intervene to protect Trace. I still don’t understand why she always chose him. He is her first born, but he has always been a terrible person.
After I’d given my closing statement, The judge said I could go. I stood up, got down from the stand, and never made eye contact with Trace. I couldn’t look him in the face. I didn’t want to be reminded. I had spent so much time trying to forget the face of Evil, I couldn’t risk a single second of weakness destroying the lengths I’d gone to silence the pain. I had to be high as a kite just to be in the same city as him.
He yelled for me from his chair in his orange jump suit, hollering my name over and over. But I had to keep walking. I was seven steps from the door and I couldn’t go fast enough. As soon as I exited the courtroom, it was all I could do to keep myself composed long enough to get into the hallway, far enough away for him not to hear me cry. He’d heard me cry enough over the years, I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of one more single tear. Like a goddamn going away present. Fuck him. And fuck her for letting it all happen. Who puts a lock on one daughter’s bedroom door, but not the other? Who let’s one child (the one NOT being abused) go live with his grandparents, and then forces the other one to stay behind, left alone in the darkest parts of Hell, where Evil resides and keeps her up every night, afraid of falling asleep? Who does that to a child? What kind of a mother? Sister? Grandmother? I just want to know why. What did I ever do, at the age of seven, to deserve something like that? What did I do to forfeit my protection? Justice? Peace? Sanity? Sleep? A normal life?
No matter what they claim in their attempts to calm their conscience or to protect themselves, I DID tell them. They looked at me, looked at each other, and the car never stopped. No one ever said, “Oh honey, I’m sorry,” or even a fucking “Well bless your heart!”. The wheels just kept turning. Like some kind of God forsaken roller coaster with no seat belts, no safety bars, and no floor to keep you safe. It was a rushing, swirling, winding, speeding, terrifying ride through a dark part of the world you never expect to exist as a child.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this now. After all those years I spent searching for peace and scribbling in spiral journals, it seems like once I moved away I couldn’t write about it any more. Can you believe my journals were taken as evidence? It was really hard to look at them again and flip through 1000′s of pages of teen angst to mark which pages included entries of “importance” that “related to the case”. I don’t think I could have done it without my best friend helping me.
So I did get justice, but I would quickly realize, I had not found peace.
In the mean time my father’s parents’s health was deteriorating rapidly, and I was unspokenly elected as the new matriarch of my father’s side of the family. My grandmother, who is kindest soul on earth, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was about 10, so for over ten years I had watched my favorite person slowly forget who I was. My father’s parents are the best grandparents in the world. Had I been blessed enough to live with my dad and step mom, or my grandparents sooner, I might be a much better person today. They GAVE me a house. They catered to Bryan’s needs. They would spoil us rotten as children, and I have always been close to them. They weren’t “buying” our LOVE, so much as I think they just wanted us to have a sense of normal when we were with them. They wanted us to have a chance at success in life. They took us on vacations and taught Bryan how to drive and navigate. They took us to church and brought God into our lives even when we didn’t want Him.
At this point, I was almost 24 and I had been stuck in a 2 or 3 year relationship with a guy who enabled me to take my binge drinking and pot smoking to a whole ‘nother level. But after realizing he was only making me worse and helping me to ruin my life, I somehow worked up the strength to end it with him. He had a child who I had helped raise from ages 5-8, but as much as I dearly loved his son, I couldn’t be a very good mother to his child and be the person I was.
At 24 and newly single, I’m caring for my grandfather who has just come out of a triple bypass at 70, and my grandmother (who we now know actually has Lewy Bodie Syndrome, which is a combination of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). She is slowly forgetting who I am. And they are both growing ever more dependent on me every day. Of course at this point, I’m still drinking every night. In fact, on the weekends, I’m day drinking too at this point. I was actually showing up to care for my elderly grandparents too drunk to function. Some afternoons I’d get to their house and pass out on their couch, unable to even fix them dinner or help carry my grandmother to the bathroom. Luckily, they never called me on my shit. I guess they really believed I was just that tired from work.
At this point, my brother Bryan, is now living on his own and has been holding down a job, but he is special needs. So I’m constantly running interference for him and throwing criminals and drug dealers out of his condo every time he makes a new “friend”. People are constantly taking advantage of his kindness and his big heart and his loneliness. I’m beating up girls in the parking lots of bars who are using him and playing games with him. I’m trying to save him from the world. I’m trying to save everyone around me. Of course, I’m still drinking every night. And it’s getting worse.
At this time in my life, my best friend and I took a trip to Vegas. She had been my best friend for ten years at that point and she knew I could drink my weight in whiskey, but she’d never really seen it become “dangerous”. Even though we had stayed best friends since middle school, we live 100 miles apart. So, the worst of my nights were never witnessed by her. In Vegas, I guess I was trying to make up for lost time having been wasted on my ex. I stayed drunk for 3 days and slept with multiple strangers. I recall leaving our hotel room after we’d gotten home from the clubs and she’d fallen asleep. I wanted to go back out for more alcohol. Finally, I stumbled back to the room barefoot down the Las Vegas strip at 5 am after an exhausting night of freely giving myself to whoever was buying the booze and paying attention to me. I was a complete whore. Yet still, this did not signal to me that I had become an alcoholic.
After returning home from Vegas, I’m still out drinking nightly. One night the unthinkable happens. I get raped by another “friend” who offers to give me a ride home from the bar. I remember screaming “STOP” and “NO!” multiple times. He just kept insisting that he was giving me what I “wanted”. I didn’t want that. I tried to fight him off, but he wouldn’t stop until he was finished. Here I was, getting raped again, because I just HAD to go to the bar for a few drinks after caring for my grandparents on Sunday night. If I had just gone straight home, or if I had just stopped at one drink instead of 10, I might not have been raped for the second time in 5 years. Instead of getting help then, like I should have, I tried to get it under control myself.
I went to one AA meeting. I saw the people in that room, and heard their stories. I thought to myself, “Wow, well, I’m not as bad as them, so maybe I’m okay. Maybe I can do this on my own.” So I went back to my house and started the next day with a hopeful attitude. I was going to “never drink again”. I had a roommate at the time who did help with that for a little while. I had kicked weed, so I figured why couldn’t I kick alcohol?
Soon after that point in my life, I met the man who is now my husband. We had just started dating, and had already realized I have a brother who NEEDS my protection and guidance. I have grandparents who NEED my care and my attention. I had this amazing new boyfriend who I knew deserved a sober girlfriend. I didn’t want him to know the situations I had put myself in. I was ashamed. I didn’t want him to ever see me like that. So I stayed sober. For a few days. Then I tried some controlled drinking with a few friends and I did okay. For the next several months I did okay. At least I thought I was okay. I was barely hanging on to sanity though, in all reality. My wonderful grandparents were deteriorating rapidly before my eyes. The stress of it all and the pain and rage I still felt from my childhood were eating me alive. I was doing great at work and keeping it together though, so I genuinely believed I had overcome my demons.
By age 25, my now husband and I had gotten serious and I really thought I had it all figured out. He moved in with me after I had made up my mind to make him my husband. I knew he was my saving grace, my second chance at life. In spite of the growing strain of accepting my grandparents’ and my brother’s growing dependence on me, everything else in life was going perfect and I really felt like all the darkness was behind me.
In the Fall, I went with a photographer friend of mine who is much older than me to help him shoot an out of town wedding. I had known him for 7 years. He is a close friend of the boss I had at the time, and I figured it’d be good to make some extra money. After working for the high end portrait studio for over years and learning so much about my craft, I was ready to realize my dreams. I had just worked up the courage to leave my job and start up my own photography business finally, so I needed all the jobs I could get.
He and I took off to go shoot the wedding and everything was going great. We shot the ceremony and everything’s still going great. We get through the majority of the reception and he starts bringing me whiskey and diet cokes, which was my favorite drink at the time. Next thing I know, I’m in the hotel room and I’m trying to stop him from doing things I never saw coming. He’s old enough to be my father. I kept saying, “PLEASE STOP!” And he wouldn’t stop. The next morning and all the way home (which was a 4 hour drive), I couldn’t even look at him. He was supposed to pay me $800 for my part of the job. Halfway home he stops at an ATM. When he gets back in the car, he hands me $200. I now felt like I had not just been sexually assaulted, but purchased like a prostitute. I still get flashbacks every night. I was so upset with myself for allowing myself to get black out drunk again. I was so ashamed. I felt like it was all my fault. I was afraid to tell my husband for years.
After that I resigned myself to never drink again. Again. I tried. Within a few days, I was back to drinking nightly just to go to sleep. I managed to function well enough every day to take care of business. So I thought I had it all under control for real this time. I left the studio I worked for and within a few days had started my own company. I grew my new photography business quickly. I took care of my brother and my grandparents. I built a strong relationship with an amazing man and found love and kindness like I never knew could exist. But I never got help for any of my issues. I just kept holding it all together until my husband went to bed every night, and then I buried the pain and suffering in straight whiskey, or wine, or beer, or whatever I could get my hands on. By the grace of God, my husband never really saw the darkness in me. I was terrified that had he known how damaged I truly was, he would leave.
I’m 28 now. Eight months ago we were married. It was the happiest day of my life. I found the one who God made for me. But even throughout our 3 year relationship, I guess I didn’t think hiding my horror stories from him was too much of an issue. Of course I knew it was wrong, but I felt like I had changed and so there was no reason to tell him about what happened with the latest rape me when it would only break his heart.
I was wrong. Two days into our honeymoon I got so black out drunk at the bar on our cruise ship, I found myself in another dangerous situation. My husband was on the deck smoking cigarettes and watching movies on the I-Pad. I wanted to party with people I’d met during karaoke. I asked him permission and promised to be smart about it. He said okay. Two or three hours in, I was completely hammered.
I remember bits and pieces of pushing an older man off of me and trying to keep him from following me into our cabin. I woke up at 5 am with my husband telling me it was time to go see the ship’s Captain to talk about what happened. I said, “What do you mean, what happened?” He was shocked I couldn’t remember. He reminded me of the previous night’s events. He returned to the cabin about 45 minutes or so after I had gotten in. He said I was distraught and crying and terrified and talking about how I had to fight some guy off from coming in the cabin, after we’d been having drinks together at the bar. This sounded all too familiar to me. I knew what he said had to be true. And it slowly all started coming back to me.
He took me to the Captain’s office where the cruise ship staff preceded to recount me coming in and telling them what had happened earlier in the morning hours. They said I even pointed the man out from security footage and everything. They said they had footage of us drinking together and me having a great time at the bar, buying drinks for everyone, and steadily taking shot after shot after shot. It looked like I was asking for it. Out of liability concerns, they had to cut me off from drinking for the rest of the cruise. It was a ten day cruise. This seemed unfair to me at the time. I thought to myself, “It isn’t my fault some guy tried to rape me just because I was drinking with him!” The truth is, I know I didn’t lead him on because I remember talking about my wedding and my new husband the whole night. But, to be fair, I’m also a talkative nice person when I meet new people, and I’m sure he took my kindness as flirtation. So of course it WAS my fault.
I was destroyed. My husband had finally seen the monster in me. I had ruined our honeymoon. And now I couldn’t drink for 8 days. I didn’t know how to handle the overload of grief and emotions I was feeling. My husband was amazing though. He pulled all of the truth out of me. I told him about the previous rapes. He was hurt that I had never planned on telling him, but he was understanding. He held me and just let me cry into his chest. He showed me how we COULD have a fun honeymoon for the next 8 days WITHOUT alcohol. Of course I wanted to drink the entire time, but I WAS actually living in the moment. Sober. And because of that, I have 8 amazing days worth of clear memories from our honeymoon, and about 5,000 images waiting to be turned into a photographic album of scenic artwork.
When we returned home, there wasn’t much said anymore about my drinking. It was kind of pushed aside as a non issue. I was back to work, taking care of my brother and grandparents and my photography business. Our honeymoon may have had a rough start, but our marriage was starting out with a clean slate and a stronger foundation than I could ever have hoped for. So I thought I’d never have any more issues with drinking.
I turn 29 next month, and in the last eight months I’ve had more and more episodes of binge drinking. My business has managed to continue to grow, but my grandparents and Bryan’s situation have all gotten harder to bare. I’m constantly fighting to keep it all together. I’m constantly trying to ignore the pain and rage I still feel from my childhood and the traumatic events I’ve put myself in over the last ten years. The only thing that’s kept me going is my husband. Without him, and without God having brought us together, I’m sure I’d have drank myself to death or died in a drunken car wreck a long time ago. But still, at this point, I didn’t think my drinking was truly a matter of alcoholism.
Finally, after being a drunken idiot and an embarrassment at my ten year high school reunion on September 16th, 2017 , my two best friends from high school finally intervened. My husband wasn’t able to attend, so I didn’t have him there. When he’s with me, there’s something in me that usually keeps me from going overboard. And I think that’s why he didn’t see my drinking as alcoholism either. However my best friends from high school had realized the progression of my drinking problem couldn’t be overlooked anymore. And they asked me to go to AA.
Today I attended my 15th meeting in the last 14 days. I’m 14 days sober. I’ve been sober since September 18th, 2017, which was the day before my husband’s birthday. This is the longest I’ve been sober in the last ten years. It’s an accomplishment I never thought I’d attain.
Falling asleep is still almost impossible it seems. But then when it finally happens, usually due to Zzzquil or a little marijuana, I do actually sleep well. I’m not emotionally eating all the time anymore. I have a new found hopefulness about life and the future. I still have my amazing husband, my photography business, my brother and my grandparents.
My rock bottom presented itself in horrible violent traumatic experiences spread out over a decade, but at least I didn’t lose the ones I love, or lose my career, or go to jail. I haven’t had to go to rehab, but I definitely need help. I need to find a therapist. I need to find a sponsor. And I need to work the steps. Otherwise, I’ll end up dying from this disease. And I have too many dreams, too many goals and too many people who I love counting on me to let that happen.

Date written: October 2nd, 2017

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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