I have recently been introduced to a new recovery friend who I may be helping him with a writing project of his memoirs. His story and testimony, like mine, are filled with many roots, underlying issues and old pain as to why he turned to addiction.
Actually, what this man had endured and now causes him much haunting pain and nightmares today that had been suppressed in his memory for many years, it amazes me he is still alive to tell his story.
Why? Because the stats are alarming on how many people are sexually assaulted every year in America, and on average, there are 433,648 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assaults each year. Every 73 seconds, a sexual assault occurs.
Just boys and men alone, 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse or assault, whether in childhood or as adults. This leaves many lives traumatically changed forever, constant pain and haunting memories as I had for years myself and those feelings of the shame, lost innocence, and feeling dirty as though it was my fault this happened to me.
All those years of asking GOD?
I won’t lie, even though I now have learned the tools to process what happened to me, talking with my new friend, it has brought up some of those feelings back. As we spoke, I felt his pain. I can hear the anxiety and anger.
I have told him he needs to let go of the anger and resentment I was hearing in his voice as he shared his story and events with me, and privileged he is, it needs to be validated for him instead of others just shutting him down or think he’s just crazy. He is a human being with feelings. I know just how much “words” can hurt and hurt more so than physical pain. Because I too have been ridiculed in the same manner by my own family members, I am estranged from today.
Being molested and experienced trauma of this kind is challenging to find the proper words to describe your loss of innocence and your identity stripped away, leaving you confused, empty, broken, and feeling worthless and ashamed. I carried that into my adulthood. I learned I could use a mask of humor to appear I was just as happy and healthy like everyone else while my pain and rage began building through the years. Many other issues came into play as I was growing up. Feeling significant sensitivity when my parents physically disciplined me, as I got older, the verbal abuse.
Of course, all the while, the anger was building a perfect storm, as it continued brewing into my adult life, and turning to addiction to try and cope, numb out and not feel the haunting pain and nightmares that came back around age 30. By 33, I was almost into full-blown gambling addiction. Right before my first suicide attempt and treatment and was not my last, I began to abuse alcohol toward my second suicide attempt as addicted gambling stopped working as my escape and hide from the pain.
I began gaining a few years of recovery time, is when I started writing in a journal. Those journals helped in releasing my book/memoir. I started my research for my book learning dark secrets that had me looking at my parents much; differently, it is an uncomfortable feeling to see your parents in a whole new light. And not a positive one either.
I share these feelings as it seems, even after fifteen years of estrangement from my father and the rest of my dysfunctional side of the family, they still feel the need to add salt to the old wounds even today by leaving “ugly” comments of my book as reviews anywhere they think they can hurt me. I’m OK today, so I ignore it.
Because I set those boundaries long ago and learned the tools not to let any of that as blame to make me relapse nor relapse from any of my roots and underlying issues that used to make me run to escape with a few hours of gambling, and ALL THE TIME. You can learn the full-back story as I wrote a recent recovery post about this topic here on my recovery blog https://betfreerecoverynow.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/family-may-not-understand-about-addiction-nor-support-you-as-you-change-maintaining-recovery-the-2nd-chance-syndrome-some-dont-get-it/
See, one of my new years “fear busting resolutions” is to share more about this side of my life and embrace the fact it happened, and I made it out the other side of my sexual trauma and abuse. Not as a victim any longer, and I know it wasn’t me or anything I did to invite sexual molestation to happen to me.
Again, I want to be clear that I am a recovery warrior and no longer a victim. NO, I don’t blame my parents either, but we don’t get to pick and choose who our family is. But I won’t continue to be treated poorly, seek their approval, or be verbally abused by them any longer. I don’t have to keep and use my moms’ old poor behaviors as they have used for years and enabled my mom.
So, sadly, I needed to distance myself to keep my own sanity and recovery intact later in my life and did so many year’s ago.
My main point to my ramblings?
Learning the roots and underlying issues of why we turned addiction, and these were some of the fuel to mine, we have to process them healthily, know it is OK to seek professional help, and no shame in doing so. This will aide you from relapse. I learned that the hard way. When you do, you can begin to forgive, let go and “Let God” and begin to heal, find true peace and happiness, and start a successful long-term recovery road.
Today, I have the comfort of knowing that GOD and those who have passed on like my mother, my brother-in-law, just a couple of dear friends who are the only ones who know my real truth of what I went through.
This is the only validation I need that keeps me in peace and serenity.
As I know GOD will always love me unconditionally . . . ✝💞👼🙏🙏