I have the unique situation where I am in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) group therapy and this is made for me. I have been in this group twice; it has cycles and I’m doing the cycle again. My Mental health needs have changed. This time around I’m not so focused on my past hurts and issues as I am looking at today’s issues.
Facing my past
When I began the DBT group I was facing my past like never before. I was looking at my issues and how my past was causing me all the current pain. I was stuck for many years just trying to forget the mental and physical pain that was my life. Once I began routing my issues back to the beginning and figuring out why I reacted the way I did, my life began to change. It wasn’t all my fault and I didn’t cause actions taken out on me. I was a victim for many years of family violence but I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor. However, I didn’t always know that.
Just because you survive something does not mean you made it through unharmed. The unseen injuries are often the worst. My injuries were not seen at first glance but the deep-rooted injuries were so there. To this day I try my hardest to stay away from triggers from my past. I recently had a mental reaction to something I do not want any part of, and the possibility that it somehow will be part of my life again brought up memories I didn’t want to think about. These next memories are hard.
The unique situation of being the addict and the enabler
Have you ever loved someone that was addicted to drugs or alcohol? I have the unique situation of being on both sides. I have been addicted to drinking and drugs of multiple kinds. I have also loved drug addicts and I loved someone who was an enabler to a drug addict. At age 15 I was introduced to a family that consisted of a dad, three boys, and two girls. You don’t need to know the full story to know the part I want to tell. Just the facts will do. The fact is that we turned into a family, the kids loved my mom and I loved their dad. We would grow together and be like brothers and sisters. Their dad was a bright light in my life till he wasn’t. My mom was in love with him and he loved her but only as friends. He would have girlfriends that I would love and others I would hate. I would call this man Dad.
Well Dad was the first person I ever would see to snort cocaine. He didn’t mean for me to see it but it would forever change my life. His oldest would be the one to give me my first “laced” joint. Drugs were already a big part of my life, though it was all prescription pain meds up till weed came into my life. I smoked as often as I could and loved it. On top of that, by 19 I was a severe alcoholic. For some time, “Dad” went away to live somewhere else and I didn’t see him too often. Us kids thought we were always together raising ourselves. I got sober around the age of 24. The problem with that is, I was the only one that was sober. All my friends, and family still drank, smoked etc.
As time is known to pass quickly, this time of my life passed by fast and suddenly things changed. Dad would move on my mom’s land. He would bring with him his gf and sister. He brought hope at first, but later we learned of his drug addiction and all it brought was pain. He helped my mom have strength to leave her abusive Ex which was good news but he also helped to almost destroy my relationship with my mom, although it was rocky as already.
I pay up or my mom will be hurt
I am 24 at this point in the story, living in a small town grouped together with other small towns. My mom lived half way in the middle between two such towns. I lived in the town where I had gone to high school. I literally knew everyone that called the place home. We were just that small. I am sitting home one day and my phone rings but I didn’t recognize the voice but the name hit home. I soon would know what this was about. A boy I had gone to school with called me to let me know that unless they got a payment for the drugs my “dad” bought, they were going to hurt my mom. See, they knew my mom, and my mom was the one who took “Dad” to get his drugs. So of course, they found the connection. This was one of the scariest moments of my life which would be the beginning of more terrifying moments.
So I call my mom and tell her what just happened and I confront her. She had promised me she would not get involved in the drug issues. She cried and long story short made me feel guilty. So, this is what began the next 2 years of my life. I would pay what I was thinking was bills to find out they are paying for drugs – from weed to crack. I was doing without to pay for my moms’ light bill except that is not what I was paying for at all. It continued till I didn’t have enough money to cover what they wanted to pay off and things started happening around my home. My friends were getting brought into it, and I was being harassed. My phone was constantly ringing with threats to kill my mom. It was terrifying and seemed like I was living a tv show that just would not stop.
I locked the door and before I could move away, someone rammed it
One night my friends and I were having a movie night, we got hungry so they decided to go get some food. We normally did not leave anyone in our house alone but they were just going less than a mile down the road. Well, this particular night I was sitting in the bedroom when I heard a loud noise. I thought a cat had knocked something down, and as I headed to the kitchen to investigate, I saw the handle of my kitchen door being turned (the dead bolt was on). I ran/wobbled to it and locked the door and before I could move away someone rams it. I hit the door and said go away!! Instead of saying anything they ram the door again. This time the wood cracks some… I know this is a threat being called in. They promised they would hurt me if the current owe was not paid. I grab the biggest kitchen knife I can pick up and my cocker spaniel and I get myself to the bathroom. I go in and lock the door and open the cabinets as to be an extra barrier. Due to a window being in that room, I turn off the light and slip down onto the floor with my dog and knife in my hands. Thank God I had my phone stuffed in my pocket, and I pulled it out and called my friends, telling them to come back now but not to get out of the car till they know it is safe. * Calling the police was useless so we gave up on them …. Long time pyre.
I held the knife like it was a life line
There I sat at one of my highest weights, totally out of breath, totally scared to death, sitting on the floor praying to God my friends get home before this crazy guy gets in my house. Yes, I knew who it was and yes, I have been terrified of this day for a long time. I held the knife like it was a life line. Squeezing my dog way too tight. I keep hearing him go from the side door to the front to the back door. I was terrified. I don’t know how many minutes it was but it could not have been more than five when I see lights shine in the bathroom window and a motor revs up – I know it is my friends. I hear the car move then as it went to pull around to the front and I hear the guy trying to break in say he will be back. Right after that I heard my friends yelling and coming in the door, which he had busted.
Mad at God
It took some convincing for me to come out of that bathroom that night. I was sobbing, shaking, and I was so mad at God for allowing this to be my life. I called my mom and asked if she was ok and she said yes. She then asked me to pay for some groceries and all I could do was yell at her, “I Don’t have any money, I’m too busy trying to stay alive”. So, this went on till Mother’s Day that year with “Dad”s oldest daughter telling me you have to cut off your mom so in return it will cut off my dad. So on Mother’s Day as my mom comes to “visit”, she asks for money and I have to refuse her. Our relationship broke for a long time. This story is longer and has more twists and turns than a country road but I need to stop here.
no one has the exact same story but so many of us share versions of each other’s stories
Sitting in DBT it hits me that no one has the exact same story but so many of us share versions of each other’s stories. So many things you think you have put to rest can just be in a dark outlet in your head and the simplest thing can supercharge your emotions. People still do almost anything to get what they desire. The emotions that were brought up made me feel unsafe and like life was about to change in a way I didn’t want it to. It is those moments when your family chooses everything before you and leaves you in the cold to fend for yourself that you look at who you are and who you have become. You know that no matter what, you survived, and you know better in regards to what you can and can’t handle. I’m so thankful for my DBT group and how the people in my group set me up to know myself better through comradery and kindness.