I stated that one of my fundamental reasons for this blog was to help me stay sober, to keep myself accountable for my actions. Accountability is something that I find addicts have a hard time with. It is so easy to blame all of our past transgressions on addiction. That being said though, where is the line? Certainly, most of the “sins” that we committed during active addiction was a direct result of our addiction. So, how much of the blame do we take? How much of the blame goes to heroin?
Many heroin addicts want to sort of suggest that heroin takes away your free will. This is not really true. You DO need it to survive, but you can set lines that you won’t cross. Example: for me that line was prostitution. I was molested by a cousin as a child. I was raped in the middle of the night by my “best friend” (which for some reason some the people who should have been the closest to me didn’t seem to believe me and continued to be friends with the monster). I had been sexually exploited too much. I also became a huge feminist (thank you Courtney Love for making me realize that feminism is cool). I WAS NOT going to sell my body.
I have been offered. Men would ask to “rent” me from my husband. No way. People say whatever you say that you won’t do for dope is exactly what you will do. No. I promised myself that I wouldn’t whore myself out, and I never did.
I will say that probably 90 – 95% of all the female addicts that I know have whored themselves out. Either they worked as prostitutes or they did every on e in a while to get well. You know sex in exchange for drugs. In a side note, I can not tell you how many girls (both in Central Bookings and in CAP or Center for Addiction and Pregnancy) had told stories about how their man/pimp would make them go out and fuck some john, cop the dope, let HIM get well, then have to go back out to get themselves well. Fuck that!
My point is, I DID have free will. To an extent. I could put my foot down and say, “I will not whore myself out”, but I had to get well somehow. Here comes in my 9 theft convictions. We (my hubby and I, along with others) would boost or steal from stores, and sell the items to a pawn shop. This whole shit got shut down in 2009 when the FBI did a massive raid an shut down 15 pawn shops and buy, sell, trade shops for illegally buying and reselling stolen pharmaceuticals. When that got shut down we moved to new items.
I have pawned many, many of my things. Somethings I got back, others I didn’t. I also stole from people I know. It was rare that I would do that, and I had to be really, really desperate, but it happened. This is what I have had such a hard time forgiving myself for.
Especially one part of my extended family that I hurt. They took me and my sister into their home the night my father died from lung cancer. They treated us both like we were their kids/ sisters. I didn’t take very much money from them at all. Not even close to what I spent in a day, just enough for a “gate shot”, but the fact that I could hurt them haunted me for years. It kept me up at night.
Finally after YEARS of hating myself. I forgave me. I don’t blame it on the drugs. I would not have done it if it were not for dope, but still, I did it. It was a hard thing to admit to myself. I let the drugs take control. I let them act through me. It was hard, but I eventually have learned that I am not a bad person, I just did a bad thing.
For years, I have apologized to these very Catholic people. I have given up. Obviously they don’t have to forgive me. God forgives me, and I forgive me. I can not stay up at night hating myself anymore. I miss their friendship. I will say that one person in that family forgave me and I am eternally grateful to her. I want to be close with all of them again, but I can not, I will not risk my sobriety stressing about people who will not forgive. I hurt them, I understand. I think that they have hurt me far more by not inviting me to weddings, baby showers, cookouts, birthdays, everything. I basically don’t exist. I wish they could understand that no one chooses to be an addict.