Tag Archives: forgiveness

Leave Me The F!@# Alone!

Recently a weird number has been calling my house. It had a 333 area code. One day while my sister was over it called five or six times in a row. After the fifth time, she decided to answer. (This by the way, is not odd, my sister used to live here, and answers the phone all the time.) I was shocked to learn who was on the other end.

Lo and behold, it was my former best friend who raped me when I was 16. He was talking about how he lives in Mexico making all kinds of money. He went on to day that he was awaiting a check for $80,000. He wanted to fly my sister and I (and my mother?) out to Mexico tobe with him. He also offered to pay our bills. Now, he said that he made all this money (the $80,000 plus all his other earnings) dye to a formula that he came up with that converts coffee to useable energy. Now, being as though this man is a clinical, pathological liar, I take anything he says with a grain of salt. He is in Mexico though. I looked up where a 333 area code is, and it is on Mexico. That being said, however, he comes from an incredibly wealthy family, so him being in Mexico does not mean that he has earned a penny for himself.

This is not the first time that he has contacted me. Far from it. He would call me from jail. Once, he walked like four miles from a friend’s house to see me. He constantly sends me private Facebook messages. This is the first time that he has ever involved money, a sort of pay out for my forgiveness and friendship. Generally, the mist of his messages is the same. He always states how much he misses me, that he now realizes how well I treated him. Specifically that I treated him better than his family, than any girlfriends that he has had since, than anyone really. He tells me how much he admires (and always has) my intelligence and refusal to submit to peer pressure and act like everyone else in high school. He then tells me that he is sorry for any pain that he may have  inadvertently caused me, that I didn’t deserve it. Inadvertently is the key word though. He will not say what he did to hurt me. He will apologize, but he still acts as though him raping me was some sort of breakdown in communication.

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post about forgiving my rapist. After I posted this, I sent him a message telling him that after 14 years, I have decided to forgive him. I explained that I was doing this for me and not for him.  Holding on to so much hatred was ruining my life. I told him that I was trying to make a conscience effort to let go and move on. Studying Budahism taught me that by holding on to hatred you only hurt yourself. I explained that this in no way meant that I ever wanted to be friends with him again. I never even want to see him again. Ideally I wish that I could just feel nothing towards him, as if he were a complete stranger.

He cannot just leave it at that. I think it is his guilty concience. Maybe he feels that if I decided to become bestirs with him again, than he must not be that bad of a guy. What he did couldn’t be so awful if I am willing to fly to Mexico and vacation with him. It’s not going to happen though.

I will never accept money or plane tickets from him. He is not going to buy my friendship. It is not my fault that it took you over a decade to realize that you fucked up a good thing. I’m sorry that you now have come to the understanding that I didn’t deserve for you to obliterate my soul and destroy my ability to trust anyone. Perhaps you should have thought about this before you pinned me down while I was asleep and  raped me.

What about the other women that you did this to? He did time twice for different sexual assaults.  Also, before he raped me, I had heard that were two or three girls that had accused him of rape, but I foolishly believed him when he told me that they were lying. I find my self wondering about these women often. Who are they? How did they know him? Was their assaults similar to mine, or totally different? Does it matter how different or similar we are to each other? What does it mean if our encounters with him are virtually identical? What does it mean if they are bi-polar opposites from what happened to me? Also, if the police had not convinced me that it was my fault, that I would never win a conviction in court, not to press charges, would  one or both of the women have been saved? How many women are out there that have never come forward?

At the end of the day, I just want this man to leave me the fuck alone. I gave you the gift of forgiveness. I will not give you the gift of my friendship. You are the primary reason that I have so few friends, that I trust so few people. Nothing good came from me meeting and befriending you. I treated you so good. Imwould have given my arm for you, and I regularly sacrificed a great deal for you. You ruined me. You brutaly introduced me to the dark, horrible side of humanity. It has taken me 14 years to even begin to move on. My PTSD, and nightmares are just beginning to wane, so please just leave me the fuck alone.


How Many Times Do We Deserve To Be Forgiven – To Forgive Others?


It is estimated that the average addict relapses around nine times before they actually get clean. Before the idea of sobriety sinks in to our extremely thick skulls and stays there. During this vicious cycle of recovery and relapse how many friends have we pushed away? How many family members have we fucked over? And how many times have we been betrayed, hurt, lied to? How many times should we expect to be forgiven for our sins from our past lives?

Above is a diploma from my middle school D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) class. I don’t know if they still do this, but in 1995-1998, all students had to attend drug classes in school. They informed you about various drugs, their effects, addiction possibilities, etc. Being that I was a straight A student all through out school, I aced this class as well. I was going through a bunch of old paperwork over the weekend and found this. Ironic isn’t it? Now, I would be used as a horror story as to why you shouldn’t do drugs. “Meet Amy. She was a straight a student. Full scholarships to many of the best colleges in the country. She started using heroin and cocaine and threw her life away. She has multiple arrests and achieved no where close to her potential.” But back then, in middle school, I was the absolute last person that anyone would have suspected would fall under the firm, death grip of heroin.

The first time an addict finally decides, or more often then not, is convinced to enter into rehab, there is a great deal of hope and optimism amount the addicts friends and family. They will get clean, they will be cured. We will have our friend back. When you come home from the in-patient rehab, or complete the out-patient rehab, all transgressions are forgiven. Trust is restored. It is assumed that we are “cured”, back to normal. God is good.

Then a very large percent of time, we (the addict) relapses. Unfortunately, the friend/family of the addict takes this as a slap in the face. Like we are doing this to fuck them over. They either didn’t research that the idea of recovery almost never sticks the first go round, or they assume that their family member will be different. One reason , in my humble opinion, that most people fail to stay sober after the first time of going through rehab, is that an addict has to want to get clean.  Many times an addict enters rehab for the first time to pacify their loves ones. This is nothing more than a set up for failure. Merely going through the motions of NA, rehab, whatever is not enough. You have to really work it. Want it. It sort of like looking at a book, but not really reading it. The information is not going to sink in.

When we relapse the lies start up agin ten fold. We are now trying to hide the fact that we failed. We relapsed. We were unable to achieve the lasting sobriety that our loved ones were expecting us to and we are undoubtedly ashamed. Most of the people that we hurt during our first bout of drug use was probably willing to forgive us this time, but each time that we try and fail to surrender to God, we loose more and more people that we care about.

Eventually, inevitably, it comes out that we are using again. We may try to deny it continually, but an arrest happens, or an overdose, or a job loss. Something happens. We fuck up somehow. Usually a good sign is that we never have money or if we have money, we do not have as much as we should.

The people who care about us take the news of our relapse as a personal a front. Why have we done this. We just completed a program. We apologize, but that trust is much harder to gain back each additional time.

More than likely we are encouraged to get back in to treatment ASAP. We are just a little slow, stubborn, they think. We are not (yet) a total failure. If, and most likely when, this go round doesn’t work either, everyone starts to wonder what the fuck is wrong with us? Why don’t we just stop? Can’t we see the pain we are causing? Don’t we care about all of the friends that we are loosing? Most importantly, why are we so fucking selfish? Do we really not care about anybody else?

And I get it. I really do. Someone who doesn’t have this disease, who doesn’t struggle daily with addiction, can not understand. It is heart-breakingly frustrating to watch someone that you love and care about so much kill themselves slowly.

When my husband was serving time in Montgomery County, Maryland, he qualified to serve his time at PRC (Pre Release Center). This actually tries to rehabilitate prisoners. It sets them up with jobs, helps them get their GEDs if they need it, has them go to twice weekly NA or AA meetings. But one rather unique thing it does I takes the inmate’s sponsor (loved one they of their choosing) attend classes before the inmate can earn any at home visits. Since I myself am an addict and have done time, I already knew almost all of the information presented, but it is a fantastic idea. Inmates with little to no family suppose stand a much, much higher chance of becoming a repeat offender. Not everyone in jail  struggles with addiction, but since the majority do, the classes teach the sponsors about their loved ones addictions.

One aspect of addiction that people need to understand, is that the drugs alter the addicts brain. Forever. Our synapses fire differently. We have a shortage of endorphins for the rest of lives. We don’t understand at first, that we are addicted for life. While the first time, it may have taken us months of daily use before we developed a habit, each additional time it only takes two to four  consecutive uses to re-developed said habit. Our habit also picks up where it left off, with terrifying speed. I feel like our families, or friends, sort of feel like we make a huge effort to relapse. Like we use daily for a month before we get dope sick again. I don’t think that have any idea how fast it really happens.

Of course, we lie and betray every subsequent time we start to use again. It is very, very difficult for someone without this awful disease to understand how truly awful we feel when we lie to the people that we love. When in my active addiction, I would, on a rare occasion, ask my mother for money. She would berate me talking about how she was nothing but a bank to me. How I loved getting money from her. The actuality was that I only hit her up for money as an absolute LAST resort. I would have rather done almost anything. It made me feels so worthless, so low. My husband and I were able to come up with almost a thousand dollars a day, so asking her was usually an emergency. Actually, very rarely did the money that she gave me go to drugs. It usually went towards court fees, rental car, or bills one way or another. I had to be very sick to ask her for gate money. Losing the trust of my mother was one of the most terrible, awful side effects of being a heroin addict. Gaining back her trust, her forgiveness is probably the single most important thing to me in my recovery. It something that I work towards daily.

Once we are sober, we want people to hand back of their trust, the keys to their heart instantly. It is not that easy, unfortunately. Once someone betrays you over and over, it seems slightly insane to forgive them. I think the only reason that we are able to be forgiven at all is that people some-what believe that the drugs took over our brains, making us do things that we otherwise never would have done.

As far as karma goes (assuming that you believe that you believe in this sort of thing) we can not expect to be forgiven (and forgiven repeatedly at that) if we refuse to forgive others. We understand relapse. We understand the insanity of addiction. It is important to forgive while still being cautious of trusting too much. We can forgive people while still keeping people at arms length. We have to understand others need to do the same with us. We have to accept that through our actions, whether as a part of a drug induced haze or not, that there is inevitably many people that we have lost forever.

Especially with those who do not understand the disease of addiction, forgiveness may be something that is impossible to achieve. Some people are not the forgiving type. I have many friends and family members that I have done nothing to, except be n addict, that I have lost forever. I have people that have committed one minor transgression that have refused to offer their forgiveness to me after many, repeated heart-felt apologies. This is something that I am forced to come to peace with. There is a Buddhist quote that goes, “Holding on to anger is like trying to throw a torch with your bare hands. You will inevitably get burned.” I take great comfort in this and have stopped dwelling on people’s whose forgiveness I will probably never receive. If they choose to hold on to hate and anger towards me, there is nothing more that I can do to remedy the situation. I have forgiven people. If they choose to let anger eat them alive, so be it.

We can only concern ourselves with those who are willing to let us back into their lives, into their hearts. This does not just go for addicts, but for everyone. It is important to apologize to someone whom you have wronged, but if forgiveness is something that they are refusing to give, fuck it. I know from personal experience that it will eat you up inside. It is not worth it. It is far better to take that energy and focus it towards your recovery, to those who found it deep within their souls to give us trust again, even if just a little.

Culture of Rape

I had written a post recently about the idea of letting go. Releasing demons, forgiving ourselves and those who have wronged us. I decided that I needed to practice what I was preaching. I wrote a Facebook message to the man who raped me telling him that I forgave him.

I told him that I had decided to forgive him solely for the benefit of my psyche. I stated that I didn’t know or care if this made a different in his life one way or another. I can not hold on to the hate, the pain any longer. After about two days, I received a response. It was absolutely shocking to me.

He informed me that my decision to forgive him cam as an utter shock to him. He said that he did not feel that he had done anything that needed to be forgiven. This after he called me from jail. Few years ago saying how sorry he was that he had hurt me. This after about three months ago he wrote me a message saying how much he loved me then and still does to this day. How much he admired and respected me. How his biggest regret in life is the pain that he had caused me. But now, no, he did no wrong by me.

He went on to recap that night as he said he remembered it. He said that remembered that he had spent the night at my house. I had been studying for a test and then we drank peach schnapps. This is for the most part true. However, he didn’t drink all that much looking back on it. He was steadily trying to feed me alcohol, but he drank maybe one glass. It is here that his story veers far from reality. He said that I was talking about how I wished my boyfriend at the time was more aggressive in bed, how I was irritated that I had to initiate sex all the time. I don’t recall “going on” about this, but it does have a slight ring of truth to it.   I have always been sexually aggressive when within the confines of a committed relationship. The issue is that he is using my desire for my boyfriend to take the lead in bed as an excuse for sexual assault. He was “taking the lead” because I wanted it.

This is the excuse given by many a rapist to many a rape victim, isn’t it? We are all asking for it. The chorus to one of my favorite Hole songs goes, “Was she asking for it?/ Was she asking nice?/ Yeah, she was asking for it/ Did she ask you twice?” Wear a short skirt or a low cut top? Asking for it. Dance with a guy at a club? Asking for it. Kiss a guy, but have no desire to take things further? Oh, you are most certainly asking for it. Me? I apparently was literally asking for it.

The fact that I was crying and trying to get out from under him? He states that he remembered that I was upset that my boyfriend would be mad. Yeah, possibly because he said, “You’re such a slut. J*** is going to dump your ass!” Hum, wonder why I would think that my boyfriend might be mad?

What I didn’t know then, and what I wish  wasn’t a truth that I have to know now, is how sadly common rape is. So prevalent in fact that the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (or RAINN) reports that every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted. This comes out to 237,868 victims a year in the United States.

I fell in with the 44% of victims that are under the age of 18. With the 2/3 of assaults that are committed by someone known to the victim. Actually, 38% of rapists are “friends” with their victims. For me, this was the aspect of the rape that fucked me up the most. This man was my best friend. Someone who I trusted. He was not some unknown monster that came out of the darkness when I was on some dark alley. No, this was a man that I trusted enough to admit for the first time that I had been repeatedly molested as a young child. I suppose this gave him a window into a weakness that he could exploit. I made an ideal victim. And this was not just the case with me. No, sadly a female child who is victimized is 7 times more likely to be re-victimized later in life. Ironically, I had heard stories from mutual about two girls who said that this guy raped them, but I believed him whole-heartedly when he told me that they were lying. I later learned what a paths logical liar he is/was. After the night in question, he actually called everyone that we knew and were friends with to tell them that it was I who had raped him! He informed them that I was going around spreading lies about him, and that people should not listen to a word that I had to say. Fortunately, everyone knew that this was bullshit, a complete fabrication, a demonic twisting of reality.

Actually, I suppose it could have been a lot worse. When he called me from jail with his apology, yeah, guess what he was in there for? Not just for rape, but kidnapping, sexual sadism and holding someone against their will. He was again charged a few years later with sexual assault, so I was far from his only victim.

A rape changes a woman’s life forever, in all aspects. I knew him, he was my best friend actually. Obviously, I have severe trust issues now. I have very few actual, true friends. I can not near to be hurt again, I would rather just be shut off from people. This is no way to live, but I can not get over the fear of being vulnerable and then crushed again. I have severe PTSD, while much better now, will never be gone.

PTSD is an absolutely horrible, alienating disease. Some nights, I would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and shaking. Other nights, my husband would wake me up because he would say that I was crying and saying, “No!”, over and over. I relived that night thousands of times, each as vivid and painful as the night it happened. PTSD makes the victim impossibly needy. The lack of sleep contributes to an extreme paranoia. I still to this day think that everyone is just waiting to fuck me over. I am more than cautiously guarded, I am I obsessed with the idea of people wanting to hurt me for their own sick amusement. The flashbacks are similar to virtual reality, while you are in the middle of one, it seems totally real. Similar to acid flashbacks. (That is why acid is one of the only drugs that I have never done. I am terrified of the flashback that I may experience.) To the person experiencing them, they are sickeningly real.

The problem is that my story is no longer shocking. With one in three women being raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their life, as a society we are all to used to rape. There is a whole show, Law and Order: SVU, that deals exclusively with rapes. Other shows, the CSI’s, and what not deal with crimes against women so much that it becomes common place. Every episode the writers try to out do the previous episode and show something more graphic and shocking then the last one. All this does is numb us to female brutalization. They are tied up with a neat little bow, in tidy one hour time slots. It makes it easy to forget that in real life cases are rarely solved this easily. I went to the police following my rape. I was treated like shit. I was told that it would come down to his word versus mine. At the time, he had no prior rape or assault charges filed against him. Plus, I did let him sleep at my house. I made him a bed on the floor of my room. We had had sex previously. It was pretty much my fault. Of course the cop didn’t say this last part, but they said the rest. They made it very clear that they didn’t think that I had a case. They filed away my statement and sent me on my way. Nice way to stand up for victims rights. This started my still present hatred for police.

We as rape victims are not nameless, faceless people. The pain doesn’t go away after the assailant goes to jail (if we are that lucky). It never really goes away. Somehow, someway, we need to teach the men who think that it is ok to do this sort of thing how much pain it inflicts. While they might be able to forget about it, convince themselves that we were asking for it anyway, we don’t get off so easy. It us, the victims, who serve a life sentence. Yeah, the pain eases slightly, but the scars remain for eternity. They cut too deep to ever really disappear.

I was hoping that forgiving this man would give me some closure. All it did was open a whole new bag of worms.

Confused Thinking and Conflicting Emotions

I have a book that is “Daily Advice From the Heart”. It is one of those books that has daily inspirations. This one is quotes from the Dalai Lama. Today the message was, “If we really want to make our lives meaningful and happy, we should begin by thinking sanely. We should cultivate the human qualities we all possess but which we bury under a heap of confused thinking and conflicting emotions.”

This could have been written about me. I am an over thinker to the extreme. Crippling self doubt is probably my second biggest flaw. Under, over-thinking everything. Looking critically at myself, I must say that part of the appeal of drugs for me was probabably that it gave me a way to shut up the voice in my head. Notice that I said voice, singular. I don’t have multiple voices in my head in the stereotypical, “The voices in my head made me do it” way. The voice is just mine, but it doesn’t shut up. It keeps me up at night.

I have been diagnosed with ADD (a long with a host of other things). This again goes back to the overly critical voice in my head. She is rambling about so much shit, changing directions at hyper-speed that it is incredably difficult to stop and focus on something. School, tv, reading, anything. But it is more than just a general lack of attention or razor fine focus. It is that my mind is a warp speed tornado, thoughts swirling around as a massive conglomerate of ideas that I somehow have to file into tidy little folders.

The thoughts that are whirling around at a truly dizzying speed are more than just the general conviction that I am not good enough. Oh no. That would be too easy. No, no. With me it is that I am not pretty enough. I am too smart to be a desirable woman. I am smart yet have accomplished far too infinitesimal. It is that I am so unlikable. I want friends, but I push everyone away. I am a cold bitch, yet I care far too much about far too many things. I am too scared to put my self out there and I hate myself for not achieving what I should have. I wish I was a super mom and I am not.

On top of all of this, I am a dichotomy of so many opposites. I am a feminist who can count the number of people that I have slept with on my fingers (and not use them all up), but I am an absolute freak in bed. Full on “50 Shades of Grey”. I am hardened all the way to my core, but I care about all of societies ills. I am a smart, strong women, but I am incredibly insecure and weak.

To have a meaningful happy life we must think sanely, huh? I wish. I am trying. Dalai Lama is correct. Who knows what I could, what any of us could, accomplish if I could dig my potential out from all of my self doubt. I am now at least able to tell the world, “I am an addict. I am clean, but I will always be a heroin/cocaine addict. If you can’t handle it, Fuck you!”. It is not just the blog. I used to wear long selves all the time to cover up the scars on my arms. Track marks, scars from horrible infections that came from missing shots of heroin. I am now able to look at them as battle scars, not marks of shame.

I am trying to follow many Buddhist teachings as a part of my recovery. I find the notions of helping others, of the recognition that holding on to anger only serves to harm us incredibly insightful. I think a lot of addicts constantly berate and criticize themselves. This can only serve to hold us back. Sometimes we deep down do this on purpose so that we have an excuse to use again. We are not terrible, awful people. We have a disease, like any other disease. A disease that may have made us do things that we regret, but we can’t go on hating ourselves forever for these actions. We will repeat these actions over and over if we don’t get over ourselves.

It is not sane thinking to expect that we should be perfect, and then beat ourselves up when we are not. What the Dalai Lama is getting at is that merely accepting who we are is the biggest step towards ultimate happiness. I am working on it and so can you.


Forgiveness (and family)

I just posted my first blog post earlier today. I am feeling overly ambitious this morning (and I have given up on sleep as I have been up since four am) so I am going to post another. The topics forgivenesses.

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.