Where do I fit? (long)

Old 09-24-2003, 11:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: sarnia ontario
Posts: 128
Where do I fit? (long)

I feel hesitant at writing here because I am not completely 'healed' yet. Despite years and years of attending meetings etc, I seem to have come to yet another turn in the road where right back I need to head. Another layer of stuff to deal with and who knows where that will lead. Closer to God and somewhere happier is what past tells me.

Exactly what I'm recovering from has been one of the biggest questions along the way. Not truly an alcoholic yet attracted to the program I have attended meetings and had long years of sobriety which I still enjoy today. And yet, I choose not to celebrate a 'sobriety date' because I don't clearly define my recovery as surrounded around alcohol. I never really had to 'sober up'. I can relate to many other 'symptoms' though and so when I go to meetings I choose to rely on the tradition that reads 'the only requirment is a desire to stay sober" and not on the length of time.

Alanon certainly attracted me and within those walls I could certainly relate. Coda, Acoa, and even a group I was fortunate enough to attend while I lived in Victoria, Canada--ISA (Incest survivors anonymous) was truly helpful. Recovery for me has taken place within the walls of the twelve step programs and also without. Therapy has been an integral part of my healing--both individual and group as have Violence Programs, Assertiveness Training classes, parenting classes and basically anything else that presented itself when the timing appeared right.


Born in Scotland, I was raised the youngest of 3 children in England to a military man and his wife. My father left the navy around the time of my birth and my mother and he had communication problems. To all extensive purposes I was a normal child living in what I would consider normal circumstances for the kind of family I was in. My parents were both children of the 2nd world war and grew up themselves in much emotional starvation and violence as was normal for the day. We were a military family by several generations and like most military families there was a very strict code of behaviour. We were to obey this even after the military because it was the only way my parents knew. There was one way to do things and that was my fathers way and my mother 'knew better' than to disobey or even question her husbands methods.

I grew up believing I could never survive on my own. I was emotionally and spiritually beaten down as a young child to believe that I could never make healthy choices--indeed choice was not an option back then--I was useless, no good and unlovable. I idolized my older sister and often wished I was her. Everyone else in the family were better and more able than I and so I took the role of the comedian and flighty artistic type--someone always had to be there to 'look after me' even after I got to the age where the siblings looking after me had looked after me. I was musical and could write and draw and those activities I loved and did well in. Anything practical I was a total dud at whilst my sister was the complete opposite of me.

We came to Canada when I was 11 and I isolated since I was different than the other children. I joined the piping community and learned about alcohol and how it felt to be 'important', almost one of but not quite due to age. At 14 I was molested by one of my pipe majors and from that experience the messages I learned as a child were all reinforced very strongly.

I lived through by focusing on music. I learned to play the oboe in highschool and the piano and entered university music. I was one of the first ever wind students to be make the orchestra at the school I attended and enjoyed quite a few accomplishments of that nature. On one of the orchestra trips I met my husband--a man I did not like very much and one who date-raped me on our first date. This was in the time when date-rape was not recognized in our courts and so, from parental pressure and inside pressure I married the guy. My son was born and later a daughter and then my husband decided to join the military. After 3 years of absolute hell, I found myself my first job and left him.

All the way up, before recovery it was as though I was several different people. On the outside I was whoever the most important person wanted me to be. On the inside I was lost. I'd become a Christian shortly before the molestation but because I took responsability for it, I believed I was damned for all eternity. My memory was terrible and I was full of shame. I could not remember from one day to the next and I was forever afraid to go to bed at night for fear of what I'd wake up to the next morning. I battled with food--starving myself for long periods of time and then binging on sugar and coke. This was something that would get me in deep trouble later on and is something I still have to watch even today.

What happened?

A couple of years after I left my marriage, I went back to university and I met a guy who introduced me to pot. This I enjoyed though it scared me. It helped me cope though--helped me to sleep at night and so I took it. That year I was doing a larger than full course load, being a single Mom and I started having flashbacks--though I didn't know thats what they were. I thought I was losing my mind. My father had brought us a ton of alcohol for Christmas and one night I got very drunk and slashed my wrists. I didn't really want to die--just wanted the pain to stop and this appeared to be the only avenue there was.

rom there it was a long process. I was questioned at the hospital and released with the understanding that I would go to councelling starting the next day. I went and they weighed me. I was 5 7 (still am) and weighted in at 98 lbs so the fear was I was too light. See, when I was stressed I'd forget to eat. I was so used to being 'outside' my body that I seldom felt hungry or noticed when I had to go to the bathroom. As a result I had a few infections that needed to be dealt with and I had to start paying attention to eating since if I dropped below 97 the threat was hospitalization.

My first 7 years or so was spent in therapy for the childhood stuff. It took me a few years before I could comprehend that what went on in my home didn't take place in other homes and constituted abuse. During that time I both drank and smoked pot on occasion and wrestled with suicidal thoughts though I never harmed myself like that again. I also finished at the university and managed to put myself through college by playing guitar and singing on the streets--housing my children and paying for daycare and tuition and all of that. To this day, I look back at that period in amazement b/c I'm not quite sure where I got the nerve or how I managed to do that.

When I graduated from college the boyfriend I had at the time left me. I immediately started dating one of the worst persons I could possibly date and I was headed for disaster. I was too angry and brittal almost to notice. We both played and sang and formed a duo that played in some of the bars in the town we lived and made plans to move out west. In my therapy I was at a place where I recognized I needed to 'get away' physically from my parents and so this seemed to work out well. I changed my name, first informing the police I was doing this and why--and we moved out to Victoria. The day I got there with my 2 children, he turned into a man who was very much like my father.
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