My Struggle With Addiction Part I: Where it Started

First off, let me start by saying that as I'm writing this right now, I'm struggling. I'm struggling really hard, and I needed to say it. I know there are others out there struggling as well, and whether this ends up being relatable to my readers, or educational, I want others to truly understand. 

Now, I don't know if I'm even going to publish this. I know I'll get hate for it. I know I'll get bullied for it by adults who will never know what it's like living outside their own perfect little world. It's already happened. So I know what's coming, but a small part of me doesn't care. I also can't say for sure, that if this gets published, when it actually will happen. It could be tomorrow, it could be a month from now, or it could be a year from now. There are so many factors that will determine where this goes from here. All I know is that this is my story.

I have never hidden my addiction. I've always been open about it, but I've never been detailed in it. Even family and close friends don't know when and where it started, how it developed into what it did, or how it's effected me even after so many years of being clean. 

This is a long one, I've broken it into three parts, but it's an important one. 

The summer before my senior year of high school, I was sexually assaulted by a "friend", or well, I guess he wasn't truly a friend though in the end. And sadly, this wouldn't even be the last time I fell for something like this. It ended up happening a few more times because life has a way of putting me in situations that are bad for me. So straight off you can see where my lack of trust and purposeful lack of friends started out. What made matters worse, was when it happened, I was stuck. I had no other way home because I had rode into town with him, in his car. He called to say he needed to drop off film at Walmart and wanted to know if I wanted to go with him and hang out, so I said okay because I just kind of wanted out of the house for a bit and it was a nice day. He did drop off his film, but then when he drove up behind the shopping plaza beside Walmart in the vacant field and proceeded to sexually assault me even after I had stated numerous times that I was uncomfortable and didn't want to do anything with him. Afterwards, we went back into Walmart for him to pick up his photos and I purposely sought out someone I knew that worked there because I did not want to be around this person anymore. This guy I was with acted like nothing happened. Like he didn't just ruin me a few moments before. I was embarrassed and confused about everything. I didn't know what to do. I blamed myself. I was stupid to hang out with this person who I truthfully had only known for a few weeks, by myself. It was all my fault. I brought this on myself. 

When I did find my friend who worked there, I kept asking him when he got off work. He insisted that it was not for another 5 hours because he just got there. I was gutted. I didn't want to tell him why I needed him. That was my shame coming out. I was ashamed of what happened to me. Not to mention, the man who had just violated me was within arms length. It's not like I could say anything even if I wanted to. I just wanted an excuse to not have to leave with this man who just forced me to do things I didn't want to do. My friend could tell there was something wrong because he kept looking from me to the guy I was with. Feeling like I had no other choice, I left with the man who assaulted me. Luckily, he took me directly home. But what makes matters worse is that he stayed outside striking up a conversation with my dad because my dad had known his dad. He stood there talking to my dad for 30 minutes while I watched out the window silently begging him to just leave and feeling sick to my stomach. I didn't eat much that night even though my mom had spent all day in the kitchen in the summer heat making the equivalent to a Thanksgiving dinner. That's the thing, the memory of what happened is so burned into my mind that I can still remember exactly what we had for dinner that night. 

I struggled with that so much that summer. I was still struggling with it when school started again. Then, literally the second day of school, someone I looked up to for years; who seemed to have everything going for them, took their own life. It effected everyone so much because he was popular and his mom worked at the school. So they made the decision to let school out early the moment we all got the news that it had happened. Meanwhile, word got around that I was seen out with the new "friend" who had assaulted me over the summer, and rumors started. I was relentlessly bullied by people who had heard that I was having sex with this guy. When I tried to explain that wasn't what happened, no one believed me. I actually got called a homewrecker because unknown to me until that very moment, this guy was married and his wife was pregnant at the time. This made things even worse for me. Both of these things were happening at the same time. It broke me. On top of that, I had also just got out of an abusive relationship and my ex had called me daily to guilt trip me by telling me he was going to kill himself and that it was all my fault. He stopped for about a week, but then started again to tell me that he tried to overdose because of me and ended up in the hospital. More guilt trips. More stress. More things I couldn't carry on my shoulders anymore. 

My Senior Portrait. Taken the summer it all started. 

This is when it started. 

I sought out friends who I knew sold drugs. I needed something desperately and my friend Justin had "gifted" me with a sandwich baggie of ecstacy.  Another friend had "gifted" me with what he called a sampler pack of various pain killers. It still wasn't bad at that point. I hadn't taken them daily or anything like that, just once or twice because I hated how I felt on them. I held onto the rest. They ended up coming in handy when things got worse. What I should have done, was flushed them.

Through the rest of my senior year, I was bullied and harassed by the abusive ex who guilt tripped me and his new girlfriend. They would spit on me in the hallway, send death threats and other bullshit to my other friends and threatened them just for being friends with me, and at one point, even spread a rumor that I brought a gun to school which resulted in me being pulled from class and having my locker searched. He followed me to my brother's house one day after school and had walked behind me threatening to beat the shit out of me and leave me in a ditch. Thankfully two other friends walking close by stepped in and walked me the rest of the way because I was terrified. I was an honor roll student. I had high test scores and a bright future. But a person can only take so much, so I begged my guidance counselor to give me the paper work to quit school. She refused because she couldn't understand why such a good student would want to quit. I was never in trouble and my grades were great. I started purposely being the bad student. I skipped classes all the time, I enlisted a friend to help me take another friend's car from the school parking lot and go on a joy ride through town. And yes, we joke and laugh about this now, but I'll be honest, it's not funny. I was in a really bad place. I had meeting after meeting with guidance, my assistant principal, and the head principle. Somehow I managed to graduate with my class. A year of complete bullshit during the time when it was supposed to be the best year of my teenage life was finally done. But instead of relief and things getting better, they did what I never thought possible and got worse. 

And that will bring us to part II....


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