I was the maid-of-honor at my sister's wedding. I had a beautiful hand-made dress and a round-trip plane ticket to sunny Florida. I even had my own glam squad waiting for me upon my arrival. And my family. They'd all be there. We were close. Like really close —well, as close as one can be when you were living like I was at the time. Regardless though, I should have been excited. And I was. It's just, I had a secret. I had a big secret. I was a full-blown opiate addict after all, pretending my boyfriend, Brad and I weren't selling pills to support our addiction. We were supposed to wean ourselves off in preparation for this trip. When we realized our plan failed, I think we thought we could just wing it. Because we knew TSA wouldn't approve of our illicit drug use; so we weren't about to smuggle narcotics across state lines —let alone through airport security. So when I find my mom's Klonopin prescription in her maroon medicine bag, Brad distracts her as I cop a few without permission. And after that, well —we had fun but it was also one argument after the next. And when Brad thinks one of the groomsmen is hitting on me, shit hits more than the fan. Here's what happened.
For the longest time, I thought I was crazy. And yeah, I definitely am. It's just, back then, during my active addiction days, I kept doing the same thing over and over again, which as you know is the definition of insanity. I was expecting different results. I was lonely and sad and I was all of those things because that’s who I thought I was. I mean, I did some pretty bad things. And I kept doing those bad things as a way to escape from the bad things I kept doing. And because of those bad things, I found myself in some ugly situations I wouldn't otherwise have been in. Because I was addicted to pills. I know it sounds crazy but, it seemed that all the awful things I told myself about myself were, in fact, true. Today, I know that's not the case. But I didn't understand that for a long time. Even today as a recovering addict, I can't erase the bad shit I did. That was me. It always will be. It's like yeah, I'm a different me, but I still get triggered. And when I'm triggered, it feels like it's happening all over again. I feel unsafe. I feel sick. And everything hurts. I'm sweating and I have to sit down. I can't numb the pain away. I couldn't even do that back then. Which got me thinking —if it happens to me, chances are, it happens to you too. The thing is, if you're aware of certain things like why you do the things you do —well, that can help you overcome them too. And we're all different. Each person will experience different symptoms at different times. Making it of extreme importance to know all of them. Here are four.
In hindsight, it’s crazy because you look back and you’re like red flag, red flag, red flag. How did I not see all that? Probably because he always played the hero. Except, he was the villain the whole time. It's just, I lied about all that. Because according to my family, Bruce was the only one who could get through to me back then —they thought, he could do the same thing again. So, my mom buys me a one-way plane ticket and unknowingly sends me to Satan himself. Because his version of healing wasn’t what she had in mind. Because I was held hostage, against my will for nearly 30 fucking days. I was forced to do things —sexual things I never consented too. If I said no, he'd do it anyway. If I tried to fight him off, he'd stay there longer. So yeah, I did what I was told. And yet, somehow, Bruce's evil nature held a strange charm over me. It made me chase false dreams. I suppose chasing highs is probably more accurate; but regardless of the in-between, he kept me chained to a lie that ultimately destroyed me (and my self-worth).