I wanted to share my story. I am 46 year old female with 2 children and been married twice and divorced twice. At an early age I was entering my first drug rehab at 17 for alcohol. Which i would remain sober for a little over a year. The day I graduated from high school I moved out. Started to have parties and before I knew it I became a full blown drug addict hooked on crack cocaine. I entered my second rehab at 21 years old. Right after I completed that program I started talking to a man in prison. He got out two months later. I always wanted a boyfriend to feel loved and wanted. I ended up moving in with him within a month of him getting out.

I always thought I was strong. But he slowly chipped away at my soul. I remained sober from substances but he became my addiction.

I stood by his side for 7 years of abuse. Verbal, emotional and physical. And waited 3 times for him while he was in and out of prison. I had the courage to leave him. But little did I know I would pay a price for that freedom.

He ended up raping me and assaulting me and stealing my car and money.  This case was in the news and went to trial. In the beginning I wanted to numb out and started to drink and numb out the only way I knew how. I found another abusive man within a month and he abused me as well. But a miracle happened.

I got pregnant 4 months after the rape, which gave me purpose at that time to stay clean. I was able to stand up on the witness stand for 5 straight days and speak the truth. He was found guilty and got 15 to life. ( a lot happened during that trial that would make a great movie.)

That following January I gave birth to a baby boy. To this day I believe he saved my life. For the next 2 1/2 years I focused on my son and myself. I was a strong single mom. Owned my own home took care of my son all on my own. But once again life sent me heart ache. My older brother was an addict as well, and had just served a year for possession. He had a job and I had him stay with me for two weeks so he could save money for his own place. About this time my son's biological father got out of prison. He wanted to see his son and I wouldn't allow it. When my brother moved out he let the biological father of my son stay with him. Two weeks after my brother moved out he stopped answering his phone on a Monday night. I called every day. I knew in my heart that something was wrong.

I left work Thursday at lunch and found my brother dead of an overdose. This was the most painful thing I have ever felt. Still to this day my heart aches. I use to question why me? Why did I have to find him? I realized I was the strong one at that time that needed to be there for my parents and younger brother.

That was almost 16 years ago and trust me I had two failed marriages. With abuse towards me and my children another child another addiction to opioids. I’ve realized I was co-dependent. But you know what? I wouldn't change a single thing in my life. I got help again and just got 9 years of sobriety last November.

What made me change is my children at first then I started to see I was worth it as well. I am a beautiful disaster. I am humble, I am sober, I am understanding, and most of all I know my worth. I work at an amazing drug rehab. I am a good mom. I have had full custody of both my children. No one can make you happy. You have to find that in yourself.

Amber A.

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June 11, 2018