Residential Program, 1996
It’s been over 21 years since I completed Stonehenge. Before that, my life was a haze of booze and drugs – mostly drugs. I was using a steady stream of coke, heroin and meth.
It was while I was at Stonehenge that the long-buried memories of the horrific sex abuse that I suffered as a young child began to surface. My abuser was a neighbor. It began when I was about 9 and lasted for about 3 years. Not only did he sexually abuse me, but he used me to make child pornography and trafficked me to another man. Once clean and sober, the memories unraveled. The flashbacks were like reliving it all again. I didn’t sleep. Sometimes I didn’t know where I was. Sometimes I was back there. It was terrifying.
These memories completely overwhelmed me. I had almost completed the six month program at Stonehenge when I left through a window in the dark one night. I went back to using to hide from the memories – drugs squashed them almost completely. But I was afraid I might die from using. After a few scary experiences I mustered the courage to come back to Stonehenge for a second time. Over the next six months I worked through the trauma and flashbacks with the help of some amazing people at Stonehenge. If it was not for them, I would surely be dead today.
Today I live my life honoring the courage that young child was able to show, those many years ago, to survive and function. In a way I am lucky because I found the answer as to why I used drugs. Some addicts are not that lucky.
Although today those memories still haunt me, I have found ways to cope and live. I have two wonderful young boys who are the light of my life. I have a terrific job that I have been at for 21 years. I own a house and enjoy relationships with friends and family. I have come full circle. I want to tell my story to help others make the journey.