12 steps

‘I loved my older cousin. At 8, I learned the only way to be friends with him was to have sex with him.’: Daughter and mother in addiction recovery together after years of childhood trauma, ‘If that isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is’

“I remember the bright red carpet in his closet. This ongoing ‘event’ became our secret, I held onto this secret for close to 15 years. I never got over what happened to me, I stuffed it so far down. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I finally surrendered. I had enough. I needed to give myself a chance to live.”

‘Rage rushed through me. Her profile picture was a photo with MY husband, faces smashed together side by side, smiling ear to ear. Can you imagine? That was MY HUSBAND.’: Woman thrives after leaving cheating husband, ‘I demanded more from life’

“I dialed the number. ‘Who are you? Why are you talking to my husband so much?’ She responded with, ‘Who is your husband?’ I told her his name. Her response baffled me. She said, ‘Oh… wow… I KNEW he had to be married.’ As if she was proud of herself.”

‘I heard two words: ‘fugitive felon.’ I caught my son’s eye. His shackles made my stomach flutter uncontrollably. His public defender smoothed her beige suit, and approached him.’

“The severely criminal charge was, in fact, a reference to my 24-year-old. I never imagined that term would apply to him. An unexpected call helped me through his transfer to prison. It had been weeks without contact when I answered the unfamiliar number. I fought back tears. He told me how much my son loved me.”

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

‘Calm down, it’s not like you’re gonna see the guy you robbed.’ Well guess what. I walked up to the church, and guess whose face I saw? The man I had just robbed. He was the greeter.’

“I couldn’t get out. I was terrified. I walked up to him with tears in my eyes, and he gave me a hug. ‘You are in the right place,’ he told me. ‘When I was your age, I was doing the same thing.’ I had no idea he was in recovery. That I was the first time I believed there was hope for me.”

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