I start this chapter with, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could have tucked myself away in a small cabin, surrounded by trees, a great lake in the distance? That’s the stuff dreams are made of, but not reality.” I wrote those words about 15 years ago.
Can I show you a piece of what God has done in my life? This is a picture of where I live today. It is a house, surrounded by trees, a great lake in the distance. ONLY GOD.
Forewarning: This book is intended for the brokenhearted person stumbling through life looking for answers, crawling through pain, trying to find meaning to it all. — It is a tough read by all measures. The graphic depiction of abuse may very likely open wounds. If you have been through trauma, take good care while listening or reading.
The audiobook will be available in a few weeks.
From the book A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own,
Chapter 14 – Purgatory
“Pain demands to be felt.”-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Life around me did, indeed, go on. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could have tucked myself away in a small cabin, surrounded by trees, a great lake in the distance? That’s the stuff dreams are made of, but not reality.
I found myself gasping for air as work demands pressed in on me and my children needed more at times than I could give. I was drowning and just wanted to sink into an abyss. I’d fantasize about contracting some serious disease. If I were sick, I’d have to stop trying. If I had an illness that people could see, they’d understand why I was too exhausted to carry on. Someone might see why I couldn’t find the strength to continue, and it wouldn’t be my fault that my strength had failed me. As I sank beneath the waves, I could blame it on my health.
I wasn’t the best at picking men, but men were certainly good at picking me. I’d currently found myself struggling to leave a relationship I’d been in for some time. This man cheated, used drugs, and consistently tore me down – all of which I was used to. I still hadn’t found the worth to say no to this kind of treatment. In fact, during this time, I found it almost impossible to be around healthy people. I couldn’t afford any more judgment of who I was or was not. So, hanging out with a cheating drug addict was somewhat easy. To be fair, he had some good things wrapped up in his package, too.
During an off time in my relationship, I began seeing someone else. My ex didn’t like this and decided he’d kick open my door and take what he wanted. The man in my house was married. Separated, but still married. He wanted no part in protecting me in any way. I was on my own to fight off my intruder. Eventually, he left, and I had to phone the police for some feeling of protection. The county prosecutor’s office took the case and charged him with a felony. I had just initiated an ongoing battle for the next many months.
At the same time, I was engaged in pre-trial negotiations with the firm I had worked at during Cinnamon’s misconduct. While I had an employment attorney handling the case, she asked me to file a state bar complaint about Cinnamon, as this would help our case. Now, when you stand against attorneys and try to plead misconduct, it’s not an easy task. But you bet I took it head-on and resolutely. I built my facts brick by brick.
During this time, Brit came to me one morning and lifted the sleeve of her shirt. She said, “Mom, look.” Aghast, I looked at my precious firstborn’s forearm. It was again wrought with the confusion of a heroin addiction. My precious little girl was still in a battle for her life. I could not lose her. Everything else had to stop until I could find her help. I had no time to grieve, I simply had to spring into action, though I wasn’t sure what.
I started calling rehab centers, one after another. Finally, I found one in California. The research I had done told me to get her out of her current environment, so I did. I cashed out my retirement to pay for most of the cost of the facility and bought a plane ticket for her that day. The rehab center gave me a list of items that we’d need: two weeks’ worth of clothes, toiletries, a toothbrush, paste, shampoo, lotions, etc., a razor (that they’d hold for her use), and heroin.
“Wait! What did you just say?”
“Heroin,” came her reply. “If you don’t keep her high, she won’t get on the plane.”
. . .