Name: Thelma C Locke
From: Grants Pass, OR
The Perfect Storm
The Perfect Storm
I am the adult survivor of childhood incest from both sides of my family. I grew up with a narcissistic, devote alcoholic father who was extremely abusive. And an extremely co-dependent mother. I like to call this “The Perfect Storm” for creating an alcoholic/addict such as myself.
When I was just fourteen years old, I decided that the behavior of my family was not acceptable. So, I told. By doing so, I was abandoned by my entire family. Everyone I ever knew or cared about left.
My father was sentenced to ten years flat time in the Arizona State Penitentiary on December 24,1986 for what he had done to me. I remember the judge in the case said that if he could give my father longer, he would have. Then he said, “You have given that little girl a life sentence.” I did not know what that meant at the time.
Almost immediately, while in the foster care system, I found drugs and alcohol. I remember from the very first drink that nothing mattered anymore. I had found my solace. I eventually ran away to live a life where I did not have to be under the systems thumb. Where I could pursue my life as an alcoholic/addict.
As you can probably imagine, I went from one abusive relationship to another. Thus, adding to my trauma. The whole time drinking and shooting various drugs in my arm. It did not even matter to me what I was using if it numbed my feelings of abandonment, fear, and neglect. This behavior lasted for over three decades.
I am 48 years old now. My clean date is November 28,2019. I finally came to a place where staying in my addiction was scarier than getting sober. I remember thinking that I would rather die than to continue to live in the hole that I had dug for myself over the years. I screamed to whatever entity out there in the universe that was bigger than me. And the universe answered.
Today, I am addressing my trauma and my addictions at the same time. I have learned that my trauma triggers and my relapse triggers are identical. It has been a long road to recovery. I am confident that as long as I do not drink or use, I will continue to recover.
I believe that I had to go through these things to help others like me who just need someone to understand. Someone who knows what it feels like to be stuck in the muck and mire of trauma and addiction. Why else would my mind and my spirit be restored.
I am nearing the end of my first term at Rogue Community College here in Grants Pass, Oregon. I intend to pursue a career in the recovery field. With a focus on Dual Diagnosis. I am in school fulltime. And will be registering for summer/fall terms on Wednesday May 26, 2021. Also, fulltime. I will eventually receive my AAS in Human Services. And hopefully further.
It upsets me that society today would rather judge those who are stuck in the muck and mire than to help. They tend to “cookie cut” every addict. The new laws that make drug possession a ticket crime tells me that they just do not want to take the time to help. That government and society at large would rather sweep it all under the carpet.
I do not know how to fix it. I do know that I want to be part of the solution. I will give the rest of my time on this earth being a part of that solution. One person at a time if I must.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Thelma Christine Locke