It’s true. I have been spent nearly the last ten years blogging about my life, the many struggles I have faced, such as surviving childhood sexual abuse, escaping into a self-destructive life, working in the sex industry and becoming involved in drugs and unsavory things.
I almost died.
In the early 1990’s, as a young woman who already felt that her life was over, I was ready to end it. I had no cries for help, I told no one of my plans, I simply drank a bottle of furniture polish that had the magic words “May be fatal if swallowed on the back.”
I drank it down, expecting to escape into a forever state of nothingness. It was what I wanted. Nevertheless, fate is funny and that’s not how life turned out. I believe it was because some kind of divine intervention but the night I almost died, an upstairs neighbor (whom I really didn’t know and still don’t know his name all these years later to thank him) found me unconscious and called 911. He saved my physical life.
Another man saved my soul—and the direction of my life by getting me into treatment with no money and no insurance. I do know his name, Tim Callahan—and I thank him every single night before I go to sleep because those kinds of gifts are ones that you can never repay.
So I told my story—heck—I yelled it from the rooftops. Not to toot my own horn because one doesn’t overcome the kinds of things I did without a lot of help from other people. I also felt it was important for people to know that treatment works, that people can change, and that it should be as easy to get into treatment, as it is to buy a drink or a drug on the street.
I told it all.
But then my book, The Purified, came out and with it, an onslaught of judgement—and punishment because of being open about my past. Just today, the university for which I teach yanked all of my classes for the remainder of the year…and something tells me that it’s not because they have scheduling difficulties but because they read the inside and outside back cover of The Purified, which again talks about my past, my challenges, and my triumphs.
The world is judgmental but that’s okay. I’ll still talk about my past. If it helps one person get into treatment, if it helps parents remain hopeful that their loved one can change, to let people know that when there is life, there is hope, then I’ll keep talking about it.
But one thing is clear: you can never really escape others’ judgement of your past. But then those people shouldn’t matter to you anyway. They don’t to me. There is more to my future than my past.