A TAR Tale by Alice

I experienced sexual abuse when I was a little girl. I told one of my caregivers and they didn’t do anything about it. I held that secret for several years, which wreaked havoc on my self-esteem and sense of security. I got the message “You are crazy and you don’t matter.” I don’t think that was the intended message from some of the people that were in my life, but I believed it.

I also suffered emotional abuse from a trusted caregiver in my childhood. When I was in my teens, I discovered alcohol and drank to numb the pain and to cope in society. I, of course, found myself in countless toxic relationships with people throughout my alcohol addiction.

My mother, who had been my biggest support system died when I was a young adult. It was devastating. I struggled with mental illness and alcoholism for several years and was hospitalized several times for suicidal issues. When I got honest about the abuse I experienced during my childhood, some of my family and friends called me a liar. It was very painful and I felt very alone. I finally got sober after I was sexually assaulted by a musician. I went to treatment, joined AA and worked the steps with a sponsor.

After about 12 years of working on myself in recovery (including a few relapses), I have eight years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol as I write this. Over the years of my sobriety I have done a lot of therapy, sought outside help from doctors and non-traditional healing modalities.

There have been many helpful people on my journey but unfortunately I have also experienced narcissistic abuse in recent years within my 12 step community, with medical professionals, and my extended family. Those were difficult lessons too. I didn’t realize that some people who were trying to help me were manipulating me, controlling me, diminishing me, lying to me, and taking advantage of me. I learned how I was contributing to the problems and learned how to take accountability for my own life. I set boundaries with a co-parent. I found a new sponsor and new 12 step meetings. I found a new doctor. I had to find a support system that empowered me. I am currently doing the 12 steps in Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families with the intention to heal on a deeper level.

I am happily married and raising two healthy children. It has not been perfect or easy but I do see the positive outcomes that have occurred for me and my loved ones through the work I have done. I am grateful for solutions and all the helpful people in the world. My hope is that everyone has an opportunity to have a happy and healthy life no matter what has happened to them or the mistakes they have made in their past. Thank you for letting me share my story. May we survive and then thrive! Much Love!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments