Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brandi's story. Part one of my addiction series.

This story completely breaks my heart, but it also gives me a new way to look at a person who has struggled with addiction. In such a different light, In my series of talking about addiction & viewing both sides and the outcome.. This makes me know that an amazing women this person is and hopefully you will be able to know that it takes so much strength and the love of God to get you through this.  Here is the story of Brandi, Brandi’s story starts with her childhood. 

My childhood was not a great picture. We were far from the Brady Bunch or the Cosby show, as far back as I can remember we were very poor, to be honest we were actually dirt poor growing up. We didn't have much at all, to the point that in the first grade I had one outfit.  Every night my mom would make sure she washed it.  More times then not we would be so broke that we ate out of Albertson garbage cans in the back of the grocery store. Growing up this was normal for me, this was my reality. it was my truth.
 My mother couldn't take it so she divorced my dad and got a job, After that my dad left to go to California I ended up moving with him. That's when my life went down hill. My dad ended up molesting me. Even when I tried to stand up to him he didn’t change it continued.  After a long period of time, the first chance I got I went back to my moms, but because of the shame I couldn’t bring myself to tell her.  So here we went from poor to upper middle class with a beautiful home that my mom work so hard to own. & then she worked even harder for her to end up owning her own restaurant but her being gone turned my life to even a bigger nightmare of nightly terror and abuse, thinking that it would never get worse then having what happened with my dad, but it did.

I was scared to go home everyday. I didn't know about alcohol back than but my step dad was a full blown alcoholic and made us his punching bags every night. I needed a way to get out so I started babysitting to make my own money. At first it was a great job and I enjoyed it so much. After a while the husband & and father of the children I was babysitting began to molest me I told my mom and she told his wife. Making it into a huge mess he made me feel so gross. My ideas of men had been completely messed up at this point and anyone I trusted hurt me, physically, sexually, and mentally. I was a little girl and there was no one to protect me. 
Then back at home things just got worse when my mom finally had enough she finally left my step dad, another start over.  When I turned sixteen we moved out of state to a sunny happier place. Finally I thought that now it would just be me being protected and safe and maybe the start for me to heal. We lived with my aunt and it was here where I first tried cocaine. Then at the age of seventeen I was addicted to the gate way drug of marijuana. Not thinking that was a big deal and to that point I was never a big drinker either. I always worked and I was so responsible.  
Let me jump ahead When I was twenty years old I met a man, we started dating and that is when I found out I was pregnant and scared and thought it just wasn’t a good time to have a baby and so I decided to put the baby up for adoption. When I delivered him and our eyes locked for the first time there was just no way. Seeing my son for the very first time I had ever felt love at first sight. I was with his father, not wanting to raise my son in a broken family, I felt like I needed to try and so the nightmare begins…..
My husband was cheating on me with every strange women that he could find, then using me as a punching bag, it just escalated when he found out that  I was pregnant again. I tried to leave but really not hard enough.. I know that every little girl dreams of their wedding day. I had been planing mine in my head from the very first time that I watched their first Disney movie.  Well when I walked down the isle I was crying but not because I was happy, but because the night before he smashed my head in the car window. I knew that I was living in this nightmare but I felt like I had to just try.  
Here I am working two jobs with these two beautiful babies with an abusive cheating husband and here I was pregnant again it was a something I was so excited for a little baby girl, awaiting her birth. Then on my son’s third birthday as I was about five months pregnant getting everything ready for the party, my husband decided to get food when I had so much food right there. I knew what was gonna happen and I wasn’t having it. I had the neighbors watch the kids and a friend take me to my car I open his cousins door there he was with a old girlfriend. I just asked for my keys and walked outside before I knew it him and his cousin were beating my head into the concrete, they were kicking me all over my body. The person that ended up saving me was his ex-girlfriend. I had a miscarriage and lost my baby girl I had so looked forward to having.  He didn't care, I called the cops but no one would tell on him so it was my word against his.  Yet even after this heartache and loss I stayed with him.
 Fast forward to a few years ahead I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I was so very sick that I would end up in the hospital week's at at a time.  My husband never came and saw me, again and like always he was busy cheating. The last time that I called him to pick me up he said that I was not allowed to come home. So here I am sick,  I have no home and to pour salt into the wound he moved another girl in, his own cousin! 

I found a place to stay, got a job I was really doing ok, but we ended up back together it was the same but he held my kids hostage against me. Telling me that if I didn't get back together with him then I couldn't see my babies  again . So I did get back with him. I look back at it now and feel like I was Just so stupid, anything was worth going through to have my boys in my life everyday. At the time we were living in Florida. So I had no one only him that I knew. This is what he wanted all along, for me to be isolated and alone. Keeping me in my house like I was in prison. 
This was around the time that I discovered Oxycodone, taking the pills I finally  didn't have to feel anything at all anymore. I was numb to the memories of my past, the loss of my baby girl, the fighting, the cheating, now for the first time all the abuse could be forgotten. I finally found a way to make it all stop. At the time, I am not going to lie, it felt good. 
Over the period that I had cancer, I had undergone several surgeries and over the years  they were filled with chemo, radiation, and even more drugs. When the day came that I went into remission, it was the time that getting the drugs as if they were tick tacks suddenly came to a screeching halt! I don’t think that the Doctors realize that you will survive it so they give you all these meds without thinking what it will do to you when you are cancer free. 
Now we moved back to California from Florida where I began to to run to the drugs. There was a lot of guilt and depression, I was always thinking everything was and had been all 
        my fault, but it just got worse that is when I graduated from the oxy to crystal meth & then to full use of heroin .  
It was no surprise that the abuse got worse. He came to me one night as high as could be. Choosing this time to get honest with me.  He was all messed up on crack and heroin and said “You know you like to fuck and get fucked by my friends.” The confusion swiftly lifted from me and I was like wait? What are you talking about? Like a flash of my life before my eyes it came rushing over me I was flooded with the memories I has forgotten all about it wasn't until this very second I remembered.  I guess that this is what happens when your body and mind can’t take the abuse anymore. It just takes it and hides it away for you to remember when you are stronger.  My mind just happened to let me know when it wanted. I sure as hell wasn’t stronger at this point in my life and I felt like I was Alice falling down the rabbit hole.
How could I forget what happened to me? About a year before, I not only was drugged and raped, and beaten so bad that I ended up having to spend over  two very long weeks in the hospital with 78 stitches, in my private area, the first thing I remember is all the blood in the hotel room and going in and out of Consciousness, It was brutal. I was lucky to have even survived the attack. I sat there listening to my husband talk about the attack and then he said something that rocked me to my core and knocked me down emotionally more then anything else had ever done.
My husband knew who did this to me who ruined me. My husband had this done to me. He had set up the entire thing. Wanting this done to me so that he could have the  label of me being a whore and a cheater.  In his mind rape, sex, whatever it was someone inside me, so it was me cheating, we could be even and on a level playing field.  He had these men do this to me and sat and watched. Having me beat to inches of my life.  What did I do to deserve this? I had been a little rag doll for men to do whatever they wanted. From my father to my husband. The two men in my life that were suppose to protect me and keep me safe.   After finding this out and unblocking the memories,  I was never the same how could I block it? I needed to erase it from my mind. My husband set it up so that I was raped. So I would feel used, ashamed and dirty. That because I never had cheated on him he would make it so I felt like I did.  He didn’t want me to be the one that was morally correct and still believed in the vows I said on our wedding day. 
    So From that July to January 11th 2012, we lived from hotel to hotel I would lock myself in the bathroom smoking crystal and doing heroin then my husband would continue to beat me up I felt like I was nothing, my role on this Earth was to just  be raped, beaten and tortured. The last time he did that he said he has met someone else, spitting  on me, calling me all sorts of names while he walked out with my older son in tow, he left me,  but my younger would not leave my side so four months went by of us sleeping in our car, and just like I did when I was younger when my parents weren’t taking care of me, I was having my baby eating garbage out of dumpsters. I was on the streets begging for money, living on the streets. If we were able to get lucky we could get a hotel for a night. 
Then on May 5th we had a hotel but we had no money food, no money at all and to make it even worse all our stuff was stolen all we had was the clothes on our backs! I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed to do something fast for us so that night I went and stole hundreds of half empty bottles of morphine from a cancer center, this way I could go sell the drugs for food, so that my baby boy could eat.… But Instead I spent hours in the bathroom shooting up the drugs, there was blood everywhere some how I had a brief moment of clarity looked at my son and just started to bawl.  I picked up the phone and called my mom to come get him and she said she would only if I would get help. I said ok knowing I would never stop,  because I had a mission, and that mission was to die I had a plan. I had to get my son to a safe place where he was taken care of. I didn’t eat for three whole days, and neither did my son.  This is one of the hardest things to think back on now.  What kind of mom was I? I wasn't one my husband was for the first time ever, right. 
My mom dropped me off at a rehab when she left I left I met some other addicts that I had become “friends” with. I truly didn’t want to live, I didn't care what happened to me. In fact it was so bad that I actually lived in the sewers, yes in the sewers! Shooting up heroin and hoping not to wake up the next time I fell asleep. I ended up meeting with an older man that said he would get me free heroin all that I wanted, all I had to go with him to Mexico.  So off to Tijuana I went with a man I didn’t even know. What did I care? I had a plan. To die. 
 I didn't care what happened to me and all I cared about was to end my life and get the heroin. So what endued up happening was me becoming a prostitute for the cartels. I was raped by gun point but I was numb that I just didn't care. I was beaten & spit on. I didn't feel hot water on my body for over four months.  I would sleep on dirty mattresses with blood, bugs, dead animals, and flies so thick that I couldn’t see my hands, much less the needle I was shooting up with. Then I woke up on Sept 20th and something told me to GET UP!  that I had to GO! That I couldn’t die there. That my two wonderful boys, more importantly need me. I know now that this was the voice of God telling me to GET UP and GET BACK TO YOUR BABIES.  So I did what I thought I would never do…From now where I mustered up the strength I didn’t even know I had in me. I got up and went up to some man and asked him if he could give me some money….he gave me twenty pesos for a cab before thinking about getting drugs I jumped in the cab, where I went to the boarder.  When I got there I was stuck in secondary.
My mom made my husband file a missing person report after months of not hearing from me.  Here I am hand cuffed for well over five hours getting so sick that they finally let me go. When I did I crossed that boarder I collapsed in the middle of the street,  I just started bawling. I never thought I would see real streets again and fresh air.  I had no money, not two pennies to rub together.  

I was so hungry,  so sick from not doing all the drugs that I had been doing for such a long extended time, but this time I didn’t stop and get my fix, this time I got on the trolley and walked myself into the hospital smelling like the dirty streets and rough life I had just lived through in Tijuana. I was sticks and bones, so very skinny, dirty.  I got geared up the strength I didn't even know I still had and said “Please help me, I'm a heroin addict.” That I needed to get some help. 

so my journey truly began when I was in rehab for nine months. I got out on September, 23. 2013. I am new to begin clean. At this time in my life I don't have everything I want.  More importantly what I do have is my life, my own apartment, I get to wake up to my boys saying, “mom I'm hungry.” I have food to cook for them. I have money but I no longer use them for drugs. happily I now get to use them for the needs of my baby boys.  
          They tell me they are so proud of me every single day. 
Most importantly I have my sobriety. This is by far the best gift I have ever had.  I know what the honest truth is, I will never say that this is the end, nope because this is just the beginning of my real life.  I love life now and not having to worry about a man beating me or cheating on me, is truly a fgift from God. After all of this he wanted to stay together but I learned in the nine months in rehab that I was worth more, the pain in my past is and never was my fault. I can not wait until the divorce is finally finished.  It feels like the first time in my entire life where I feel safe. Like I am seeing in color instead of black and white.  I won't lie,  I will not be telling you that the shame and guilt is gone now.  I think in time it will be much less but I will live my life until my dying days feeling and remembering all the bad things I have done and have gone through,  I am a new person, this person I love. To love myself is a everyday struggle but I can tell you that I'm learning to forgive myself and that's enough for me. Miracles are possible. just look at me and you will know I'm one of them and so are you. God bless you. You can do this but you cannot do it alone…
Thank you Bradi for sharing your story. God loves you and so do I and so many other people do. You get to teach your boys now how to be strong and show them what it is to be a real man. They will have scars just like you but they will also be able to know what it is to rise from the ashes and be re born. I hope you know you are never alone.  God has brought you into our lives and saved you for a reason. He wanted you to tell your story so that a teenage girl could hear it, and know she isn’t her abuser.  A twenty year old Mom is sitting in a domestic violence situation with a husband that beats her and takes herself worth away, she can now know it could end up a lot worse and will start to put the pieces of the puzzle to leave. A women that has an addict  as a daughter will not give up hope but keep fighting and looking for a way to save her little girl.  A women selling herself on the streets of Mexico will see that she can fight for herself with just the ounce of strength she has because of you. 

Thank you for being my hero. 


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