Domestic Violence and Drug Addiction

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND DRUG ADDICTION
By Ester Nicholson

Drug addiction was one of many addictions.  My first addiction was love.  No matter what the cost, if my attention fixated on one particular man, I would do anything to make him love me.  I look back now, and can’t believe the crap I accepted from the men in my life, thinking, hoping, praying, wishing that they loved me.  More importantly, I have compassion for myself with the understanding that at that time, I didn’t love me, or think that I was worthy of love.  The men in my life mirrored back to me exactly the way I felt about myself.  They showed up as my angels clothed in the form of my deepest wounds.

Excerpt from soon to be released “She Lives” This wasn’t the first time Mark put his hands on me in a violent way.  I’ll never forget when he spent the night at my house verbally and physically abusing me.  He tried to ram my head into a concrete wall.  I was able to escape his grasp and run down the street to the telephone booth to call the police.  I ran past a few guys coming outside of a store, and I said to them “please help me, my boyfriend is beating me up”, and one of the guys looked at me and said, “a man has a right to do what he wants with is woman”.  Even then, I couldn’t believe it.   I made it to the telephone booth and dialed 911, but Mark came up behind me and slammed the phone down before I could talk to the dispatcher.  I fought him off and picked up the phone and dialed again.  He slammed the phone down again.  So, I gave up.  He took me by the hand to lead me back to my apartment, but before we got there, five police cars surrounded us.  They had traced the call I had tried to make.  They jumped out of their cars and asked if I was the one who made the call.  I told them yes, and that I was having a problem with my boyfriend.  This one police woman looked me straight in the eye and said “did he hit you”?  Mark looked like a deer in headlights.  He was scared shitless.  I averted my eyes from the policewoman, and said, “No, he did not hit me”. So, I would go and get high, blow all my money and then sleep with a stranger for drugs.  I would tell myself it served him right for being such a jerk, but of course, the real reason was, it paid for my drugs when I was out of money.  But I was also trying to make myself feel better about being so powerless and out of control.  I was hurting so badly, and felt so rejected and abandoned, I thought if I slept with someone else, even though drugs was one of the payoffs, it would somehow hurt this man that held my distorted attention in every waking moment, and who one minute gave me his heart, and the next, would leave me, abandoned, beaten and broken again.

Domestic violence was a huge part of my life growing up.  The way things were handled in my family, in particular with my siblings, were with violence.  I saw family members with black eyes and bloody noses one day, and cuddled up with the spouse that did it the next. I thought this was love.  I thought this was how it was done in relationships.  I thought the way you responded to a disagreement was with rage, screaming and hitting.  So, I lived that pattern out in my own life.  I attracted men in my life, where we were perfect mirrors for each other’s sorrow, rage and ignorance.

Healing is possible.  It’s a long road from such a depth of low self-worth to self-love, and there are days when you might feel like you can never have anything better, because the scars are so deep, and the patterns are so etched in your consciousness.  You might feel like giving up, but don’t. Keep on growing, keep going, you’ll make it.  In quoting another amazing woman, Hillary Clinton in her 2008 democratic speech, she says “By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.   And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.  If you hear the dogs, keep going.  If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.  If they’re shouting after you, keep going.  Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

So, I say to you, no matter what anyone tries to tell you, or what your own habitual negative thinking is telling you, you are worthy, you are deserving of an amazing, loving, healthy life.  The road will seem dark and endless, but your life is right down that road.  Don’t give up on yourself before the miracle happens.  You’re worth it. I’ll be your testimony, until you can be your own.

Peace to you beloved,

Ester

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