Difficult Decisions

About seven months ago, I met an amazing girl named Rebecca. We had our first date at a little cafe not far from where she used to live (before she moved in with me), and bonded over our shared love for fish tanks and coffee. We made things official after about three days of knowing each other because we were just so excited about how well we got along and how much we liked each other. Pretty soon, that like blossomed into love. She moved in with my roommate and me, and things were great.

I’ve still been having no problems with Rebecca; I love her very much, but I miss her dearly because she is away, and the moment she left, I fell apart. I high-tailed it to a bar where I got drunk and blew almost a year and a half of sobriety, and I felt so numb that I resorted back to banging my face into walls just to feel something and cry.

I’m still going to AA, and I’m working with a new sponsor who says that I can’t rely on other people to make me happy or keep me sober. I’ve told her about my schizoaffective diagnosis, and she’s very understanding when I am too paranoid about being watched through my phone to call her every day, or when I duck out of a meeting because I’m hearing voices. She says that I have to rely on my Higher Power to keep me sober, and myself to be happy. I know she is right, but this is difficult to put into practice.

I have not been doing well at all lately, and it goes beyond Rebecca’s absence. I have thought about Tim every day since he raped me. I have been drinking, cutting, crying, and screaming over it. And yet, the pain doesn’t go away. When I get disturbed enough about it, I hear voices, feel a snake writhing inside my body, feel bugs crawling all over my skin…

Because of all this, I have made the difficult decision to return to treatment. I will be returning to River Oaks Hospital in New Orleans just as soon as all the paperwork and lab tests are done. I’m hoping to be admitted by Tuesday, but it may be longer than that depending on what new hoops I have to jump through.

I don’t like to “live in treatment.” This is not me trying to escape the empty bed at home without Rebecca. The last time I was at River Oaks, I did not complete all the work I should have done. The last step of the program is anger work, and I was too afraid to get in touch with my anger at all the men who have raped and abused me to do the work. AA teaches that anger is a luxury alcoholics cannot afford. However, AA doesn’t touch much on abuse. I’ve been told to pray for Tim and the rest of those evil men who thought they owned my body by numerous people in AA, and that just doesn’t work for me. At first, I thought it was because I was a bad person who didn’t have it in me to wish others well. But why should I send out positive energy to the men who tore such holes in my psyche? Are they praying for forgiveness from their Higher Powers? I highly doubt it. Why should they? They got what they wanted from me, and I’m sure they’re busily ruining other women’s lives. I’m not a bad person because of how I live my prayer life. My intimate relationship with God is no one else’s business.

I’m hoping to get closure on the rape and the rest of the abuse I’ve been through at River Oaks this time around. I sincerely hope this will be my last round of residential treatment. All I want is to find a way to end the pain without ending my life, or ruining it through self-destructive behaviors. I want to be able to be the best daughter, sister, girlfriend–and someday, teacher, wife, and mother that I can be. The way I’m living my life now is not conducive to those goals, but they are not unattainable, and that is what I must not lose sight of.

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