In Part 1 of this post, I left you with a flashback from my childhood. (Sounds like a sentence from a shrinks couch, doesn’t it?)
These sentences are where we left off and where we will pick back up…
“And then it broke. Never to be put back the same way again. After all, with so much at stake, how could it be?”
When my parents decided to divorce, we, as a family, were suddenly and forcefully broken.
This is not a sob story about what happens to a girl from a “broken home.” So just hang with me here.
I was left questioning everything that had happened in my life.
I wanted to run.
So I did.
Without spending hours and thousands of words giving you details of the path I chose, I will sum it up this way;
~ I moved to another city and signed a modeling contract with an agency who immediately began bookings and photo shoots.
~ I discovered a drug that muted my mind and helped me stay thin.
~ I made a lot of money in a short period of time.
~ I was in breech of my contract for missing too many “Go Sees” and not returning my manager’s calls. They were able to use all of the pictures taken just days before without paying me a dime.
~ I began to spiral downward and burn through some serious cash.
~ I thought I was lost, but God still knew exactly where I was.
One night I woke up in an ER hospital bed, my wrists strapped to the rails while the nurses attempted to find a vain to start an IV for severe dehydration.
“Why am I strapped to the bed?!” I asked one of the nurses.
“You won’t keep your arms still enough for us to start a line, we may have to go in through your neck.” She responded.
“Wait. What?! No. How did I get here?! Why am I here?!” I said, confused and angry.
The doctor then walked into the room and said, “Why don’t you tell us? What have you ingested tonight?”
My designer dress had been cut right down the middle with surgical scissors. Apparently doctors don’t worry about preserving your clothes when they are trying to save your life.
It didn’t take long for my blood work to come back and show a list of things in my system that didn’t belong there.
When the doctor came in and read off the list, his next response was, “Damn druggies. As soon as that IV bag finishes, you’re gettin’ the hell outta here to make room for someone who really needs this bed.” I had od’d and come very close to loosing my life.
It’s interesting how differently you are treated when the medical professionals helping you, discover that the damage is self inflicted.
There are many examples of this type of chaos happening within a span of several years.
I chose to elaborate on this one story because this is a clear example where God rescued me from myself, in a way that I would not recognize until much later.
No one was in the waiting room to take me home. I didn’t even know how I got there. The person in registration said that several people had brought me in and said that they didn’t know what was wrong with me, but to save my life. They paid cash and left.
I knew then who it was.
I was shocked that these individuals would risk being caught to save my life. I was surprised they didn’t just let me die as I had heard stories of them doing with others who didn’t know when to stop.
(For those left wondering…the answer is yes, I had to take a taxi home in an ER gown and heals. Although I’m pretty sure I went barefoot, which totally grosses me out to think about!)
Do I blame my parents for this behavior? No.
It may have manifested itself in a different way were they still together, but I now know, with all certainty that I would not be who I am today without the hell I willing walked through years ago. I was fortunate, God always had His hand on me, protecting me, only allowing me to go so far.
The journey came to a crossroads when I sat down at a bar table with an undercover officer. I started talking to him and he asked what I was doing there. “What do you mean?” was my response.
“You don’t belong here. Get out while you still can.” He said, with a serious certainty on his face that I had never seen from anyone.
He drove me home that night. On the drive, I vividly remember staring at the yellow line in the center of the road. I thought about what my mom had told me when I needed to focus on something other than feeling carsick, “Focus on the yellow line and you’ll be fine.” She would say.
I had been traveling a road with no yellow line and it was time to refocus.
I called my dad the next day for the first time in months, told him I was alive, but scared and didn’t know what to do. He advised me to put everything I owned in garbage bags and come home that day.
I had a friend who helped me pack a u-haul and just as darkness fell, we began the six hour drive to my dad’s house.
I had not slept in more than 72 hours, so when I arrived, battered and bruised, I slept for a couple of days.
Three days after I had left, the house that I would frequent was raided and everyone inside was arrested (or so I was told). The amount of items confiscated had the potential for a hefty prison sentence.
You would think that would be the end of it. It wasn’t. There was much more to come, but that’s a story for a different day.
I was having coffee with a friend yesterday and we were talking about a different part of my story. She said, “That must have been when you hit your bottom?”
“No.” I said. “I had lots of bottoms.” I declared my bottom when I threw the shovel down and began climbing out of my self made burial ground.
I knew many who were not so fortunate.
I attended more funerals before age 20 than most people, other than a pastor will attend in their lifetime. Why I was not one of them, only God can tell. He has the final say and fortunately, He now holds the pen.
I like to read and listen to the writings of Jud Wilhite. He has said, “None of us were made to be made much of. We were made to make much of God.”
God was not surprised by anything that I did. He knew that more than a decade later I would have the irrefutable desire to work with women and girls, equipping them to make decisions that would lead them down a path much different from my own.
He knew that instead of gaping wounds, I would one day have beautiful scars that told my story and that there would be no shame.
In attempts to make much of myself, I failed miserably. I can see with clear eyes that it’s all about pointing to the Father and making much about Him.
Also, explore the community he has created called People of the Second Chance Here you will find many stories that you can relate to and who knows, you may even decide that you want to tell your own story of second chances. You can follow on Twitter @POTSC