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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

Name: Jacqueline D. Morris

Age: 47

Sober Since: 7 / 20 / 2005

Sober For: 12 Years & 129 Days

What it was like?

I grew up around alcohol, everyone around me drank, everyone partied, they partied for days leaving me with babysitters, anyone who’d babysit, until I myself was barely old enough to watch over little ones. We’d have to scrounge for food. I remember there being a bunch of Jif box corn muffin mix that my mom bought on sale, I learned how to make those and feed us that. One of my cousins told me about how once when she was babysitting me at my house, her and I made mustard sandwiches, bread with mustard because that’s all there was. Growing up like that was horrible. When I was tiny I used to get mad at my mom and beg her to stop drinking and tell her when I grow up I’m never going to drink! I didn’t stick to that for long. I drank for the first time when I was 13 years old. A guy who was a high school dropout who lived with his mom at the end of our apartment building, had me and a few of my friends over and gave us some beer. I gagged after my first sip, I hated the taste of it, I forced myself to drink it. I wanted to be cool, I wanted to be accepted. After getting buzzed for the first time, I thought it felt great, I had no worries, I was floating! It made the next time I drank easier knowing the results I’d get from drinking that nasty tasting beer. Most of the time it was Miller beer, the kind in the bottle. Me and my friends made it a game, we would see who could rip the labels off whole, we’d laugh and be happy when one of us did it. A few parties later, I became his girlfriend! I thought I was so cool, I was in 7th grade going out with an older guy who had parties! Not long after we started going out, while at one of his parties I passed out on his bed. I came to with him on top of me, he was having sex with me. That is how I lost my virginity. My panties and pants weren’t all the way off, they were down by my ankles. I remember him on top of me, looking down at me, the look in his eyes, I saw fear, he was afraid because I came to and caught him raping me. I was still high, I was in shock now. He got off me, I pulled my panties and pants up and rushed home. I didn’t tell a soul, not even my mom. She thought he was a nice guy. I didn’t think anyone would believe me, I felt shame. I had been molested by an uncle (one of my mom’s brothers) when I was 4 years old and never told anyone about that either, the shame from that was still with me. I felt like it was my fault, I was the one who was bad. Those feelings had a lot to do with me not telling. Not long after my “cool boyfriend” raped me, it happened to me again two other times, older guys giving me and my friends alcohol and raping me. One of my good friend’s nasty old grandfather brought her, me, my best friend and a couple other girls out to his place which was out in the middle of nowhere, and gave us a shit load of beer, like cases of beer. He kept looking at me licking his lips. My best friend said let’s kiss so he will think we’re gay and won’t bother us. So, we kissed. My 13-year-old drunk-self thought that was a great plan! Now that I look back on this, I realize that just tuned that pervert on! We partied so hard I blacked out. I woke up in the hallway with my panties and pants off. One of my friends told me she saw him eating me out and chased him away. I remember thinking why didn’t that friend or the others cover me up, help me to the room where they all were to keep me safe, why just leave me with my bottom half naked in the hallway where he can come back for me. No cops were called, no adult was told. Another time me and some friends went to one of their friend’s apartment. There were a couple of older guys there. One was in his 30s, he gave us a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky. Again, I got drunk. Again, I was raped. The last thing I remember was standing out on his balcony smoking a cigarette, with my back up against the wall which was covered with tiny jagged white rocks, I started to slip down to the floor. The rocks cut my back. I still have a scare on my back from that. I come to, I’m in a bed with him, we were both naked. I jumped up, got dressed, saw my friends out in the living room, we left. By this time, I was numbing to what was happening to me. The very thing I used to get numb, alcohol, was the very thing that was putting me in these fucked up situations. I was drinking to forget about getting raped, and drinking was getting me raped. I went to a free clinic and got tested. I tested positive for gonorrhea. I was a 13-year-old with a VD and a drinking problem, who had been raped three times in one year. I have many, many more horrific alcohol related stories, those are a few from my beginning. I used to wonder where God was during those dark times. I think about how many times I could have died from alcohol poisoning or gotten killed by someone. I’m not being overly-dramatic, I really could have died. One time I woke up to get ready for school, my mom went out the night before, she was passed out in her room, there was a 12 pack of Budweiser beer sitting on the kitchen table. I started opening can after can, guzzling. I don’t know how many cans I drank. I stumbled up to my room, fell on my bed and passed out. I missed school that day. My mom never knew I drank her beer, she must have thought she drank it herself. I was so broken, I had no self-esteem or self-worth. When I was 20 I got pregnant two months after I started dating a guy who lied by saying he couldn’t have babies, we got married six months after we met. Right after we got married he started to beat the shit out of me, while I was pregnant and after, once when I was holding my fresh newborn baby, I had to toss her on the couch so she wouldn’t get beat by him. It took everything I had in me to get away from him. My two young daughters are what gave me the strength to run from him. Now I look back and see how God saved me, He kept me alive! His love for me is great, just like my love for Him! One of the blessings I’ve experienced since getting sober, I have a beautiful relationship with God. God is merciful.

What happened?

Alcohol was supposed to make me feel better, take my troubles and pain away. It lied to me. Alcohol stole my self-worth, I was worthless. Alcohol broke my soul. Every single time I drank I knew that I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t stop myself. I was putting my babies through the same hell I grew up in! I wanted to quit so bad! I tried so many times, I couldn’t do it! Then I don’t know, maybe my 101th try it finally stuck, I conquered alcohol! It was because of my four babies and God’s endless love for me! That last try, me and my four babies stood in front of the bathroom toilet, them each holding one of my beers, one by one they took turns pouring them into the toilet. That was cathartic for me, seeing them do that! My babies were my reason, my love for them did it! I didn’t want them to grow up and drink and live the hell that I did! I needed to break the cycle! I needed to make a better life for them! They deserved the best version of myself and that could only happen if I was alcohol free! Now my babies have a mom who is sober and always there for them, I am their biggest cheerleader! Because of this they are all academically successful and most importantly happy.

What it is like now?

Once I was alcohol free I had to face my demons and I had some ugly evil demons. I had to remember it ALL, things I buried so far down. The shame, the guilt. All the trauma. I had to pick up the million broken pieces of myself and put them back together, one good thing is I put them back together differently, better than they were. I had to find my voice, a voice I never used before. Once I found it though, I couldn’t stop using it! It was like a broken faucet that was stuck for years, now it worked and it all came rushing out! I had to lean to cultivate my feelings into words then into my truth. I knew many would be unhappy with me speaking my truth, but I also knew it would help with my healing and I prayed it would help others with theirs. 12 years later, I look back and wish I had done it sooner! I wish I had never started drinking, I wish my tiny self would have kept her word and never drank. I didn’t write this for pity. There are others who’ve been through worse than I. I open myself up and share my story in hopes of helping others, to take away the shame, the stigma. By sharing this; I shout from the rooftops that "I went through some bad shit!! I know what evil looks like! I am here and living and loving! You are not alone!" It is the greatest gift, if I could say there is a gift from my story, that others will read it and know they can persevere and win despite adversity!

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