I Flip The script, Some Call Me A Survivor

I hesitated to join this experinece group and then once I joined it the thought of posting a story for it was even more detestable to my sensibilities. However, upon reflection and some brutallly honest processing and searching with in I decided it is what it is. I have lived a high risk lifestyle for many of my 30 years on this earth and for whatever reason in the big scheme of things I came out of it remarkabley well. Now to be clear i do not take all the credit for this, and as mentioned hesitated to write this as it is not my nature to be in the spotlight, and I don't write for shock effect or sympathy, but I had the foresight to see that these 3 things are almost inevitable if I am to write this and give a clear illustration of my experience. I also feel it important to clarify that when I say " came out of it remarkabley well" I am figuratively speaking for one I live with the consequences and many of them will plague me for life, and the process of coming out of it is on going, so more accurately I am a work in progress and I face challenges like anbody, but yes, in the overall picture considering everything I am a survivor. As mentioned this is all not my doing, some of it is just plain luck, the right confluence of events and things went my way, some of it people helped me, but most of it I was on my own and I survived due to the choices and actions I took.
SO I spoke of a high risk lifestyle, well for me this was a smorgasboard of active addiction, crime, violence, sex with multiple partners at times unprotected, jails, institutions, self harming, suicide attempts. Because of the fact that since I was born I have come face to face with the worst that humanity has to offer I'm a , private, discrete, modest person, I can't stand to be vulnerable. The smorgasboard I just spoke of was general terms and I will go into more depth on some of them, I am able to do this here because I am doing a lot of work on myself at this time and naturally because  I write under the cloak of anonymity and privacy that the internet provides us. I write because maybe , just maybe the next time someone steps over the person huddling in the nook of a building,cold,alone,nowhere to go, you might unglue your eyes from the text your writing on your $500 iphone and maybe acknowledge that there lies a person, a human being. A son, a daughter, a mother, a father. They werent always like that. Dont get me wrong , Im not some bleeding heart. Im not proposing that you dont desrve that iphone. We all make choices, take action , jump through the hoops placed in front us to get where we are today. However not all of us where dealt the same hand of cards. Some of us huddled in a corner, in the place most of us feel secure and safe called home. I huddled in that corner, full of fear, confused, ashamed, and humiliated as blow after blow from the leather belt, held firm and steady by my dad, unleashed its fury. The leather belt stings my 4 year old flesh. This is usually the end of the beating, the grande finale. How did I get to this place? What was my crime? My mom was having a quiet , affectionate moment with me. My mom hugs me just as my father walks in the room.. As he approaches I know that look in his eye, I have seen this look in his face many times and the end result is always a beating of some sort, and this time is no different, as I'm whipped with a belt as my mom shrieks for him to stop to no avail.  
The above incident was just one of a daily variety of violence, humiliation, and trauma that I lived through. As I sit and write this Im in a residential treatment centre. Its a good place and they try to help me with my addiction to heroin and cocaine, and I have a mental health team at my disposal. I started doing heroin and crack cocaine at 14 years old. the moment i did it all the hurt, shame, feelings that I desrved to be beat because my dad was trying to teach me and I was a burden, for a brief moment didnt flood my mind. I had no understanding at that age of the full ramifacations of my actions. i strated cutting as a teen. the first time was with a dull pair of scissors. I cut into my wrists trying to kill myself but then something happened. I got this momentary release. Ever since then whenever I feel overwhelmed I sit in the dark. Im stressed and depressed. Thoughts of your a burden,a worthless drug addict, if you werent born your dad wouldnt have beat your mom. Even though Im frazzled, my hand is steady as I grip the razor. I cut into my skin. A warm wave rushes through my body, cold cill runs up my spine. I cut again, even deeper because I desrve to suffer. Im an addict, with mental health issues. Borderlne personality disorder, psychosis,depression. The deeper I cut the more my pulse and breathing quiken. Oh it hurts, but it feels good. My mental Health workers want me to talk about the cutting and the voices I sometimes hear when having a psychotic break down. Im not always like this. I have my moments of clarity. I wont talk about it because I m full of shame and embarreaassment. So I suffer in silence. Ive met some good people of late, people who give of themselves without expecting anything in return. So as they say''Here I stand at the turning point' Im told its a borderline trait to resist help. I just cant fathom why someone would care, why someone would want to help me. Who am I? Iam nothing, nobody. Someone said I may be able to reach people some people cant. I dont know about this. What I do know is at htis moment I refuse to apologize for who I am. Im a brother, A son, An uncle, A human being. Ive been that person huddled in the street , suffering in silence, body going through withdrawls because I havent got my first fix. I have dreams to. I have hopes. Its hard to think of them because they seem so far, so daunting, so hopeless.
So just a snap shot of years of abuse as a child, active addiction and some of the consequences of it, I didn't delve into the crime aspect to much, mainly because it is not my intention to glorify any of this and it is hard to write about a specific crime with out kind of glamourizing it, at least for me. Even today the thought of most of it gets my blood pressure rising, I find it exciting and freeing in a weird way. BUt despite this some of the things I learned and the skills I honed while living on the streets and doing most of the usual hustling involved with survuving on the streets and being on drugs and in that world today are cross tranferable skills. In a way this is probably the biggest way I am a survivor, asides from the fact that physically i am here unscathed in a physical sense, but I also came out of it all with no diseases, no hep c, no hiv, no std's, and most of all some very useful skills. ON the streets you have to make choices, you face dangerous, fast moving situations, you have to read people on what most woudl deem very little information to go on, but I had to ascertain what a persons motives, what there intentions were regarding me and the margin of error is so small, my safety was at stake. So today I am still very good at reading people, this is such a saver of avoidable drama and dangerous situations, it keeps me safe. I actually just this week had a situation where this person told me some bogus story that to most would be plausible, but because of knowing the system, and from living in a world where anything goes I could see right through it. See most people they want to trust, it is natural but for me if it doesn't make sense then 99.9% of the time it is because it is not so, and I have learnt that the hard way. I also am blessed to be quick on my feet, that is to say that i know how to talk to people, living how i lived you learn how to talk, yes in that life I used it to manipulate, hustle people, etc. but today I am thanksful for this skill and I utilize it to get on in the world we live where communication and impressions are so crucial, we live in the age of social media, never has there been so many methods of communicating. Anyways this has been a long story and I am not going to give any more exact examples of what I gained from my life, I think most will get the picture.
That is that I I have lived through quite a bit in my 30 years, some of it not my fault, some of it due to my choices. Regardless I made it through, and I thank God that I am the person I am today as a result, because I am what I am today in large part due to what I have seen, experienced, felt, worked my way through. 
 Maybe one day I will be able to use the misery Ive lived to help those who suffer in silence and those who yell for help from the top of their lungs. Maybe one day I will find aomebody who shows me unconditional love and loves me for me. Battle wounds, issues and all. Im tired of fighting, Im tired of hiding. I dont plan to far in the future because Im skeptical there's a future for me. But as of know I refuse to apologize for who I am. I am many things to different people.I hope for the 'serenity to accept the things that i can not change, the courage to change the things I can, the wisdom to know the difference, to live one day at a time,enjoying one moment at a time.They say we dont change when we see the light, we only change when we feel the heat. I hope from this story that you feel the heat????

libra604 libra604
26-30, M
5 Responses Mar 25, 2012

Wow! Just Wow! With that story and with all the enlightening comments, I guess I would need to get myself a cup of coffee to contnue to enjoy this thread. <br />
Good read Libra, thanks for sharing. (brb)^^

LOL, thanks, for that comment, you just made me realize something new about this story or rather the comments, you are right, there are quite a few and most of all they are so thoughtful sincere, and some of them are almost a story in themselves. So neat how that worked out. I am so thankful to people such as yourself for taking the time to read one of my stories, when I wrote them I never thought anybody would bother reading one let alone leave such kind, sincere and thoughtful comments.

I have been exploring your stories. I find most of them of sad tales of your past. I just hope you're doing okay. Really. You are one brave person.

That is a captivating story, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing that, I was in tears as I was reading it (thinking to myself...how I thought I had it rough). You are a survivor, as am I. <br />
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I can somewhat relate to your story, but I surely did not experience the same kind of life that you have endured. I am a survivor of abuse, struggled with mental illness (depression) and alcohol abuse too. Im a survivor of my own suicide attempt and lost everything because of it. I have not lived on the streets but I was did reach a point of homelessness. Thankfully I have family who loves me and took me in when I had no where else to go. The most wonderful thing we can find in life is that there are people who do care. <br />
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We all have someone we can turn to even in the most desperate moments of our lives and those who are there for us, are the ones who can help us turn it all around. <br />
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There is always a light outside of that darkness, even when we feel like we are drowning in it, there is a hand above us that will lift us back up. <br />
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When we are feeling down and have reached what feels like the bottom of our lives...if there is a hand reaching down to you to pick you up, take hold of it, dont let go and just let that hand guid you into a new light of your life.

Hello, thank you so much for the kind words that you left for me in the comment above regarding one of my stories. It was a pleasure to log on and see that such a thoughtful, caring, and genuine comment was left for me, so thank you very much. Thank you even just for taking the time out of your busy life just to read one of my stories, this alone I do not take for granted for who am I? Nothing really, and yet you took the time to leave such a sincere and heartfelt comment. Thank you so much. Please take care. Sincerely libra604

You are so very welcome libra604, I truly hope your days ahead are much brighter and better for you. Even when you have those gloomy days (as I have too) remember that every day is a new day. Believe in yourself and remind yourself every day, you have made it thru the roughest and toughest days even in your darkest days you made it thru it.
You are a survivor!

It is indeed a very upsetting story to have read for me and I cannot understand why your father felt the need to beat you each time you were with your mother. Children shouldn't be abused in any way and to be honest some of the things you mentioned reflected back at my own life and the fact that I've also been unable to find support that I need to become a real survivor.<br />
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Needless to say you are one and furthermore we all are because every choice we make dictates our inevitable future and comfort or realization must be found in the consequences of our actions.<br />
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Some people misinterpret what a family truly ought to be and it's heart-numbing to hear you've suffered on the streets but seeing as how you've come around and have seen the light is a gift.<br />
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If there was somebody who I had slighted I would apologize for the damage caused (I'm just putting it out there) for when I wake up in the mornings I realize that an apology can go a long way especially when people try to reach out and help you. <br />
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I learned something from your story and it was a sad exposure, thank you for taking the time out to write about your life and how you got through it. Don't hide yourself and don't blame yourself by hurting, life teaches us many things and for some who refuse to put themselves out there for help it often ends up in disaster. I know from experience. You got out of a rough situation and that's commendable.<br />
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I hope you understand that living risky is not the only way to live but having lived that<br />
you've come out with certain skills as you put it which are indeed necessary in life. Life in theory is one not lived and life in practice is one that is. <br />
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I hope you over come all this and in years to come heal further. Everything takes time and you must believe time heals all wounds :)

Hello, I just wanted to thank you so much for that thoughtful and understanding comment that you left for me on the above story. This is not the first comment you have left for me, and once again you leave a comment with somethings for me to think about. Thanks for that and for even just taking the time out of your busy life to read one of my stories and then take the time to leave such an intelligent and insightful comment. Please take care and I'm sure I will talk to you again soon. Sincerely libra604

when you have been at the very bottom life can only go up from there. you are a suviver. for sure.

TRUE! that amongst many things is what I find so great about you, you alsways speak TRUTH. Ad you also in our corresspondences seem to be able to put things under the right light for me, not to mention the care, compassion and encouragement that you liberally throw my way on a daily basis. Thank you for all of that vey much, you really are a gem, I'm just fortunate enough to have someone such as yourself on my side.

God Libra, That story is so ******* enlightening!!!! I have come to know you but this is a glimpse into your amazing, fantastical life that you have led ,not only led but survived with NO diseases, and yeah some consequences but thank god pretty unscathed!! See when I lived in the city, I was one of those folk who saw homeless folk, people begging.Walk past and ignore, no not me, I took time sat down, found out IF they wanted to talk. If they were under 25 then I pointed out the little known shelter that really if I could have got my **** together, I wanted to help at. But no ,too ******* busy with my own ****, child, addiction,life.! When I first got to the city, I come from an idyllic town, where folk keep their yards neat, its beautiful! But in the city, the deprivation, the bullying attitude of the others, the pig ignorance, the rubbish the rats the homeless,and then I live in the red light district too!!! Overload!!! Found it hard to cope!! People discovered i was an addict, a methadone head, who liked the occasional £10 bag only as a treat back then!! Thought I had my addiction under control!!! HA!!! So I bring my small town attititude to the city. Go out of my way to help people!! Help homeless, give them money! People say, why are you giving your money to some homeless idiot Drunk/DRUG ADDICT!! But I think, no , I can spare £1-£3 for him. And I hope he spends it on food but I kNOW DEEP DOWN that it will probably go on drink or heroin or crack. But so what!! That persons on the streets man, they need that dig/drink to get through the day/night. See me I can't stand the cold, HATE IT!! Brought up in a warm house ,Dad a plumber!! Then I see people on the street in the cold!! All night in the freezing cold!!! Bloody Hell! I thought this just happened in the BIG cities, in other places!! What a SHOCK!! One day I walk past this house thats on fire. On fire in broad BLOODY daylight, and what are people doing?? They're just walking past, minding their own! In their own bloody little world!! Me?? The house is on fire!!! Not only that its a terraced house i.e there 2 other houses connected!! What if someones trapped inside??What about next door?? Why has no-one called the fire brigade?? THIS IS AN EMERGENCY?? I have to physically stop a car, beg them to use their phone!!! But no-one cares!! No one gives a ****!! Its not their house!! =That homeless girl isn't their daughter/niece!! So who cares?? Self harming , yes I've been there too!! That started in the city!! We were targeted cos we weren't from there, we didn't fit in! Worse we were addicts! Have you seen the state of the people in and out of that house???Husband a drunk!! Pissed up all day and night. Kids think its hilarious to shout at him when hes half cut!! And he'll get mad and shout back instead of ignoring it. He'll even run after them !!! What a ******* laugh!! He might even fall over!!!! He never catch us kids cos we're too fast!! Then,why don't we kick the door everytime we passed!! What a laugh!!And us inside bullied ,vulnerable upset!! Little child can't get to sleep cos the door keeps getting booted!! Why mummy ??Why?? Why won't they stop?? Don't know how to stand up to bullies! Place a big Clique that we're just NOT part of!!Why didn't we call the police , confront the parents!! Too scared!!We're addicts they won't help us!! So I start drinking every evening!! To ignore the door, the kids ,the taunts.So a bottle of fizzy cheap wine then ooh lets get Knives out!! If I cut myself I might escape for a little time . <br />
So I do, and I don't care about the blood or the artery I've hit cos I'm in another world and it doesn't really hurt with alcohol flowing through it!! My pain ,my dispair! Now I live back in my small town again with friends and family-got away from the city , couldn't cope there!! So I'm a survivor and you too Libra are a survivor, Too right!! God grant me the serenity to accept the things in life I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference!! Keep it up Libra boy, You're a lucky ****!! Gods smiling on you now!! Peace my friend!!

wow, what a comment, that was so nice, and kind of you. Thanks. You are right we have gotten to know each other better and I am gald. Thanks for taking the time to read such a long story of mine. Your comments could be part of a story for you. Think about it. Take Care