So here I am the Fall of 1983 in an adolescent rehab in Monmouth County New Jersey. We had a variety of groups and one on one meetings during the day to educate us about alcoholism/addiction and provide opportunities for the residents to purge, confess or be a wall flower. I was an active participant after my realization. At night the counselors would drive us to AA or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) Meetings. Teenagers and sobriety were a fairly new concept at AA meetings and we were not welcomed with open arms. I remember one place in particular it was the Shoralan Club in Belmar, NJ the person leading the meeting did not want to let a “bunch of drug addict teenagers” into the meeting. The counselor that brought us asked us if we had a desire to stop drinking to which we replied “yes” and we were able to attend the meeting. That is one of the nifty things about AA “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” The meeting leader could not ban us from the meeting simply because he wasn’t fond of our demographic.
Rehab is what I imagine dorm living is like (haven’t actually done that so it is a guess) with the added drama of alcoholism and drug addiction which usually adds a sprinkling of abuse, self loathing and a variety of nightmarish family situations. It’s a bit of a clusterf*ck to put it mildly and emotions and hormones can run high. And oh yeah not everyone gets along and there is always a scapegoat. I remember having a town hall style meeting because one girl urinated into another girls shampoo bottle…kind of like Orange is the New Black with big hair and no cell phones.
This was a coed facility and they tried to keep the genders separated. I of course got into a rehab romance with one the guys…I’ll call him Randy. This facility was new when I got there and they hadn’t worked out all the kinks yet so Randy and I would actually hold hands in the Day Room. Pretty sure you would get tassered now if you tried that. Randy got there before me so he left before me there was a strict 28 day policy in effect at that time due to insurance limitations. Sweet Randy decided that he would break in one night and pay me a visit. That went about as well as you think it would go.
Randy climbed a tree to get into the second floor of the boys wing. Not sure who let him in but he had to have help. Then he slithered his way down to the girls dorm and into my room. I was shocked to see him but what 15 year old girl wouldn’t be flattered by her “man” breaking into rehab for a romantic visit….(saying internal prayer right now, I have a young daughter). Well Randy and I didn’t get to visit much before we heard people in the hallway. I told Randy to hide under the bed just before the door opened and a night guard came in asking if we heard anything. At this point I feigned an illness and said I was just going to go see the nurse (wanted to give my guy some getaway time). I could see they were falling for it and then someone caught a reflection of Randy in the window and BAM we were busted. Props to my room mate for “sleeping” through the entire ruckus. I got demoted from Level 4 to Level 2 which meant a lot more restrictions and I’m sure my Mom was proud when the gossip that weekend centered around the girl who got caught with a boy under her bed.
To be continued…….https://wasthatmyoutloudvoice.com/2015/05/02/1-out-of-37-part-4/