Well after the 28 standard days I got released from rehab. While I was away my mom, her fiance and my brother moved to a different house in the same town. It was a few days before Christmas 1983 and my mother was getting married. We’ll call her husband
asshole Dick. Dick and my mother found love in the rooms of AA. Two days after they got married Dick started tossing coffee tables like they were frisbes as mom frantically searched for new living arrangements for her two kids. My twin brother landed locally so he could stay in the same high school. I wound up staying with Lola, my roommate from rehab and her family which was an hour away from home.
Lola’s family was very kind to me and I really had a great time there. It was late December and there was a break in the school year so we just hung out and had the best time. I had no idea that you could have so much fun sober. I started singing in a band which we named H.A.L.T. after an AA slogan that suggested that you never get too Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired. Everyone in the band was sober. Two of the guys had a year or two of sobriety and that seemed like a lifetime to me. I also saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time, it was a blast. I remember driving to the movie theater with Van Halen’s Jump on the radio I don’t think I had ever been happier up to that point. I even sang on stage in a bar (ironic, eh?) with this band it was an amazing experience.
Sadly the fun fest came to an abrupt end. Not sure what actually happened but in early January I was packing my bags again. I thought that Lola was a upset by the male attention that I received but no one ever owned that, it was just a hunch. My mom didn’t want me to go back to live with her and Dick. No family members were willing to take me in including my father. She found a place that took sober teenagers in Long Eddy, NY.
“The Family” was a halfway house which followed a militant brand of sobriety. Most of the residents were there by court order to avoid prison time, thanks mom. The house itself was a split level from the 1970’s and it was located on a small farm. Up to 40 people lived in that house and the average was 35 male residents to 5 female residents. Median age was probably 28. So here I am a 15 year old girl thrown into a halfway house/farm with a bunch of would be convicts.
The first thing they did was cut my long stylish hair into a drab short bob. They also traded my trendy teenager clothes for more modest overalls and flannels with the boots to match. This place had an extreme “blackout” phase during which communication was limited with the outside world and this phase lasted 90 days. So for three months newbies weren’t allowed to watch tv, read anything (other than AA literature), no letters, phone calls or visits, you could not even keep a journal.
I was sick when I got there, feverish sick so I spent the first day or two in bed. From my bunk in the lower level of the house I could hear screaming and yelling. Residents were constantly demeaned and ordered about. My stomach was in knots and I felt trapped and I couldn’t stand to be there, so I left.
My great escape didn’t get me too far maybe three miles down the road. I saw a small house and took a chance and knocked on the door. An older man answered and was kind enough to let me use his phone. I called my mother and told her I ran away and described the place in awful detail. She asked for the phone number so she could call me back. Within 10 minutes some people from “The Family” scooped me up and took me back. That was probably the worst betrayal of my life.
I was hysterical and it showed. I screamed while ugly crying and trying to explain to them that I did not belong there. They accused me of being drunk and said as much to my mother. At that point my sobriety was my most treasured possession and they flat out lied. At some point I realized I had to put on a better game face to get myself out of there so I went into stepford mode.
To be continued……………https://wasthatmyoutloudvoice.com/2015/05/03/1-out-of-37-part-5/