At the NA meeting everyone talks as if they are telling a story of what’s happening in a rear view mirror.

A woman stood up and came to the podium to share her story. She was a middle aged, dark complexioned woman who had an air as if she may have been a butch. She talked for a long time covering her life from the time she a 4-years-old up to the present. What I am about to write is not to discredit or demean the woman’s experiences but just to share thoughts her situation brought to mind as I was listening and later recalled her words.

Her story entailed her being molested at the age of 4 by a person her family trusted. I can’t remember being 4 years old and the majority of the people I ask do not remember when they were that age. So my logic tells me that this situation that occurred had to be told to her by trusted family members. Not only that, but was told in a way that made her feel disgusted and dirty about herself. I fully understand the adults addressing the crime, but what did they do to save her spirit? It sounded as if their good intensions were a contributing factor in how this child would look at her victimhood for the rest of her life.

The woman went on to tell how the molestation created this rage within her, she started acting out in school and became physically violent, especially toward “anyone who looked like the male that took her innocence.” She shared with the group stories of her life long pattern of violence, shooting, stabbing, setting people on fire and getting away with it until she ended-up serving 20 years in prison.

Her life’s experience of using and selling drugs started at the young age of 13. . ..It was her family’s business. As I listened to her story I wondered if it was more from the exposure of a family that was heavily involved in drug distribution and the violence that comes with that territory. I wondered if being raised in a violent and drug infested urban city lead her to using and the increase in her violence tendencies. I found her disclosing of how well-off her family was interesting as she seemed to have been proud to announce that they were the biggest drug dealers in the city and the rain of violence they put down.

She finally shared that she had been clean or hadn’t used drugs in two years. Everyone stood to congratulate her as this is a big accomplishment and stepping stone.

I am not an addict, I have never used nor abused drugs or any other substances So I write from the perspective of someone whose only connection is a love one who’s addicted. As I have attended these NA meetings I have learned that most of the addicts have some amazing life stories that could easily be made into movies. They are interesting for me as a non-user to hear and learn from. When I left this meeting I didn’t get a great sense of hope. Which I believe is why most of those that come to the NA meeting for By that, I mean telling one’s life experience is great, but telling how you stay clean and in recovery is most beneficial to those that are coming for fellowship and hope. By DeVine