Author Frankie Marie learned from an early age that it was best to keep her mouth shut. That way, she could avoid the abuse that was a common occurrence in her household.
Although she didn't begin using drugs solely because of the abuse, it definitely played a role in the choices she made. Her hard life growing up certainly made it easier for her to go down the wrong path. Even now, after getting help and being clean for many years, her past weighs her down.
By sharing her story, she hopes to help others who have been abused or battling drug problems get help. In this inspiring story, you'll learn how abuse can lead to addiction; how to get help if you have a problem; how support networks can prevent relapses; and how to move forward one day at a time.
Join Frankie and discover how she became an addict, how she beat her addiction, and how she now works in the court system to help others recover and start living Life on Life's Terms.
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Read an Excerpt
Life on Life's Terms"My Gratitude Speaks"
By Frankie Marie
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Frankie Marie
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Cries Within
I can remember how my parents espoused the "what will people think" philosophy, in public we really did pull off the "perfect Family" image, we were all very gracious to each other, at home mom and dad changed from smiling, chatting and joking to dad completely withdrawing with his beers and mom yelling for attention. Its like I always had a feeling of "preparing for" or getting ready for something and my brother who was just under me felt the same way, we both thought a lot alike, all we had at that time was each other and we always knew what one or the other was thinking. I had a role, always a flurry of household chores to get right and my smaller brother and sisters to take care of but I felt happiest in the midst of my chores, I learned early on how to bottle up my feelings because they didn't matter anyways so why even try to express them. I consciously worked at not needing anything from anyone again to hopefully cut down on some of the stress, if they even cared. That's how I felt, my words didn't matter at that time and keeping my mouth shut was the best thing I could do for all of us to avoid an argument or getting hit and being told that what I said didn't matter or was stupid. So I learned to bottle up tensions by anticipating what needed to be done next to make it at least easier for mom and the kids, wasn't there fault the life we were in at that time sucked. But then again they had no idea of the abuse that was going on in that house and I was at fault also to hide it from them every time I had a chance, I felt they didn't need to know what was going on or have to live in any kind of fear, that was my job and mine only, even though Pat always wanted to be a part of and seemed like he just had to protect me I felt he just wasn't old enough to know everything, so I let him go with only what he saw and heard, the rest I kept to myself, it was bad enough I didn't need to share it with anyone.
Being raised in child abuse, physical, sexual or mental is very common in the world I lived in, doesn't mean it was ok but we didn't have places to reach out back then like we have today.
Child abuse is common in all sorts of troubled families. While severe physical abuse and overt sexual abuse are clearly recognizable as traumatic to infants and children, other forms of child abuse may be more difficult to recognize as being abusive, meaning getting into the adults, your scared for life and the only one that can help you is YOU, in having the will to overcome the trauma.
I'm 54 years old today and it's only been a few years that I had finally let go of all the secrets and overcome the trauma I kept deep inside my soul, I didn't want know one to know because of what they would think of me or how I would be treated because of it, or what would it do today to the family that had hurt me considering that they were different people today, sober and better parents, I was willing to simply keep that secret till I died so that know one would be hurt by the actions that had been put on me all those years ago, was it worth having them relive that pain, or even cause a huge fight within that family because of what was done all those years ago? I wasn't out to hurt anyone at all, I have been clean from drugs for 14 years now and hearing all these stories from people who shared there experiences, strengths and hopes at the meetings of Narcotics Anonymous that I went too kept digging inside of me, I felt like I was a fraud not telling about all that had happened to me, I would glorify my story a little to avoid telling about the shameful things I carried deep in my heart, I didn't want people to judge me and I wanted them to think I was not one of them, I didn't do drugs because I was abused for so many years but it did play a role into the feelings I had at the time, the no self worth, the pain, the worthlessness I thought I was no matter how much I tried or did good it hunted me, at the end of a great day and I would sit at home to finally resting there it popped up in my head as if it was talking to me saying, "why don't you just let me out" "are you afraid of hurting the ones who did this to you" or "are you living a lie to feel better then others" I would close my eyes wishing it would just go away but it never did, thanks to the help of my wonderful sponsor Debbie here in Texarkana and my best friend Carrie that would always tell me how good I was as a person, how I could make a difference in peoples lives because of all I had been through and how they knew for a fact that I could help change another's life forever by simply sharing my story. It killed me so I decided to write my first book and just let it out, as much as I at the time could remember and to my surprise as I would finish one secret and began to tell o another I would feel better and better, like if I was taking this power away from anyone who had hurt me, even though at the time they were alcoholic or what the problem was, and even though today they had been sober for years and doing great and treating you as if you were so special and liking having someone love you that much it was like I didn't care no more, yes I cared about there feelings today very much so, but I needed to get this out of me, it's been long over due and I needed peace with myself, I needed to get rid of the secrets knowing that there are so may other out there like me that needed to know how or what to do to get rid of these painful secrets, I felt like I had been the one chosen to reach out and help, what really did it for me was I had went to a women's facility to speck and tell my story of what I did in the past with drugs and what I did to be who I am today, there stares were like infatuated and so interested in what did they have to do to be different and get away from drugs, my job was to guide them in the right direction with my story. After I had spoke they stood up and gave a applaud with smiles that wet from ear to ear, I was I shock to see how much they looked up to me and after the meeting they were full of questions and kept saying to me, "when I get out of here I'm going to do like you did so I can have my life back." a sharp pain hit my heart, I knew a lot of them had been abused and a lot of them ended up there because of it, they knew nothing else but the abuse so it lead them to drugs so that they would no longer feel no pain, the drugs made you feel like know one will ever again hurt you, you felt like you were the strongest person alive and most of all, you weren't afraid anymore. When I left that facility that evening I told myself I needed to get honest with myself ad be ok wit sharing about me being abused for 11 years, not that it lead me to drugs but it gave me a sense of no self worth and always doing things so people would like me because I didn't know how to be strong o my own, it lead me to allow people to abuse me in other ways because I didn't know how to defend my self or say "no" and I did so many things I my life just to please people because I wanted them to like me or accept me, even in my years of being clean I still did it. As I drove home that evening I thought of all that stuff and decided it was time to let go of all the secrets, it was time to take away the power from anyone who thought they got away with it or the power of simply letting me agree with them even if I didn't want too ad they knew it. I was done, that was it, as of tonight I was going to finish my book and let it all out, no more secrets no more lies and it was time for me to live my life pain free from then till now. I knew as I started to write that night that there would be people I my family that would be very upset that I would do this but I wasn't doing it to hurt anyone, I was doing it to free myself, it wasn't about them anyways it was about me and I knew that if I was totally honest that there was a lot of others out there that simply needed to know it was ok and what to do to get out of that rut no matter how old you are. I had made up my mind and I was going to do it, I would take away the power from anyone who thought they would change my mind or who felt they could still manipulate me, it wasn't going to work, this was for "me to make a difference in someone else's life" my goal was to be able to help someone like me out there and hope they can move on and live there life free and clear from any kind of pain or secret that's holding them back.
My Gratitude speaks
It's July 4th 2007, 5 in the morning The smell of coffee roaming threw the house , my body hurts, I'm tired but the only thought in my mind is Today I have 12 years clean, I'm married to a man sent from heaven, he's a gift I still wonder why me!! He is the most wonderful man I have ever met. I am working doing what I love best, I work in recovery and my goal is "to make a difference". I'm a grandma to 3 lovely wonderful little girls that put's a smile on my face every time I see them ... and can't wait for my oldest son to give me yet another grandchild ... I get a flash of the past that runs threw my head, just so I never forget where I came from and what I have been threw. To think I have gone from, abuse, which is sexual to verbal to mental, with drugs, jails and institutions, from hitting bottom and climbing back up. From self destruction to rehabilitation and living life on life's terms.
Know that priorities come into play a lot in this book, as well as choices, how do you make right or wrong choices or how do you know when priorities come into play, and to always remember, it's not about the pain inflicted on you but what you do about it. Even though the past did not prepare me for what I was about to face threw this journey, It has taught me exactly where my priorities lie and what choices I feel the need to make on a daily bases.
Even though "Our priorities are quite strange," "We're missing a lot of opportunities (to do) a lot of good that America used to do and has a history of doing". My series of calculations didn't quite hit the spot with my self worth.
Remembering back 5 years ago when I worked for the courts I would see people's faces glisten with sweat, their red-rimmed eyes stare ahead vacantly as they're herded into the sweltering room where another day of court is about to begin.
Most of the men here have been arrested on drug charges; most of the women — some barefoot, some in stiletto heels — have been accused of prostitution. Few can afford lawyers.
Everybody else is represented by the same public defender, which hasn't had time to interview anyone beforehand. It's the commissioner in blue jeans peeking out from under her black robe that flips through manila folders and questions the prosecutor. My mind was ready to take on the day to give my best performance in defending first time drug offenders trying to give them the benefit of doubt and try to feel how it felt when at one time I was in there shoes hoping for that second chance. Wasn't easy because when you have know one to believe you and you're backed in your own corner your lost and have no hope.
The biggest surprise for me on turning 50 is how much it feels like being in junior high again. Suddenly, the women in my world are spending hours in front of the bathroom mirror, fiddling with their hair and micro-examining their complexions. They fret over their bodies in ways not seen since eighth grade. And even highly intellectual friends, who used to think nothing of showing up at conferences in drip-dry suits, have begun to give to fashion magazines the same scrutiny they give research papers. At parties or even at the playground, I'm aware of the x-ray stares checking out my outfit, my shoes, my hair, followed by the silent registration of approval — or disapproval. Women always do this to each other, of course, but at 52 you're aware of heightened inspection: "Hmm, she's looking older. Is her hair lighter? She looks much 'rested' — maybe she got her eyes done?"
Its like friendships they come and they go, are they really worthy of your trust or hard work in spending your time giving them that unconditional friend that you are. You will see threw out my book that friendships come and go and very little can you actually say "she or he is my best friend",
I can count on one hand what a true friend really is, and to be honest that's way to many, but enough to always know someone does care to that extent and you can actually count on them to be there for you unconditionally.
Whatever you do don't try to rekindle your friendship if your heart isn't into it, forcing yourself would make it fake. Most friendships end, and yours did when a confession of feelings was made in a negative way. Are you still friends with your best friend from kindergarten? College? First job? Friendships last while both parties are in a similar stage in life and then more often than not, dissolve. If you attempt a friendship with this man or woman, he or she will think you got back in touch because he or she has a chance with you. Leave well enough alone, guard your marriage and let your friend move on with his or her life. If you truly care for him or her, you will allow them to get over you and not have you remind them that they can't have you by hanging around him or her.
These are just few statements that you will experience threw out my book and to better make you understand me, I'm putting you at easy to begin with knowing my thinking today has extremely changed between then and now and living life on life's terms, with myself and with GOD.
When I was little and Not understanding life on life's terms and the concept of having to depend on the adults around me I was a very lost soul, the child with no clue of what was about to happen in her life.
I can remember as far back as when I was five years old, we lived in a small suburb in Paris France where there was a small house and woods near the back yard, I was always afraid to go near those woods thinking there was awful monsters there, considering I was always afraid of spiders and snakes or any kind of bug or moving creature. I was playing in the front yard with my little brother putting rocks in a American coffee can then making a wee sound as we threw them over our heads, and hearing our mother coming out yelling at us to stop throwing the rocks. After a few times of doing this my mother had come out and took the coffee can away from us and threw it in the air thinking it would not be near us to use again, as she said "stop playing with the gravel" and she walked away, but all the sudden I feel a THUMP on my head followed by red blood running down my face, the can she threw had come right down on my head and cutting it pretty bad. At the time my mother was getting ready to wash diapers and had filled the sink with Clorox and water, she heard me and came out to see why the heck I was crying for and she seen this red sheet of blood covering my face, her first reaction was to grab me and run me in the house and put the top of my head right in that Clorox and water, talk about pain, till this day I will never forget it, god that hurt so bad, my soon to be step dad and my mother rushed me to the hospital where I received 24 stitches. I learned from then on to NOT throw the rocks in the driveway. The next day I was out in the back yard and I remember sitting there for hours looking at those woods back there, I was so scared of them, thinking there was some kind of monster because of the echo's the wind made going threw there was to frightening to me. My brother who was smaller then I was by a few years wanted to go look in those woods as well as this kid called Alan adopted by my grandfather who was about the same age as I was. He insisted on wanting to go in those woods just to look, I was so scared and decided to follow him just a little ways, as we entered the hallow woods with thick tree's and so dark even during the day, my heart was beating one hundred miles a hour I was so afraid. We barely would make it to the entrance and some little noise would scare us to death and we would run out screaming as if we were being chased by the monsters. My step father "who was always drunk" was so upset at me for crying about it that I wet my pants, he would take me out back to this shed and make me bend over a sawhorse and whoop me with a thin twig over and over until I begged him to stop. I used to hate him for that, he got pleasure in doing that, then he would come and hug you after he had a few beers and expected to make it all better. There were times when my step dad wasn't there and mom would spend time with me or try, I know she had her things she did but I knew she loved me and I really think she felt sorry for me at times. She was so pretty, I would sit for ever just watching her wishing that one day I look like her. Her smile would lighten up a room, her hair was so soft and she would let me brush it when she was in the mood, I loved her so much. I wanted her attention so bad that I did things that only got me in trouble and didn't really know it.
Excerpted from Life on Life's Terms by Frankie Marie Copyright © 2012 by Frankie Marie. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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