I am happy now. I really like the person I am. It took time...

At 5-6 years old I was kept at a relative's house while my single mom worked. They watched about 6 or 8 kids during the day. I figured I was there about 6 months until mom didn't take me there anymore. My memory is wonderfully vivid of my days there. I remember everything about what went on.

I don't remember "adults" being there. I do remember 3 males around 18-21 years old and one female whom I verified later was 16 years old. Every day I was there. All day I was there. They were there.

It must have seemed like a pedo feast to them. All of us were raped daily. Most of the time we were all in the same room (living room), kids all around. Lots of crying. Lots of hurt. For 6 months. I was just a ball of feelings. Some was pleasurable. Some really hurt. Some was neither. It didn't seem like I was confused about the whole thing, it was what it was. It happened and 6 months later it was over.

Mom never said anything. She never asked anything. I never knew she was aware of what had happened until 3 years and 5 months ago. I just turned 54 years old last month.

My life crashed down around me 3 years and 6 months ago as a full blown alcoholic. I entered Valley Hope treatment facility for alcoholism and it saved my life. I learned my drinking was only a symptom of my problems. I could stop drinking but if I didn't solve my problems I would probably just go back to drinking again.

I had a sexual addiction, I had an alcohol addiction, I had a drug addiction, I had a huge ego and had some really great successes in my life. Married my junior high school sweetheart, made lots of money, big home, two great kids, on and on... But inside I was living this life nobody could ever know about. I felt such a compulsion for my addictions that nothing was going to get in my way of their enjoyment.

After a while I felt guilty and frozen with fear of being found out. This isn't who I wanted to really be. I wanted to be the husband who gave 100% and the employee who gave 100% and the friend who gave 100% but I knew I couldn't be any of that. I grew to hate myself for having these sick sexual feelings and drinking myself into oblivion to forget and punish myself (because I deserved it).

Got to the point I wanted to die.

Now I understand how I used my childhood memories to give me an excuse to act out any ol' way I wanted. I indulged in extreme sexual behavior because I told myself I felt that way because I was abused. Years and years of doing this mental gymnastics with sex had made this sexual behavior a habit, and years and years of this habit seemed to transform it into an addiction. It was the "old poor me, old poor me, old pour me a drink" kind of thing. Also, the drinking seemed to fit in with the punishment I felt like I deserved.

I am using AA to keep me sober from all of my addictions. It has been working for 1249 days today. It is powerful stuff. It has saved my life.

It has taught me that I would have killed the wrong person if I had committed suicide (because I like me). Also, those people who did that stuff to us needed help with their addictions too. I realize now they probably deep down hated treating kids that way, and they would have stopped if they could.

I have to be honest with myself and with my feelings if I am going to heal. I need to understand why I act the way I act, why I feel the way I feel. It seems, in my own situation, to all center around my selfishness and self-seeking, faithless living.

That has all changed.