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March 21, 2006
You know, at first there was hesitation in writing this letter. Because I felt that I was only a small part of the Baker River School experience. However my respect and love for my friends Bruce and Betsy compelled me to do so. I arrived at BRS a very confused and messed up individual. My childhood up to then was not one full of joy and happiness. When I was four my mother worked at an orphanage and met a young man there who she took a liking to. He eventually moved in with us and after a few months began sexually abusing me. For two years he would take me down to the basement and rape my soul and identity. That basement became my own private hell where he would take me, and little by little, steal my childhood.
Eventually he was found out and the police came and took him away. In those days there was no therapy and no one told me that it was not my fault and what he did was wrong, so I stared to develop thinking it was somehow my doing. My stepfather was a terribly mean individual that I endured incredible abuse from as well. Beatings with telephone wires, electrical cables, and fists were not uncommon. All this was bad of course but the words were the most painful, you’re stupid, your worthless, etc. were common everyday happenings. Like a barrage of tiny little daggers piercing my spirit it continued without end until my mother eventually divorced him.
The court ordered that he had rights to visitation and I would go there on occasion to stay. His new wife started to molest me as well. I was twelve years old, how could I tell this man his wife was making me have sex with her? In addition there were nights of drunkenness where my stepfather would brutally beat his new wife and I remember vividly being under the covers upstairs and just being absolutely paralyzed with fear that I would be next.
I had already stared abusing alcohol by the time I was ten I was getting drunk on a regular basis. Then the drugs came and I had my first LSD experience at 13. I could not start my day without smoking at least two joints, and by this time I was a hardcore addict, pills, lsd, meth, etc. Imagine at thirteen I was a drug addict, at eleven an alcoholic.
I eventually got expelled from my high school and that is how I wound up at BRS. I really did love it there but I just was too messed up at the time to handle the structure of it. It was nobody’s fault, my problems were simply to deep rooted at the time, and the school was not equipped to deal with my intense emotional problems. I regretted that decision for a long time because Bruce and Betsy were the only people that broke the chains around my heart and made me feel love. At the time though I did not recognize what it meant. I never up to that point felt true love in my life or had a clue what it was.
After I left the school my drug abuse became worse to the point where I was turned over to the state. I ended up in a group home for troubled teens. My social worker that was assigned to me made advances towards me and we also has a sexual relationship. Imagine a trusted state welfare employees having sex with her client. A person she is assigned to protect.
I eventually left the group home and at eighteen ended up in the hospital with what is called “WET BRAIN” it is a condition by where the brain is literally soaked with alcohol. I was completely lost and on the verge of madness. By getting on my knees and begging God to return me to sanity and intense rehab through AA and therapy. I became at least functional again, but it was a long painful road back to sanity. There were days I literally could not face the daylight so I would just sleep all day.
I finally was at least able to hold a job and moved to California. It was here that I started working out with weights on a regular basis and this taught me how to set goals for myself. The journey to self love started when I met Christ. He spoke to me. Not in an audible way, but to my spirit. Through prayer and meditation I learned to love myself and therefore I could love other people. He taught me that sometimes to be built up; you have to be torn down to where no ego exists. It is the only way to personal and spiritual growth.
My greatest compliment in life is when someone says to me, "You’re so kind", or "you are one of the kindest people I have ever met". Another one is where I see people like my family or friends and they say you are so happy now and you have changed so much. My simple response is “no this who I have always been.”
I now live in San Diego California and I am a Corporate Accounting Manager for six hotels, soon to be eight. I oversee all the audits, financial statements, payroll, and operational accounting procedures. I keep in shape doing Tae-bo, rollerblading on the beach, and doing my Bowflex. Fitness is my love. I recently visited Bruce and Betsy at their home in New Jersey, and it was like my life had come full circle. I really love those two. My sister teaches school in Belmont MA so I drove down to see them at her Masters graduation. The family calls me the miracle I just call myself blessed.
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