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Voices for Recovery

Billie Jo (09/18/2009)

Billie Jo Voice

As I sat in a white walled; polka dotted gray floor smoking room; I vividly remembered 14 hours earlier I had taken a knife and literally sliced my wrists.  I had looked down taking a drag off my cigarette in which you could only light through the wall. I had noticed the blood soaked straps, stitches sticking through which obviously needed cleaning. I looked around at the faces and hearing the echoes of their stories. I silently cried thinking I was not alone. (Kent Oaks 1992).  Thinking back from the night before, I could only remember being totally obliviated coming home from the club. Walking through the door was like a light switch, I grabbed a knife and immediately starting slicing my wrists. Somehow a friend knew and showed up calling the police. Then I remember the two police officers and an ambulance driver on top struggling with me to stop. One of the police officers got on top off me with a tear down his face and screamed at me to stop and asking all the while why such a beautiful girl could do this to herself. The next thing I remember, I was at the hospital and had fought all the nurses and the doctors. Finally, one came up behind me and poked me with their miracle tranquilizer. Slowly but surly, I gave them my wrist to sew up.

This was not the first time nor was it the last of my trials. In 1995 I had tried but no one knew due to a rape in the Michigan Department of Corrections Boot camp Rape in 1994. In 1997 I had tried also due to a rape where the Police had put me in a car of a person I did not know, when I had instructed them 3 times I had called a cab that night. Out of ignorance and believing in that man I was raped severely by 3 individuals. (Wyoming Police Department 1997). However this alone was not the beginning. Even a small incident at the Grand Rapids Correction Center (2001) where an officer requested for me to pull my shirt up and I had a low cut pants on with that shirt underneath my bra and he had instructed me to turn around in front of all the male inmates. He didn’t need to do that at all. And another event happened there as well where I spoke my mind and told what happened to me physically and nothing was done (Grand Rapids Correction Center).

This had started years ago, back when I was 11, a girlfriend and I were walking home from school, there was approximately 10 of the opposite sex at around 3:15 in the afternoon ran up from all sides and jumped me. My clothes were ripped and their hands went anywhere they could possibly go. I did not return to school neither the next day nor the next. 30 days later  my mother had confronted me about a phone call from school. I had to tell the truth. She and my father immediately went to the school. I guess they wanted t settle it without making it public. I did not know all of them. The detectives had me look at school books and such in 7th Grade Godwin Middle School and the Wyoming Police Department. Everything at that time began to make a toll on me, in a very hard way. Finally I was in band class and the instructor for that had asked me to stand up. I did, thinking this was far out. He then sat there and asked me why I didn’t use karate and how could this happen? I left and never returned. Years later the GED worked for that moment in question. I was shipped from therapist to therapist. There was so much wrong, as I was even a cutter at the time as well. However from the beginning they had classified me with Bipolar Mixed Rapid Cycling Disorder as well as Anxiety Disorder at the Pine Rest Christian Hospital in 1990. At one time they even turned me against my parents and my parents against me. Saying my father raped me and then the opposite. I was on so much medication I didn’t know who to believe anymore. I know the father that raised me was a violent man. Even when I was young, I had screamed for my mother as I had started my curse of a lifetime the period. He had come in and close handed me in the face and blood went everywhere. He told me not to come out of the room until it was all clean up. I cried I couldn’t reach the ceiling at all. And for two weeks I hid the shirt and my sister had found it and told my mother. Now you talk about being scared. That was the beginning of me starting to close up and not say everything I should say to my parents. I was so scared to even touch the Doorknob to get in the house, for fear he might scream or grab me. I was walking on broken glass everywhere I went I finally got married and was pregnant in the first year. In 1987 my husband started to come home drunk and began to be physical as well as mental (verbal) abusive. I started having panic attacks. Not just one either. They came in floods and lasted longer then a typical 1-minute episode. Mine last 5-10 hours. And still feel anxious then. We were divorced.

Finally I resulted in drinking to settle my nerves to get rid of the anxious feeling. I knew once that started we were in for a hell of a night. I was finally put on medication. But after awhile it didn’t work as much. So the heavier I drank. Finally they had me on the highest dose of a tranquilizer and instead of drinking I turned to cocaine. First it was powder then it was crack. When that wasn’t around Meth was there. I still seen the therapist, psychologists and were given tests, always the same outcome. Bipolar and Anxiety Disorder also panic Disorder. Then they had added a few years later Borderline Personality Disorder with dissociative features. Now I can tell you that is one screwed up situation. I can sit in a chair look at the TV or someone. It feels like melting into the chair. I can’t hear anything or see what everyone thinks is normal. But to disturb me in that consciousness would be a big no on anyone’s part. That comes in goes in time. I started getting in trouble with the law. Everything I tried to do right was wrong. I cried everyday or was mad as hell. I thought I was strong yet I was so damn weak. I had been raped again. That was during my second marriage. Also during that time I was emotionally and physically abused. Patterns I followed like the yellow brick road. Life was getting out of hand. And I was using crack more as well as drinking. My psychologist knew I was using. But yet I started to self medicate myself on one drug. That was to bring me down from being so damn high. I even ended up on the floor calling my mom from my apartment thinking one time I was dying literally. I started feeling like I wasn’t worth a damn. And I began to hate God even. Starting with me being so young, why he would let ignorant people, or have people in positions that they knew not to rape me why? I began to tell him silently to F#$$ off.

Finally I ended up in Boot camp. With only 35 days left I was raped by a Corporal As I had stated in the beginning. He had that persona about him where he was one of the good guys. You could look him in the eyes, he would talk to all of us and then he would get serious and say things like he had the power to have you graduate or have your ass sent to prison. You could see he meant it, I even had a witness that day see what the heck he had done. I remember afterwards running up too Charlie Fox Trot crying hoping no one seen. I only had 30+ days to go. I felt dirty. As the hot water poured on me before everyone got back from detail. I never so much wanted to go home. Die and right there. Well it leaked out. They made him leave grounds. Not to come within so many yards of the place. And they made me see a psychiatrist. They said I could go home and come back when everything was figured out. No, I finished it. Even with them constantly pushing me down, spitting on me, being total assholes more than they should. I made it. When I got out I found out I caught TB from there. My husband never felt so bad for me. But that didn’t stop our arguments.

I got a job and I was a line leader. I flipped out one night so bad that I had to have my supervisor go to my house and grab my meds. I just didn’t want what happened at another job I had where I had panicked and the ambulance came and picked me up and in doing so my heartbeat was around 240 beats per min. At that time mind you I didn’t use hard drugs at all. As I have tried to understand myself, finally asking the doctor. If this is what I am going to be on for the rest of my life and it was a clear cut yes. I cried so hard. It felt like being strapped down and not being able to move. I have finally accepted the fact of what I got. I began to read self help books. The bible more and I am trying to work myself through my mood swings. Studying on others actions so  that I may avoid pray fully their actions. I started reading up on the statistics on how Crystal Meth when in addiction ruins your brain cells  and you do not rebuild those back and how crack cocaine after a year of non use your brain starts to replenish their cells. I  have read where people think that this is not a debilitating disability as much as physical. And it is. It hurts. I have personally tried and somehow failed to commit suicide again a couple years ago putting a 30.06 in my mouth. Things seem to go so right but then they go wrong. And then there are people who think that drugs cause all this. And to be honest I know for facts as well as I stand here now. I had been classified with what I have before I used especially heavy. I also know that it has been recognized through the years little by little of duel diagnosis. Mental Disabilities as well as drug abuse. As I have written and asked at many times and many questions at that. I can only hope and pray, that even a single voice or a few listen  to some of our life events and know that Mental Health and Drug Addiction does exist. Hand in hand. The combination can be very deadly and at times no one is to blame. However Mental Health and Counseling needs more involvement and they need to take this more seriously. Also today’s society also needs to be aware especially that yes there is the Mental Illness before the Drug Addiction and to never look down on another’s disablement. I know that was another problem I had. People would look at me as I was normal and intelligent or half intelligent to them. But they didn’t know me inside. The inside that hurts, cries, gets mad for no reason. I could go on and on. Sometime still has suicidal thoughts. By the way, I’ve been three years clean off drugs. And even though I’m off that I still deal with my disability. Days are hard but I get through them. Plus I was in two auto accident's 2 years ago and have wrecked my back my left arm and right knee. I also have short term memory loss from a slight brain injury from this. Somehow, someway, I know it’s hard to say this but to what has happened to me on the rapes there was another one I believe it was in (2004); nothing done about it. Justice in this state on these is hopeless I can forgive the people who have hurt me. However, I’ll never forget.

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