Victim to victor???

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I started off coming to this page as a volunteer to help others. Turns out you truly can’t help another person until you can help yourself. I have spent these last two years in a cycle of trauma and alcohol abuse. I thought I was one of those people who was okay because I thought my drinking wouldn’t affect anybody. Turns out all that drinking was just covering up trauma that I have been holding in for years. Since telling my story on this page, I had gotten into a relationship that was pretty damn good. We had a lot of ups and a lot of downs, mostly due to my drinking. We would move in together and then break up. Throughout that time we then gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and decided it was time to bring our families together and move it in once again. And, that’s when the darkness takes over when I’m happy and I feel like I don’t deserve it. So self-sabotage is my best friend. Why do we feel like we don’t deserve it? How do we take back the power that our abusers have taken from us? I continue to engage in therapy for my PTSD, anger management, and have now completed my 7 session of 36 of my intensive outpatient program for alcohol. I used to be able to talk about my experiences and think I was okay, but then I would go home and drink and drink until I felt nothing. And, the only people I hurt, are the ones I care for the most. Everyday I try because I can’t give up on them. It’s just so hard because I feel like no one understands I can’t talk to anybody because no one understands what it’s like to carry trauma and so deep down inside your body that you don’t know where it’s a growing from. I CONSTANTLY GET JUDGED. The alcohol has lead me to serious legal trouble. I’m tainted by it. I never thought that I would be in trouble for domestic violence as I grew up seeing at my whole life and now I’m on the other side of it. I’m not a victim, I’m the perpetrator. And it’s all because of the trauma that I’m trying so very hard to get past. I know that one day I will clear my name I just hope that my family will be there when it’s all over.

Join the Conversation


  1. blashea Day Captain

    Hi. You are absolutely correct, self care is the most important and you have to take care of yourself first. We are all so proud of you and your strength. It may not seem like it, but the fact that you’re seeking help or even sharing your story with us, is a huge step forward and incredibly brave. It takes a lot of courage to seek help. I am so proud of you and I hope your sessions continue to go well. We are all here for you and support you. You’ve got this. Keep your head up and never forget how strong you are.

  2. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us , also thanks for being a volunteer with us. I know you’ve been through a lot and seeking help is amazing. Good luck with your journey and know we are behind you the entire way. You deserve happiness and nothing but the beat in life, I’m glad you’re seeing some and getting help. Stay strong and keep on fighting we believe in you!


  3. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for sharing your story. We believe you and we are all here for you. I think a lot of people don’t think that they deserve good things. We are always our own hardest critic. However, you do deserve to be happy and have your wonderful family. I am glad that you have been seeing a therapist. I am sure your family will be there for you when you work your way through this. You are so strong. You can do this. Things are going to get better. Sometimes progress is slow, but it is still progress!


  4. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us , also thanks for being a volunteer with us. I know you’ve been through a lot and seeking help is amazing. Good luck with your journey and know we are behind you the entire way. Stay strong and keep on fighting we believe in you!


  5. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for sharing with us, and thank you for volunteering as well. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, and it’s great to hear that you’re seeking help for it. It definitely sounds hard and unfair to be judged for things you are trying hard to change. I’m wishing you nothing but the best on your road to recovery. Take care.


    1. Jay Volunteer

      Thank you so much! All of the kind words just affirmed that AVFTI is where I belong. As far as being judged, it has definitely taken its toll. But, everyday I stay sober, I feel less angry. I feel like I’m taking back a little bit of myself. I feel a calling here with all these amazing people who have heard my story, and still believe the best in me. Thank you so much for reaching out.

  6. candyappleb Day Captain

    Hi Jay,

    I think it’s a very brave thing that you’ve done my coming here and sharing your story with us. It takes a lot of courage to admit you aren’t okay. I admire your strength as you continue to engage in your therapy and recovery. You can always reach out to us. There’s no judgement here. We’re happy to help you anyway that we can along your healing journey.

  7. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Jay,
    I’m so sorry this happened. It is okay that you turned to drinking and you felt like that was your comfort zone. It is okay to not be okay. You do not have to feel like you are alone anymore. We are here for you and we want to help make you feel better. If you want to stop drinking you can. You can go to AA meetings or you can try to just stop drinking on your own. Don’t feel like you are getting judged. We will never judge you and if people do, just ignore them because they aren’t worth your time. Therapy will help you. You just have to take your time and don’t rush anything. You are strong and will overcome this. This is a great step to recovery. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. Continue to stay strong. If you need anything let us know.

    1. Jay Volunteer

      I definitely didn’t try going at it alone. I have so much support from multiple programs. I finally feel like i’m getting some where. Since posting my story, i’ve made a grand effort to not let the opinions of others get to me. It’s been the hardest part to over come! I can’t be mad at others for having an opinion on my choice of actions during a very traumatic time, but I can change how I speak about myself, and it will only be with love from now on!!! Just happy to be alive and sober today!

  8. Jess Volunteer

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. The fact that you’re seeking treatment for your alcohol problem is an amazing step – recognize that hard work! Sometimes we get so caught up on not being healed yet that we forget to acknowledge our triumphs. The amount of trauma you’re dealing with is significant, so try to remember to think of the progress you’re making as well.

    Have you tried any other types of group therapies? IOP treatment can be incredibly helpful and you should definitely continue on that path. However, if you find that you’re still not finding someone who truly understands you, it may be helpful to explore other groups or support groups that could provide you with that support.

    Keep fighting for your family. That’s an amazing motivator. Stay strong and stay brave. <3 If you need anything else, we are always here for you.

    1. Jay Volunteer

      Definitely! I tend to dwell on the negative. I’m really working on that! I’m in several treatments. I have had such tremendous support from all my therapists, and peers. I know i’ll be able to beat my addiction. I just want it so bad. Just happy to be alive and sober today. Thank you for reaching out, Jess!!

  9. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, Jay. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I think it’s amazing that you have come so far in your treatment. I relate to the urge to self-sabotage. I understand what it’s like to carry that trauma deep down. It’s incredible common for survivors to perpetrate abuse. You’re not alone. Group therapy and (some) 12 step programs have helped me feel less alone. It might take a while to find one that’s right for you, but I’ve found it’s worth the wait. Just don’t give up, it will get better. We’re here for you if you need anything.

    1. Jay Volunteer

      Thank you, Kelly! It’s definitely my worst trait. I haven’t been treating myself that way anymore. My little monsters and I deserve the best and I have to do my best to stay sober to accomplish that. Thank you so much for reaching out.

  10. Gamato04

    I’m very sorry this happened to you. However, it is great to hear that you have a family you are fighting for. Sometimes with trauma having a constant that you are fighting for to ensure that you protect them is the push we need. I hope your family is always there for you because you deserve it.

  11. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Jay,
    I’m really sorry about what you’ve been through and what you’re going through now. I’m glad that you’re working on yourself through therapy and the outpatient program. It’s so difficult for us to face negative thoughts, emotions, and actions, and sometimes we use unhealthy coping mechanisms. The wonderful thing is that you’re realizing this and that you want to become better.
    You deserve happiness and love. Sometimes there’s a difference between telling ourselves this and fully believing it, which can be difficult to get through. But you definitely do. Maybe you could talk to your therapist and find coping mechanisms for the self-sabotage.
    Thank you for confiding in us with your story. Sharing your story is a brave act, and we’re glad to read your story. If you ever need anything, we’ll be here for you. Keep working on yourself through therapy and the outpatient program. I have faith that you’ll get through this.

  12. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Jay,

    I’m sorry for everything you’re going through, but I’m proud of you for taking action and trying to better yourself. I know it’s hard, but you’re strong, and I know you can do it. Just take things one day at a time.

    We’re here for you no matter what. Please don’t hesitate to come back if you need anything. Even if it’s just to chat, or to update us on what’s going on.


  13. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Jay,
    Your honesty and courage are inspiring; thank you for letting us in. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help and remember to respond to yourself and your trauma in the same way you would respond to someone posting their story here. Often, we are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. Celebrate the small steps and the big one of being sober for nearly three months:)
    Sending you love and strength,

  14. Juliana331 Volunteer

    It is hard to carry the trauma deep inside you. There are so many parts to the trauma. I know when I tried to bury it, it just snuck right out in my thoughts, feelings and actions. The only way to truly heal is to face it. That is hard on so many levels and at times it seems easier to run from it. I’m glad you made the decision to face it instead. I’m also glad you have found and are actively participating in an intensive treatment program. Are you also talking with a counselor about your story and ways to take care of yourself through the process?

  15. mkyuellig


    I’m so sorry for the struggle you are going through. The truth is that healing is not always linear, and sometimes our stories of healing and becoming our best person are filled with some bumps in the road as well as some serious regrets. I think you are doing an excellent job at taking some actionable steps to deal with your issues, and those steps are admirable. I hope you are able to keep up with them for yourself and for your family.

    Stay strong and be gentle with yourself,

  16. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I am sorry for the pain you are feeling. I’m glad that you are in therapy and in an intensive outpatient program-I know it must be tough, but stick with it. I hope that it’s helping. You can also text VOICE to 741 741 if you need more immediate response than on here-let us know what else we can do to support.


  17. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for coming back to share with us what is going on. We appreciate that you came here and that you trust us with your story. I am so sorry that you are still struggling in your path to healing. You are so inspiring for wanting to volunteer with us and wanting to help others after all that you have been through! You are so strong. You are right, you must first help yourself before you can help others. You come first, you are the most important! Never forget that. Even after everything you have been through, you can get through this. You are strong! Please come back and let us know if you need anything else or just to update us. We are here for you. We believe in you.

    Stay strong,

  18. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I think it’s amazing that not only did you volunteer to help others here, but that you also are able to recognize and admit that you need to help yourself. Thats no easy thing to do. I know what you are going through because I struggle with it too. I know it’s hard to remember but you do deserve to be happy and have good things come to you in life. I’m sorry for what you have gond through, and what you’re going through now. We won’t judge you here. Stay strong. You are always welcome, and we support you. Let us know if there is anything more we can do to help.

  19. Zoe

    Hi, Jay.

    I just want to commend you for having the strength to admit that you’re struggling, and that you still need help. That can be really hard to do, but it’s an important step in truly healing. I’m glad you’ve been working on these things that you struggle with, and I encourage you to stay strong and keep working on them.

    I also want to encourage you and let you know that you DO have the power to change. I know it’s really hard, especially when we’ve suffered abuse, be we do have control over our actions. It can sometimes take a lot of work, as I’m sure you know, but we’re the ones in control of our lives now. Our abusers don’t control us anymore. I’m glad that you seem to be taking responsibility for the things you’ve done, and I do hope that you and your family are able to be together once you’ve worked on yourself, and that you all have a happy, healthy relationship together.


  20. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there Jay,

    It’s true that you need to help yourself first – you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s great that you’re self-aware and recognizing that drinking alcohol has been causing trouble and covering up the trauma you’ve been holding in. I am so happy to hear you are 7 sessions into an intensive program – you’re doing all the right things to get the support you deserve. I know it can be scary to work through things and fear that family won’t be around anymore. Trust can be hard.

    We are here with you. I believe in you and I am hoping for the best for you. You can be victorious over all of this – I know you got this.

    Sending light,

  21. Amysue43 Volunteer

    It’s amazing that you shared this story with us! You have recognized the situation which happens to be the hardest part! You are currently involved in a program which is another great step. Now, you can apply this new perspective you’ve shared to your program. I’m sorry that you have experienced a tremendous amount of judgment. That’s not fair, but I hope you understand that the judgment can sometimes comes from the lack of knowledge they have with concern to the topic. So, even though it may be hard, you could instead recognize their judgement as their inability to do their research and to have empathy. I LOVE that you have continued to push through everyday! That speaks so much of you and displays your willingness to try and give it your best shot. It is evident that you are strong and have a driven personality.

    I hope these comments have found you comfort and reassurance that you are great.
    Stay Strong <3

  22. zoeyb

    You are already making the steps to take back your own power- it’s a slow process as you know, and you may not realize it in the moment, but just being able to tell someone that you need help and actively trying to make your life situation different for yourself and your family is a huge step in the right direction! I can definitely empathize with feeling judged and taking out your feelings on the ones you love most. I hope that they keep an open mind and heart with this process as well. I commend you for trying to change certain behaviors that don’t bring you/your family what you need. My mom always referenced the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. You are on the right path. You got this, I believe in you.

  23. Solongago Volunteer

    Keep working with that intensive outpatient program. It will help. If you have to stay longer. I think you are dealing with both the trauma and the symptom of the trauma, the alcohol abuse. You have to also deal with how you have hurt those you love most. And that has to be so hard. But nothing is worse that not doing anything. You are trying, and you can persevere. Every time you backslide a little, you will be further forward than you were before, so you can keep going. And at some point you will find that the episodes of backsliding become fewer and farther between, and then you will know you are on the right path.

    You may have to prove to your family that you are truly making a change. Don’t make excuses to them. Apologize and accept things like supervised visitation, whatever they want for you to agree to. Be dependable. Accept that they are judging you because you have failed them, and now you have to rebuild some broken trust. That’s ok. They have to do that, at least for a while. They need to protect themselves. But that shouldn’t make you stop trying to do the right thing.

    I wish you all the luck and a deep relationship with your higher power, your sponsor, your therapists, and everyone that loves you.

  24. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry for everything you’ve had to go, I know how hard it is to struggle with alcohol abuse. We are here for you and want you to continue to come back and share with us. You are strong and we believe in you.


    1. Jay Volunteer

      Thank you, Brianna!!! I most definitely will. The support is what keeps me going.

  25. Lizzi G

    Hi jjmac72,

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through and for your struggles with alcohol abuse. It is easier to cover up the hurt from abuse, trauma, and other mental challenges with drinking, but that obviously isn’t a good solution. I’m really proud of you for getting into therapy and an alcohol treatment program and I believe things will get better for you. I know things aren’t good right now but I believe in time, they will get so much better. You’ll get through all these challenges and be a better, stronger person because of it. We’re here to support you.

    Much hope,

    1. Jay Volunteer

      Thank You, Lizzi!
      It’s not been easy. In fact, it took a lot of bad incidents to realize the path I was on was destructive. I had no idea that my drinking stemmed from the abuse I experienced. It’s the support I surround myself with that has made all the difference. Everyday is a choice. I refuse to be a victim! It’s time I share my story. Thank you for reaching out.

  26. Megan Volunteer

    Hey jjmac72,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It can be very hard to have all of these interacting things going on in your life. It’s great that you are able to acknowledge everything that is going on though! That’s the first step to changing things. I’m glad that you are receiving treatment for your trauma and alcohol. You deserve the help and you deserve to recover and live a happy life. As for feeling like you can’t talk to anyone and no one understands, have you thought about trying group therapy? You’d be surprised that other people have been through similar situations, and it’s nice to talk to people that actually can relate to what you’re going through and feel like you’re not alone for once. Maybe your therapist or your treatment program could hook you up with some groups in the area?

    About the last couple sentences: you can’t change what happened in the past; it’s already done. BUT you can change what you do from here on out. You can choose to continue with treatment and get better. You can choose to put down the alcohol. You can choose to treat your family with love and respect. You are in control of your life. Be the person that you want to be.

    I wish you all the best,

    1. Jjmac72 Volunteer

      Thank you, Megan. Your words are uplifting. I have definitely been a part of a lot of groups some of them have success some of them don’t but I continue to keep trying for my own well-being. It’s just hard to go through life being labeled as broken or a monster. I fight everyday to break the illusion of myself for myself and for the other people that I care about. I have been sober since the end of January. Still continue to battle with my PTSD every day, but I know there is hope for recovey.