Chapter 43: Drugs and being a good one
Although I am not proud for having used cocaine for over two years, I will admit the positive affect it had on my life. The fact that we were high pretty much 24/7 meant that for a period of over two years I lived in a state of control in my head, a state where I could focus all six trains into one streamlined train of thought. And it meant that my anxiety levels were basically non-existent compared to the normal level I lived with. And to live without the intense anxiety for that period of time gave me a certain level of confidence that I had never had before. Where I had grown up knowing never to say no but to do what was requested of me, in any situation, and having learnt in the recent years preceding this that when I did risk and say no there was always a punishment, even when it was not a member of my family but a person I considered to be “normal”. Towards the end of the the time spent using cocaine I found myself in a situation where the friendship I had was demanding me to accept and partake in certain activities that I did not want to be part of and I refused.
I have to admit that as much as I am anti-drugs now, the time spent high helped me overcome issues that had been formed in childhood. I would never of had the confidence to say no to certain activities that I did not want to be part of.
Although I do not know if I would of been able to see my “no” through though had it not been for a moment that changed my life. A moment that for the normal person might seem of no importance, but to this day I still view it as a life changing moment.
It was during this that I missed a day of work and I met with my director to apologise and was expecting to be fired or at the very least expected punishment, it was what I deserved. But instead she said “we keep the good ones”. Five words that I had no idea what exactly they meant but in that instant something happened inside me and all I knew was that I wanted to be whatever a good one was. Years later I still cannot explain what happened to me that day, but those words were like a trigger that hit something so deep inside of me and changed my life. But having someone think of me as “a good one” was all I needed. It gave me the courage to follow through on my “no”, which resulted in me losing my friends and stopping using coke. But had I not had that experience with someone seeing me as “a good one” I would not had the fuel to follow through on saying no and risk what might happen. Naturally I expected punishment which once again in life taught me that when you don’t follow the “rules” someone sets out for you that you will be disowned. A constant in life.
Those same directors, they for some reason took to growing me, they took the time to build me. To this day I still have no idea why. And if it was a normal thing they did, I never noticed them doing it to any other staff member. But admittedly, perhaps I was just not aware of it. Also, I do realise that what they did with me might of not really been anything they were even aware of doing, it very possibly was more a case of me valuing it so highly. It is really embarrassing to admit, but no one had built me up before. Not like they did. I was allowed to have an opinion. I was allowed to have ideas and I was allowed to even try my ideas. I was allowed to learn new things and then allowed to apply what I had learnt. I was never told that I would not be able to do something, that my opinion or idea was stupid or that something I did was a failure. Even when in the process of learning something, I might have had doubts I could do it, but they never voiced any doubts that I would not succeed. Whether it was a conscious thing they did or not, I don’t think I will ever know, but I will forever be grateful for it, they allowed me to discover that I have worth, that I have ability, that I am not stupid and that I have an opinion that I am allowed to voice it. And I am not talking about allowing me to do little things but allowing me to try things that possibly to a normal person might seem a little extreme and not really something one would attempt without any form of knowledge on it. I have no middle ground, when I have freedom to do I generally do excessive. So I taught myself things that could save the company money if I was doing it. This helped me feel like I might be repaying their intense kindness in some small way. The fact is though, that no matter how much money I might have saved them by learning something new, it will never be equivalent to the value of what they have given me. Sounds somewhat pathetic perhaps, to the person who grew up in a home where these things were taught. But to those who grew up without these things, who grew up believing they had no right to any of this, that their place was doing what they were told without question, to them, this would be life changing. I am telling you this not to brag over what I have been given but because I need you to understand the power you have over someone else life. I have no idea if my directors knew what they were giving me, if the fact that I did not did not have any of this was perhaps obvious. I would like to believe that it was not obvious. Cause I was very aware of what I did not have and I was ashamed to ever admit it, so I did everything I possibly could do to ensure people never knew that I came from a family who measured me and found me to be worthless, found me to be unlovable, cause how would I survive if I had to face being such a failure in the face of everyone who crossed my path? Its taken 41 years for me to be able to admit that my parents never loved me and I would not be able to admit it if I did not have a sense of self-worth, that knowing that even though my parents could never find any value in me, I have a value regardless, cause someone else saw me in a different manner to the manner they did, someone else saw me as a person with a value. And they never once put a condition to it, never have they said that if I do “xyz” then they will think of me as “xyz”. To this day, some four years later, I am still waiting for them to ask me to repay them, to tell me I owe them so I have to do something that I do not want to do. In my experience people tend to take way more than they give, they will give only what they need to in order to get what they want, and people do not give without simultaneously taking. So the fact that I can say with all honesty that I have never been asked to do anything that I am not willing to do by my directors, in fact I have never been asked to do anything that is not a function of my job, whether or not I would be willing to do it, makes me believe that the worth they see in me is really what they see. And if they can see it, then I can see it. And that nagging thought that comes with life where you wait for that moment to arrive where you realise nothing was real but all just a means to get you to do what they wanted you to do, where you realise that people only care if it is benefiting them, the moment you no longer satisfy their needs they suddenly no longer care, that nagging thought gets quieter with each day that passes until it is merely a faint whisper and one day hopefully it will be gone altogether. That will be the day when I will be able to say that I am no longer a victim of my past, that I am truly free of it, the day when I no longer hear the whisper of doubt.