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3 Years Time…


3 years ago this past week, I experienced one of the hardest things in my life. I was involved in a violent family situation that I would never wish upon anyone, a situation that until this day has impacted me. I can remember that day like it was yesterday, the ambulance being outside, and me walking in on a bloody crime scene to discover the almost lifeless body of a loved one, not knowing all the lies, deceit and pain that would come after that fateful day.

3 years ago this past week, my brother stabbed my aunt. There were reasons behind it, there were things that shouldn’t have been done, there were things that shouldn’t have happened, there were ways this could’ve been prevented. I still struggle with the aftermath of this event as well as others but I feel as though this one gets me more often then others because within my heart and soul I knew something bad was going to happen. I knew things were simply getting out of control, and there wasn’t anything really anyone could do about it. I remember that about a week before this whole thing happened, I walked into the police department and pleaded with the officers to help me, because I knew what my brother was like and I knew that his drinking was already getting out of hand and that things were only getting worse. Nothing happened.

Nevertheless, I don’t think I really blame anyone but the 2 people involved, my aunt and my brother. I feel as though it’s something I am never going to be able to forget about because it’s been 3 years and I still have nightmares, can still smell the scene, can still feel like I’m physically there, walking in, witnessing everything, being scared that he might come after me and my dad next because he was on the run for a few days afterwards. The intense fear that was within my being was overwhelming, but I am glad I was able to make it through.

3 years later, although I still struggle every time this date comes around, I find I am getting to be a stronger person as each year rolls by. I know how to tolerate these feelings. I know I will struggle. I know I will be overwhelmingly sad, I will cry, I will feel very intense emotions and not know what to do with myself. Nevertheless, on days like this, I will still show up and do what I need to get done because I didn’t give up 3 years ago and I won’t do so now either.

My Humiliation is Finally Over

The other day I took my last drug test for probation.

I know it may sound strange to be proud and happy about this, but I am for so many reasons.

When I take a supervised drug test for probation, this is what happens:

I walk into the facility having to use the bathroom SO bad because I’ve been holding it in so I can actually pee when I get there. I have to sit and wait (about 10-15 minutes) for a female to take the test. But why would a female have to take the test? Because this is a supervised test. Aka a complete stranger is going to watch me pee.

Thankfully I’m not “pee-shy” as they call it, which is probably due to me having to use the restroom literally three feet away from someone’s bed when I was incarcerated. But ladies… if you’re on your menstrual cycle you better believe they watch you when you need to practice hygiene for that. Aka this stranger watched me while I changed my tampon. Awkward.

I’ve been on the other side of this situation; the person supervising. It’s awkward for this role as well, but I’m tired of hearing professionals say, “it’s just as awkward for me, as it is for you.” … Ummm… it’s really not. It’s so much more awkward and humiliating for the person taking the test. The person taking the test is not getting paid to do so. The person taking the test does not have to have their privacy invaded. Oh, and the person taking the test doesn’t get reminded of all of the things they did wrong and why they are there in the first place each time doing this. And then they will turn on the water from the faucet as if that’s supposed to work some magic. Yeah, right. And please don’t have a conversation with me while I humiliate myself because I cannot concentrate on carrying on a conversation with you while you stare at me pee and change my tampon… just saying.

I’m also tired of hearing, “but you know the results are going to be negative, so you have nothing to worry about.” Really?

Every time I take a drug test(negative or not), my past comes into my mind like wildfire. A negative test result does not eliminate the humiliation of the process. I wish people would respect that more, especially providers. It’s not that I’m worried about the test results. Is the anxiety of the whole process increased if I know the results will be positive? Absolutely. But whether it’s negative or not, I’m anxious of the thoughts that come creeping into my mind before, during, and after a test. I’m anxious about the humiliation of the whole process. I’m anxious about the judgement, discrimination, and stigma that comes along with the process. There have been several times I have been looked down upon because I was on probation, there to take a test.

The harsh thoughts that my mental health disorders flood into my mind are awful. I try to shut them out (it’s a daily thing), but they’re there and they are NOT always easy to ignore. Sometimes I’m unable to eat or function the best that day (work, school, social life, home life) because the whole process has an aftermath effect. It really didn’t get easier for me as I continued taking them (weekly for 9 months, every four months for three years).

I try to change my perspective into something positive as I usually do, but it’s definitely difficult. The thoughts still come and the emotions still follow. I try to look at the situation with gratitude. I’m thankful that I’m sober. I’m thankful that I’m not in prison. I’m thankful of where I am in life. I also allow it to be a moment of humility. But there is a difference between being humble and being humiliated. 

Quora defines the difference of humility and humiliation:

Humiliation is the act of being humiliated by something or someone, so in a sense, it’s embarrassment or self loathing. Humility is the understanding or will to accept yourself and to not be egotistical or arrogant, not to mention being accepting.”

So I guess it’s a mixture of both for me.

But now, to end on a positive note, I’M DONE TAKING THESE SUPERVISED PEE SESSIONS!!!

I did three freaking years of them and I can finally close that door. I am still on probation, but the next test would have been scheduled when my probation time had already elapsed. I’m looking forward to being able to post about probation being terminated in July. Until then… I’ll be enjoying shutting the door of every bathroom I go into haha.


Podcast: How to Survive Freshman Year of High School


TurningPointCT.org blogger’s Olivia and Ally sat with Norwalk High School teens to talk about their experiences being a freshman. Listen to Ben, Emma, Nia, AJ, and Caesar share their fears, challenges, successes, and advice to incoming freshman & current students.

They want TurningPointCT.org listeners to know how to survive your freshman year and ways that teachers can help with giving their students’ an awesome high school experience.

We asked them & now we ask you:

What was the transition to high school like for you?

What kind of challenges did you have and still have?

What do you think should teachers should know?


Keep the conversation going here: https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/freshmanyear/


Listen to the podcast here: