On the way in to work I was thinking about how I need to finish writing out all of the stuff about previous relationships and examining them and how I stopped. This led me to thinking about how I let myself get there in the first place. I mean, I was raised knowing the effects of drugs and all of this. I was raised to know the difference in right and wrong and all that other stuff. So how did I find myself surrounded by hardcore drug addicts? Well...I'm thinking that I grew up in a household where everything was in constant competition, which I believe leads to high levels of criticism, and where winning wasn't necessarily a good thing. There were always all of these judgments being passed about people for what they did for a living, how they spoke, where they lived, etc. Then I, with my thick country accent, move to a new town to go to high school where they constantly criticized my speech and my dress. (I went to school with a bunch of rich snots. It wasn't private though, it was just zoned that way.) I get to college and find some freedom from it all but there was still some component of it within certain circles. Then off to the career world with a degree in advertising and a goal to be a copywriter and being compared to others and judged on every single piece of work you do even if it is all within the same ad campaign. It wasn't until after I left the ad agency that I started getting really mixed up with the hardcore drug addicts. And I think the reason it was so easy was...they didn't judge me. We could all sit in a room together and someone have some kind of drug and we'd share. I didn't come there because of money or speech or dress or career or education or any of that superficial stuff. I was drawn there by my desire to be accepted for who I was without judgment. It wasn't the drugs I was seeking. It was acceptance and I found it. More than once I would be told by one of them that I was different from them, but that was just because my addiction was only slightly different than theirs. They found their escape in the drugs. I found mine in their acceptance. General acceptance. That is not to say they never asked for things they shouldn't have or any of that, but rather that I wound up there seeking something from them that I had never had anywhere else in any other part of my life. I had never felt that I had been accepted for who I was ever before. I had always had to be someone else or do something special and even then to only gain a slight recognition but never acceptance. And of course they accepted me! I had my own car, my own apartment, a good job and an innate knack to get people to give me drugs without me having to spend any cash on them. So of course they accepted me! But they knew I was different too. Occasionally one would say something to me, not in a critical way but more in a questioning way, and I would know that they didn't think I belonged but that they somehow approved of me. It is my a-ha moment of the day. May I be able to forgive myself for somehow needing this acceptance and approval that I had never gotten anywhere else so badly that I would surround myself with this danger and risk to the point that many of the things that I had when I started in the circle have been long gone never to return.
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