by Ung Bang
At the age of sixteen I made the decision that would result in the deaths of two innocent human beings. I have agonized in prison for the past twenty-one years and would often wonder about the decision that I made that lead me to this destructive life style that I lived.
It is still painful today when I do recall my childhood memories of being physically and emotionally abused at home and at school. How does a child deal with feelings of being unwanted, unloved, and abandoned by his own family and peers? Knowing nothing else I chose to run away from it all. What else did I know to do but try to escape from the constant yelling and beatings that wouldn’t stop no matter what right or wrong I did. At the age of thirteen, I ran away from home for the first time hoping to find something and anything better. I started to hang out with and sought the acceptance from the neighborhood gangs and took to alcohol and drugs to escape from the torment I felt inside.
The first time that I was offered a drink of alcohol was from the so called big homie which I did not hesitate to take. For the first time in my life someone showed me friendship and kindness. To a kid this meant the world so at the age of fourteen I took my first drink of alcohol, it did taste like shhh. This wanting to fit in and to be accepted by my peers was all I cared for at this stage in my life. I continued to drink from this bottle of alcohol until I threw up and later blacked out. Waking up the next day I faintly remember what had happen the night before. I was sick to my stomach and wanted to die. I swore to never ever touch or drink alcohol again for as long as I lived. Then the so called big homie offered me a hit of weed saying that it will make me feel better so I took my first hit of weed. All of a sudden everything was in a daze, I was confused buy my sickness went away and life felt good again. I didn’t want this feeling to ever go away There was no more pain, no more tears and no one was belittling me. That day when I went home it was the same, no one cared or seemed to notice where I was the night before, no one asked if I was ok or not, it was like if I didn’t even exist to my own family.
With alcohol and drugs I found an escape from life as I knew it to be and at that time in my life I wasn’t sure of anything. Whether it was beer, wine or any form of hard liquor it became my new best friend. Alcohol and drugs gave me a false sense of self confidence that allowed me to be someone else who had no worries in life. Life became an all day party, as long as I had a bottle in my arms I had no more worries, no more troubles. But the parties and good times didn’t last long. Before I knew it the alcohol and drugs took over my life. I now had to drink alcohol and do drugs just to find relief from the sickness that came with it. The warm and fuzzy feelings became uncontrollable rage and anger that I was now impulsively directing at whomever I believed was in my way. A sad bitterness came over me and all sound judgment was now out the window. Life was more miserable then ever with or without the alcohol and drugs. Instead of helping me find resolution in my life, alcohol and drugs only made it worse then I could have ever imagined it to be.
Looking back at the misguided kid that I was I did live in a dysfunctional home where physical and emotional abuse was a daily part of my childhood. Painful memories of feeling abandoned and resentment contributed to my low self esteem and anger issues. During this time in my life I really thought I knew it all and no one could of told me anything. Yet I did not know how to deal with life as I knew it to be so I consumed alcohol and drugs and for a time being found that it provided me with a temporary escape not knowing of the consequences that would come with it.
Over the years before my growth and maturity, I was in complete denial of my past destructive life style and addictions to drugs and alcohol. I did not want to believe that I had a problem or needed anyone’s help. But one day as I was sitting on a prison bunk in a prison cell, I wondered how I really got here. It was then that I realized the weight of my addiction and that I needed some serious help if I ever wanted to free myself of it. Through the Alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous twelve step program I have learned a great deal about myself, the harm I have cause to so many others, how powerful my addictions are and the need for me to gain back my sobriety so that I can begin to work towards making amends for all the wrongs I have done.
As a kid I felt that life was unfair and unkind to me. I used that as an excuse to make the decision to escape from my problems by consuming alcohol and drugs. I have never been more wrong n my life with that decision. I thought I had control, I thought I could stop whenever I wanted to. But in a few short months the alcohol and drugs had control over me. I became dependent on them and was spun out of control without even realizing it.
Two innocent human beings are dead because of what I did. Never will they get the opportunities to live out their dreams, pursue their goals in life, marry the love of their lives, have children and watch a part of them grow, and so much more that life had to offer them. Their families are shattered and are left with unimaginable heartache and pain. To their families a son, a brother, an uncle and cousin is gone forever. I am forever remorseful and deeply sorry for what I have done. Being sorry can never undo what I did. Nothing good came out of my decision to consume alcohol and drugs. I will live with this regret in my heart for the rest of my life and is forever ashamed of who I was.
My advice for you is, just remember you are a kid, your whole life is ahead of you, nothing is as bad as it seems. Trust me you don’t want the life I lived. If you think you have it bad then I would gladly trade you places, if you don’t want to, then please enjoy and appreciate your youth, your family, your freedom, the beach and especially you, because you are unique and worth it.