I Love Life: Sioux Falls Woman Recounts Rape, Drugs, Prison
Sabrina lost her innocence as a child!
“When I was 13 years old, I had a lot of responsibility. My folks worked two jobs each. I was the primary caretaker of my siblings. I also had a boyfriend and my parents were perfectly fine with it because they trusted me. But, after a year of dating him, he didn’t take no for an answer and he raped me. All the feelings were horrible. I hollered and screamed, but it didn’t take the pain away.”
At the time, Sabrina internalized her feelings and blamed herself for the attack.
“I think that’s very common with rape victims thinking they could have done something different to avoid being assaulted. We’re always second guessing ourselves.”
Right after the rape, Sabrina was tempted to do something that would consume her life. The answer, at the time, was a combination of drugs and alcohol.
“That was really my way of dealing with everything, numbing the feelings and trying to get rid of them, the feelings I couldn’t get rid of just by talking about them.”
Sabrina, still filled with guilt and remorse, became a party girl while still a youngster.
“On the weekends after school, I’d hear about a bonfire or keg party. I really had a lot of fun at the first one. I just had so much responsibility at home I just needed to cut loose. When I did, I didn’t feel any shame or guilt. The alcohol and the drugs did for me what I couldn’t do for myself at the time.”
No matter how hard she tried, Sabrina couldn’t hide the pain.
“The drugs numbed it completely until I sobered up. So, I kept doing using on the weekends.”
When she turned 18 years old, Sabrina left her South Dakota home and soon after she discovered methamphetamine.
“I joined the carnival in 1979 and traveled with them down to Texas. That’s the first time I stuck a needle in my arm.”
Once she started using meth intravenously, Sabrina says the pain disappeared.
“I was trying to fit in. Everyone around me was doing it. The feelings were - WOW! It was euphoria - something I had been struggling to find since my childhood rape. With meth, I got this instant high while using a needle. I didn’t have to wait for pills to take effect. It was an upper, not a downer. I was happy, productive and felt I had control of my life. I really thought I discovered the answer to my problems. What a mistake that was!”
Just when Sabrina thought she had her life together, the foundation caved in all around her.
“My ex husband ran off with my three and a half year old son. My heart was broken, I couldn’t live with the pain. I remember feeling numb again. That’s when I put the needle back in my arm.”
This time, the needle stayed there for seven years.
“I felt nothing. But, thanks to the drug, I could live my life and do what I could do on a daily basis without feeling my heart was missing. My son was my life and now he was gone. I would try to find my ex husband. But, every time I came close to catching him, he’d take off with my son. The only way I knew how to cope was keeping the needle in my arm.”
While still using meth, Sabrina got pregnant. At the time, an unwanted pregnancy.
“The only feeling I had at the time was I didn’t want another baby. I wanted my son back. I even thought about getting an abortion. So, I kept using, drinking and living on the streets in California. All I had at the time was a motorcycle and the clothes on my back. Eventually, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. When I was eight and a half months pregnant, I got a ticket for a greyhound bus and role it back to South Dakota. I got here on a Monday, saw the doctor for the first time on Friday and gave birth that night. My sister, thank God, adopted the child. But my troubles were far from over. A year later, I got busted.”
Sabrina was shipped off to federal prison in Kentucky for two and a half years. That’s when the South Dakota farm girl asked for help, not from drugs, but from God.
“I was grateful when I was on my knees in the jail cell knowing I would finally get the treatment I needed. But, I was scared to death. I turned back into the 13-year-old little girl. The experts say when you start using, you quit maturing emotionally. So, I frantically grabbed hold of the God of my understanding and I’ve been there ever since.”
While kneeling in her jail cell for the first time, Sabrina says the pain she endured for years was washed away.
“God gave me an inner peace knowing that everything would be just fine.”
Sabrina was released from prison August, 1994. The one time meth addict rediscovered life without drugs.
“You know my life is awesome. My oldest son is 22 years old, married, a Christian and going to seminary. My youngest is 14 years old and attends a Christian school. I’m 44 years old and I have the world by the tail because God is my guide!”
In other words, God gave Sabrina back.
“When I was out there using, the thing I missed the most was Sabrina. I used to be a nice person who was loving and caring. The dope turned me into a horrible, ugly woman.”
Instead of dwelling on her problems, Sabrina is now giving back to others who are battling addictions in their lives.
“Life is good because giving back is the only way I can keep what I have. God has blessed me! He has taken away the obsession and compulsion. I no longer have to use. I have other choices. I hit my knees first!”
Yes, Sabrina really does love life! “I do. I do. God is good all the time. Everyday is a new beginning. It’s exciting. I’m still teachable. It’s wonderful!”
Not only has God changed the circumstances in Sabrina’s life, He has also supplied sufficient power to overcome them.