Hi my name is Gina Magnani I’m 21 years old and I’m from Springfield Massachusetts.
I started growing up with my 3 brothers and my parents, they divorced when I was 4 years old so I was very much used to separation, as we got a bit older we noticed we only were able to see our mother 1 day a week, it felt like years too me.
Fast forward a bit older to when I’m able to really recall memories I’m growing into myself, my body, figuring out things I like and all I can remember is this pit, this raging pit in my stomach constantly, these thoughts running through my head that I wasn’t good enough my parents don’t like me, my brothers get more attention, I’m fat, I’m ugly, it was never ending. I started to indulge myself in online things, tumblr Facebook etc, to hide my true self, to communicate in a world where no one saw me or knew me, I could be anyone I wanted and that was everything too me. I would stay up hours on end doing that.
I would have these outbursts of panic attacks and rages at my fathers house, he got re married, I hated IT, I did NOT want a different mother, my dad told us why we were only seeing our mother, he said “Your mother has a problem with drinking’” I didn’t understand too much but we knew it was bad!
My mom would plan to come see us and never show, we’d all be looking out the window waiting, I was always the last one up waiting, and I never lost hope with her. My tantrums turned bad and it brought my dad to an idea of therapy. I hated it. I thought he was attacking me telling me something was wrong with me. I was defiant. I wouldn’t go. I’d cry and cry. All I ever wanted was to be around my mother.
Fast forward. My dad gave up, he told me to go live with her then. I briefly remember him and I sitting in therapy and the therapist saying to my father “ You cannot stop her from wanting to be with her mother or being exposed to those things no matter how hard you try. “
I was so closed off and it did not make sense till now. I saw things at my mothers NO thirteen year old girl should see, men in and out of the house, drinking, drugs, my mother in oblivion, dumping out bottles, having to stopping her from suicide. It became my whole life, I became the caretaker.
I remember sitting down one day saying to myself, “ I just want to feel better “ and I noticed every time she drank, she did. My life got worse, I was sexually abused, physically and emotionally, by men and women in my life. It destroyed me, I cracked, I wasn’t the same again. I started to dissociate from my body and not have normal reactions to things.
I smoked weed and that was it, the beautiful smiley spunky girl came out and that was it for me - my first time doing drugs was with my mother. I am not saying that she is to blame. I took off, anything I could do I did do, to absolute and utter excess, I’d leave school, never show up to school, not show up at home for days on end, hang out with the older kids because I got what I wanted.
I was put into foster care for over 6 months due to my mom getting caught with me in the car. I don’t really remember much, I dissociated myself from a lot those months and next thing you know I was back with her. She met a man. I really liked him. I shut my father out, so him being in my life didn’t bother me much.
Highschool, oooh highschool, the perfect opportunity, I finally got prettier, my body was nicer, people started to like me, I was funny, but I never stopped drugging. I met this girl and we started dating and it took off into a 3 year relationship of drugs and abuse. That’s where I found opiates. I decided to drop out. I never went anyways why not?.
That was it for me, I never felt anything like it and I’d be damned if I would lose that feeling. It turned into utter destruction of me, selling my body, robbing my friends and family, selling everything I could, just to feel that way. My whole life became that. I got sectioned, sent to detox, treatment, all starting at 16 years old.
Fast forward again. Portland Maine, I followed the girl up there. She left, and she called me one day telling me to come up here, so I did. My codependency was no joke. I’ve been in Portland Maine for the past 2 1/2 years and I was introduced to a 12 step program. I couldn’t understand the god concept, the amend making, the mediation, none of it I just couldn’t grasp it. I was in and out of houses for awhile, parents wasting first months rent after first months rent, begging me to get my shit together.
My relapse almost over a year ago brought me to death, I had a staph and MRSE infection in my body, abscess in my hand that blew my hand up so bad my finger tips were blue, I still did NOT stop, I was using in the hospital. They told me I could die during surgery and I still went forth with it. I got sober a couple weeks after my surgery, on drug probation, I was a mess, I detoxed cold turkey and haven’t looked back.
My first year looked something like this. Losing my stepdad and facing that sober. Making an amends to him in front of the whole entire funeral home. Making enough money just to pay rent at my sober house. Losing friends. Losing relationships. Dealing with my mothers still active addiction. Finally speaking to my father again. My family not willing to help me with ANYTHING. Making amends. Being asked to speak at meetings, and to sponsoring women. Volunteering at our local recovery center. Getting certified as a recovery coach. Leaving jobs, getting new jobs, changing houses. I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world.
What led me to write this blog and to outreach was that someone gave me the opportunity to use one of their beautiful apartments as a sober house. It was a dream come true. It was everything I’ve ever wanted. I always wanted to be that girl. My house owners, and house mangers were saints to me. They were everything I could ask for about myself.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances it fell through. I have wrote a mission statement, put it on Facebook, was able to recruit a lot of women, get many donations from our community ( furniture, beds linen etc ), we had a date of lease signing, which had me in shambles and then women ready to move in.
I have not used this particular circumstance to give up. I have been reaching out to people in the community and on social media platforms. This is one of the resources that I have. readily available to me. And I will be working on more ways. https://www.gofundme.com/sober-house-opening I am asking anyone out there to please recognize this as an opportunity to freely give what has freely been given to us and to HELP in anyway you can. We are not wanting a hand out we are just hoping for a hand up.
The Portland community needs you! ️