‘My name is… not Elizabeth Rayne. The name of my past is one I have intentionally vacated. Like many of the garbage filled crack dens of my past, I vacated this name via midnight move style. This name I have come to resent and destroy however was not always ugly.’-ER
Elizabeth was born in the summer of 1990 in southern Alberta. When she was young, her parents separated and she and her older brother and younger sister were left in the care of their mother.
The situation was difficult and being the middle child wasn’t easy for Elizabeth. She had suffered some childhood trauma as well, so by the time she was 14-years-old she was really struggling with poor mental health. To add to the stress, there was a male in her life who was abusing her.
“At the age of 14, I sang in public for the first time. I sang Concrete Angel by Martina McBride. It was a silent scream for my mother to help me, one that was easily missed. At Christmas the following year I packed a bag and for the first time I ran away.
There was a person in my life who was tormenting me. I didn’t know how to talk about what I was going through. I didn’t know if anyone was going to believe me if I did. My tormentor repeated to me frequently, ‘if you tell people we will both get in trouble’, and ‘no one will believe you if you do’.”
At 16 Elizabeth attempted to move back home but did not feel comfortable there. It was during this time she discovered she was pregnant.
“One day my poor sweet mother did the most selfless act of love. She allowed me to move into foster care in attempt to help me be happier. Again, I could not bring myself to feel settled. I chalked this up to the fetus residing in my womb that I so grudgingly resented. I couldn’t stand the fact that I was pregnant and I didn’t want anyone to know. So I took my bag and moved on, starting my cycle of wandering.
I then moved in with a drug dealer and fell victim to the illusion that these drugs would make me feel happy. Eventually, I came to birth my poor baby against my will by cesarean during an overdose. I never even got to hear her cry. The hospital staff removed her from the building, closed adoption, and she was gone from my life with no chance of her return.”
Soon after this, Elizabeth met a man who took her clubbing and drinking. The relationship was short lived. By this time she had spent four years repeatedly moving from place to place. She found herself in the mall in Lethbridge, emotionally torn between two new men. She discovered she was pregnant for the second time.
“At age 18 I can recall sitting in the mall wondering where my life was going. I couldn’t seem to get high anymore and as a result my thoughts kept swallowing me whole. Then the overwhelming urge to eat onion rings hit me. I rushed to the pharmacy in the mall and quickly stole several pregnancy testers off a shelf, shoved them in my purse, and bolted back to the food court washrooms. I fought with myself about what feelings were inside of me. I wanted to be angry but I was mostly afraid. I didn’t want to be a mother… or did I?
I sat looking at my belly with tears in my eyes. The father I knew was not anyone that could raise a child so I was on my own. I vowed to protect the fetus and emptied the paraphernalia from my purse into the trash can and headed home to move.”
In December 2010, Elizabeth gave birth to a healthy boy and fell in love with a man from a different country. The couple then had a baby girl and got married. They had more children. But there were big challenges for the couple. There was a difficult miscarriage. There was an ongoing battle with Canadian Immigration Services. There were language barriers that led to arguments. And Elizabeth was still struggling with her inability to feel settled.
“We moved a lot because I couldn’t settle. We never unpacked because I needed to be able to leave on a whim, and ultimately I was still living in my addict head trying to figure out how to be happy. In the end it led to my relapse, my husband’s deportation, the loss of my kids, another failed relationship with a younger man, another child, and finally that place we all go to eventually….. rock freaking bottom.
All I wanted was to be happy. As me and my children all sat in a visit one day someone started to cry causing the family floodgates to open. I sat with my children all laying in my lap with tears rolling down their faces and I began to weep. It was too much…. too much pain…. too much trauma….. just….. too much.
My daughter looked up at me with tears in her eyes and asked if I was crying. My response was answered with a statement that changed my life forever. As my sweet baby wiped the tears from my face she choked back her own tears and said ‘it’s ok mom, it’s not your fault’. In that moment I realized what I was rejecting from my life. I knew that all the drugs, alcohol, money, whatever in the world meant nothing without love.
That day I set out on my greatest wander yet. Upon examination of my past I began to relive my relapse and recovery cycle. I needed to figure out why I kept relapsing, and finally decided that every time I tried to cope using group meetings I got thinking about the negativity of my past and became unhappy and went back to not coping. I was in a cycle of abuse with myself!
I wondered how many addicts were suffering in this self abuse cycle and decided if you can retrain where you part your bangs you can retrain what’s up in your brain. Using the teachings of AA, Prince EA, and Dr. Wayne Dyer I reprogrammed my brain and my daily patterns of thinking, not only to give love but also to be able to receive it. I made a self promise to help other people end the cycle of self abuse.
I am currently writing my own 12 step guide ‘The 12 Steps to Pure and Peaceful Living’. I am looking to have it published soon and I will be starting POP (power of positivity) meetings in Kelowna in July. I intend to help those suffering from chronic negativity to be able to gain some communication skills and perspective to help the chronically unhappy people become chronically happy and hopefully increase sobriety rates within the community.
‘I reprogrammed my brain and my daily patterns of thinking, not only to give love but also to be able to receive it. I made a self promise to help other people end the cycle of self abuse.’-ER
To read Elizabeth’s blog and see what she is up to, click here! https://www.facebook.com/Power-of-Positivity-Recovery-Edition-2383927385265358/