Divided Paths: Two Sisters at Opposite Spectrums of Trauma, Addiction, and Abuse - Preview of a Gripping Memoir

Divided Paths: Two Sisters at Opposite Spectrums of Trauma, Addiction, and Abuse - Preview of a Gripping Memoir

Absolutely, accepting the responsibility of my nephews on January 1 was a turning point, a beacon of light in my life that had otherwise felt cold and empty. Despite my constant efforts to serve others, I had been receiving little in return. 

At 26, I had a hysterectomy, a life-altering experience I faced alone. I was caught in a revolving door of doctor appointments, attempting to understand my health issues. Endometriosis, a silent enemy, was a part of my life, and mental health was a subject no one dared to discuss back then, making me feel exceptionally isolated.

As a young mother of two, my life was a balancing act. I was juggling a full-time job, managing my business, fundraising for my kids' school, teaching at a college, all while grappling with excruciating pain. I consulted numerous male doctors who suggested surgery and prescribed pain medication. They couldn't see my struggle, my inability to function as a mother.

After the partial hysterectomy, I could still ovulate. While it may seem like a positive thing, it meant that my endometriosis could continue to grow, leading to more surgeries, stronger medications, and a devastating addiction to fentanyl that flipped my world upside down.

I remember feeling the most complete when I was with my family. Back then, I had a large, tight-knit family, and my house was the hub of all activity. I would host family dinners for 40 people. But now, they're all tragically gone. With these babies, I have no support. My partner has left me, and all our family members have passed away.

My addiction spiraled out of control after my separation, and my endometriosis continued to wreak havoc on my life. Meanwhile, my sister found an escape route in opiates.

I recall her coming back from a jog, looking radiant and invincible, all thanks to a tiny pill that helped us both get by. But then, I overdosed. It was so severe that the medical staff spent 20 minutes trying to bring me back. When I woke up, a nurse told me I had an angel watching over me.

The next day, my father visited me in the hospital. He issued an ultimatum: get help or lose him. That was the wake-up call I needed. I took all the necessary steps to get into rehab. Despite the struggles, I managed to get clean just before I entered detox in Windsor.

During this vulnerable period, a traumatic incident occurred at my mother's house. I was trying to get clean, and my stepfather assaulted me. This incident left me feeling violated, shattered, and even more isolated. It marked a dark period in my life, a time when I stopped caring about my health and wellbeing and started using more.

But now, I can proudly say that I am 11 years fentanyl-free. My sister, tragically, was not as fortunate. She succumbed to her addictions and was caught selling drugs out of her children's clothing store, shortly after we learned about our father's terminal cancer diagnosis.

His diagnosis was a crossroads for us. It spurred me to recover, but it pushed my sister deeper into addiction. He was our anchor, our beacon of strength. He was tough with me, encouraging independence, but he was always tender with my sister, Kyla.

Our father was a committed feminist. He ensured we were treated equally, even when it came to pouring Kool-Aid. But the men we trusted later in life were nothing like him.

Society needs to reevaluate its perspective on my sister and me. People admire me for overcoming my challenges but look down on my sister, who is homeless and dealing with the same trauma. This is a glaring hypocrisy.

Resources are scarce. Even as an educated and responsible individual, I need support too. I grapple with guilt when utilizing these resources, knowing others who are less fortunate need them as well. Despite my seemingly privileged life, I too require support.

Above all, I am passionate about breaking the cycle of trauma in my family for the sake of our children. I'm committed to creating a healthier, safer environment for them, one where they can flourish without the weight of our past looming over them. This journey isn't just about my recovery; it's about paving a better path for the next generation.

In the aftermath of my assault, the police advised me not to press charges against my stepfather, arguing it was his word against mine. The police report mentioned alcohol on my breath, which was entirely untrue since I was trying to get off the opiates. But the real question here is, why should that matter? It wasn't until the rise of the #MeToo movement and the era of Donald Trump that I was reminded that whether I was drinking or not (and for the record, I wasn't), it doesn't excuse what happened.

Adding salt to the wound, my partner asked what I did to make my stepfather think he could do that to me. That should have been a giant red flag. No one should ever be blamed for their own assault. It's these narratives, these cycles, that I am determined to break for the sake of our children, for the sake of all survivors out there.

My sister is a victim of human trafficking, which qualifies her for more resources in our community. However, the problem is getting our struggling homeless victims to follow through with these appointments. Perhaps we need to consider creating a safe using section of town where this crisis of homelessness and addiction is concentrated so that we can bring all the resources to them. Yet, our conservative little town of Sarnia, Ontario, is unlikely to be receptive to this idea even though it could be beneficial. 

Our city counsillors want to create tiny homes, but we need to focus on making these people healthy before we put them in homes that could potentially be destroyed. It's not just about providing shelter; it's about addressing the root causes of their issues and helping them build a better life.

Read the raw and unedited first 30,000 words of my memoir, eSCAPEGOAT - UNTOUCHED

In my powerful memoir,  eSCAPEGOAT, I will share my incredible journey of survival and triumph over a lifetime of trauma. From sexual assault and domestic violence to divorce, reproductive issues, and bearing witness to three murder trials, I have faced more than my fair share of challenges. 

 But my story doesn't end there. I found myself raising my sister's premature twin babies, which were a surprise to us,  with no support from my family because they have all passed away. 

 Through sheer determination and unwavering strength, I have embraced my role as a mother and found a renewed sense of purpose. My grandmother, who passed away on my birthday two years ago, remains my spirit guide, and her memory has helped me find the strength to overcome even the most difficult moments. 

"With poignancy and grace, eSCAPEGOAT is a testament to the human spirit and a powerful reminder that we are all capable of overcoming the greatest of challenges. This memoir is a must-read for anyone who has faced unimaginable adversity, and a source of inspiration for those who know what it means to persevere."



This book will be published when I obtain an agent for proper support.

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Kristie we only met on the Rock boat cruise. You are a strong woman. Prayers for things to get better for your sister. Those babies are such a blessing. And so adorable

Patricia Houlihan

Well said!!! You hit the nail right on the head in everything you said, speaking as an ex opiate addict I have seen first hand the divide in this city and the treatment of the citizens within in.


Already captivated in your journey and message.

Janine Gulliford

Strength! The word I think of when I hear your name

miranda wickens

You are brave beyond words your light is an inspiration to others keep going you truly deserve the best in life ❤️


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