The movie Starred Up is an Australian film that is brutally beautiful in it’s honesty. It tells the story of a young offender sent to the same prison where his father has been serving time. The son is angry, violent, and wants nothing from anyone.
When I first started drinking it was with a group of men that had mostly served time for one thing or another. I was 17 and they were all much older. I lived a double life. I was the good girl at home and work and after I was the “housemother” to a group of ex-cons, alcoholics, thieves and basic lowlife characters. It was with them that I felt the most comfortable. Today I wouldn’t. But there was some genuine hurt in these people’s past. Some were following in the footsteps of their fathers. Just doing the only thing they knew. Some were genuinely evil and there was no hope for them. One should have been locked away for good but never got caught at anything. I made friends with a few that I wished I could help but I couldn’t even help myself then. Yes, some very bad things happened during that time period. The good ones tried, if they were around, to stop it. But I chose to be there because I thought it was where I belonged. An educated, middle class white girl drinking herself into oblivion every night at 17 and continuing until I was about 24. At that time things had gotten so bad even they didn’t want me around and I have the scars to show for it. So I left that group and started my binge drinking years. It was a little better, I wasn’t getting robbed or beaten or other stuff but not much better. What I’m trying to say is I wasn’t any better than anyone else. We all had our demons and were dealing with them in different ways. None of them good. I just paid a higher price because I was often the only female. Do I forgive them? Some I do and others I never will. It would cost me the rest of my sanity to do so. So I bury it with a lot of other things and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I still startle easily, I still have drunk dreams or nightmares, I don’t like a man’s loud booming voice but I go on. I have to.