As a Victim, I Created a Victim by Gretchen

As a small child I went through a great deal of trauma from molestation, rape and neglect. My father traveled, and my mother was addicted to pills and had some very questionable friends. I learned early that I was alone and angry. That anger turned inward, and fueled a raging addiction which I almost died from. Late, it would go on to fuel my alcoholism as well.

I had three kids starting when I was 20. We lived where I grew up which as suburb outside of New Orleans. I was in and out of the hospital for years. Some of these trips included psych wards. Eventually my kids were split up (different dads) because I could not totally care for them. My boys went with my parents, and my daughter with her dad. All three of them inherited my anger and rage.

After hurricane Katrina, and that devastation, I met my current husband and moved to TX. I got a phone call in 2008 from my Dad. He simply told me there had been an accident, and that my son Larry (oldest) was dead from a shotgun wound. Life will never be the same. I lost a son, but Jeremy my youngest son basically lost his Dad, brother and best friend that night. Jeremy developed his own addiction to heroin and other opiates. He had been moving back and forth from my home to girlfriends, etc.

One night I was drunk while Jeremy was living with us. I got up at 7am, and he didn’t look okay. Jeremy had overdosed and was not breathing. I realized this, and called 911. Jeremy’s brain was without oxygen for 2 1/2 hours. He was not supposed to live, and if he did he’d be a vegetable. Then there was a miracle. Jeremy is okay today – slightly paralyzed and stutters. We are both in recovery now, sharing our hope with members of our 12-Step program and surviving together.

The anger I created in Jeremy caused his own world of hurt, pain and addiction. An addiction that almost took his life.

Gretchen submitted her story while attending our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Peer Support Program.  TGIM and Texas ReEntry Services, INC partnered together to implement this program as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities.

The program offers men and women like Gretchen another chance to make a positive and encouraging difference in the world through their storytelling while allowing participants an opportunity to build self-worth, and learn a new trade.  After all, we all have a story to tell!  Just like youth attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™, Gretchen earn royalties when you support her.  Simply download the eBook: ‘Stories of Hope’ to enjoy from your favorite device. When you do, she earns $3 and Texas ReEntry Services INC receives a donation of $2.00. Your purchase ensures that participants like her can continue to access Writing for the Soul Workshop™ at no cost to them. During checkout, enter Coupon Code: gretchen1017 to get the e-book for only $8.99. You save $1.00! Gretchen also, wants to invite you to click here to connect with her on facebook.

About Stories of Hope:

Stories of Hope is a compilation of heart wrenching, and liberating short stories written by youth participating in Writing for the Soul Workshop™ around the world. Through a unique structure offering both engagement -and reward, this workshop brings education and passion together in a way that offers permanent life changing impact. As noted in the forward by educator Sarah Lankford, these unique and amazing individuals have received a rare opportunity to share a story they needed to share … and develop a love of writing as a result.



6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
122 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1537368849
ISBN-10: 1537368842
BISAC: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / General

Purchase a copy of the book or download the eBook and enjoy it from your favorite device today! Stay connected with updates from our workshops in Asia on Facebook at: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in North America.

$9.99 USD








About Hope Beyond The Walls

Available December 15, 2016

Have you or someone you love ever been incarcerated?  As a result of America’s decades long war on drugs, the US “presently incarcerates 330,000 prisoners on drug-related charges at an estimated annual cost of $40 billion.” This doesn’t include the ongoing costs to society as those that have been touched by the cycle of probation, incarceration and parole work to reintegrate into society, find employment, and stay on track with meeting the mandates of probation and parole.

‘Hope Beyond the Walls’ is a collection of short stories, and memoirs collected from writers impacted by addiction who are working to reenter society. This project is made possible through our Community Partnership with Texas ReEntry Services. Together, we offer Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Peer Support as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities.