A Family’s Perspective: Battling Addiction – Part 4

In Part 3, I recalled how the temptation of Heroin was too much for my sister to resist. She was arrested over and over again for possession and trafficking, and how the final time the judge locked her up without the ability to be bailed or bonded out.  That was in mid-September of 2017.

The first few times we went to visit her (it is an hour and a half drive each way) were ridiculously hard. I was so absolutely crushed and angry that is would come out during the drive to, and then I’d end up in tears on the way home. She and I were butting heads through the glass partition that separated us. Even the jailors were giving me a hard time about the clothes I was wearing, and I dress conservatively (while letting others enter with much worse on), to the point I decided to go completely covered up, with nothing on my person about Jesus or God. Even to the extent of hiding my necklace with a small silver cross on it beneath my clothes.

I never wish on anyone spending a holiday visiting a loved one in jail; we were able to visit my sister on Christmas Eve and leaving her there completely did me in. We tried to make it a positive visit, but as we were leaving I could not contain my tears as we watched one another through the glass, as we parted ways. She called us Christmas day and I couldn’t say anything other than I love her and to take care of herself.

The next couple of months were filled with anxiety on both her and our part, as we awaited an actual sentencing (she’d been there for months without any inkling of what her immediate future held). The process took forever. There was much prayer going up on our part that she would be sent to a residential rehab instead of extended jail time. This despite her complete insistence she didn’t need rehab. At the end of the day, she ended up being sentenced to a year and a day and chose jail over rehab. The time already served (across several different stints in jail) would be counted toward her sentence.

She was angry we were pushing for rehab and insisted that her issue isn’t drug use but mental illness. I prayed for the Lord to reveal truth to her as I gently explained in a letter that she is not mentally ill, that she has so much emotional trauma stemming from birth into adulthood; I explained how never dealing with has caused her to be unstable. How the drug abuse over the course of 11 years has destroyed her ability to think clearly, make good decisions and has taken control of her life. I flat out said, ‘you do not have mental illness my dear, but you DO have an addiction issue and it is time you admit it and work it out with God’.

I want to let you in on a little secret of the social system here in the United States that most people don’t know: if you are an addict, and you determine not to get your life together and act crazy and say you are crazy, the judicial system will deem you as such. Then, they will declare you “disabled” by way of mental illness, and pay you to be crazy and help you with housing, health insurance, etc. This is what my sister was banking on: Taking the easy way out after being released from jail. We weren’t having anything to do with this and as a family we worked to convince her that she is not crazy, and she needs to stop playing that card, face her demons and improve her life.

At one point, she finally listened and decided she needed to let go of the past, her demons and move ahead in forgiveness. Then, I had to break some news to her that I understood would both break and set her heart free: her dad passed away. He was a huge reason for all of the emotional issues we had all faced throughout our lives.

The release of her father from her life, I believe began her walk toward a breakthrough. She has since apologized to our mother for holding so much bitterness toward her, and for treating her so poorly. She has also heard my words, asking her to allow God to show her who He created her to be, not what her circumstances and choices have created her into. Over the past month and half she has begun creating art again. As a child my sister was an award-winning artist and what is coming forth now is stunning. It did my heart so much good the first time we received a drawing in the mail!

This is God at work and my one hope is that He will completely redeem her mind and nail to the cross of Christ the spirits of trauma, addiction and Jezebel (murder and narcissism).


staceylouiso_picStacey Louiso lives for, and tries to love everyone wholly by constantly studying the heart of, Jesus Christ. In gratitude for transforming her life back into one that is pleasing and usable to God, she walks toward virtue, praying to embody a woman after God’s own heart! Her gratitude is due to being delivered from several decades of many types of abuse and victimization, as well as physical, emotional and mental health issues.

You can follow Stacey on FacebookTwitter or check out her website.

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