Thread: hello

  1. #1
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Marion VA, USA
    Posts
    7

    hello

    hello, my name is trent. i have lived in SW Virginia for the biggest portion of my life. I was brought up in a christian area. Small town of Marion. As a child, went to church like every sunday and wednesday. At some point in earlier childhood, i began asking questions. What is God? What is heaven? How can i know if god really exists? And as a child i was unsatisfied with the answers i got. Or wasnt answered at all. At the same period in my life, schools teaching science contradicted most of what christianity had taught me. But science doesnt answer in the ways i need. It gives the 'how" of existence, but not a why. it fulfilles no purpose. Nor christainity, in my opinion. All of creation, for the testing of man's spirit?

    Much later, in my teenage years, different media had led me to an idea of reality, alternate universes, or the possibility of. i also began using drugs and alchohol in an attempt to "expand my horizons". Psychedelic drugs became my emphasis. And philosophy found me at the school library. This was reallly the start of my journey. Philosophy allowed me to branch out my thinking. I read so many different things back then. Wiccan stuff, Ritual magics, new age books. idk. to many thing to explain here. I tried very hard to always keep an open mind to different possibilities. Meditation was involved in just about all of it. And just about all of it kept referring to something buddhist. Which at that time i knew nothing about. The kind of area i live in is rural, country. And resources were very limited. (this being before the internet.)

    When i was like 18, i met a girl that i fell in love with. Moved out of my parents house and got a small apt with this girl. though she was never philosophical. She didnt really have the mentality for it. Either during a dream or drug induced hallucination, i became aware that i had known her before, like in another life. Im not sure how. it was so long ago, that i dont really remember. Heh, the images i had were something like colonial times. she has 2 different color eyes. one brown and one green. In this past life memory, we were in some kinda trouble. She was a witch, maybe. And she had betrayed me in some way.

    In the present, we became criminals. Like bonnie and clyde i guess. Partied all the time. Shoplifting, scams, drug dealing, whatever that brought money in. A year later went to art sschool in Ft lauderdale. it didnt work out so well. Became heavily addicted to marijauna, dropped out of school, got in trouble for driving without a liscence. And moved back to Marion VA to avoid doing jail time. Running didnt help. A year later or so i was locked up with her for writting bad checks. Had to do a year, the both of us. Which is where we got married.

    this year in jail was important for me though. This is where i introduced myself to buddhism. thru books ofcourse. I believe i put myself on the right philosophical path. but over years my motivations changed. Working. Family relationships, friends. We, me and my wife, continued drug use. Though most crimal activity stopped. I had come to believe in karma. Though i had continued to sell and use drugs for many years. But i also continued to expand my understanding of buddhism. Although slowly at times. I always did very well with what ever job i took up. Worked hard, got promotions, made good money. Had 2 children throughtout the years. Though my first, a son, is a low functioning autistic. and a couple years later a girl. Family became my focus...

    skipping ahead some, i ended up becoming a meth addict and dealer. It shortly became my emphasis. i worked very had selling this stuff. Tried to be a good Samaritan doing it, which means i didnt profit well. But that too failed me. Got caught, the both of us. Lost custody of my children temporarily to my parents. And i had to serve time again, another year, half of which was served in a boot camp. while incarcerated, buddhism saved my sanity again. Different programs that i was forced to take began teaching me of drug addiction, and the addictive personality. i do believe that drugs opened me to something. But it is a very slippery slope.

    After getting out of the boot camp, worked for six years. Focusing on family, trying to stay off drugs to keep from violating 5 yrs of probation. I had like 15 years suspended. So i was scared of going back. i felt like my family couldnt handle much more. Opiates became a problem. i tried to stay away from it, but my wife hadnt had the same trouble hanging over her head. Pills were put in my face all the time at work . they made the job and life easier.

    shortly after completing probation, me and my wife split up. 20 years we had been together. Apparently she was commiting adultery while i was locked up and continued to do so, off and on, without my knowledge during that stretch of probation. The split up was bad. We fought like crazy. i had to move out. Lost my children to one day a week. Things were turned around onto me. I was being told by her that i had worked to much, didnt pay enough attention to family, etc, etc, etc... My world turned darker. I have lived alone for a few years now. Friends are either addicts that i cant be around. Or i had pushed them away in the past trying to protect my family. Now family is gone. i keep to myself now. Lost a really good paying job a few months ago. And will probably be moving back in with my mother in another month. Still fighting an opiate addiction, i started going to a suboxone clinic like 2 years ago. Now that im jobless i cant continue to pay for a clinic. So im going to get off of this stuff.

    Sorry for such a long intro, but it seemed necessary. these things that have happened i wouldnt change. they have led me to an understanding that i wouldnt have otherwise. im seeing this as an opportunity to get myself back on the right track. And ill have the freedom to do so. For me, greater suffering had brought greater understanding. And im here now to learn what i can from others. Maybe others can learn from my experience.

  2. #2
    Hello Trent,



    Thank you for introducing yourself.

    Many different situations in life bring us all to the Buddha's teachings and I sincerely hope that the Dhamma will be of help to you. I also hope that you will be able to get some professional help for your addiction if things get too difficult.

    There's a website called 'The Buddhist Recovery Network 'which might be useful to you in some way:

    http://www.buddhistrecovery.org/

    ...and there's also a new book called "Refuge Recovery - A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction" by Noah Levine.

    http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062...efuge-recovery


    Contemplating the Five Precepts for lay Buddhists might also be of benefit:

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/d...pancasila.html




    With kind wishes,

    Aloka

  3. #3
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,586
    Hi Trent,

    Welcome to Buddhism Without Boundaries!

    Your introduction makes formidable reading. You certainly have been into some dark places in your time.


    I hope things turn out better for you from now on, it's largely your choice.

    Woodscooter.

  4. #4
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Marion VA, USA
    Posts
    7
    thanks i guess, dont know that i meant anything to be dark or require sympathy. And yes, i do believe that life is what u make of it. i am the result of choices that i have made. Yet i do not regret them. And for the times that i was incarcerated, those experiences were some of the most peaceful and illumintating of my life. in there, i had no troubles. Company, food, shelter, were all provided. everyone wears the same outfits. No styles to contend with. While in there, people were sometimes amazed that i was so content. And i would tell them, "im like a monk in a monastery."

    tj higgins

Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Fri, 2:04 AM Fri, 4:04 AM Fri, 10:04 AM Fri, 2:34 PM Fri, 5:04 PM Fri, 8:04 PM