Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Dahiana Jenkins, Damien Jenkins
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00061A
00:11 Welcome to Celebrating Life in Recovery, I'm Cheri your host
00:13 What if you don't even want to get well?
00:16 What if I think it is lame? What if I don't even think
00:18 about recovery and it is not something I even desire?
00:20 If that is you, then this is your program.
00:23 If that is someone in your family this is your program.
00:25 Come join us!
00:54 Welcome back!
00:55 You know I love this season, our topic, because our topic
01:01 is when is the moment you are more solid in your recovery.
01:06 Is that a good way to put it?
01:08 Where I know that I have actually got it.
01:12 Some people say that has got to be the moment
01:14 when you realize you are powerless.
01:16 The moment to stop fighting all that, when your whole family
01:19 has said over the years that your a mess.
01:21 You think I am so not a mess.
01:23 Then that day you think, well maybe.
01:25 You know I am sitting in jail.
01:26 I've been arrested for the fourth time, I'm strung out,
01:29 my liver is failing, it is at that moment?
01:31 I don't think it is, because I think it is an important moment.
01:34 When I finally say I am a mess.
01:36 I can figure out how to do this.
01:39 Is it the moment when you say, I think there is a God?
01:43 I think He can restore me to sanity, because for me that
01:48 was huge, I couldn't even think anymore.
01:52 I was so depressed and disgusted with myself.
01:54 I had seen so much junk, I had been 10 years on the streets,
01:57 and all that junk, is it the moment that I say
02:00 there is a God?
02:01 He said He is going to restore me to sanity?
02:03 I'm like Amen! I love that!
02:05 Is at that moment? I don't think so.
02:07 I don't think that's it.
02:08 Then somebody says is it the moment I start looking at my
02:11 self and see all this stuff? Not just the addictions.
02:15 But I see the lying, I see the insecurities, I see the fact
02:18 that I never learned to trust.
02:19 I see the fact that I was raised by parents that never loved each
02:23 other, so I had never even seen what it feels like or looks like
02:27 to have people love each other around me.
02:29 Is at that moment?
02:30 I don't think so, even though that is important because on
02:33 that moment I understand my need for a Savior, because I don't
02:36 have anything in and of myself.
02:39 Just to look at my own stuff if it is not that moment.
02:43 This season we are talking about the moment I'm talking about
02:47 I think is the biggest thing, is when all of a sudden I think
02:51 man, alright, God can You do it for me?
02:55 That's the moment that separates somebody that is starting to
03:00 recovery to somebody that is starting to get it.
03:03 It is when I say there is nothing in me, there is nothing
03:06 in me that can come up with even a direction.
03:09 I don't even know what to start with.
03:11 Do I start with my heroine addiction?
03:13 Do I start with my not trusting? Do I start with my lying?
03:17 What do I start with?
03:18 God, you know what was funny, why don't you start by
03:22 doing the laundry?
03:23 Like what? So I didn't even know where to start.
03:26 I didn't think it was important.
03:28 Do the laundry, can't we hire somebody for the laundry?
03:30 I've got serious stuff to work on.
03:32 He is like no, do your everyday stuff.
03:34 So when we finally get to a point where we say to God
03:37 I don't even know where to start I'm going to give it all to You.
03:40 God says, we are not even going to look at your old stuff,
03:44 we are going to look at who God is.
03:47 I am like, well isn't this stuff important?
03:52 He is like this stuff has always been pretty ugly.
03:55 Let me show you something better and that is when recovery
04:00 truly starts happening.
04:01 It is an exciting time.
04:03 I am going to show you some of that today through a
04:06 testimony that will bless you.
04:08 It blessed me, so I want to introduce you to our guest
04:11 Damien, and I want to say for one thank you for being on
04:15 the program and I love what God is doing in your life.
04:19 I mean it is so amazing how God just works behind the scenes
04:24 when we don't realize it. I am really thankful that you
04:27 have us here and I just pray that whatever I can share
04:30 will just inspire and encourage and uplift those who have really
04:35 gone through my life, a life such as mine.
04:39 You brought some friends with you?
04:40 Oh yeah! So I just want to say
04:42 throughout the time you guys came from New Jersey.
04:45 You drove and apparently got lost, drove for hours and hours
04:48 and hours and throughout the program we are going
04:51 to meet them.
04:52 But first of all I want to actually start out with.
04:56 You looks fabulous, like you have always been together.
05:00 But that is not the truth, so talk about where you came from
05:04 and how did you meet God?
05:08 Then what did you think about what I just said?
05:11 Well I think I will go from the beginning then.
05:14 I believe that will explain more thoroughly how I feel about
05:20 what you said earlier.
05:21 I grew up in the South Bronx.
05:23 I would have never guessed that.
05:25 In New York City.
05:28 Your accent is just so New York.
05:29 I can't get rid of it, I have tried.
05:32 It wasn't the best place to grow up around.
05:36 It a was a very cracked infested building, a lot of cocaine
05:40 involved, a lot of drug dealers.
05:42 Nevertheless, my family were not very religious.
05:46 They tried the best that they could to give me the life that
05:49 they had, but my father had come from a background of
05:53 of very intense bigotry and racism from the south.
05:55 That rubbed off on me and I could not help but obtain a lot
06:02 of sentiments towards different creeds of people.
06:06 Such as Caucasians, and others who he had felt, done him wrong.
06:11 What is really interesting to me when you say that, because
06:15 I can just picture the environment because you got
06:17 in an environment that is really rough anyway.
06:20 Then at home you have this underlying racism because of
06:24 what happened to him.
06:25 So it just turned his heart.
06:28 It turned it, he was not, he was there financially, but he wasn't
06:33 the air for the father figure I needed and that is when the
06:38 environment was able to take me and mold me.
06:42 I allowed it to do that.
06:43 From elementary school up I just was involved in so many fights.
06:47 I had such an anger problem, a strong wrath with people.
06:52 I got into fights every single day a my life.
06:54 Let me just say for people that don't know, because that there
06:58 is some people that have no idea what it feels like to grow
07:01 up there, do you know what I mean?
07:04 You really can't color that for them.
07:06 I just have to say that there was one time I decided I was
07:10 going to go into a Ministry in a place that was a lot of
07:14 dealers, every home was run down I mean every place I turned
07:19 was run down, so I just walked around a little bit, and these
07:23 little kids, I am sure like you, tiny little kids from 7, 8, 9,
07:27 years old, were tough.
07:29 They look at you like, what's up?
07:32 Do you know what I mean? There was not kids playing.
07:35 There was not any of that, they were already playing each other
07:38 really early. Yeah exactly!
07:39 Yeah, you will find that a lot in the ghettos of the cities
07:44 because you are living every single day as though you have to
07:48 defend yourself, you can be robbed, you can be shot,
07:51 you can be raped, a woman or a man.
07:53 So you have that mentality.
07:55 No matter what age? No matter what age.
07:57 No matter what age you have that mentality that today
07:59 could be your last day.
08:01 My brother was living in a gang infested place in Long Beach
08:05 California and his daughter was held up by gunpoint
08:08 at 8 years old for her Girl Scout money.
08:12 So, but I think a lot of times when somebody says I am from
08:16 this rough background, I just want to grab them and say
08:19 you have to say what it is like because people don't know.
08:23 So their empathy for these kids aren't there.
08:27 Right now I just think that somebody has to love on the
08:30 kids because there is no chance for them because everything
08:33 they know is telling them you better harden up. That's right!
08:36 That goes into another step of my life where because of
08:41 the environment my sisters husband felt the need that I
08:45 should be fit to endure this type of environment so he would,
08:50 in his mind for my greater good, locked me in a room, and he
08:56 being 20 years old, and I am 12, would just start beating me up.
09:01 He was fighting me and I could not defend myself
09:04 but just take it.
09:05 This when I weeks after weeks, after weeks, after weeks.
09:08 In his mind he is toughening me up, but what he is really
09:12 doing is... So that you will survive?
09:13 So that I will survive, but what he was really doing was killing
09:17 any good emotion that I would have or that I had
09:22 prior to that moment.
09:24 I just had a very hard heart.
09:26 I was almost insensitive to pain because of it.
09:31 I mean, he was not holding back.
09:33 He was just laying it on me.
09:34 Laying it on me and this really turned me out as far
09:39 as my mindset.
09:40 I really hated and a lot of people and I didn't
09:43 understand why.
09:45 And could take pain, so it is like somebody says I'm going
09:50 to beat you up, so what?
09:51 Right! So you walked out with that.
09:55 Bravado, it's like so what? Oh yeah, it was almost like
09:58 the incredible hulk, be angrier he got, the stronger he got.
10:02 So the more, I use to look for fights because it was
10:07 in addiction for me to feel that adrenaline rush, the challenge.
10:10 If somebody bigger than me, taller than me, it didn't matter
10:14 It didn't matter at all.
10:15 Because you have been through that already.
10:16 Because I have been through that I have been particularly trained
10:19 for that, unconditionally, conditioned to be fit for this
10:24 type a fight, you know?
10:25 In the process of time I had became a gang infestation,
10:29 like you mentioned, in a lot of the cities, I was encountered
10:33 by some of these gangs.
10:34 I was robbed at a very young age, I was only 12 years old.
10:37 By knifepoint, and that had been a turning point in my life
10:41 because I felt that I was defenseless, I couldn't do
10:45 anything my life was in another person's hand.
10:47 I could do anything about it.
10:49 So I have made a vow that night that I would never
10:52 be a victim again.
10:53 But at the same time again, I make sure that what happened
10:58 was that I would make other people the victim.
11:00 Right, everybody else was going to pay.
11:02 They was going to pay for that.
11:03 I became 10 times worse than the gang member the did that to me.
11:08 I began to rob people.
11:10 Just mug people, just rob people and steal from them.
11:14 Just leave them there.
11:16 You know, laughing, I had no need, I was financially well off
11:19 my household we were not poor.
11:21 We were on welfare, but I did it because I wanted to.
11:27 Because I wanted to. Right!
11:28 Things got so bad that I eventually...
11:32 You know part of the wanting to is that I want to prove to
11:35 somebody that I am not afraid, I'm not someone you can just
11:39 push around.
11:40 There is that, really in that environment, that's the gig.
11:43 I have to prove to you that you cannot do this to me.
11:46 You can't.
11:47 Because if I don't prove that I'm going to be stepped on
11:50 every single hour, every hour, every minute, every time I walk
11:54 out the door. That's right!
11:55 So it is really interesting to me is sometimes I just want to
12:00 just grab and holler and just say in some places these kids
12:05 are doing the only thing that makes sense to them.
12:08 Unless somebody changes it, this is their life.
12:11 That's it, that is all we have.
12:13 Because of that I did not make it past, through high school
12:17 very well, I got let back twice, in the ninth grade.
12:20 I got involved with a lot of the gangs and my mom felt that
12:25 it was necessary to move out of that environment.
12:29 Just to save you? Just to save me.
12:31 I'm not going to lose my son here? Right!
12:34 She had to do it, she sacrificed a lot because she worked in the
12:38 Bronx so she felt we should move to New Jersey.
12:40 She felt that would be safer for me.
12:43 What in turn happened was I became a bigger threat over
12:47 there and I continued to do even more things.
12:50 I started robbing people at the high school in New Jersey.
12:53 I also began to sell drugs over there as well on the streets.
12:57 I got intermingled with the kids over there who were very similar
13:00 to where I grew up at.
13:02 So it seem like when she did it but to no avail. Right!
13:05 The seeds were already in my heart.
13:07 So you are going to attract the people you need to attract?
13:10 I'm going to attract, I'm not only going to attract, I'm going
13:13 to influence because this was now my life now.
13:16 This was who I am, because I was trained to be like this.
13:20 I felt I had no choice.
13:24 I didn't have any opportunity to make that choice,
13:28 because it was forced on me. Right!
13:30 Without that father figure that we talked about earlier,
13:33 there was no one to really guide me into what was right.
13:37 I did not grow up in a religious background, so I had no church
13:40 to go to, so this is my life and I loved it.
13:43 It is amazing to me when I read some of the statistics on how
13:46 many people are growing up without fathers.
13:49 I mean it's huge. Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
13:51 How bout with your friends?
13:53 Most of them have fathers? Oh no! No fathers!
13:55 Absolutely, not one of them.
13:57 No fathers.
13:58 When you say that I knows somebody will probably listen
14:02 and say that cannot be true, but that is true.
14:04 No fathers.
14:05 In some of the areas I went to I meet no fathers.
14:07 If there is a father he usually a deadbeat and not involved
14:11 with his kids.
14:12 He lives with another woman in and out of jail.
14:16 There's nothing tangible there, there's nothing that you can see
14:22 some love there, there's no guidance.
14:23 There's no guidance, what became our guidance was the music.
14:26 Hip-hop, rap music, they became the people we looked up to.
14:30 They are the ones who's examples we follow.
14:35 That's how we became the way we were.
14:38 We became influenced by them.
14:40 By these men, they had no fathers either, yet they were
14:43 saying some thing that made sense to us.
14:45 We wanted to follow that because they seem like they made it.
14:50 They went through what we went through.
14:52 I have seen that over and over with the music in what surprised
14:57 me a lot about that is that when you have that much anger
15:01 and folks are singing about their anger, then you really
15:05 can relate to that.
15:06 It is like you are singing about anger and getting not victimized
15:10 in all at stuff, and I could crank that up.
15:12 Just be right there with them.
15:14 That's right! That's right! Especially with the music
15:17 it appeals right to the emotions so it is dealing, it is almost
15:21 like drug addict in the sense that what you are going through
15:26 you want to experience or hear that somebody else went through
15:30 it and at the same time it is not really saying not to do it,
15:35 it is glorifying it.
15:36 It is say there is nothing wrong with the way you are.
15:40 You are okay, just keep doing what you're doing and soon
15:44 enough you'll make it like I did.
15:46 Through crime, through injustice through illegal affairs you
15:50 are going to advance in life.
15:53 So it is never really telling you to get past that.
15:55 It's not telling you to forsake those things and say look
15:58 we were messed up when we were younger and we had no fathers.
16:01 This life wasn't good, they are not saying that at all.
16:05 They are say this is your way out.
16:06 This is the way out.
16:07 This is how you are going to make it.
16:09 So with that the encouragement you have is that the music,
16:14 the encouragement that you have is that you are not being
16:17 victimized anymore because I have made it and I am selling
16:21 the drugs now and if you get in my face I will take you out.
16:24 So you are going in that direction, and I can feel that
16:28 even when you're talking I could feel that.
16:30 So I'm thinking how does God, how does God get through
16:33 to someone that has all those things against you?
16:37 How do you even see? Because God must of been foolish to you.
16:40 Christians must be weak to you?
16:43 In my life it was always talked about but never exemplified
16:49 in anybody that I could see.
16:51 So it was more than foolishness it was pathetic, it was pitiful.
16:55 It was weak because in the streets you have to be strong.
16:58 You have to be tough, you can't lay down for anybody.
17:00 You're not turning the other cheek?
17:02 You are not turning the other cheek, in fact as the song said
17:04 If you turn the other cheek I'm going to break your chin.
17:07 If you do turn the other cheek with these things in our minds
17:10 how does God reach somebody like that?
17:15 Well in my case, my experience I was very involved in history
17:19 governmental affairs. Isn't that funny?
17:23 Because when you think about it everything you just said you
17:26 like history, what are you talking about?
17:28 You know here's the interesting thing, this is the interesting
17:31 thing about people who do grow up in the streets,
17:33 they recognized one thing that was very important.
17:34 That was education.
17:37 Education because you had to be smart.
17:39 Selling drugs you have to have mathematics, you will get
17:42 cheated out your money, you do not know supply and demand.
17:45 You do not know how to save up, do not know how to deal this
17:47 and deal that so you have to have some kind of education.
17:52 We always believed in that, apparently the music emphasized
17:57 education along with the crime.
17:58 Isn't that funny, I never thought of that.
18:00 But you do have to know about money and about transactions.
18:05 Oh yeah, it is very necessary, so in the sense I always...
18:08 Did I tell you I love you? I think you are so amazing.
18:12 And every time you hear your testimony, I just think you
18:15 are amazing because I know where you been through.
18:19 I know that child, and that child was hard-core.
18:23 Now you are looking at history and how things
18:27 happened over time.
18:29 Yes I believe that if you do not follow history you will repeat
18:32 it and especially with the long history, I'm African American.
18:36 So we have a very negative history especially starting from
18:41 the United States of 400 years of slavery.
18:42 So what my father said to me in my mind said, I cannot fail
18:47 to repeat that, I have to get past and advance
18:50 in education as well as my finances.
18:53 So I used to study a lot and was good at it.
18:56 A book was given to me by my brother-in-law.
19:00 The same one who beat me up, it would make me stronger,
19:04 and it was right up my field, it was talking a lot about how
19:09 our government was being, a lot of the world wars were staged.
19:15 They were planned for a particular purpose.
19:17 I am not going into the details but it made a lot of sense.
19:20 They named names, they had references, I looked them up
19:24 I wasn't just somebody who believed them,
19:26 I a skeptic about everything.
19:28 It was just saying there is things behind the scenes
19:30 that are happening that you may need to know about.
19:32 That we should know about and I am reading
19:34 it and saying whoa, this makes too much sense not to be true.
19:38 And it had nothing to do about religion, then the very
19:42 last chapter it showed Revelation and broke down how
19:46 everything in Revelation talked about a book,
19:50 a 6000 year old book, was talking about things that was
19:54 going on in our time right now.
19:57 My eyes, I could not believe it.
19:59 Were your eyes open when some body said, my eyes are open?
20:02 They were opened!
20:03 Wow! in a spiritual sense even?
20:06 In a spiritual sense and shocked sense, a fearful sense because
20:09 you recognize that will wow if these things are really taking
20:13 place and I am living like this, if these things are true and
20:17 the Bible say they are true, that means other parts the
20:19 Bible have to be true also.
20:21 That Jesus is real and He is coming.
20:22 He's coming, but He is coming for one class of people.
20:26 And I wasn't one of them, so there's a problem now.
20:30 He's not buying crack!
20:31 No He is not! and He is not trying to see that anger either.
20:36 So I have a problem, I realized I had a problem.
20:39 So I continued to Study and share with my friends the things
20:44 from this book, but I wasn't converted yet.
20:46 I wasn't converted, I was convicted.
20:48 And trying to say look at this, pay attention.
20:53 They thought I was crazy, crazy. They were saying what are you
20:57 smoking? I said oh.
20:59 You finally had lost your mind, I had lost it.
21:03 I lost it and they could not believe it, but I was intent on
21:06 proving it, because I believed history was right there.
21:09 As time progressed I knew I wanted to get better.
21:15 But I also started seeing other things in this Bible that I had
21:18 never seen before. Like?
21:20 Love! What does that mean? You know coming from where
21:25 you came from, what does that mean?
21:27 What does love mean?
21:28 I can't describe it, I mean it with the exact opposite
21:32 of what I had believed all my life.
21:36 I have lived all my life it was the complete anti-street
21:43 life that I had been accustomed to,
21:45 that somebody would lay down, someone from a high position,
21:51 speaking down to earth from a high position will come down to
21:55 my level, and die for someone who completely doesn't care
21:59 about them, and do that?
22:04 And it didn't make sense to me, I tossed it, I said what
22:06 is this garbage, I can't believe this.
22:09 I see Jesus is pathetic, why would He do this?
22:12 I look at Him as weak and impotent, and what is this?
22:16 But then it really clicked in my mind when I walked away,
22:19 I said is this love?
22:23 I never understood it, is this really what love is?
22:26 I've never really seen it.
22:27 I had never seen this.
22:29 I had never seen this, I had been so selfish all my life.
22:31 Only thinking about myself, I didn't think about anybody.
22:34 I would kill somebody and not think twice.
22:37 I was at that point, I would just do that.
22:40 And I said wow, this man would let Himself be killed
22:47 so that I can have a chance?
22:48 I don't even know Him and He would do this for me?
22:53 It makes you wonder if this is God?
23:00 It's huge, it's huge.
23:07 I want people to meet your wife and your friends and that stuff.
23:09 So we are going to go ahead and take a break.
23:11 I think how incredible for God to just say, you know what
23:15 I know that you do not understand, and I know you think
23:19 this is foolishness, but I want to tell you that it will change
23:23 everything for you to understand what love is about.
23:26 What does it feel like to feel safe?
23:29 To feel protected and you have a Father that says
23:31 I want to teach you all things.
23:33 Man, I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
23:37 Stay with us, come right back!