Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Dan & Angela Clark
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00078A
00:11 Welcome to Celebrating Life In Recovery my name is Cheri.
00:13 Have you ever felt too crazy that maybe even God can't
00:16 help you? Not true!
00:18 I'm going to introduce you to a couple today that you
00:20 will want to kiss God on the face.
00:22 Come in the café and join us.
00:52 Welcome back, we are going to talk today about a number
00:55 of things, I'm going to introduce you to Dan and Angela
00:57 Clark and they're going to talk about their testimony.
01:00 They had a lot of things going on in their life, but what
01:03 got me when telling me their story, is how they dealt
01:06 with issues in their own relationship.
01:09 Co-dependency being one of them, and I know people hate
01:12 to hear that word, they don't know what it means,
01:14 what is it exactly?
01:15 I remember a couple come on over to my house and we
01:17 are doing marriage counseling.
01:19 They came over to my house and they were, I'm leaving,
01:21 I hate him, no matter what you say I'm divorcing him
01:24 and they didn't even like to sit together.
01:27 I have been sit on the couch and they were at opposite
01:30 ends of the couch.
01:31 Don't touch me, your on my half, it was like
01:33 watching these two little kids.
01:35 I then looked at this guy who has this rage disorder.
01:38 Vietnam Vet, he was sentenced for murder at 17 and they sent
01:44 him to Vietnam, I mean he has his horrendous background
01:48 with anger, but I realize that the marriage issues weren't
01:51 really his issues, it was her codependency.
01:54 So I turned around her and I said I think at least half
01:57 of the issue is you.
01:59 She looked like she was going to cut my throat.
02:01 She was so angry, she was wanting to pack her bags.
02:04 She said I come here and trusting you and you are
02:07 telling me that is my problem, and within a week they
02:09 were like newlyweds again but she had to look at the
02:12 fact that maybe the way she was responding to the world
02:16 around her caused her over, and over, and over again
02:19 be in these same situations.
02:21 Today we're going to talk about that, and if you are a
02:24 codependent don't hate me at the end of this, because
02:26 this is going to be good for you.
02:28 So I want to introduce you to Dan and Angela and I want
02:30 to say thank you so much for being on the program.
02:32 Thanks much for having us.
02:34 You know what I'm talking about, it's a hard thing.
02:36 Yeah I do, it is, it is!
02:38 Were going to get into that but first of all let's find
02:40 out who you are, where you are from, and Dan let's start
02:44 with you, I know that when I first heard your story,
02:47 I was like shut up that is intense.
02:50 Start out from being raised.
02:53 I grew up in West Land Michigan just outside of Detroit.
02:57 I grew up in a two-bedroom house with four brothers.
03:00 - you're kidding me? No was four kids in one room with
03:03 two bunks. - a mom and dad? Yes, mom and dad.
03:07 My mother was a hoarder, we picked up carpet everywhere.
03:12 The house was completely full and we had
03:14 trails through our house.
03:15 Just for somebody who doesn't know what a hoarder is,
03:18 I think I'm married to one.
03:21 So explain because it is a sickness.
03:24 Yes, yes my mother, she collected everything.
03:27 We picked up junk continually and brought it into our
03:29 house, old rugs that were urinated on.
03:31 My mother just wouldn't let us go by.
03:33 - so even like you said, there is piles in your house.
03:37 It was small enough but you had to
03:39 literally walk through that?
03:40 We walked through trails, we had a dog and the house was full
03:43 of fleas, the dog wet every where and it literally lifted
03:46 the tiles off the kitchen floor.
03:48 It was in terrible condition, when we had to take a
03:51 shower we had clothes in the tub and we took them out,
03:54 it was filled full of fish worm and silkworms and mold
03:57 growing on the walls, it was really crazy.
04:01 To me as I'm looking at you and you are talking about
04:04 this, is that I've had to work with people with that
04:06 story, when you walk in the house you don't want to say
04:08 anything and don't want to look shocked, but these kids
04:11 their normal day to day stuff is tragic.
04:14 You wonder what do you think of the world?
04:18 How do you walk out of this, go to school and then
04:20 walk back into this?
04:21 Oh man, I don't think I was conscious, I was so used to it,
04:25 it and that my mother had a nervous breakdown every 3 years,
04:29 years, so every 3 years, and she was schizophrenic
04:32 a paranoid schizophrenic, so every 3 years at 5 years old
04:35 I was literally bolting the windows shut.
04:38 My mother would say Dan, bolt the window shut, somebody's
04:40 going to come in.
04:41 I was putting screws in the window with a screw gun
04:43 at the back door and was thinking how would we ever
04:46 get out of here.
04:47 Then we will call my dad, because he worked out of town,
04:49 and I would say dad you need to come home moms having a
04:52 breakdown and then she would get undressed and run down
04:55 the street, and this happened every 3 years or so.
04:57 It was part of our normal life watching our mother go
05:00 into the mental ward and visiting her there.
05:03 It was pretty crazy.
05:06 I would like to say I'm sorry for what you saw growing up.
05:12 As a kid by the time you are any age at all,
05:16 the world is just skewed as far as your view of it.
05:20 What is real and what is not real, what's safe and what
05:23 is not safe, because even though you knew that your
05:26 mom was paranoid, there was that sense of urgency skewed
05:29 was always with you.
05:32 That is where I learned co-dependency.
05:33 I was watching my mom suffer and it 5 years old I was
05:37 saying, mom don't worry, dad's going to come home.
05:40 I was fixing her and I was making her okay.
05:42 - I want to take care of you. Yeah I want to take care
05:44 of you, and I would kneel down in front of her and say
05:47 mom, dad will be home don't worry I'll bolt up the house
05:51 really good and that was the life we lived out of.
05:54 Now if I can jump up to 18?
05:57 Before you jump up I want to say one thing because
06:01 I think Dan, it's amazing to me that you learned very
06:05 young to be very good at that.
06:06 Then people thank you for taking care of your mom,
06:09 and your dad I'm sure appreciate that you were there
06:12 and called him with all that stuff.
06:14 All your sense of who you are and your worth was around
06:18 whether you could keep this craziness at some kind
06:22 of a workable level. - yes, and I protected her.
06:26 If I'm brothers raised their voice I would literally
06:29 be in a closet with a pan, and if anyone raised their voice
06:32 too loud, their responsible for mom's mental
06:34 condition to my dad.
06:36 We learned to anticipate every move, that's a
06:38 codependent, always anticipating somebody's move and say
06:41 dad looks like he's going to get mad I better do this.
06:44 Your 10 steps ahead of everybody, whether it's real or
06:47 not and you're trying to fix, you're trying to keep calm
06:51 because my dad was very angry, he got explosive angry.
06:54 He would whip a glass at my mom's head, it just shattered
06:57 in her hair and we watch my mom pull out glass of her
07:00 hair and then she would come with a bag full of nail
07:03 polish and wept my dad on the head.
07:06 Then my dad he would sit in the hallway, this is crazy,
07:10 but he would shoot BBs.
07:12 - Well you haven't been crazy up to this point so...
07:17 this may sound crazy guys, but my dad used to sit on the
07:21 floor, and my mother was heavily tranquilized,
07:24 seriously tranquilized, stuff you wouldn't believe.
07:28 He would shoot BBs over her head to get her up in the
07:31 morning, he'd say get up woman, boom.
07:33 She'd say Mel quick firing at me.
07:35 I would go dad, dad, he'd say woman get up, boom.
07:38 It would ricochet off the mirror, and crack the mirror.
07:42 And we're dad, dad take it easy.
07:45 Get up woman and he would fire right over her head.
07:47 This is how we grew up.
07:53 What's interesting is, because I grew up in a crazy home,
07:57 it's even in a crazy home we say, and now this is crazy.
08:01 Everything you just said was crazy.
08:05 So that is your foundation? - yes!
08:09 Now you want to jump to 18?
08:11 At 18 years old what happened?
08:12 At 17 years old I took my first drink, and I was an
08:18 alcoholic from the minute I took it.
08:20 I don't know why, I felt so good when I drank
08:23 my first quart of beer.
08:25 May I just say, when I took my first drug, it was only
08:30 thing that ever felt normal to me.
08:32 Yeah, I felt completely normal and I wanted to celebrate.
08:36 I drank and I drank and I just loved it.
08:40 - It didn't matter all this craziness anymore,
08:42 I'm not a part of that anymore. - I was euphoric.
08:45 I remembered running through the snow and I was free.
08:47 I did know why, I just thought that.
08:50 - the reason I want to say that Dan, for people that are
08:53 watching that haven't been just sucked into drugs in that
08:55 way, is they do not know what is it that works.
08:58 Everything about it works.
09:00 For an alcoholic or druggie that's been through so much
09:03 dysfunction, when we find something that actually makes
09:06 us feel normal, it's like the solution has been found.
09:09 We've had other people on this program that have said
09:12 that, I felt like I found the answer to all my problems.
09:15 So I just want someone to understand that.
09:18 With this craziness, all of a sudden life is okay.
09:23 Yes, yes. - so you protect that addiction with everything in you
09:27 Yes, and I didn't want to be an alcoholic like
09:30 my friends, I thought were.
09:32 Because they drank all the time.
09:33 I had alcoholics that would drink with me every other day.
09:36 Or every couple of days and they would drink every day.
09:39 Eventually I got to where I was drinking everyday.
09:41 We were drinking cases, I was into beer then, we would
09:44 have a case in the middle of our car and drive around.
09:46 I would drink every single day and it felt so normal
09:49 until I got locked up.
09:52 I had like four felonies before I knew what happened.
09:56 Next thing I knew I was in jail and I thought how did I get
09:59 here? - that makes me laugh, when you come from such a
10:01 crazy environment it takes a while before you think,
10:04 I don't think this is working for me.
10:06 Yeah, exactly I had no idea, I was behind bars going
10:11 how did I get here?
10:12 People are yelling down the hall, and I was yelling down
10:15 there and my buddies were going you're going to be locked
10:17 up forever and you're going to rot in here.
10:20 You know I had no clue what was happening in my life.
10:22 I was just drinking and responding and reacting and
10:25 living life without any awareness or consciousness or
10:28 anything and as I got older.
10:31 I don't know if you want to go that far ahead? - yeah.
10:35 I got into pornography and different things.
10:38 - For a lot of people, and I'm sure that you know, and that
10:42 is a part of it, the whole world brings in our sexuality
10:45 and who we are in all those areas.
10:47 What is hard about drugs and alcohol and dysfunction,
10:50 being all on the table, is who we are sexually gets
10:54 so twisted, it really does get twisted.
10:57 It was really twisted for me and I remember talking in my
11:01 church, I remember trying to express that I felt like...
11:04 Wait a minute, where did church come in?
11:08 I'm like wait a minute we are in jail, and now in church.
11:11 So church did play a part in your life somewhere?
11:15 Yes, yes actually I grew up in a real strict, I call it
11:19 sin based religion, and it was very strict.
11:23 We sat in the back of the hall, we were among the church
11:26 goers that were weak, we were the weak churchgoers
11:29 so we sat in the back.
11:30 As I got older I left the church and then I returned to
11:35 the church, full-fledged and I was going to
11:38 serve God with everything.
11:39 - I'm not going online, stop doing the porn.
11:43 Yeah, yeah that was pretty crazy, I used to throw away
11:47 porn and then get back out the garbage.
11:49 One minute it was, I felt bad and I would even scream,
11:52 sometimes, I recorded myself, after a sexual thing
11:56 and I wanted myself to know how horrible it was.
11:59 I tapped myself. - I don't want to be here anymore.
12:03 Let me just, I want to drop in, I don't want to interfere with
12:07 what you're saying, but I just want to say what I learned
12:10 about God through all that craziness, in the middle of
12:13 the ugliest stuff we are involved in, that He is crazy
12:16 about us and wants to somehow take that kid that was
12:20 trying to get their mom not be crazy, to find their
12:23 safety and stuff in Him.
12:25 Even through all your pornography, I just want to say,
12:29 did you get a sense in any real way that God was there?
12:33 Or was it just a shame based religion at this point?
12:36 At that point it was just a shame based religion.
12:39 When I tried to tell people all I got was blank stares.
12:42 - somehow you are a nut?
12:45 Yeah, you are a nut, and people would back off.
12:47 I even had certain things removed and in some
12:50 organizations you have privileges, you can read the
12:53 Bible, or you can do different things as far as being
12:55 involved in the church.
12:57 Well once you have mentioned that you have this sexual
13:00 problem, they take those away.
13:02 Let's put a little note on the calendar here
13:04 and let's work on it.
13:06 What bothered me the most was I felt I was the only one
13:10 in this whole 5 million church that had this problem.
13:14 I really did. - nobody talked about it?
13:15 Nobody talked about it, nobody, I didn't hear anybody say
13:19 I struggled with that too.
13:21 So I felt like I was the only one, so what happened to me
13:25 was part of me, after you get enough privileges removed,
13:30 then you feel bad.
13:31 Then you say, boy if I talk about this much more I'm going
13:35 to be disfellowshipped or whatever.
13:37 Anyway what happened to me was I come compartmentalized,
13:40 I actually developed a split personality.
13:42 One part of me was in the church smiling and the other part
13:46 was involved in the sexual misconduct, more pornography.
13:52 That kept going and going and going.
13:54 - so you began lying and living a different life?
13:58 I felt like I was a part of Satan's, because you were
14:02 either in or out, there was no gray area in my church.
14:06 You are either with us all the way,
14:07 are you are in the world.
14:09 A friend of mine Bernie Andersen, who has been on the
14:12 program before wrote a book called,
14:13 ' Breaking the Silence,' and he is a Pastor and dealt with porn
14:17 until he was 14 and he finally had to say out loud, I have
14:20 to start saying something because men are dying thinking
14:23 they are the only ones out there.
14:24 I say men, but I know women have sexual addictions too.
14:28 On some of our addictions, especially if they get sexual,
14:31 we don't have anyone we can go and just say
14:35 are you dealing with this?
14:38 And do you know what I'm talking about?
14:39 I think that's a sin, I think you should be able to have
14:43 another man in the church to say sit down, this is what
14:46 I did, this is what helps me.
14:50 What I actually did was hid, and I found out as I went
14:54 to some of the 12 steps that a lot of men were hiding.
14:58 They had this problem, not everybody,
15:01 but a lot of men were hiding and they couldn't tell their
15:04 Pastors, they couldn't tell anybody in the church.
15:06 It was just this thing that you were dirty.
15:08 That really propelled me into thinking I was really evil,
15:12 I was really born of Satan and I really believe that.
15:16 I'm part of Satan's seed because I can't get a handle on this
15:18 thing and so I went down that road.
15:21 Of course it got worse.
15:23 I know it led to you have a relationship with a crack
15:27 addict and it really did get worse for you.
15:29 Lots of escorts, a guy introduced me to Escort X.
15:33 I really got lonesome, desperately lonesome and
15:37 I stopped drinking for a while, but I got really lonesome.
15:39 I was shy, I couldn't meet anybody, so I thought I would
15:42 have a drink and I didn't realize that I was an alcoholic
15:45 even at 40, so my drinks were doubles and I would have six or
15:49 seven doubles, drinking a fifth every other day.
15:52 When I drank, the next thing you know I would be like,
15:57 how would you say it, desperate.
16:01 I would find myself in this desperate situation.
16:03 So I let this guy, that was at the club, live with me and
16:05 he said, Heh, we don't have to sit here alone.
16:07 I said really, he said no we can have some girls come
16:10 over, girls come over what are you talking about?
16:12 We can actually have a girl for a $100 bucks or $150 bucks.
16:16 I said really.
16:18 I can imagine with that much loneliness and the stuff
16:20 you came from, that sounded great to you.
16:24 Of course I really want that and wanted that forever.
16:29 I drink because of that.
16:31 Yes, I was totally desperate, and what I didn't realize was
16:35 that I was moving down this progressively degrading path.
16:39 - I think a lot addicts don't know, and I hate to use your
16:44 testimony for such teaching moments, but a lot of us
16:47 don't know that when we grab something that is not real
16:51 life, I pay $150 bucks for somebody to spend the
16:53 evening, and when they leave I know that none of that was
16:56 real, and there is a brief reaction that is even worse.
16:59 So it is like this rebound thing that trashes us even
17:03 more, because now I know that I even will stoop to this.
17:06 Yes! - it's crazy. - yes.
17:09 I still want to say to you that there is a part of me
17:12 that wants to say I'm sorry for all that, because you
17:15 went through some tragic stuff.
17:17 What started to turn that around for you?
17:20 It sounds like it just keeps getting more intense,
17:23 it just keeps getting worse.
17:24 It finally came to its end I had several escorts that
17:28 I paid for and it was like you said, at the end of the
17:32 session, so to speak, you'd just be out money.
17:35 There was nothing lasting, there was no love and you
17:38 started to see it for that.
17:39 Even though the women started to change, at first they
17:43 smelled good and looked good.
17:45 After a while they started feeling dirty, you could
17:49 smell them and it was turning into a disgusting odor.
17:53 Honestly! So at the end I met a girl who was an escort
17:57 that wanted to quit.
17:59 She wanted to quit her profession.
18:00 - that's not you is it? - no, I wasn't.
18:03 I'm sorry go ahead, I'm like you look so sweet.
18:11 So she had a couple kids and I moved her out of this very
18:13 rough neighborhood, it was full of crack addicts and
18:16 heroine addicts, and I was rescuing this family from this
18:20 thing and I moved them out.
18:21 She resented me, hated me and I did know at the time she
18:24 was say crack addict.
18:26 She would disappear for four days at a time.
18:28 Within a short while I lost everything.
18:31 I lost my home, my cars, everything.
18:33 Literally I was just walking down the road.
18:35 What I can say about the sexual addiction was that it
18:39 was progressive, it does lead into.
18:42 The porn flips around and you get into different types
18:46 of porn, and different magazines, and different things,
18:50 and then you move into you wanting the real thing.
18:52 So once you have the real thing, then that came to it's end for
18:55 me. - the real thing that's not the real thing?
18:58 Yes! - because what you wanted was connection?
19:00 You want connection and love and it wasn't there, I saw it.
19:03 I finally had a girlfriend, regular girlfriend at the end
19:06 that said, I'm here for you and you are here for me.
19:10 I said okay, it was just sex and I thought this girl is
19:13 using me for sex and I was freaked out.
19:16 I thought she doesn't want me, she doesn't want me for
19:19 me, so I would take her out to a nice restaurant.
19:21 She said I told you don't look at me like that,
19:23 if you look at me with that love look in your eyes
19:25 I will throw you away, don't do that.
19:28 We are just here for this.
19:30 I thought, so the last time she came over,
19:32 she got undressed and I wasn't there, I was done.
19:37 I was done with my addiction, it has literally ran its
19:42 course, I hate to say that for me it took magazines,
19:45 down to this, down to that, down to the escorts until
19:49 finally I said, this isn't love.
19:51 To me, the most incredible thing for me about recovery
19:57 is that when we decide to get our needs met by an object
20:01 or an event, to buy a hooker, buy drugs, by stealing, by
20:06 gambling, by what ever, workaholism, when we decide
20:10 to get our needs met by that, is that we are not stupid,
20:13 we know that at the end of the day that no needs were met.
20:16 The grief reaction, the stuff that happens is tremendously
20:20 intense, the pain we are left with at the end of 20 years
20:24 is what we're left with.
20:25 - even more desperate! - more desperate and that is why
20:29 I think, for me, at 12 step groups says that you finally
20:34 realize I am powerless here.
20:35 I don't even know what to do, I do not know where to move
20:39 from here, I don't know how to do it anymore.
20:41 It's like every substance, alcohol, sex addiction,
20:44 it's all just an illusion, it is all a dead end road.
20:47 It is part of our flesh, it's part of experiencing this,
20:50 but they all leave us very empty and hopeless and
20:53 desperate. - definitely!
20:54 So I like to have a break, but before we have a break
20:58 I want you to introduce your wife to us.
21:01 Tell us how did you get from that desperate
21:04 place to being married?
21:06 This is my wife Angela.
21:09 So Angela you just heard all that what you think of it?
21:13 I know it seems crazy that I have no bad feelings to be
21:16 married to a husband who has been through all this.
21:18 I think what it is, is that I admire him with all my
21:21 heart that he has overcome this and he has surrendered to
21:24 God to such depth that he would let God heal this in him.
21:29 - so you met him in recovery?
21:31 I met him when he was fairly well surrendered and when
21:35 I prayed with him the first time, I could sense
21:39 positively the Holy Spirit so strong.
21:41 I thought wow, he's really rough, he's a rough diamond,
21:45 but he is precious beyond belief.
21:47 I could sense that strong Holy Spirit and it touched me.
21:52 I thought that was really amazing and as we grew together
21:56 and I saw him change more and more, still to this very
21:59 day, the surrendering to God got stronger and more often,
22:03 more situational where he surrendered each situation.
22:07 I saw him growing and I just well over with joy for what
22:11 God can do, because what He did in my life
22:13 was just as crazy.
22:14 What He did for Dan I stand in awe of God,
22:18 because how could this be?
22:20 God loves even this thing and He can turn it around.
22:24 Wow, I just well up with joy and talk about him every day
22:28 at my job, and about his surrender and overcoming.
22:32 What is funny to me as I listen to this, I think she
22:36 adores you. - I adore her too.
22:39 What happens is I think amazing, I'm looking at this
22:43 little boy at five that didn't have anybody seeing him,
22:47 been throughout your life saying I didn't have anybody.
22:50 I drink because of that loneliness, I paid someone to
22:53 be with me, and then God sends somebody to you that
22:56 just adores you, how fun is that? - What a gift.
22:59 We are going to take a break and come back and find out
23:03 from Angela, first of all where she came from, but I know
23:07 that part of the healing here was to deal with both of
23:10 them with their codependency issues.
23:14 Dan from back when he was a little boy and you will have
23:16 to come back and find out who Angela is and what stuff
23:19 she brought to the table.
23:21 Be right back!