Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Jeremy & Heidi Summerlin
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00082A
00:10 Welcome to Celebrating Life In Recovery,
00:12 I'm Cheri your host.
00:13 God can pull your from the darkest of the darkest places.
00:16 Come join us in the café today, it's going to be amazing.
00:46 Welcome back, I am particularly going
00:50 to enjoy this program.
00:51 A lot of times I have people on that I just met.
00:53 I worked in an area and ran into them and heard their
00:56 testimony and what God is doing in their life and recovery.
00:59 I am just blessed, when you hear someone story and you
01:03 can see the joy in their eyes, it is amazing.
01:04 But this particular couple goes to my church and I have
01:07 known them for a long time.
01:08 I've known them in their recovery and outside of their
01:11 recovery, and in their recovery and outside their recovery.
01:15 And then again, in their recovery and outside of the
01:17 recovery and so I want to say thank you so much Heidi and
01:21 Jeremy for joining me. - thanks for having us.
01:23 The first time I asked you to do this program was two
01:26 years ago. - Yep just about three years ago.
01:27 In that three years, there has been some stuff going on
01:31 even then, so God has just recently.
01:33 - we are still working through some stuff,
01:36 it is never ending really.
01:38 - because in He is grace, He wants us healed.
01:40 - absolutely - it is truly amazing.
01:43 So you go to my church and I have known you for a while.
01:46 I've loved you from the day I first met you.
01:49 When I first met you Jeremy, the first thing I thought,
01:51 God is going to stand you up in such a huge way.
01:54 I think you were high. - probably, I probably was.
01:56 I remember you telling me that I looked like a preacher.
02:02 I was like, okay.
02:06 You still do, so you have been through an incredible
02:11 journey and we usually start this program with a teaching
02:14 segment, but I want to get into both of your testimonies.
02:18 So I decided to just jump into that.
02:20 So Jeremy can we start with you, where did you come from?
02:23 What was your journey like? I know you've had struggles
02:26 even from a childhood in your home.
02:28 Yeah, as a child I came from a fourth-generation church.
02:34 Early on I was molested at the age 7, let me back up.
02:41 My father left when I was 7, my father left when
02:46 I was 7 and after that things started going downhill.
02:52 I always remember my childhood as not too bad.
02:56 I was a happy kid, but now I look at it and I had a lot
03:00 of junk, a lot of pain that happened to me as a early kid.
03:04 When you said that the molest happened at 7, was that
03:07 after your father left?
03:08 - yes, so I was actually a little older than that.
03:11 I was mistaken, I think I was around 8 or 9.
03:14 - but that changes a lot of things for a kid.
03:18 - Yeah! - all of a sudden that happy go lucky kid is now aware
03:21 of stuff you should have never been anywhere of.
03:25 Right, and it was something that was pushed aside,
03:29 not really brought out into the open.
03:32 So I was told to be quiet about it, from there it was
03:38 just, I was in a private school until seventh-grade.
03:43 At seventh-grade I went to a public school and that is
03:48 where I started going down hill.
03:50 - the private school, was it a small school?
03:52 Yes, probably there was around 27 kids at the most.
03:57 At one time, the public school is where I started going
04:01 downhill, I started hanging out with the wrong people.
04:05 I was drawn to them. - you said that to me before.
04:09 What do you mean drawn to them? Was it exciting?
04:13 They just didn't seem like they were?
04:16 They didn't have a care, I think that was it.
04:20 They were just free spirits, and they watched out for
04:25 each other and that led to the gang life.
04:28 I really attached myself to that because I don't think
04:37 I was getting loved from home.
04:39 I was abandoned by my father, so it just.
04:46 - so when you said they didn't have a care, it sounds
04:50 as a little kid that you were carrying a lot of things.
04:53 With the separation, what age were you as far as the
04:57 other kids in your family?
04:58 I was the middle child. - oh I hate that.
05:01 Because the middle child really does get left alone a lot.
05:05 - Higher expectations are put on middle child.
05:08 too because I was actually the first born son.
05:11 So now you find this group doesn't care about anything.
05:15 They are having a lot of fun and you jump in with them.
05:19 That is when I started drinking alcohol and smoking pot.
05:24 - you said seventh-grade? - yeah!
05:28 Now that I'm getting older I look at seventh-grade and
05:32 think, you guys are still babies at that time.
05:34 You are pretty tiny, you guys have kids that are that age.
05:38 And a little bit older, so they are babies.
05:43 So you are out there doing all that?
05:46 Is your mom trying to intervene in all?
05:48 Yeah, she tried, but I was becoming a rebel.
05:54 I was rebelling against everything that she was trying
05:57 to do for me, so I would run away.
06:01 I was on the streets when I was 16, sleeping in these
06:04 tunnels with a friend of mine.
06:07 Couch hopping and doing whatever I could.
06:09 I was doing a lot of car hopping which is basically
06:14 breaking into cars and finding whatever I could just to
06:19 get me by. - and it is such an acceptable way to live
06:24 amongst that group, it is normal and that is what cracks
06:28 me up about that is that people were like wasn't that
06:32 scary or whatever, and it is not.
06:34 I was a kid and there and it was a normal thing amongst
06:38 the group you are with.
06:39 It was actually fun, it was exciting, and adventure.
06:44 I really wasn't thinking about the future at that time.
06:48 It was all about the now.
06:50 Yeah, from there I was in and out of my mom's place.
06:57 She tried to get me to come back home and
07:01 I wasn't having it.
07:03 At age 16 or 17, somewhere in that area, I went to live
07:12 with my father for about a year.
07:15 My mom just couldn't handle me.
07:17 - was he involved in your life at all at that point?
07:19 Well he was off and on, we would hear from him, phone call
07:23 once in a while, but not really.
07:30 - So now you are living with him?
07:31 Yeah, he lived in Virginia, Virginia Beach.
07:34 He offered for me to come live with him, I was like yeah,
07:40 something different, sure I'll try it out.
07:42 So I went over there and I was with him for
07:44 about not even a year.
07:47 I just couldn't do it, couldn't do it.
07:51 - couldn't step back into somebody's authority?
07:53 - right! That was just it.
07:54 - that is really tough because once you decided that you
07:59 are your own boss, then nobody has permission to say,
08:03 I want you home at this time, I want you doing your chores,
08:06 I want you back in school.
08:08 You are just like, hello. - get me out of this place!
08:13 So I got shipped back, when I came back I actually got
08:18 right back into trouble.
08:20 I stoled three cars, got busted first time record,
08:26 first time I actually got busted anyway.
08:34 My mom forced me back into the church.
08:37 They had a youth department going on there, I had to
08:43 attend, and there was a youth leader there that was the
08:48 pastors wife and we became pretty close.
08:52 Then even closer, and she was just a bouncy happy person.
09:00 Before I knew it we were together.
09:06 - you were actually intimately together?
09:08 We were intimately together. - wow!
09:11 Then there is a part of me that says, the fact that
09:13 your mom got you to come back in, the fact that you hooked
09:15 up with this youth group, the fact that you were coming to
09:19 enjoy the people around you, and then that twist happens.
09:22 That has to be, that has to destroy you. - yeah!
09:26 Because it is like what is God, I just want to shake
09:30 somebody right now, and I want to shake them not so much
09:33 I don't think that God forgives everybody.
09:35 But my heart goes out for the damage that you got.
09:39 Did you fall in love with her? - yes! Immediately!
09:44 Because I was that damaged kid who was looking for any kind
09:50 of love, and when I found that it was immediately my
09:56 heart clung to it.
09:57 I don't remember how long we were together, she was going
10:02 to divorce the Pastor.
10:04 Which I feel for the guy today, there was just, it sent
10:12 him over the edge, he was threatening me.
10:15 - because she told him about the relationship? - yeah!
10:20 The Pastor found out she was divorcing him and they had
10:25 two kids together.
10:31 All of a sudden one day she comes to me and she had moved
10:35 out from her husbands and was living in another place.
10:39 She came to me one day, she said I can't see you anymore.
10:43 I'm like, okay! I had bought her a ring we were going
10:47 to get married, we were engaged.
10:53 It really broke my heart.
10:56 Did she say, I finally came to my senses?
10:58 This is not right? - something like that.
11:01 I found out that she was also sleeping with another guy
11:03 and her second job where she was working.
11:07 - she was just damaged. - yeah!
11:10 So what, with you, the fact that you reattached and
11:14 then got that pulled away from you, what happened then?
11:18 You just went nuts! - I went nuts, I went searching for
11:21 anything that would take that pain away because it hurts
11:24 so bad, and I found meth.
11:27 - oh man! I did meth for the first time and I loved it.
11:33 It took that pain away. - and gave you the power back?
11:38 Oh it gave me power beyond, I felt like I was in control.
11:44 I didn't have to feel anything anymore, so I started using it.
11:49 We've talked about addiction on this program a lot.
11:52 One of the things about people that choose meth,
11:55 is that you have been damaged in a way that you have been
11:59 stripped, you feel powerless, and all that stuff.
12:02 Meth is such a deceptive drug in that it shoots all your
12:06 neurochemistry up, and you feel like I can get whatever
12:10 I want, whenever I want, and this drug then has you.
12:13 I mean for a lot of people, they do not realize how
12:17 seductive it is, how all of a sudden for that kid that
12:20 has been wandering around trying to fit in and be
12:23 whatever, you get it all when you are high.
12:27 Yeah, so I actually started dealing so not only was I on
12:34 my own, but I wanted to be able to get high as well.
12:39 So I started dealing and I was making pretty good money.
12:44 I wasn't your normal dealer, I would roll around on
12:49 roller blades delivering it to the customers instead
12:53 of them coming to me.
12:57 I could just picture that, I've never seen a dealer
13:03 on rollerblades, you know.
13:05 So it was fun, people liked you, they knew you, you were
13:10 the guy, and everything was working now.
13:14 Did you ever decide or realize that this drug was going
13:20 to take me out? Did that ever cross your mind?
13:23 Yeah! I was, but people that taught me, they like took
13:31 me out and showed me the ropes.
13:33 Like this is how you do it, this is what to watch for,
13:36 stay one step ahead of the cops.
13:45 I just didn't, I just focused on what was going on around
13:48 me, I knew inside my heart that this wasn't right.
13:52 There was something going on, but I didn't want to deal
13:57 with that, I didn't want to feel the pain.
13:59 - just push that away? Oh yeah!
14:01 It is interesting too, when you say that, there were
14:04 people that stepped in and saying let
14:06 me show you the ropes.
14:07 This is actually what you look for and do.
14:12 This is another area you find acceptance in,
14:15 for somebody that doesn't have acceptance,
14:18 we forget that it is not just the drug,
14:21 it is not just the high, it's the entire picture.
14:24 All the sudden you belong and you are the guy,
14:26 and everybody wants you, and all that stuff.
14:29 It is a huge, it almost fills that huge hole, but not quite.
14:38 You know what I mean. - yeah!
14:40 Because that emptiness is still there, so for the next
14:44 few years you are just?
14:46 - Quite a few years, quite a few years, I mean there
14:51 were so many different roads and adventures that happened
14:56 after that, we could take up 80 shows, I'm sure.
15:00 Because you get twisted? Yeah! - in different ways!
15:04 I might even just write a book about it, but that would
15:08 be the best way to do it.
15:09 So you ended out there dealing. - right!
15:13 You are losing yourself in a ton of different ways,
15:16 sexually, physically and emotionally?
15:19 Not so much sexually, I mostly stayed to myself.
15:23 I didn't have time for women, I was too busy dealing.
15:28 You're lucky in that sense, because of a lot of people
15:31 I talk to jump into that addiction, you just get twisted.
15:34 I think that was my lover, was the meth.
15:40 So what else did I need? I didn't need anything else.
15:45 So this lasted for a long time, like you said, many years.
15:52 At one point you started to look up,
15:56 something happened, did you get busted?
15:59 What starts you to, where this is not working anymore?
16:03 Well my sister came to me one night, and I had been doing
16:07 this for probably for four or five years or so.
16:11 In that for five years were there other people saying
16:13 to you, Jeremy? No! You are just out there!
16:17 I was just out there, well of course by mom and friends
16:23 but I'd really didn't care what they had to say.
16:27 One night my sister came to me with a friend and said,
16:32 you need to get out of town as soon as possible.
16:38 You are on this list of people that are going to go down,
16:43 you are at the top of the list of people that are watching
16:49 and plan on, - who was this? DA! - An Enforcement agent.
16:54 So they gave me some money and I left town.
17:00 Running basically, I ran 118 miles to Twin Falls.
17:09 I got a job with my grandfather and I was doing better
17:18 for about six months. - were you still using?
17:21 No, I was actually, I quit for six months.
17:25 For an addict that is like forever, when you say six
17:29 months that is huge. - well I was still drinking.
17:35 But still, your drug of choice is meth and the fact
17:37 that you didn't go there.
17:39 I was feeling the pain of abandonment.
17:44 So I lost my first love. - Right!
17:47 So I started work and I found, I sought out,
17:54 I had to find it and get it back to my life,
17:59 because I wasn't stable until I had that.
18:05 So I did. - Jeremy can we talk about that?
18:09 A lot of people don't understand that.
18:11 I didn't feel normal without that.
18:14 It's like all those things, that are very deep things,
18:19 is what I'm missing.
18:23 Well when I didn't have the drug, you have those feelings
18:28 start coming back up and I don't want to deal with them.
18:33 I didn't know how to deal with them.
18:35 So it was normal, I felt normal after I had it.
18:40 - all those feelings suddenly go away again.
18:45 - disappear. - I feel like I fit in again. - right!
18:49 I'm in control, I have the power again.
18:52 When I got high it wasn't like a lot to take off with
19:00 all this energy, it mellowed me out.
19:04 I would just could sink in, just Ahhhh!
19:08 Just normal, you know.
19:15 I was working, keeping a job and I was the star employee
19:20 I guess you could say that.
19:22 I was working for my grandfather while using.
19:25 At that point it became a meal to me, the meth did.
19:32 I would wake up and do a shot, have one mid day, and then
19:40 have one before it went to bed.
19:42 No one at that point knew that you were using again?
19:44 Because at first you can hide it. - right!
19:48 But then eventually. - eventually it catches up.
19:52 Especially when you're not eating as much.
19:56 What kind of behaviors do people see when you start
20:01 showing your meth use?
20:03 A lot of lying. - all of a sudden you're playing people?
20:12 Yes, totally.
20:19 If you don't answer quickly I'll ask your wife.
20:21 (Everyone's laughing)
20:24 I know what Heidi all get some answers, let me just show
20:26 you the list. - right!
20:31 Lying is one, not being able to stay focused, not being
20:35 as reliable. - reliable was a good one for me.
20:40 I wasn't very reliable, except for my job.
20:44 There were some times where I wouldn't get up
20:48 and go to work.
20:50 Were you using and selling while you are working with
20:54 your grandfather? - Yes, not as much, but I would get my
20:58 paycheck and I would buy a large quantity and that way
21:01 I could make my money back and on top of that I would be
21:05 able to use at the same time.
21:07 Did he finally let you go? No, I think I quit, I think
21:16 I quit and that time was a little blurry in my mind.
21:25 After that I think I started transporting, to just make
21:34 money back and forth from the old town where
21:36 I was told to leave.
21:39 So things really started coming down on me, at one point
21:48 I had all my stuff taken, everything.
21:51 All my clothes, everything, I only have the clothes on my
21:55 back. - someone's stole them from you? - Ah humm.
21:59 They said I owed them, which I think I did, I think.
22:03 - I think I might have been guilty. - yes!
22:06 I like with druggies, we don't know, we don't think that
22:09 I bet they were right.
22:12 So now everything is falling apart at this point.
22:14 I want to go ahead and take a break and then come back
22:20 and find out when you and Heidi met.
22:23 Because I can't even imagine, looking at you during that
22:27 time, and saying I think I will marry this guy.
22:31 So we are going to take a break and then we are going to
22:33 come back because it is real interesting to me,
22:36 usually when an addict is out of control and then someone
22:39 comes in to their life is that they have their own issues.
22:42 We are going to find out how both of these folks came
22:45 into the relationship with the issues and what
22:47 God did to heal them.
22:49 I'm proud of God, I can't see how He does it,
22:52 I don't know why He hangs in with us while were doing all
22:55 this crazy stuff, but He does and that is amazing to me.
22:58 We will be right back, stay with us.