[frame style=”simple” align=”left”]Injured woman leaning sadly on wooden wall[/frame]When I was sixteen, I was raped by a boyfriend. It was prom. We’d both had too much to drink. Things got out of control. He and I had only kissed a little before then. I never imagined I’d get pregnant. But I did. My parents convinced me to have an abortion. And then we never spoke of it again.

I did well in college and in graduate school. I became a lawyer and got hired at a good firm. Yet, I never could get my social life on track. I didn’t have many boyfriends and when I did, I needed to be dead drunk to be intimate with them. Eventually, my drinking became daily and hangovers began to interfere with my work.

A partner at the firm suggested Cliffside Malibu. He’d sent his daughter there, so he knew it worked. He gave me an ultimatum – get clean or find a new job. He had compassion for me, but his priority was protecting the firm. I went to Cliffside the next morning.

I could only be away from the law office for 60 days. That’s what the company would allow and pay for. I took advantage of every minute of it. I had no secrets from my therapist. I knew what I was drinking over. What I needed was to learn how to live with the memories without being in pain from them. I did a lot of work to release the shame I felt over being vulnerable to rape and having an abortion. I blamed myself for a lot that I could not change. I learned self-forgiveness.

That was seven years ago. I am a partner in the law firm that sent me to treatment, married, and the mother of two beautiful girls. I am clean and sober, grateful every day for the new life Cliffside helped me find.