Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Olesen-Schorr and I live in Everett, Wa. with my 3 beautiful kids. My oldest is Madison, she is 11 years old. Levi is my middle son, he is 10 years old. Mykel is my baby, he is 8 years old. Our family has been put back together after some very difficult years. I struggled with alcoholism and it took me and my family to a place I can only describe as horrifying. I feel the best way to share our story is to tell you what it was like, what happened and what it is like now.
I was born in 1966 in Port Angeles Washington. I was the youngest of 9 children. I was raised Catholic and my family was very involved with the church. This gave me a very good foundation and I established a faith in God at a very young age. We moved to Everett, Washington when I was 3 years of age where I spent my entire childhood. Life growing up was good, we had what we needed and were taken care of. My parents were both functioning alcoholics but I can remember mostly good times. I excelled in sports as I was very athletically gifted. I played soccer, basketball and softball in high school. I was a 4 year All-American in all 3 sports. I was fortunate to earn many awards and recognitions while in high school including a full athletic scholarship in soccer to the University of Central Florida. I was in the top 3 recruits in 1984 in soccer and fast pitch softball. Life was magical and I was traveling all over the US on recruiting trips to several colleges. My future appeared to be paved in gold. I finally decided on Central Florida in Orlando.
I arrived at college in August of 1984. I had just turned 18 years old and life was amazing. I had been a "jock" all thru high school so I had very little experience with the "party" life that would soon engulf me in college. I began my slow dance of death with alcohol. I found love , or so I thought, for the first time. I chased a boy that I liked and he did not recipricate. I persevered, and he became mine. I began my slow dance of death in my first abusive relationship. King alcohol took me quickly. I drank with all my buddies and my new found love, Tim, and all his St. Louis freinds. Drinking was our favorite and most important past time. I quickly went down hill. My playing suffered tremendously and I went from being a dominant promising recruit to a bench warmer. The dissappointment of riding the bench was reflected in my grades, my relationships and my enthusiasm for college. I drank to excess, my grades fell and, consequently, i did not earn my 2.0 gpa necessary to keep my full ride scholarship. I found myself in summer school my freshmen year fighting to save my scholarship. I was able to pull a 4.0 gpa that summer and return to college and the team. I continued to drink but...manage my school work to maintain my gpa. I continued to ride the bench as I lost my lust for the game and my competitive edge. My excitement and passion soon turned to fear and loneliness for home that I have never experienced. I drank even more to forget and self medicate. My love relation with Tim became even more volitile and we fought constantly. Our fights would sometimes turn physical and verbally abusive. We moved off campus together in our junior year and the drinking and arguing escalated. We stayed together our entire college career and split up when I moved back to Washington State in December of 1988.
Arriving home, I was excited and possitive that life would begin to turn for me. I just thought if I could find the right man, the right job the right.......fill in the blank, life would be grand. Life was not grand. In fact, I found myself once again lost in a sea of life I did not want and once again, I drank. The next several years would take me thru an array of abusive relationships. I would seek out men that liked to drink like I did. This caused several problems. I was brutally attacked 3 different times by the men I was seeing. I suffered broken bones, fat lips, burns etc. I was cheated on, taken for granted, lied to, spit on, disrespected, screamed at, called horrible names, abandoned, you name it. It was not until several years later I came to realize that I was an active participant in these happenings. I was not a victim. I had become a person I didn't recognize, a person that I loathed. I blamed everyone for my mysery. I drank more and more. I put myself in terrible predicaments and ended up being raped twice. I wanted to die.
I met Victor, in 2002, My ship had arrived. He was kind and loving. He had a wonderful job at Boeing, a beautiful home, 2 wonderful kids and he treated my like a queen. We were married on February 8, 2003 Life was once again grand. I was a wife with a beautiful home on acreage, I had a wonderful husband that loved me and we were expecting our first child Madison. Madison was born on February 8,2004. I have never been happier in my life and was certain that I had just been going thru a phase and my drinking had all but dissappeared. Levi was born on September 10, 2005. The perfect little family with the perfect little life. Victor and my relationship began to slip. Victor was working 80 plus hours per week, I was raising our babies alone and we began to fight. Consequently, I turned once again to drinking. I would drink all day long at home alone with my kids while my husband worked. Mykel was born on May 25, 2007. Life was good again with the arrival of Mykel. Victor continued to work long hours and I was home alone with the kids. I again, picked up the drink. Things got really bad very quickly. I would drink all day, Victor would come home angry, he would hit me, kick me, lock me outside, He broke my collarbone by tackeling me off our deck. He turned my into CPS for drinking at home with the kids. We ended up losing all 3 kids to cps due to both of our drinking and violent relationship. I worked very hard, did everything CPS had asked and we got our kids back after 6 months.
We moved to Marysville, Washington in 2007 after Mykel was born. We had to sell our beautiful home. Victor was missing so much work, he wasn't making the money he used to. I was not working. One night I walked in on my husband at 3 in the morning. He was in our daughters room. Madison was only 3 and she was crying hysterically. Her father was molesting her. This was the beginning of a nightmare I could never have imagined for my little girl. I immediately aquired a restraining order and CPS was back in the picture. Two months later, my little boy Levi also disclosed sexual abuse by his father. Victor had me served with divorce papers and he walked away not to be seen again for several years. Abandoned and broken, the babies and I had to carry on.
The next few years were tying at best. I was in and out of jobs. I landed a job at Boeing and life was on the ups. I did, however, begin drinking once again. I ended up losing my prized job at Boeing due to absenteeism , a direct result of my drinking. Depressed and lost, I drank even more. I was not a good mom, I was not a good anything and suicide began to creep into my thoughts, One evening in a drunken oblivion, I crashed my truck into a pole in attempts to end my life. This is when the true changes began to take place. After years of active, destructive and painful alcoholism, I was faced with a choice. I was either going to stay busy dying of get busy living. I ended up in a psych hospital which I beleive, saved my life. CPS was called, and my children were once again, taken away from me. Or should I say, I once again surrendered them to the drink. They went to live with my family members and I went into inpatient services for alcoholism. The road to recovery had begun. I was horrified to find out that their father jumped back into the picture and wanted custody. A long battle pursued and he was relentless. He was almost given custody. His now 19 year old daughter Elizabeth and his daughter-in-law stepped forward and disclosed sexual assault by him. The court stopped the transition of my children into his home. All of this made me realize exactly what I was up against and it chilled me to my core. I did not want to lose my kids. I just wanted the pain and suffering for all of us to stop!
For the next several months I jumped into my personal recovery relentlessly. I worked the 12 steps of personal recovery and for once, refused to do things my way. My children were safe with my family. They were all getting mental health counseling and continue to do so today. I completed all the requirements by CPS and my children moved back home to me on May 1st 2015. I just celebrated 20 months clean and sober. I continue to attend my self help meetings and I am very active in my program of sobriety. I am in mental health counseling that has proven paramount to my recovery. I feel that dual diagnosis has been key for me. I have a host of clean and sober freinds today and my family continues to be a strong support.
My kids are doing fabulous. We just had conferences. Madison maintains a 4.0 GPA. She is a wonderful singer and made the junior all-state chior recently. She is an excellent athlete and loves soccer.
Levi is now doing very well socially. He experience lots of trouble last year while living with my sister. He was expelled twice for misbehaving. Today, he is at the top of his class academically and socially. He just received student of the month! Levi is a superb athlete and his favorite past time is scootering, skateboarding and x-box. Mykel has done suprisingly well thruout this ordeal. His is so grounded and calm. He is loving and cuddly. He rocks on the soccer field and he is a natural born leader. He does very well in school both socaially and academically. God has truley held me children in his hand and they have prevailed in the most difficult times of their young lives.
This is our first Christmas back together as a family. This is truely the greatest gift of all. My children are so selfless, they say they just want to be a family for Christmas and to have mommy sober. I am working only parttime as my recovery comes first right now. I am getting my kids involved in the spirit of giving this year. We are involved with our church this year. We are helping to put together Christmas meals for families. We are taking our dog Kona to a nursing home in our city. The kids are going to read to the residence and let them play with Kona. This is truely what Christmas is to us. As a mother however, I would like to make some of my kiddos dreams come true this Christmas. As a child, the magic of Santa and gifts is so very special. It is very difficult to reach out for help, but, for my children I will do it. If you could find it in your hearts to reach out in support to my family I would be forever greatful.
Thank you for your time in reading my short story made long. Merry Christmas to you and yours and God bless.
Jen's Story of What it was like- What it is-and What it like now/