Hello, my name is Judy Capissisit. What I’d like to talk about is my personal experiences. I’m an alcoholic and I’m 32 years old.

I’m an adopted child. I remember the day I found out I was adopted.

It was at school during recess and kids were telling me that my

family wasn’t my natural family. I ran home and I was crying. Then

I asked my parents and they told me it was true and I didn’t want to

believe them. I felt angry and hurt. I didn’t w ant to accept the fact

that I was adopted. I never did until a few years later.

As a child, I did a lot of things a woman should have done.

When I was around seven or eight, I was already starting to do

housework, babysitting, fetching water etc… I was not allowed to

have fun like the other kids. I didn’t really have a childhood. When

I was 16, I went to Waskaganish to meet my real family, hoping they would welcome me with open arms, which they didn’t. I was hoping to live with my mother and father, but they didn’t even ask me.

While I was in Waskaganish, I started to drink. Then I started to take drugs, just to numb my pain. I yearned to share with my parents the way I was treated as a child, but I had to keep it to myself until the age of 30. That was when I began to open up. When I was at that stage of drinking, I didn’t care about myself. I didn’t care who I hurt, because I was hurting inside and I didn’t even realize that I was hurting others.

One time, I went to the Val d’Or tournament. I never went back home. I met this guy there. At first, I wasn’t serious with him. I didn’t know how to love, because I wasn’t shown love when I was younger. I didn’t know how to hug and I didn’t know how to tell someone that I loved them. I had a hard time with that. When I met this guy, he was different. A year later we got married.

During eight years of my marriage, I had a hard time. I kept all of my experiences of being abused as a child from my husband.

Not being able to share this with my husband, I became an angry person. In my marriage, we were always having these arguments, fights and constantly drinking. We thought drinking was a problem solver. I couldn’t stay away from the bottle—it was very hard. In a way, it was the only way I could communicate with people and also my husband. My experiences of my abuses, I shared with my husband when we drank.

But he never believed me—he never listened. I cried a lot.

Three years ago, my husband beat me. I phoned the police. I wanted to press charges. The police came and found my husband hanging in our shed. He tried to commit suicide. But luckily he didn’t succeed. The police took him. My husband came home five days later. While he was away, he blamed me for being in jail. But I guess at the same time, he had a chance to think. When he came home, he told me, “I need help. I’m going to seek help.” Those were my exact thoughts. He and I went to see the community worker. We asked her to send us to a treatment centre together. We insisted that we wanted to go together. The community worker said she’d try. I explained to her that if one of us drank again, there was no telling what would happen. We were determined to change our lives. We left the community for a while and went in the bush.

Later on we left for treatment. The treatment centre was the best place I was at in my whole entire life. I shared, I finally spoke about all my abuses. You know, when you release everything inside of you, all your hurts, you feel so light. It’s a good feeling, and it’s also a good feeling when you go to treatment with your spouse. You fix your marriage at the same time as you begin to respect each other. At treatment, you learn forgiveness. You have to learn to forgive, because we can’t change what happened to us.

I thank the Creator also for being a part of my life, because I know He’s there and He watches over me and He guides me through my sobriety. I now feel good about myself. Also my husband thanks me for not allowing him to physically beat me. After pressing charges against him, it changed him.

In conclusion, a message to the women—you have to press charges against your husbands in order for them to realize what they are doing is wrong. I know it’s hard for some women, but in the end, it helps your spouse and it helps your marriage.

I thank you for reading my story.

Judy and her husband have been sober since August 14,1994.

When life seems dark… despair, no love,
the joy of alcohol, abuse by one’s spouse… sometimes
suicide seems like the only option.
This story of courage
might not have had a happy ending,
if Judy had succeeded in the suicides she attempted.
Instead, Judy’s story shows
that there is happiness, love and light
when someone takes control of their life.
No more a victim of life’s circumstances
…but a creator of one’s own destiny.


(edited by Marilyn Bearskin-Herodier)