As a Victim, I Created a Victim by G. Kirchem

As a small child I went through a great deal of trauma from molestation, rape and neglect. My father traveled, and my mother was addicted to pills and had some very questionable friends. I learned early that I was alone and angry. That anger turned inward, and fueled a raging addiction which I almost died from. Late, it would go on to fuel my alcoholism as well.

I had three kids starting when I was 20. We lived where I grew up which as suburb outside of New Orleans. I was in and out of the hospital for years. Some of these trips included psych wards. Eventually my kids were split up (different dads) because I could not totally care for them. My boys went with my parents, and my daughter with her dad. All three of them inherited my anger and rage.

After hurricane Katrina, and that devastation, I met my current husband and moved to TX. I got a phone call in 2008 from my Dad. He simply told me there had been an accident, and that my son Larry (oldest) was dead from a shotgun wound. Life will never be the same. I lost a son, but Jeremy my youngest son basically lost his Dad, brother and best friend that night. Jeremy developed his own addiction to heroin and other opiates. He had been moving back and forth from my home to girlfriends, etc.

One night I was drunk while Jeremy was living with us. I got up at 7am, and he didn’t look okay. Jeremy had overdosed and was not breathing. I realized this, and called 911. Jeremy’s brain was without oxygen for 2 1/2 hours. He was not supposed to live, and if he did he’d be a vegetable. Then there was a miracle. Jeremy is okay today – slightly paralyzed and stutters. We are both in recovery now, sharing our hope with members of our 12-Step program and surviving together.

The anger I created in Jeremy caused his own world of hurt, pain and addiction. An addiction that almost took his life.

Gretchen submitted her story while attending our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Peer Support Program.  TGIM and Texas ReEntry Services, INC partnered together to implement this program as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities.

The program offers men and women like Gretchen another chance to make a positive and encouraging difference in the world through their storytelling while allowing participants an opportunity to build self-worth, and learn a new trade.  After all, we all have a story to tell!  Just like youth attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™, Gretchen earn royalties when you support her.  Simply download the eBook: ‘Hope Outside The Walls’ to enjoy from your favorite device. When you do, she earns $3 and Texas ReEntry Services INC receives a donation. Your purchase ensures that participants like her can continue to access Writing for the Soul Workshop™ at no cost to them. During checkout, enter Coupon Code: gretchen1017 to get the e-book for only $8.99. You save $1.00! Gretchen also, wants to invite you to click here to connect with her on facebook.

About Hope Outside The Walls

Available March 31, 2017

Have you or someone you love, ever been incarcerated?  As a result of America’s decades long war on drugs, the US presently incarcerates over 330,000 prisoners on drug-related charges at an estimated annual cost of $40 billion. This doesn’t include the ongoing costs to society as those that have been touched by the cycle of probation, incarceration and parole work to reintegrate into society, find employment and stay on track with meeting the mandates of probation and parole.

Hope Outside the Walls is a collection of short stories, and memoirs by writers impacted by addiction who are working to reenter society. This project is made possible through our Community Partnership with Texas ReEntry Services. Together, we offer Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Peer Support as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities. A portion of every book sold benefits Texas ReEntry Services.

BONUS! Includes a short story by Paul Kurko, author of the TGIM Best Seller: ‘Issues’!

Hope Outside the Walls


Soft Cover: $12.99
eBook: $9.99
Color: Black & White on White paper
Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Page Count: 132 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1543193428
ISBN-10: 1543193420
BISAC: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / General

Pre-Order a copy of the book, or download the eBook to read it from your favorite device today! Click here to stay connected with updates from our workshops in the United States on Facebook.

Note from the Publisher

Sometimes it takes a trip to jail or even prison for a person to realize that their life has become unmanageable. By then, so much damage has been done.  As a felon, it’s hard to get a job or even a place to live.  Most commit more crimes to survive because their inability to  read and comprehend along with their criminal record makes it impossible to get and hold down a job.  The vicious cycle of doing life in prison on an installment plan (in and out of prison) begins.

These men and women need to know that their past does not define their future.  Writing for the Soul Workshop™ will offer them the same support and resources that our youth access.  Along with the Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention, and the Job Readiness Training that Texas ReEntry offers, they have added our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a viable component as well. Adding our program to their budget means we desperately need your support.

Want to donate to Texas ReEntry to help with expenses? Click here to make your donation directly to Texas ReEntry. Texas ReEntry Services INC, is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. Use the Contact Form below to submit your story for our next release.