I’m excited to chat with my guest Nadia Bruce Rawlings, a survivor of multiple forms of childhood abuse and whose written two memoirs, Scars and Driving in the Rain. In addition to being an author, Nadia travels the world. She worked in the film industry in Los Angeles for a time. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennesee, where she writes and raises her six children and fur baby.
Almost all of her relatives on her father’s side of the family were alcoholics, including her father. “He was very Jekyll and Hyde when he drank and very verbally abusive to the kids and his wife.” In addition to the verbal abuse, there was a period where Nadia remembers him being physically abusive to her mother. She found that her parents were both emotionally vacant. As a result of her upbringing, Nadia sought out abusive, dysfunctional relationships, not knowing what a loving relationship looked like.
Nadia picked up her first drink at the young age of 12. Living overseas at the time, she didn’t find hard drugs but could buy marijuana and started smoking pot in high school. “When I came to the States, I found speed and cocaine my senior year of high school.” Although she eventually stopped drugging, she continued to drink.
After her mom died from her battle with lung cancer, Nadia started smoking crack daily for the next four years and shoplifted to pay for her addiction. She was incarcerated and accumulated two felonies before going to rehab for six months. Seeing her crackhead friends and her dealer in the street outside her bedroom window, she was determined to get her life back.
Ending up in rehab for six months due to her drinking and crack addiction, Nadia has spent the last 23 years of her recovery helping other women get sober. She also assists them in beating the cycle of abuse and addiction.
Using her upbringing as a relationship example, Nadia found herself looking for “bad boys” to have a relationship. “I often found myself dating musicians and thinking they were sensitive because they wrote sensitive songs.” In actuality, they were very emotionally vacant, similar to her parents.
Listen in to find out how Nadia worked through the process of addiction and grief, why she decided to write her book, and how she found solace in writing.
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