A a dating
And that’s where things stood in 2010 when Karla decided her substance abuse was out of control.
She checked into a rehab facility in her hometown of Santa Clarita, where she quickly made friends, despite her emotional turmoil.
She kept this a secret, riddled with guilt that her immigrant parents had sacrificed so much for her middle-class comfort: her airy, childhood ranch home had a pool, cedars that pierced the California sky and hummingbirds that buzzed in the garden.
She also kept another secret from her family: Sometimes she abused prescription pills and drank too much.
But early that spring two years ago, she told her parents and younger sister that she had met a charming, kind and handsome man who understood what she had been through.
Twelve-step adherents accept the notion of alcohol dependency as a disease that can be remedied by abstinence and attending meetings with others who are trying to stop drinking.
(When telling often-harrowing stories of their alcoholism, the recovering drinkers introduce themselves only by their first names.) Forced attendance seems at odds with the original traditions of the organization, which state that the “only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” So far, AA has declined to caution members about potentially dangerous peers or to create separate meetings for convicted criminals.
“We do not discriminate against any prospective AA member, even if he or she comes to us under pressure from a court, an employer, or any other agency,” the public information officer at New York’s central office wrote in a June email.
After high school, Karla took classes at a community college and worked full time in a series of jobs she hoped might ignite a deeper interest.
She played softball and the saxophone and took kickboxing classes with her sister Sasha.
A succession of judges and parole officers had ordered him to go as an alternative to jail.