To: Television Station KTVL and the Surrounding Community:
From: Max B. Frederick
RE: Betty Frederick, My Wife
Betty the Person:
Betty L. Frederick, my wife, is a hero.
She is a good example to the community to prove that one person can make a difference.
To many women of Medford, Oregon, and across the country, she is the one who turned their lives around.
Today, some unknown family has a child full of life, because the drunk driver that would have killed their child was not drunk.
Because of Betty, that driver was sober.
On February 9, 1988, after raising our four sons, Betty was hit head on by a drunk driver, killing our first granddaughter and putting Betty in a wheel chair for many months. Instead of becoming angry and bitter, Betty resolved to do something to prevent this from happening to someone else.
In 1994, Betty founded, and is now the director of Heathers Haven, a clean and sober house for women to have a safe place to work on recovery from addiction. Many women have lived there. Many women have had their lives turned around.
Betty has given of herself to help many women to become productive citizens, to help themselves to go on to be a success, to be a good person who helps their neighbor, to be responsible, to have a good job, a car with insurance, a good credit rating, and a home of their own.
The financial cost has been insignificant compared to the effort Betty has put in and the emotional reward Betty has received. We have spent well over half the family fortune helping people free themselves from the shackles of addiction. The money we put into Heathers Haven alone we could have bought Betty a new car every year. Instead, My wife drives a fourteen-year-old car with a cracked windshield.
To many of the women at Heathers Haven, My wife, Betty Frederick is the Mother Teresa of Medford, Oregon.
People with addiction problems, in general are people with a low tolerance for emotional pain. Conventional wisdom says, “cause addicts enough pain and they will reach bottom and change their ways.” We have found there are many with no bottom. The more pain you cause them the more the drive to turn to something that will remove the pain. That is what is filling our prisons with the failures of our system for handling addiction.
True, for the majority of the population, those without a low tolerance for emotional pain, there is a bottom to which they can sink at which time they will turn their lives around. The most of us are like that. To the community of recovering addicts we are called normies. A normie cannot understand anyone who cannot just say “no”. In a normie’s experience anyone who cannot just say no is just weak willed. And deserves to be punished.
Helping an addict to avoid emotional pain is just enabling them to continue in addictive behavior.
Heathers Haven, A Different Approach:
But there is a better way. Helping an addict to learn to endure emotional pain by ways other than drugs, or other addictive behaviors, is to help them to overcome their addiction. At Heathers Haven Betty has provided a place where women can overcome addictive behaviors. One of the keys is to develop close relationships with other people for mutual support. Not only are the close relationships there to help the addict, but also the addict gets great reward from being there to help someone else. That is the big basis for reward, the good feeling that comes from helping someone else.
Women generally leave Heathers Haven for one of three reasons: (1.) They get kicked out for disrupting the serenity, or for using drugs or alcohol. (Betty has and enforces a zero tolerance policy. Anyone using must stay out for 30 days before being allowed to return.) (2.) They leave because of a life-changing event such as getting their children back. (3.) They leave because they have grown to where they believe they are ready to face life on life’s terms. No one “graduates” from Heathers Haven. Many of our “success” stories are those who have been kicked out of the environment where they once tasted the reward that comes with being connected with others they can count on for mutual support.
Many women come to Heathers Haven with the attitude that what they do in their time is no one else’s business. Few leave with that attitude unless they get kicked out for exercising it. One of the greatest rewards in life is the good feeling that comes with helping someone else succeed. One of the greatest hindrances to recovery is “taking someone else’s inventory.” Taking someone else’s inventory is pointing out, or listing the faults or failures seen in someone else. This fosters a feeling of I’m better so I do not need to improve. There is a subtle difference between someone else’s private affairs being my business and taking someone else’s inventory. Betty teaches women to take the high road of helping others in their personal affairs, and accepting such help from others, without falling into the trap of taking someone else’s inventory.
The above comments just touch on some of the reasons for Betty’s success with Heathers Haven. Most people have no concept of what makes Heathers Haven work. In the beginning, influential people in Medford informed Betty that it would not work, it might have worked with men, but with women it would fail. Betty has proven them wrong. Betty quietly started and continues to operate the first successful clean and sober house for women in the State of Oregon. Others have tried to copy Heathers Haven. They have started with much fanfare and publicity, but have failed, and passed quietly into history. Finally now it looks like some others will be successful after seeing that Betty has made it work. Betty has put in great effort, and continues to put great effort into finding the keys to success.
I am proud of my wife,
Max B. Frederick