By Katie Durkin
“I’m talking dysfunction: There was mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse. I thought that was normal for a long time, and it is on a reservation,” Spencer said.
In his teens he began drinking alcohol. He had a lot of anger inside, and the alcohol seemed to help him deal with that, he said.
“I took my first drink, and that one can, that’s what took everything away; all the pressures away,” Spencer said.
He moved off the reservation into a predominately white community during his later teens, where he experienced more racism.
To get over feeling like an outsider, he used alcohol as a social lubricant and got himself into a rough crowd. He would drink to the point of blacking out, and often didn’t know how he got home.