Who You Were Meant To Be | The Child From A Long Line Of Alcoholics

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A Peep At Who I Am

Sharing my personal story has been something that I have thought about for some time. When I read an article last week by Billybuc, I recognized there is a place for my story on Chicken Soup For The Soul. Through that exploration I found that in part, speaking out about my own tragedies has a healing quality. As I write my story that I will submit I discuss the power of offering that story to others to demonstrate the power of change, the power of hope and the power of healing.

Not in a self-absorbed manner at all, I am still shocked when I look back at who I was created to be and who I have become. This by far was not my doing; I can only say that God was the all-powerful in this story. Funny thing about that is I was never taught about God as a child but rather a love that grew inside me again without trying. Knowing all that has been given to me without even asking or recognizing that I should ask, I can only keep a gift of this magnitude if I offer it to others. I do this in my daily work. I show others the way to a new living and I hold the hope until they are ready to hold it for themselves. This is a gift that I could have never imagined and one that I could ever repay. I am a believer to the fullest. I did not become what others wanted for me. I am living proof that you can believe in yourself and defy the odds, even if you are a product of destruction.

So here is my story.

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My Story

A child born without a chance to be more than a blue-collar worker that would eventually reach for a drink that is how my story began in 1975. Sadly enough that was thought to be adequate and at times told to be an accomplishment. Aspiring to grow and become the next link of dysfunction was all the hope I had as a child. Though that was the overt distinction of my family, but so much more lived underground like a rotten hairy troll that was lurking around a dark corner ready to devoir it’s next unknowing piece of meat.

Not to say that I did not travel on that destructive freeway for a bit. Yes at the young age of 17 I was clearly on my way of becoming the next family legacy filled full of alcohol. Though I know now that the alcohol was used to soothe those trolls that lurked tirelessly after me. My trolls were verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Those trolls had no mercy for this unknowing naïve future alcoholic as they took full advantage of every weakness they could dig up.

It became clear that at a very young age that I too would follow the family tradition. The ones that chose other paths were looked upon as high-class and something unachievable and I was no match to go against the grain in my youth. It didn’t matter or phase anyone that I was bright and well on my way to be someone the trolls made sure that I lost hope and desire in those things. Those lurking monsters hit me from every angle. By my mid teens I was broken in all fashions. Who cared what was on the inside, I too had lost all hope of breaking this all-powerful cycle.

So I didn’t put much thought into becoming an alcoholic, as it was quite normal. That silly word normal, something that over the years I have found to be completely irrelevant in language and particularly a useless part of our world. Though normal was a striving part of growing and something to ambiguous to obtain. Nowadays I find that normal depends on the company I keep. To myself I hope that normal is what I have achieved. To my family normal is something I completely missed. And for my clients normal in my case was exceeded. So I am still not sure if normal is accomplishable and it is certainly up for argument.

I am not sure when I found a new route to travel free of those trolls but I only can say that God undoubtedly put me on that path. I had no vision or no idea that my life should be any different than what my models set before me. Though, in my story I learned to throw away the blueprint of normal that was so carelessly handed to me and I drew up new plans. As I carefully made each calculation and measured twice and cut once I have defied the logics of the self-fulfilling prophecy. To describe that a bit, the self-fulfilling prophecy is a psychological theory that states if one believes in something they will become that such idea. For me I had to create my own self-fulfilling prophecy, as the one offered did not fit too well.

Over the years I have worked hard to remain sober, raise my children, and love my husband all the while attending graduate school to become a psychologist. The path that was prearranged for me did not have a PhD anywhere in sight, though through the grace of God I have found my true calling and have accomplished more than I could ever dream of. Still as I see my family of origin I wonder if that saying holds true, “the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree.” My only explanation if that is true, a bird must have ate my seed and expelled it out down the road, as my differences are blatant and at times inconceivable.

I now have broken a long line of addiction that mercilessly tormented and in some manner destroyed my gene pool. Though not kindly glared upon from those that have lost their lives to the bottle, but in my live it is the only option that works. At times even when writing this I fall back and cringe at the thought of where my life was headed at the young age of 17. I was saved without trying.

I have learned that all my experiences, even those that live inside the trolls, especially the abusive ones are times that I cherish and have learned an irreplaceable gift. Abuse is meant to break those afflicted but in my case they provided so much strength and understanding. I would not change any part of my life even if offered. I am who I am because of those nasty trolls that tried to eat me in my time of innocence. The trolls I proudly keep as a souvenir of the scars so carelessly given and in some sick way hoped I could become.

You Can Bend It and Twist It..

You Can Misuse and Abuse It...

But Even God Cannot Change The Truth..

— Michael Levy

Only now those trolls that were once physical, emotional and sexual abuse have turned into a doctoral degree, a family and most of all true happiness. I no longer hold onto the trolls that once tormented me and tried to make me something I was not set out to be. I treasure my experiences and use them as tools. Tools that I use to fix things rather than to destroy. I offer my wounds openly to others as proof that life can turn around and that no matter the destruction that is internalized there is a gift buried inside all of us. The trick is to uncover the truth that others tried so hard to destroy.

Another thing I found to be true, you cannot become something that was never meant for you to be. So many reach beyond their natural grasp to find knowledge from another source. Remember that information is freely offered and is there for the taking, but you must reach out. Far too often reaching to the obvious is the easiest. For me the obvious was not easy at all and most certainly not what I supposed to be.

I challenge you all to reach.

Where have you found strength in your life?

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20 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Bravo my friend. I think articles like this one are vitally important. If you reach one person who needs this then it was worth writing....and actually, just for you, it was worth writing. Job well done! Congratulations on breaking the family cycle of alcoholism. I've traveled the same path and life sure is fun without booze. Thank you for writing this.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thanks Bill. Hoped you would like it. Alcoholism tears apart many families and without hesitation continues on. I am glad that the grace of God found something special and worth passing on. You are absolutely right, it was freeing to write and worth it if I touch just one. If we all do our part imagine the possibilities by just touching one person.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Great story here mdscoggins. I am so happy for you. Yes, it is through God that our true selves are manifested and we can make dreams come into reality. Thank you for sharing.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thank you for commenting. It is by God that we come to who we are when we allow him to work in our lives. All that has been done for me was without conviction or because I deserved but only to demonstrate the power of God.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Thank you for sharing this powerful testimony as to God placing you on that path to healing despite all the odds against you. My dad suffered with PTSD after returning from the wars, and back then, they did not speak openly about PTSD and the veterans were mostly left to suffer. He started to drink to drown his suffering and, of course, that led to some unpleasant times growing up, but God placed me on a good path too and I praise Him. His plan for my life is better than anything I could dream up.

Beautifully written and from the heart. Poignant and powerful.

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

God bless you.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thank you Theresa for sharing how alcoholism has touched your life. On this Veteran's Day it is memorable to recognize how veterans have been put on a path that was not chosen for them. I know from first hand experience on that one, being a vet myself. It is great that we can share how our past tried to define us but that God had other plans. God Bless!!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Yes, it is indeed! Thank you for your service to our country.

May God continue to bless you richly.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thank you Theresa


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

An incredible story. You're the living proof that no matter how bad the situation we find ourselves in, when we dig deep there is always a way out. Sometime, the pain makes us stronger, as the saying goes, " it takes pressure to create a diamond." And my...how brightly you shine. My very best to you.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

It's good to see you're inspired by Bill. Great story you share here, for many families have their own trolls. I might share my story one day too, but it's a long bumpy ride.

"The seed doesn’t fall far from the tree", that might be true. But when a seed doesn't break the plant will never grow. This sounds more suitable to me in your case.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thanks Jo for commenting and recognizing how hard it can be at times to shine through :)


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thanks Mario for commenting. I recommend that you share your story one day it is truly an experience. I am sure it is a long and bumpy one, the great ones always are. Also, I may use your analogy of the seed breaking in my final submittal to Chicken Soup for the Soul, thanks my friend :)


Anastasia Rokina 2 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing this. It's so brave of you, and it's very inspiring.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thank you Anastasia for commenting :)


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

I'm so glad you took Bill's challenge. Our stories and our history have shaped our present and I appreciate so much when people share those things. It allows for understanding and compassion. It breeds hope. I have no doubt that your work today is more powerful because of what you have lived through and overcome. Thank you for being authentic. It was refreshing and inspiring.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thank you Iris for your comment. As damaging as the past can be it truly is empowering. Knowing that I have come against some overwhelming challenges I am certain that my fight was for something. I think we all put a bit of our heart and soul into the things we do and that is what makes it great. I really look up to what you are developing in your own work and know that your drive will show through in the things you do. Have a great weekend :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Congratulations on overcoming the bonds that kept you bound in life. The truth is what sets one free to really enjoy life and others around them. I can only imagine the hardship addiction causes but I know that one must have a whole new door open to them once they are able to face the truth. Great message!


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thanks Diana for commenting. I really do feel like I have been set free from the roots that once defined me. Now I know that I make my own path and it is full force ahead :) Have a great weekend.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Incredible read! I found my own positive ways and I believed in myself to move on in a new country thank you for this hub. You have shared such a great challenge.


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA Author

Thank you Devika for your comment. Believing in yourself can open up a whole new world.

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