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