Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 5
Copyrighted by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved. Some photos are under CC under Share and share alike.November 16, 2011
A Life Lost
...Life went on, and I experienced many good times and some not-so-great times. Seven years had passed, and there was not many days when I did not drink alcohol. I found myself in and out of relationships, divorced, and feeling extremely lonely. It did not matter how much alcohol I drank, how nice my current significant other was, or what type of job I had. I felt lost and had a huge hole inside of me. I tried to fill this void with love but went about it the wrong way. Seriously, how well do you really know someone after a week? My drinking continued daily, and I could not wait to get out of work and buy another pint of whiskey to drink my misery away.
Life, as I knew, it came to a head when I turned 23 years old. I met a new man and married him. He was a Christian and attended church faithfully. Like me, he had also been raised in an abusive home environment as a child and had emotional difficulties of his own. His first wife was recently killed in an automobile accident, and he was an angry man. He was also abusive and was physically violent with me several times. My drinking got worse, and I became more depressed, to the point where I was having suicidal thoughts. I could not live my life, as it was, anymore.
I remember begging God to help me with my drinking and to help me with my life. I did not realize that I was praying for things according to my will, not His will. And I wondered why my prayers were not being answered. I thought I was a misfit and that God had forgotten about me. I was also angry at myself because of the marital situation I was in, and because I had also gotten arrested for drunk driving and was on probation for it.
At Rock Bottom
One day, my husband and I were fighting because he had disconnected all the phones in the house so I could not use them. I needed to make a business call and had no phone. I remembered one I had bought at a yard sale and located the box it was stored in. I hooked it up and made the phone call, but before I could finish the call, my husband walked in and caught me. This time, he had an ax in his hands and told me he ought to just kill me. I looked at my son, and he was watching us like he was watching cartoons. The fighting had no obvious affect on him.
This time, the police arrested my husband, and I packed my clothes, left my belongings behind and left him. Victims advocates took me and my children to a domestic violence shelter to stay for awhile. I knew I needed to stay gone and not go back to him.
I vividly remember my first night in the shelter. It was during the end of October, and the back yard at the shelter had a huge pile of leaves where someone had raked. I had a bottle of alcohol stashed in my belongings and planned to drink it before the night was over. My children and I got settled and I went into the back yard to have a cigarette. I had my bottle stashed in my coat pocket. I sat down in the pile of leaves, lit a cigarette, and took a couple sips off the bottle. I sat their and cried, sobbing my heart out. I had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go. I had hit bottom in my life and no direction to go. I turned my face to the sky and cried out to God, "Why? If You love me, why did You leave me?"
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A Life Found
And, at that moment, I heard a voice next to me say, "You are worthy." That was all. I looked around quickly because this voice came from right next to me. I felt my hair stand up and goose bumps rose up on my arms. There was nobody there. What just happened? I did not understand it, but suddenly, I felt at peace. I stopped crying and felt as if a thousand pounds had just been lifted off my shoulders. I still did not know what I was going to do, but I knew I could not go backwards. I had to move forward. I could not live like this anymore. Drinking was not helping to cover my pain anymore. I was hurting worse now than ever before. I had no choice but to get sober and change my life.
I looked at that bottle of alcohol and dumped it onto the ground. The next day, I went to another AA meeting and chose to attend meetings for myself this time, not for my probation officer. AA was the only thing I had left in life to turn to, and I will write another article soon about my experiences, strengths, and hopes in the near future.
I was in unfamiliar territory and scared, but I could not forget that voice I heard that night in the back yard of that domestic violence shelter. I had to believe things were to going to improve in my life.