So it Happened

I did the bad thing I’ve struggled with since the early 2000s. I hurt myself. On purpose.

I’m really sorry I did it.

Things have been getting to me for a while. Obviously, with my kids. Also, with my mother-in-law. It has been building.

I had a fight with my mother-in-law. I felt backed into a corner.

My husband saved my life. It had nothing to do with him. He’s been amazing. I realize how much this has hurt him. I’m incredibly sorry for that.

All I can say is that in life, sometimes people get backed into a corner. You still have options. Do something else. Anything else. Kick, scream and fight. Your life depends on it.

It turns out that one of my medications stopped working. I’m trying a new one, and I feel so much peace and relief from the pain I’ve been struggling with for that past year plus.

I’m also trying a new method of meditating on scripture that I thought up myself that I’ll write more about later.

Every day I spend 5 minutes telling myself God forgives me and I forgive myself. I breath it in and out. It helps.

I want to be clear that it was not a manipulation. It was much more serious than that. I don’t expect it to change the way other people treat me. Specifically, my children. It’s not their fault, and I wouldn’t want them to think so. My mother-in-law either. This is my healing journey.

So it Happened

How has my life come to this?

I am basically estranged from my oldest son and daughter. They won’t even give me a chance. They don’t know me at all. They haven’t spent any time with me in the past 7 years. They don’t know that I am a different person than the one they had when the divorce happened.

I can’t keep doing this. I tried to make plans with Joshie to have a meal with me. I told him he could pick the place, the time, the day and I would pay for his gas. Easy peasy.

It is now June 14 and it hasn’t happened.

I feel like I don’t want to hear from any of them until they start to treat me better. I can’t go on with this the way it is. It’s hurtful and painful. I wind up crying every time I have an interaction with the kids. It’s horrible.

So I wrote them a letter. I gave them an ultimatum. Mostly my family thought it was harsh and I shouldn’t send it to them. So I probably won’t, but I don’t know how I can continue this way. I really don’t.

How has my life come to this?

No Posts

I haven’t posted since Mother’s Day, and there’s a reason. It’s been too hard. I worked on a post, and I almost had it finished, but it was just a bunch of crap really.

I try really hard to be a higher level of a human being, but basically, I’m not. At the heart of it, I’m just a regular person, who tends to take things way too personally, obsess about things that don’t matter, and make things all about me whether they are or not. That’s not who I want to be, but at the heart of it, if I didn’t have a program, if I weren’t a Christian, that is who I would be. Selfish, self-involved and just generally kind of ugly.

So when Mother’s Day comes around, it’s my least favorite holiday. It reminds me of this really scary dream when I was a kid. I dreamed that all the witches were going to the kids houses to take the bad kids away, but the witches looked like Mary Poppins. When the witch came to get me, she looked like the Wicked Witch of the West. That’s me, the worst mother in the world. If you don’t think so, just ask my kids. They will tell you.

You will say ‘Oh, that can’t be true.’ I say ‘Oh, but it is!’ Now, Joshie, my youngest, who is a sweetie, he’s 20 years old and a boy, so he has no idea what it means to be a mother or to spend time with a parent. I get that. Plus, we don’t share interests in sports or whatever….my husband doesn’t like spending time with his mother for crying out loud. So I understand. If I said to Joshie, “Noah thinks I’m a bad mom.” Joshie will say, “Well, I think you were a good one.”

But there there’s the case of Noah and Dana. Basically 2/3 of my children. Noah says he’s forgiven me, but the extent of his mother’s day involvement is to text me ‘Happy Mother’s Day.’ He can’t even be bothered to pick up the phone even though I have expressed to him that I would like to talk to him on the phone, as he’s been in basic training for the Army National Guard and I haven’t spoken to him at all since January and it’s now June. I haven’t gotten any letters even though I’ve written, and when I sent a birthday present, he scolded me because I embarrassed him with his drill sergeant. He NEVER says “I love you,” even when I say it to him. I think that’s deliberate. It wouldn’t hurt to just say it. Not saying it becomes an overtly obviously pointedly NOT saying it at some level. So, Noah would say he has forgiven me, and I believe he has, but I’m not sure he’s really dealt with the anger. That’s what I think I’m picking up on, if I’m very honest. He says the bare minimum of appropriate words so that he can say to himself “I have forgiven her,” but behind that are a lot of deep emotions, that I’m not even sure he’s aware of.

Then there’s Dana. She, is, at leasst, brutally honest. Somehow that hurts least of all. When I do something wrong and I deserve the consequences, and that’s what I get, it’s harder to be in that ‘in-between’ space where you are forging emotional space with another person. It’s much cleaner to have no relationship at all. There is nothing jagged that is cutting on me, reminding me of my defects. I’ve done all I can do at this point. Taking any action would only make things worse. There aren’t any opportunities for her to let me down or hurt me any worse. The worst has happened.

Mother of the year. Every year. For the rest of my life. Yeah itt sucks.

I started my healing journey with Noah last April. As of right now, I would say internally, I’ve made a ton of progress. Just an amazing amount of progress. I can see that. Forgiving myself has to be a priority. I can’t go any further if I don’t forgive myself.

No Posts

On Selflessness

I know EVERYONE is going through some stress right now. From moms having to home school their kids, people with employment issues, medical personnel on the front lines, seniors and people with pre-existing conditions in fear for their very lives….we have collectively, as a nation, got a lot of stress going on!

So, I’m not going to say that mine is worse than anyone else’s, but it has been a tough couple of months. It has also been a time of some of the most amazing spiritual growth in my entire life. I have shared a little bit about that earlier, at the beginning of my move, and I am now near the end of the move, and I’m going to share more.

Moving in with your mother-in-law would be an adjustment even in the very best of circumstances. My history with my mother-in-law has been rocky. Even at the beginning of getting to know each other, we have not seemed to see eye to eye. I think it’s a timing issue….I came into her life at the same time her younger son was leaving her life. He committed suicide. It was tragic, and very emotional, and he left behind only his brother, who is my husband, who I was only dating at that time.

I think she was afraid of losing my husband, and still is. I think that because he was spending a lot of time with me, she resented me. I think that because she resented me, she saw me in a negative way. She did not want her son to marry me. Then, when we got married, he and I didn’t have a wedding, and she took that very personally, and I think she blamed me.

She definitely came around. I tried to do nice things for her over the years and even if I wasn’t consistent or if I didn’t do things in the way she might want, I tried. I thought things were ok between us.

Moving is stressful. She is 84 years old. I knew it would be physically demanding, and I knew I was in a unique position to help her. I also had just had an a-ha realization with regards to my AA program. That is that I am a very selfish person.

I was sitting in a meeting, and they were talking about selfishness. “Selfishness, self-centeredness, that we think is the root of our troubles.” I can almost quote the passage verbatim, but it never crystalized in the same way as it did that day when the gentleman next to me was talking about how the lightbulb came on for him and he realized his whole life had been totally about him. He mentioned that if someone got sick, he would immediately think about how it was going to affect him.

It was like a lightbulb going off for me! I started to see my life in a totally different light. This is how I did marriage. This is how I did parenting. This is how I did birthdays and Christmas. This is how I did friendships……this is even how I did ‘charity work.’ So, I thought I might be able to practice a new point of view, and it seemed as if God was dropping a great big opportunity right into my lap.

It didn’t just seem that way. I believe he did! I set out to help my mother-in-law pack. I would go to work at 6 a.m., go to a meeting at noon and help her pack in the afternoon. She is a very, very particular person and wanted to oversee the entire process. She has a lot of really nice things, and wanted to make triple sure none of them were damaged. I think there was some unspoken tension between us. I was trying to help and figure out my way of talking to her, and she was doing the same. So, after about a week, she got angry with me. I had been questioning her about things, and she was frustrated with me about it. Now that I know her better, I understand why….you see, she had gone through and had a lot of things she was donating. When I was packing things up, I would say ‘Do you need this or that?’ and if she said yes, I would sort of go ‘What are the odds we will have 3 of us using a handvac at the same time?’ She would have her own reasons for keeping the handvac. She didn’t feel she had to explain herself to me. I didn’t realize I was stepping on her toes. Now that I’ve unpacked her things and I realize she has 8 watering cans, 5 letter openers, 8 pie pans, 5 sets of china, and so on, I can see why she was frustrated with me asking her whether we need 3 step stools. So, she got frustrated with me and blew up, and I cried, and she apologized, and we talked, and it was better.

When people get angry with me, I get scared. I always have. My mom used to get mad a lot. My dad not so much. My ex-husband never yelled at me. My husband now never yells at me. So, it’s scary to me. It would happen several times during this process.

I knew this would be a hard move. I didn’t kid myself. If you asked me before we moved in here, I would have told you that I thought it was a mistake. I would have also told you that I thought it was the right thing to do. My family has a long history of taking care of our parents. I care about my mother-in-law a lot! I want good things for her. I want her to be happy. I want her to enjoy these last years with her son, and her extended family. I want her to enjoy her life.

Halfway through the move, she fractured her hip and it required surgery. That through a wrench into the plans that nobody expected. I think it was horrible for her. She was hurt and frustrated, and now had lost control over the move.

I went into action. I began unpacking her things. I put shelf paper in the kitchen. I tried to meet her physical needs. I stayed with her during the day, and went home and packed our place in the evening while my husband stayed with her at night. I got very out of balance….dangerously out of balance. Lesson learned.

Instead of gratitude, I got a ‘I never asked you to help me unpack.’

You know what? Being selfless doesn’t mean you get flowers thrown your way. Sometimes you get curses. Sometimes you get insults. Any parent knows this! That doesn’t mean it’s not God’s will.

Being selfless doesn’t mean you get out of whack either. Taking care of yourself is always necessary! For me, that means there are some things that have to be non-negotiable:

  • Talking to my sponsor
  • AA meetings
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Spiritual time

There are so many creative ways to make these things happen! How many of us are using Zoom for the first time right now? I’m also using apps such as Calm, Aura, Pray, and Daily Prayer. I’m doing yoga for the first time in my life, but mixing it up with my running. Yoga has been shown to help people who have suffered trauma in their past. I’m on a healing journey, and I’m adding in things that I believe will help me along this path. I have been working with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist once a week also. I have some wonderful friends who give me emotional support when I need it. Finally, when all else fails, phone home. My mom is my very best friend, and she’s been there having taken care of her mom, and is now taking care of my dad’s mom.

So, all of that sounds very selfish, but those things take very little time, and it allows me to give most of my time to caring for my mother-in-law and my husband. I have tried to put myself in her shoes every day and always respond in the right way. Even when I got angry with her, which I did, I handled it appropriately. I felt as if I did anyway. I try! All you can do in this life is try, and if you fail, try again. Don’t give up. I’m committed to showing this woman unconditional love until the very end.

 

 

On Selflessness

I Stand with My Redeemer On High

It has finally sunk in. My life means nothing.

My possessions mean nothing. They are going to return to dust when I am gone from this planet.

My home means nothing. It can be taken from me in an instant.

My health can be wiped out instantaneously.

My family means nothing. They can’t help me. They can’t leave their homes. Their lives are at stake. They might be dead two weeks from now. I might never see them in person or touch them ever again. They are gone.

Food and entertainment don’t matter at all. Nobody cares about that stuff anymore.

The information I have fought to achieve in my brain on this earth is without value to my descendents. It’s worthless. It can’t help me with anything.

The career I wanted to obtain is meaningless in the universe. I didn’t achieve anything. I wasted time. It’s gone and it doesn’t matter at all.

My feelings mean nothing. They come and go. They change over time. Someone I loved, I now don’t love. Someone I idolized, I don’t care about. Someone I’m angry with, I’ve forgiven. Feelings come and go. They are changeable. They aren’t facts. They aren’t reliable.

My brain means nothing. I can go insane. I can have a stroke and stop being able to speak or know who I am or be able to talk to people or communicate. I can’t control my dreams. Sometimes I can’t control my thoughts. My brain will one day shut down and decay. My brain is not ME.

Life isn’t about me. It’s not about family. It’s not about friends. It’s not about money. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s not about enjoying the journey. It’s not about the plan God has for your life. It’s just about Him. It’s all about Him.

I have nothing. I am nothing. There is nothing. Except Jesus. Jesus is the only thing that is constant. He is eternal. He is good. He is strong. He is loving. He ministers to me in my pain. He constantly cares for me. He relieves suffering. He is gentle. He is giant. He keeps his promises. He is the Lord. I have the Father, the Lord, the giver of life. He gives only good gifts. He cares about everything I care about. He is intricately woven into my life. He is glorious and powerful, more powerful than death. More powerful than my life. More powerful than a virus. More powerful than all of the universes. He is King. He is conquoror. He is Abba Father. He is Creator and Healer and Provider. I have the Holy Spirit who is the Breath of Life, Creativity and Comforter. This is what gives me strength and peace and sustains me. I have the Word of God that is true and right and good to meditate on and give me peace in my spirit. In a short time, we will all be face to face with him and all of this will seem so silly.

I’ve been given something hard to do. The opportunity to take care of people who will take and take, but won’t give back. People who aren’t my blood, who will never treat me as if I am. I’ll give 110% every day, and I don’t know how long that will be, but I will do it and I will be grateful, because that’s what God has put in front of me to do. I’ve been given a lovely place to stay. I am alive.

I’m also tired. But I’m ok.

 

 

 

 

 

I Stand with My Redeemer On High

There is a Reason

It was a very hard day.

I have been helping my mother-in-law pack up her condo every afternoon for the past two weeks. So my schedule has been packed. I get up at 3:45 a.m. I pray, meditate, do a little yoga, get a shower and go to work. I work until 10:45. I usually go to an AA meeting, but those have been canceled due to the corona virus. I have been going to the store and picking up anything we need, going home, getting something to eat, and going to my mother-in-law’s place. I get home, make dinner, do laundry, clean up, go to bed, get about 5 or 6 hours sleep.

I keep in touch with my support system. I pray, I keep in touch with my sponsor and my friends by Facetime, or hands free in my car. I listen to the Bible on tape, or the Big Book on my headphones while I work. I’m doing everything I can to nourish my mind and keep focused. I also need to be aware of my husband’s needs at this time as well. He’s under stress also. So, I’m doing everything I can to remain mindful and focused.

At my mother-in-law’s, I help her pack. She wants everything packed just so. She values everything she owns, and she wants to make sure nothing will break or be damaged in transit. So she hovers and watches over the packing process. She is 84 years old, and it’s hard for her to do the packing herself and she realizes that, but at the same time she wants to be able to do it all herself.

She forgets what she tells people to do, and she doesn’t trust that people are doing to do what she had asked them to do. I know this is all scary for her as well, and her mind isn’t as clear as is used to be and she can’t do what she used to be able to do, and she doesn’t like that, so I’m aware that she’s frustrated about that and I’m trying to be sensitive to that.

On top of this, my grandma is in Texas in the hospital. She’s had a stroke, we think, and has a brain tumor and is in the hospital and isn’t compliant with medication or treatment.

You get the picture. It has been a long two weeks. It culminated on Wednesday when she took a fall and we were afraid she had broken her hip. She has also lost her temper with me and reduced me to tears. at one point. On this day,  I had to stay with the movers while my husband took her to the doctor. Luckily, she only had a pulled muscle.

At the end of the day I went to a McDonalds drive through and got a Carmel Macchiato. I then got on the expressway. When I tasted it, it was horrible. It was old coffee and wasn’t sweet at all. I was really disappointed, but I couldn’t turn around at that point, so I just continued on.

When I exited the expressway, there was another McDonalds and I decided to go in. I went in and told the gentleman at the counter what had occurred at the other McDonalds. I said that I had been disappointed with the drink, but I didn’t expect them to give me a free drink. I even got my credit card out. I said I just wanted another Carmel Macchiato. He said “you came in here for a reason.” I said “I just really had a hard day.”

He said “You just have to trust  your Higher Power has a plan for you.”

I said “Higher Power?”

He said “Well, God or whoever you call your Higher Power. I call mine Jesus Christ.”

I said, “I believe in Jesus Christ. I’m a believer in Jesus Christ. I’m also a 12 stepper.”

He said, “Me too! I’m a member of Alcoholics Anonymous!”

I said, “Me too!”

He said, “I told you there was a reason you came in here!”

I started to cry and I told him about my day and he hugged me and encouraged me. He made me a big Carmel Macchiato and put extra whipped crème, chocolate and sprinkles on it. He walked me to the door, we exchanged names and he said, “You have a bike rack on your car? I have a bike rack on my car too!”

It not only made my day, I still smile every time I think about it. God is good all the time. He knew what I needed to lift my spirits at exactly the right time. Nobody can tell me that was just a coincidence. I am so grateful for my sobriety and for the fellowship of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I hope this story brings a smile to your face and blesses you too!

 

 

There is a Reason

Steps 1, 2 and 3

I’ve been doing a lot of writing, but not here, so I thought I’d post a little about what I’ve been doing just to catch up.

I’ve been working on my beginner steps all over again, and I’m learning so much! This really is a lifelong journey. Re-reading the Big Book with new eyes has been fascinating. I’m realizing what a truly brilliant piece of writing it is! I never realized before, how exceptional it is. I recently listened to the Joe and Charlie tapes, up through Bill’s Story, and if you haven’t listened to those, they aren’t mandatory listening, but I couldn’t recommend them more highly. You can hear them on Youtube for free, and there are other web sites, but I couldn’t find a free iPhone app for them although there are many apps that you can listen to them on.

I’ve also been reading ‘A Woman’s Way through the 12 Steps’ by Stephanie Covington, which addresses the 12 steps from a woman’s point of view. It is a fact that the 12 steps were written by males, and if that’s ever bothered you, perhaps this book would be helpful to you in making the 12 steps more relevant to your journey. I’ve picked up a few great nuggets from this book. The best thing I’ve read in this book has to do with the Higher Power concept. It states on page 30 on the chapter regarding step 2 ‘I gradually found myself believing that there was a life force I could learn to cooperate with that brought about all this healthy change.’

That intrigued me. The concept of coming to a belief in God hasn’t been a problem for me, but my concept of God was a problem for me. I saw God as someone who was mad at me for drinking. I did not see God as a being who wanted a personal relationship with me. I grew up understanding that when you accept Christ, you accept a personal relationship with Him, but I didn’t have a concept of what that meant. I learned that God wanted a personal relationship, or a friendship, if you will, from reading “The Shack.” That’s when my concept of a good and loving God started to take hold in a tangible way. Now, another piece was added. A ‘life force I could learn to cooperate with.’

So I am starting to see this walk of sobriety as somewhat of an experiment. I am staying sober and working the steps. I am cultivating this friendship with God through prayer and meditation. I am cooperating with God by working the steps, going to meeting, working with my sponsor, praying, and so forth. Things in my life should get better. That is to say, I should become a healthier person.

Steps 1, 2 and 3

Bold Changes

This is all so timely! All the talking I’ve been doing about how we get trapped in our lives, and now there’s something new. It’s exciting to me!

To refresh your memory, I lamented several posts ago about how we are born into our circumstances and makes decisions at very early ages that impact our futures and get swept along in life into situations that we are pretty stuck with once we are mired into them. Think Br’er Rabbit.

Then I completely bared myself and was brutally honest about my recent escapades with the law.

Since I wrote that post, I shared it with 3 people and asked for feedback. My sponsor said she admired my brutal honesty. My sister said that she felt like I’m breaking down some walls that I had been hiding behind for a long time and she’s glad to see it. My mom felt like I’m punishing myself.

So, I think about these things, I think about what people say. Why did I make that post? I can tell you what I was thinking when I made it. I used to keep everything a secret and I was very, very isolated. I was isolated both because I was in an abusive relationship and isolated in my addiction. There were layers of isolation and secrecy. So, I’m trying to be more open and more honest. I’m trying to put my faith in people again.

Another reason is that I want to be of service at some point in the future and I’m hoping I can write down now what’s going on and use it for that purpose. I think I have a message. Even if it’s just on a one to one level, I don’t care. I know I have had a lot of questions and someone is helping me and I’ll be able to help someone else.

I’m not trying to punish myself.

What’s weird is that while all this has been going on, a news story has broken, and I’ve been following it and thinking about it and it really hit me today. “You can change your destiny.” Remember when I wrote about Princess Diana and how she was just basically a lamb led to slaughter. She was swept up into this world she had no idea about, and her world became very small and isolated and she couldn’t escape it. She couldn’t go anywhere on the planet where she wasn’t known. How weird is that? Well, here comes her son and turns the dynamic on its head. It’s astounding to me.

Royal watching is a guilty pleasure to me. I watched Diana’s wedding on tv when I was in school, and I fantasized about being a princess as a girl or finding out I was a long lost cousin of royalty or something. Every little girl wants to be the beautiful princess in the beautiful dress with the handsome prince in the castle. That’s the dream. Diana was the dream. So growing up and getting married and having children is about maturing and finding out that the prince isn’t such a prince after all and life isn’t what you thought it was going to be and you have to come to terms with that, and it can all be a bit of a let-down, you know. We saw that happen. The first reality tv show.

When William and Kate got married, I watched it with my daughter and I remember it being a special day I shared with her, talking about Diana’s wedding, telling her about it and it seemed like a bonding experience and it meant a lot to me.

So naturally I enjoyed watching Harry’s marriage to Megan Markle. It was a beautiful wedding.

Naturally, I was surprised by their announcement recently that they were stepping away from their full time duties as royals. Actually the first thing they did was not give their son a title. I thought that was weird. Go along to get along was the family motto. But today it really hit home for me. They agreed to pay back the money spent to renovate the place they live. They don’t want money, they don’t want fame. They just want to be a family. They are forging a new life. They didn’t even discuss it with the Queen. They made the decision, announced it, and then had discussions with the family. I think his mother would be so very proud.

I have a friend, and I love this friend, but she is on this hamster wheel, and it’s not really sustainable. I can think of 3 or 4 things that she can do to help herself feel better. Easy things. Simple things. She will do none of them. I know this. But I keep encouraging her because one of these days she might say ‘yes’ and her whole world will change.

People don’t usually have the guts to make big changes in their lives. Needed changes. I will admit, I usually change only when kicking and screaming. Fear is my goto emotion. But I don’t want that small life anymore. The life where I’m just existing. I have dreams. I want to reach them and I want other people to reach theirs as well.

Bold Changes

I’m Really a Criminal

I danced around this topic when I posted it before, but I’m coming out and saying it. I’m really a criminal. On November 14, 2019, I was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Here is my mug shot.

So there you have it. I had the full service treatment. I was pulled over. The officer asked me if I had been drinking. I was given a field test which I failed. I was read my rights, handcuffed and put into the back of a police car.

I cried like a little girl the whole time.

The experience was horrific. Absolutely horrific. I felt all alone and I felt horrible. And I wasn’t even sure what had happened.

It took me a couple of weeks to get my head together. I was in shock, and I don’t mean ‘shock’ like we say casually in conversation. I mean actual medical shock.

I don’t remember leaving the house that night. I don’t remember driving the car. I don’t remember anything until I saw the blue lights behind me. I was never a blackout drinker and I was not a person who would get into a car when I drank. I had no place where I needed to be, no reason to be on the road and it doesn’t make sense. But that’s what happened.

I get what I deserve. I don’t think I had the right to do what I did. I don’t think it was ok. It was a real. Serious. Crime. I could have killed innocent people. I will accept whatever punishment they give me.

My message to people who are alcoholics is this: if it happened to me, it could happen to you. I didn’t drink way way more than usual. I was drinking heavily. I thought I was safe at home, going to bed and going to work in the morning. My drinking wasn’t hurting anyone but myself. And I woke up when I saw the blue flashing lights behind me. So take that to heart.

Powerlessness is a concept that has new meaning for me. It means that the alcohol has the control in this relationship, not you. You have the illusion of having control, but after taking that first drink you have no idea where it’s going to take you. Think of it like a ticking time bomb. Sooner or later, something bad is going to happen. But you can put yourself back in the driver’s seat by admitting that powerlessness, removing alcohol, and accepting some help. You can live a life that’s totally free not just from alcohol, but from the obsession of alcohol.

I’m sober two months now. Much humbled. Much grateful. I have not had too much of a hard time either. I’ve always been fortunate to be able to give up alcohol when I attend meetings and work the steps.

I’ve learned something new this time; however. You don’t get and stay sober by working the 12 steps. The first 11 steps are about cleaning up your life. Getting things back in order. That frees you up to work the 12th step. You get and stay sober by helping another alcoholic stay sober. The 12th step is an ongoing step. That’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s how this program of AA got started and that’s how it works today. People misunderstand this.

When this first happened, I wanted to crawl under a rock. I actually was trying to think of what I could tell my husband to explain why my car wasn’t in the driveway. It was hard for me to have that conversation with him. But he was accepting, loving and I would say forgiving, but it’s like there wasn’t anything even to forgive. He is the personification of love and acceptance in my life and I’m so very grateful God brought him into my life.

I then had to make a horrifying phone call to my father. You see, my car is registered in his name and they had towed it. He is the only one who could have gotten it out of the tow lot. I can only imagine what he was thinking. Based on past experience, he was very angry. But he never said anything other than he was sorry I was going through this. I’m deeply disappointed in myself for letting him down again.

It begs the question. Would I have concealed this if I could have? I guess the answer has to be yes. I’m the type of person who keeps secrets. That’s not healthy. That has to change.

I believe I would have revealed my situation to my parents before my first hearing which was today. I have figured out that when you let people down, they still love you, and if they are angry, it’s a good anger. It’s an anger about wishing you weren’t making these horrible choices. Its about lost potential. It’s from a place of love. It’s totally fair.

God does that too. He hates sin. He hates it because of what it does to us. But He will walk through our circumstances with us. He holds out His hand and says “Ok, wipe away your tears. Get up and we will start setting this thing right again”

That’s the kind of God I serve.

I told my sponsor and went to an A.A. meeting the very next day. I made a decision to get a new sponsor as well.

My parents respected my wish to keep this private from my sisters and children.

I’ve had a rough go of it with my kids, and if they find out about this arrest, it could jeopardize my future relationships with them. At the same time, honesty has been an issue with me. So hiding it and having them discover it could be worse. I am trying to consider what is the best thing to do.

As time has gone by, I’ve realized that I’m not as afraid of people’s reaction being anger. Or rejection.

So, if you are reading this, and you know me, let me know you read it. I am doing this to start to come out of my proverbial shell. Posting this is a huge step for me. I could use your support.

I’m Really a Criminal

Being Trapped

This might be my mid-life crisis speaking.

A few days ago we watched the movie “Monster” about Aileen Wuoros. A true story about female serial killer, a prostitute, who lived in Florida in the late 80s, early 90s. She was executed by lethal injection in 2002. She was abandoned by her mother and father. Her father was schizophrenic and committed suicide in prison. She was raised by her grandparents. Her grandfather abused her physically and sexually. An acquaintance of his raped her and she became pregnant at 14. The child was given up for adoption. She dropped out of school at 15. She was thrown out of the house, and began prostituting herself.

There is a scene in the movie “Monster” where she tries to get out of prostitution by going on some job interviews. One of the interviews is at a law office, and she doesn’t have a resume or any references, and she’s trying to convince the guy that she can do the job, but clearly she’s not qualified. The guy isn’t impressed. He says: ‘I see you’re from Daytona Beach, all of that looks great, it must be wonderful. But can I tell you something? When the beach party is over, you don’t get to say, “You know what? Now I think I’d like to have what everybody else has worked their entire life for.” It doesn’t work that way.’

She was trapped. She didn’t have education on her side. She didn’t have social services on her side. She didn’t have a family member looking out for her. She didn’t have one single solitary person stand up for her that I can see, and believe me, I looked. The only one who comes close is a friend she knew when she was growing up who wrote her letters when she was in prison, and thank God she knew some kindness then. Because the world was ugly for this poor soul.

Contrast her life against this one: Lady Diana Spencer

A royal princess. Elegant, beautiful, wealthy, adored. What could they possibly have in common? A lot actually.

When Diana was 19 years old, she agreed to marry Charles, the Prince of Wales. That set a course for her life she had no idea whatsover she was getting into. So she went on her journey. I don’t know what happened in her marriage anymore than anybody else, but the marraige ended, and there was a lot of heartache I’m sure, and the end result was that she was trapped in a world that she could never get free from. She couldn’t go anywhere without cameras shoved in her face. She couldn’t see anyone without it being on the front page of papers or people saying things about it. No privacy, no freedom. No way out and no end to it.

I have a friend who is in a marriage that is really, really tough. She talks to me about it. Goes off sometimes. She is desperately unhappy, and I don’t see it getting better. I console the best I can. I’ve offered suggestions. You know how it is when you offer suggestions to people who aren’t going to do anything to change their situation. Life is full of these people. I’ve been that person. I don’t judge. I love her. I just wish so hard for her to get better. She feels trapped.

I’ve been there. Like I said before, “I falsely thought a two parent home was best for the kids, so I sacrificed my own happiness and endured the pain and abuse because of my great love for my kids.” Plus, I thought I didn’t have the support of my family and I didn’t think it could be done financially. Also, I had so much fear I wasn’t able to make a decision like that. So, yes, I get it.

We have to make huge lifetime decisions before our brains are cooked. We choose our majors in college when we are 18 years old. We choose our life partners often in our 20s. I’m seeing why arranged marriages are often more successful than Western marriages where people select their own partners.

I really related to the quote about the beach party ending. It’s really, really hard to pull yourself out of a situation once you are in it. An 18 year old who gets drunk and breaks into a car has a felony on his record for the rest of his life….now he has trouble getting a job or an apartment forever. A 19 year old has sex with a 17 year old and gets put on the sex registery for the rest of his life! Every time he buys a house the people in his neighborhood find out he’s on the registry, but they don’t know why. Both of those situations are actual situations I know of. How do we get ourselves out of these traps?

In AA, it goes like this: ‘Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.’

Half measures. Turning point. Complete abandon. Strong words.

What it’s saying is that you have to be brave, and you have to make a change. A big change. Every time I hear these words, I have a word picture of a shepherd on the cliff of a mountain with a crook in his hand and robe wrapped around him with a thunderstorm and winds whipping around him. He’s about to jump off. Don’t ask me why.

The decisions we make are like jumping off cliffs. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We roll the dice and hope for the best.

The thing of it is, we aren’t without hope. Over and over in scripture it says ‘Fear not, for I am with you’ (Gen. 26:24). Scripture says that God will fight our battles. Scriptures says that nothing will separate us from God. My deepest desire in 2020 is that the people I love will be able to make brave choices.

Being Trapped