Christina W. The Woman I Never Wanted to Become
How do I begin to even express to you my story? How can one, by reading this story, truly understand all the shame, pain and guilt I stuffed and carried for years and years? I do know this: It is paramount for me to share my story and for others to tell theirs, because it is by hearing about your journeys that I got the courage to keep walking mine! I can say alcohol was in my life very early. I remember my mother telling me not to drink her glass of water because it was her “special” drink. I remember finding bottles of vodka in her drawers, and I remember marking them just to see how much would be gone the next day. I was a little girl when I did this—maybe seven or eight. I remember my mom acting different as it got later in the night, and sometimes I can remember her banging down the hall to get to her room.
I also was a very confused girl. At the time I was being molested by our babysitter, and as I was told, I didn’t tell ANYONE for fear that they would think it was my fault, and they would send me away. All this was told to me by my abuser, and when you are six or seven, this is an easy story to believe. My father also told me a lot that I was the reason my mom was so sick all the time. So I didn’t say anything to anyone for years. At 12, the abuse stopped and we moved; I was very thankful to be free—free to start over and hopefully never have to be used that way again.
I spent much of the next several years watching my mom’s drinking, and I remember thinking, “I will NEVER be like her, I will never do that to my kids, and I will never drink like that.” (If only I knew then what I know now.) Let’s now fast forward to high school, where I did little to no drinking. I was always very afraid of drugs, so I never touched them; but what I did start to see was that I needed to keep stuffing all these feelings that I had no clue how to deal with. They would bubble up, and depression and fear would come over me. I would get sad and think how life was too hard and the best option might just be to kill myself. I thought about it many times—not to say I had a plan or anything. It was just a secret thought I would think from time to time.
I graduated high school, and about a year afterward I was married and having my first baby nine months later. Now I had had occasions of drinking, but I never kept it in the house, and I was always careful of it because there had been times I would drink, and when I did—well, I would really drink and black out. Thankfully there was always someone there with me. I set it up that way. If I knew I couldn’t have someone there, I didn’t drink, because as I often said, “What is the point in drinking just one glass? If I drink, I want to get ‘messed up.’” My marriage went on. A second child was born three years later and life moved on. My husband and I had no communication skills; he had an alcoholic dad, and we learned you just don’t ever talk.
Now I could go into a long story about that marriage, but what I want to say about it is this: It was not healthy… not from the start. We were both young and both had no clue what true and authentic love was. We didn’t know how to express or communicate our feelings. After ten years, I left. I remember sitting in the driveway of our home and him saying, “You really are leaving.” I said, “If I don’t now, I never will, and I will die in this marriage.” I went right down to the grocery store and bought a bottle of vodka and a pack of smokes (two things I only did once and awhile when I could sneak them), and the next three years of my life, that would be a daily routine! Once the kids were in bed, I would open the bottle and drink all night till I passed out; sometimes I would wake up in my own vomit, sometimes I would be too drunk to drive my daughter to school, and she would have to walk or call a friend. Sometimes I would still have a “guest” over from night before, and my kids would see him leave!
I was so numb, and I kept drinking to stop this floodgate of feelings that I had stuffed for my whole life, with each sip numbing and stuffing it little deeper. Then one day, I couldn’t deal with my pain any longer, and the thought of killing myself came like it had many times before. So I got a brand new bottle of 60 Ativan, called my ex-husband and had him get the kids, and I swallowed all the pills. The next week of my life I do not remember. I know I was scared and went down the street to a friend’s house. I passed out and was taken to hospital, where I was almost gone twice. Thank God for the ER; they pumped my stomach twice, and I did not die that day.
You see, God was not willing to give up on me. He had a plan for my life and I couldn’t see it. This was just the beginning of that plan. About a week later, I got out of the hospital and went right back to the alcohol. After several weeks of that, I looked in the mirror and saw that I was the woman I never wanted to be. I was blessed to find a treatment center in California where I went in for a 30-day program, and it was there that I heard for the first time that I had a problem and that there was a solution to this problem!
Three and a half years later, my life looks very different. I am remarried to a wonderful man, and I have a new baby girl who is six months old, and I have a relationship with my older kids that I didn’t know was possible. I am the wife, mother, daughter and friend I have always wanted to be. Though life still throws curve balls at me, with my recovery and all the tools I have gained, I can get through it. I thank God every day for not being finished with me yet and leading me to my treatment center and opening up a whole new world for me that I didn’t know existed!