Today I’m pleased to share a story I received on the Sober doesn’t Suck page, it’s from a wonderful woman named Shari Lynne who is being generous enough to share her story. Shari Lynne blogs over at Faith Filled Foods for Moms where she offers encouragement, laughter and spiritual insight. Thank you so much for sharing here Shari Lynne, I know you are helping someone who is reading!
My story starts in October, 1958. I was born to 2 young parents that were very career oriented and had known each other most of their lives. People assumed that they would get married so they figured that is what they should do! So after a very rocky marriage my parents divorced when I was 10 years old.
I remember the first time I met my Step-dad, the first thing he said to me was “You must be the ugliest kid I’ve ever seen!” Wow, I didn’t even know what to say! As soon as my Mom started dating my step dad life went from bad to worse. They started drinking very heavily, things became out of control very quickly. I knew something was deeply wrong when I found my Mom overdosed on pills after trying to commit suicide.
My Mom lived, but went on to live a very miserable alcoholic life. Crisis after crisis is really the only way to describe living with my Mom and Step-Dad. Ambulances and Police were constantly at our home due to the violence that was always present. My Step-dad was sexually abusive and a very evil man.
My Mom loved me I knew that for sure (in her own sick way) so one day I decided to get up the courage and tell her about the abuses committed against me. She would have nothing to do with it. She told me that I was a liar and began to criticize me for my behavior. Then she turned her back on me and did not want to hear anything more about it.
What does a kid do after that kind of response? I thought my mom loved me. How could she say I was a liar? How could she say all of those horrible things about me?
So I began to rebel. I started smoking, drinking and taking drugs when I was 11 years old. I started running away from hom,. sleeping in the bushes at night, anything to get out of that house. I became quite out of control at school, failing my classes and hanging out with the wrong crowd.
At age 13 my Mom sent me to go live with my Dad and Step-mom. Believe it or not, it hurt so bad. Even though I was in such rebellion, I felt so rejected. I was being sent away. My Step-mom was very young and had 2 children of her own. The last thing she wanted to do was deal with a troubled teenage stepdaughter thus began the beginning of many years of emotional abuse.
My Step-mom was a very emotionally unhealthy person and so of course she had nothing to give. I look back at those years as the Cinderella years. She was the wicked step mom and I was Cinderella. I did all of the house work. I cooked dinner every night. I did most of the care for my younger step brother and step sister. On family vacations I was left home to care for myself. One year they all went to Disneyland and left me home. My Step-mom said I was too much trouble.
At Christmas time I usually got 1 present from them. One year it was a bottle of shampoo because I washed my hair everyday and my step mom said “it was costing too much money so this is what you get for Christmas!” Well I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture.
One day while my Dad was driving me to school I thought I would take a chance and talk to him about my Step-mom’s behavior. So after I was done with all my complaining my Dad simply said “I’ve already been through one divorce, I just can’t go through another.” The end! Conversation over!
On so many occasions I just wanted to die. I was so dead inside, I had no hope. I continued drinking and taking drugs through out these years. I moved out the day I graduated. Believe it or not I moved back to my Moms. Nothing had changed their.
I started dating a neighbor fella. Within a couple of months I was pregnant, I was 17 (almost 18). We got married and I had a beautiful baby girl. A couple of years later I had another beautiful baby girl. My drinking and drugging continued throughout these years (except when I was pregnant).
By the time my oldest daughter was 8 years old I had become out of control with my drinking. I was in a black out most of the time. When I didn’t have alcohol to drink I would get the shakes and drink just about anything…yep even Nyquil. I never wanted to become like my mother, I couldn’t think of anyone worse to become like. But the truth is I was even worse.
One day my husband came to me and said “If you don’t do something about your drinking, I’m going to have to take the girls and leave.” At 25 years old I had become my worst nightmare…my mother. I loved my girls and knew that I couldn’t live without them.
I went into an alcohol treatment program and was diagnosed as an acute, chronic, late stage alcoholic. I hated it there! I was so full of anger and hate. I remember throwing my food tray at one of the nurses the first night I was there. I hated going to AA meetings. I hated the word God in those 12 steps. I hated being away from my kids.
One day I went storming down the hall after an AA meeting, straight to the nurses office. I poked my head right in there and said “All you guys are trying to do is brainwash me!” And one of the nurses looked at me with a smile on her face and said “Isn’t it about time you took your brain out and washed it?”
That was the day I broke. The truth is I wanted desperately to stay sober and didn’t have a clue how to do that. I had drank and drugged for more than half of my life. I simply did not have any tools for life. Yes, it was time to take my brain out and wash it.
Well I have been sober now for 27 years. By the Grace of God. There is so much more I could say about how I got to where I am today. My heart is to share my journey with you. How God met me in my most rebellious state and loved me for who I am today, forgave me for what I had done in the past and gave me a wonderful future.
My prayer is that my recovery would give hope to the hopeless. Never give up on God. Never give up on people. My mom finally got sober after I had been sober 11 years. She asked my forgiveness and then died a year later of Cancer.
My Step-dad died two years after my Mom in a drunken stupor.
My Dad and stepmom are still living and have asked my forgiveness.
Today I have a most wonderful life, but I did not get here without a lot of hard work. Every tear I’ve ever shed, every broken-hearted thing of the past I faced was well worth the healing and freedom of today!
Thank you for reading my personal testimony.
“May the Lord Bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you”