If I told you my story…

If I told you my story….you wouldn’t believe parts of it. You wouldn’t believe it because there are parts of it that I still can’t believe. Situations I put myself in. And kept myself in. 

There are a handful of days that were turning points. Days that are forever burned into my soul. Unforgettable. Days that changed me. 

 

Codependent is as codependent does. 

I am full of joy for not to be in that time and space anymore. And how odd it is to say, I am grateful for this time because during my darkest day, God sent people to walk along side me. GOD MET ME WHERE I WAS AND WALKED ME OUT. 

Of all people I have met on this journey there is one person who stands out. One who understands where I have been and how I got there like no other. She walked in my shoes. We are one in the same. I was not open to talking to her at first. In fact I don’t think I was very nice to her. 

You see, she is my ex boyfriends ex girlfriend. 

She came to court to support me for the trespass and protective order violations. She knew who I was when she walked in the room even thought she didn’t know me or what I look like. All she knew was my name. She knew me by how beat down I was. She knew my by the look of fear on my face and in my heart. She knew and walked up to me and said I’ve been there, I know how you are feeling and I’m here if you need someone. I’ll be sitting over here if need me. I wasn’t ready to talk to her but appreciated her being there. She waiting a long time as the State and his attorney were working out a deal. She knew I needed some space and she left before court was over and left me her number. 

It took me a few days before I called her. 

Had I not been in that codependent relationship, I would have never met this brave beautiful wonderful women and now be part of her life. 

We have helped each other in ways that no one else could have. We could write each other’s story because they are so much the same.

Not only has she helped me but I have also helped her. Grow past this time in our lives. Grow in grace, hope, mercy and wisdom. Let go of our hurts. We talk about our favorite scriptures. We talk about our struggles. We celebrate our victories. She is now my sister.

The more I write the more I feel compelled to keep writing and share my story. 

Like the Big Daddy Weave song My Story. 

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story

You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine
If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin

Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
If I told you my story

You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story

You would hear Life overcome the grave
If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
This is my story This is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

My journey to serenity continues…
PS I painted the picture used in this post. It’s title is Light and Love. 

You don’t heal a broken heart by pretending it’s not broken…

Penn & Teller did a show call Bullshit on Showtime from 2003-2010. I’ve always loved Penn & Teller. The show debunked a wide range of popular misconceptions. From talking to the dead to bottled water to pet love to the end of the world. Adult content for sure. Not for the easily offended.  And while I didn’t always agree with their point of view it was entertaining.

1.01 Season One Episode One was Talkng to the dead. My Dad had just passed away. John Edward was all over TV and I was curious. Knowing it was bullshit but curious. At the end of the episode Penn said ‘You don’t heal a broken heart by pretending it’s not broken’. Which I have never forgotten.

  

My heart is broken from my parents passing. I had lost both my parents by age 39. A blessing to have them so long a I did because know several people who lost their parents when they were teenagers. That fact doesn’t lesson my hurt but gives me perspective. 

My heart is broken from my ex-husband. He is who he is and was unsupportive and selfish. It breaks my heart every time he disappoints our children. Every time he changes plans at the last minute. Every time he says something mean spirited. Every time he says something unkind about me……he hurts our kids, my heart and his long term relationship with our kids. 

My heart is broken from my ex-boyfriend. He lied to me about who he was and what we were together. He told me everything that I wanted/needed to hear. He hurt me emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually and any other kind of ally word. 

My heart is broken from myself. I am mad at myself for allowing my life to get so out of control because of someone else’s addiction. 

I can’t heal my heart by pretending it’s not broken by these things. Talking/writing about these things puts them in the light. Puts them in perspective. Makes them small and not the giant pile of secret feelings in the closet. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Eulogy for my Mom…

Written from my heart……for those who loved my mom, enjoy and for those
who never met her….you’ll know her after reading her eulogy.
#HeyMa, ILoveYou
 Alice 
July 7, 1938 – March 29, 2008
Someone once wrote that “The fundamental pattern for any community is a congregation at a funeral” The pattern of all of us gathered here this morning is the pattern of the community of Alice, everyone here is connected to her. It’s a beautiful pattern. Thank you all for coming today. It means a lot to us.
I had a lot of help writing this and it is truly a collective effort. Thank you to my siblings for the honor of delivering this today and the encouragement to do so.
I have found that in this time of unbelievable sorrow, we the daughters and sons of Alice are grateful for many things. We’re so very proud of her being our Mother.
Alice though was much more than just our mother. She was also a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, an aunt, a mother-in-law, a grandmother and a great grandmother. None of these were ever taken lightly. She was truly a gift to all whom she encountered.
Alice was born July 7, 1938, the fourth child of a family of five, daughter.  Sister. She attended 14 schools before graduating high school as her family moved with her fathers work. I remember her telling the story of from her childhood about going outside with her family with pots and pans, making lots of noise to let all the neighbors know that war was over. It was a different time.

Alice was a devoted wife to My dad for 47 years and to Her second husband for 4 years. She was a beloved mother. Having 6 kids in 11 years, I have no idea how dinner was always ready when the Church bells rang, laundry was in your drawer and no one was ever late for practice.

When the time was right and we were all old enough, Alice then had a career of her own. She took pride in her work at the CIA for over 20 years, juggling work and home, effortlessly.
Mimi was the crafty grandmother and great grandmother to 29. From decoupage Easter eggs to Gingerbread houses. There were always projects to keep the kids busy and all of them looked forward to the next visit to Mimi’s.

Family always came first. This was illustrated from the very beginning. After she married Tom, Alice often wrote lovely letters to Aunt Mary, which made her feel included in their new life together. Alice always was the connecting link for the whole family network.
She was building our community.

So now all we can say is thank you.

Thank you Mom for teaching us what family means.

Thank you Mom for sacrificing your comfort for ours.

Thank you Mom for cheering for us at on the ball field, we could hear you even when you were working the snack bar.

Thank you Mom for all the hugs when there was a win and the hugs when there was a loss.

Thank you Mom for putting up with football in the living room and band practice in the basement.

Thank you Mom for the many visits to the emergency room to set a broken bone, or a few stitches. The nurses knew you by first name.

Thank you Mom for always mixing up words like when had just learned to drive and borrowed a friends car, it was a Corvair or was it a Corvette.

Thank you Mom for your understanding, even though we know there were times you didn’t understand.

Thank you Mom for never saying I told you so, even when you should have.

Thank you Mom for opening your home to friends and family at a moments notice.

Thank you Mom for teaching us that it’s ok to sing, no matter how you sound.

Thank you Mom for all the meals, even the peanut soup you attempted which became a family running joke.

Thank you Mom for teaching us that the cure for stupid is time and patience.

Thank you Mom for your quick wit.

Thank you Mom for teaching us that there is no shame in getting knocked down as long as you get back up.

Thank you Mom for teaching us the true meaning of the expressions ‘everything happens for a reason’ and ‘it is what it is’

Thank you Mom for always having a plan B.

Thank you Mom for showing us how a husband should be treated and how to be a good wife.

Thank you Mom for showing us how to be a good friend.

Thank you Mom for showing us that there are times to ask for help.

Thank you Mom for showing us to take pride in a job well done.

Thank you Mom for showing us how to be strong when Dad passed away.

Thank you Alice, Mom, Mimi for just being you.

Mom, your work is done. You did a great job building our community. We will take care of each other and try to follow your lead and your loving example.
#hey ma I love you 

Youngest daughter point of view…

Disclaimer…..this post is not well organized and may trigger feelings. It’s raw and real. 

Hi my name is Mar. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I am codependent and the daughter of alcoholics. 

I am shaking writing this. I’ve been thinking about this post since I started this blog just 12 days ago. I will not post this blog on my Facebook account because so many people don’t know that I grew up in the home of an alcoholic. And I don’t want to upset my siblings for talking about it. 

So here it goes, from the youngest daughter point of view of my alcoholic home….

I’m the poster child of being codependent. And it’s no wonder I have made the choices I have in men. My last relationship was when a man I’ve known off and on since high school (twenty something years ago). I knew he had struggled with drinking and he told me he was sober. Reality was he was dry not sober. I thought ‘ok I know what this looks like’. I can handle this. But boy was a wrong. But this post is about before this relationship. Totally different kind of alcoholic and that’s a story for another day. 

I was the youngest of 6. Spoiled or so my siblings say. Maybe in some ways but not in others. 

I grew up in a house where my parents drank every night. They drank to the point of passing out on the sofa….every night. 

The smell of Canadan Club turns my stomach. 

The sound of ice clinking the sides of glass and a drink stirring makes me shake my head. 

The sound of someone slurring their words brings me to tears. 

They drank every night. And they got up every morning and went to work. They worked hard to support the family. 

I’m sad to think why they learned this as how they coped with life. 

My dad carried a lot of shame. That’s my belief anyway. He died 13 years ago. I miss his wise advise, kindness and fairness. 

My mom had a difficult childhood. Her brother passed away. He was hit by a car and I think she blamed herself. She was the litte sister. Her dad was not a nice man. They moved a lot. She died 8 years ago. I miss her support, love and quick wit. 

They learned to cope with life by drinking. 

At that age when you start to go on sleep overs, I remember thinking, why weren’t their parents drinking and falling asleep on the sofa? So that’s not normal. 

Only trusted friends spent the night at my house. Which was only a few and when I was older (high school) and likely because we were drinking too and they wouldn’t notice. 

Not long after high school. I fell in love with the class clown. The life of the party. And all I wanted to do was fade into the background. I didn’t drink by choice and he did plenty of drinking for the both of us.  My life quickly became about family and kids. His life didn’t change much. And after 16 years together I decided I had enough and I left. 

 When my dad died in 2002. My moms drinking got worse. It got to the point, that I called her earlier and earlier in the day because she wouldn’t remember what we talked about the night before. 

In late 2007 my mom was diagnosed with cirrhosis. But she didn’t tell us. We found out when she was taken to the hospital in what was basically a coma. 

There was nothing to do but ride this diagnoses out. 

Fluid backed up in her system and her skin would crack and water just driped out of the cracks. She would be so bloated with fluid, they would drain off liters at a time. 

She was DNR. Do not resuscitate. She had to say it with every nurse shift change. I know she hated to have to say it out loud everyday, several times a day. 

She was slowing dying. 

She spent months in the hospital and a nursing home. I went to see her almost everyday. I put lotion of her feet and brushed her hair. 

Then we had ‘the family meeting’. There was nothing left to do and she should go home with hospice care. 

I will never forget the look on her face when they said that. Hospice, hospice is for dying people…..oh shit I’m dying. That was what she was thinking. 

She was transferred home the next day. She didn’t opened her eyes again 24 hours later. When I left that night. I wispered to her….it’s ok to go mom, we’ll be ok. I love you. 

She passed away that night a few hours later.  

Today is the 8 year anniversary of her passing. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about and miss her. 

She was an alcoholic but she was my mom. And I love her so very much. 

It’s not her fault. It’s not my dad fault. It’s just how life played out for them. And for me. 

But I’m stopping the cycle. I will not allow myself to be in another codependent relationship. I want to model a healthy relationship for my kids. Realtionships with God, with yourself, with each other and with who they love. That’s what matters. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Seasons…

I love when periods of time of life are described as seasons. 

I’ve been thinking about what season my life is in. I am recovering from an abuse relationship. I am understanding how my codependent nature contributed to that relationship and how it kept me stuck. I am mourning what could have been. I am learning to forgive, trust and love myself again. I am seeking a relationship with God. I am in a season of growth. I am in a season of time to build up. I am in a season of speaking and share my story. 

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What does the bible say about seasons?Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 

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No matter the season, be present where you are. 

Know that God uses us to shine light on each other’s darkness. Knowingly or unknowingly, He is using my story and your story for others. The bible is full of storys about what season someone was in and those stories help us today. There was fear and shame and joy and promise.

  
I have had some sad seasons. Loss of my parents, loss of a 18 year marriage. Loss of material things. Loss of self. Loss of a what I thought could be. Having been in these seasons, they have made me the person I am today. Still growing, still rebuilding, still flawed but also loving and caring and enough just the way that I am. 

Don’t wish a season away. Be present. 

My journey to serenity continues…
PS I painted the picture used in this post

Are you ready to start your recovery? Ask these 2 questions…

 
No matter the addiction if you want to make a change in your life because something is unmanageable, the place to start is asking these two questions….

HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH???

ARE YOU WILLING TO TRY A NEW WAY OF LIVING???

When you can answer them both honestly, YES, you are ready. It’s not easy. You need support. You need a program and a sponsor. 

It’s hard work to dig deep and look at the dark places in our life. But healing those places will allow you to shine bright. Shine your light so bright that you brighten someone else’s darkness. 

That is what God has put on my heart. Share my story so someone else knows they are not alone and there is hope in recovery. 

If you have not read my other posts, I am codependent and was in a relationship with an acholic who I’ve known off and on for 20 plus years. At the end, he binged drinks…for months he drank. He lost his job and I kicked him out. He walked into my home when I was not there and scared my son. I have a protective order against him. When he got out of jail, he would walk by my home. He stood on the corner watching me come and go. I tried hard not to show my kids how scared I was but I don’t know how successful I was. In that moment I was forever changed. 

For months and months I was afraid. I slept on the sofa to guard my home and protect my family. What if my ex came in the house again? I wanted to be right there and give him no reason to go upstairs. I slept with one eye open and one ear listening for outside noise. Even when I knew he had left the area, I was frozen in fear. 

I had to surrender control to its rightful owner, God. My life was unmanageable. God knows the end of my story. There is a beautiful plan for me. I have to trust that He will continue to move mountains for me and my journey to serenity.

Beauty in Brokenness

There have been times when I have felt broken. Defeated. Damaged. Crushed. Hurt. Sadness over the loss of hopes, dreams and what could have been. 

What I have learned during those times is that those feelings do not last forever and there are lessons to be learned. It is so very hard to remember these truths when you are middle of those feelings. 

Finding the beauty in brokenness.  

 
What does the bible say about brokenness? Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Last year highlighted my codependency nature, it was been a part of who I am as long as I can remember. Codependency is about control. Controlling the things around me. Giving up control, surrendering to God’s will has changed my life the last few months.

I could be resentful and angry about last year….I could be but I choose not to be. I choose to find the beauty in brokenness. Knowing that I am stronger today than yesterday and stronger for having been in at awful place. 

There is a song by Jon Guerra Stained Glass. he sings in part….

show me what you see
when you look at me
show me what is real
more than what i feel
we have stains, it’s true
but when your light shines through 
we all look like stained glass windows to you

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QhfpgrqgAso  

God sees me, the person that he wants me to be, stained, broken. hurt and being put back together only because of His grace and love. 

Broken is beautiful because when the pieces are back together a new better version of me is created. 

My journey to serenity continues….