Thursday, August 25, 2011

Living in the Sunshine


I have had too many big days, all in a row. A week now. Seven days. I need a come-straight-home-from-work-and-get-into-jammies night. I need to not talk to anyone (except God) tonight.

Behind all the other-people's-drama going on this week, I have had a tiny heartbreak myself. I called my sponsor and talked to her, she quietly understood me (thank God for that). I got a box of stuff from my late step-mother's house and imagine my surprise when I found she had a file on me. Letters I wrote to my dad were kept by her, with notes she had made in the margins. It reminded me of the heartbreak of losing my mother at a young age and within the year having her for a step-mother. A conversation with my father was no longer possible. She inserted herself into everything. And now I find the letters I had written in an effort to reach out to my dad and communicate just with him were taken and interpreted by her. And kept for 40 years!

I am going to buy myself one of those firepit things for the backyard and have a little bonfire. I will burn those things as well as my journals. I do not want my children to have to go through my crap after I am no longer able.

I have no hard feelings for her. She had a terribly sad life. She had two children, both profoundly retarded (sorry if that is not the correct term at this moment) and institutionalized. There were no letters from her children in this box, those children (my age) never wrote a letter to their mom. She drank herself into oblivion every day. I wish she hadn't needed to take my father away from all of us, but she did. And true to nature, when she did that, she essentially lost him. He was sober 7 years when he married her, but within 3 years he was drunk, never to get sober again. She would call me in the middle of the night, drunk, and lament, "this is not the man I married." No, it wasn't. I think of my father's last 17 years, in a beautiful home, the thick draperies closed all day long, with the two inhabitants living an alcoholic hell. The phone calls reporting broken bones of all sorts from "falls" and all manner of mishaps we alcoholics understand only too well.

But this is ancient history and not my life.

I am a sober woman. I live in a humble little house that is wide open - no secrets. People come and go out of my house - my kids, my grandkids, my friends, my sponsees, and now a boyfriend! Although I do make mistakes, it has been years since I have done anything I am ashamed of. If I were looking for revenge (which I am not) I guess I could just say:

Living well is the best revenge.

I can live well today because I am sober and have God in my life.

And I do not have to be defined by my past. I can use it to good purpose, but I am not defined by it.

Thanks be to God.

7 comments:

Syd said...

Letters and journals are part of my history. I will let them stay. Maybe someone will toss them one day. Or maybe they will be end up at a Crackerbarrel on the wall.

I wonder about someone who writes comments in the margins of letters. But active alcoholism does strange things.

You have redefined yourself in a lot of ways. I'm glad for that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too had some sad experiences. But, Here I am TODAY. WE can begin Anew Each Day. Start over. The Past is Past. There is So Much Good and Great out there.

Patty said...

Mary, despite your step-mother's circumstances, what she did to you was wrong. I totally understand how our parent's choices can effect us, even as their adult children. My heart goes out to you today. I have a burn pit in back yard.....very therapeutic.

dAAve said...

I don't remember knowing that about your step-mother and her realtionship with your dad.

Interesting.

Pammie said...

I seldom think someone has a "wasted" life but it seems she did doesn't it?
I think one of the things that help you and I sweet Mary...is that we truly understand..."but for the Grace of God go I, and we don't take it for granted.

Anonymous said...

I have been searching for a blog to read about being in AA. I have now read just about all of your enteries. I went to my first AA meeting today, don't know if I will go again, I am very confused. My GP says I am in denial about my alcohol consumption. I have "enjoyed" reading your blog

April said...

I really am enjoying reading your blog. I am about 4 months into my sobriety and really get a lot out of reading how others "do life" day to day in this journey, especially women. Thanks for writing! One day at a time...