Why I Am Sharing

I feel like I should rewind for just a minute and explain why I feel compelled to share my story.

For as long as I can remember I have felt like the unwanted child. I have felt like the one who could never do anything right. The only attention I ever got from my adoptive father revolved around his sports or his drug use. My mom had her hands full trying to deal with dad and my younger sisters. So really, even as a teenager, I was forced to be more adult than I should have had to be.

My adult life, up until about 7 years ago, was a complete sham. My children are the only thing I did right. I made one bad choice after another. I lived my life with a fake smile on so the world wouldn’t know that on the inside I was so severely broken that I was numb. I was so ashamed of the things that I did that most people didn’t even know about. I lived in a veil of regret.

Living in complete shame and regret only fueled the downward spiral. Until 7 years ago, I was a complete and total drunk. By the grace of God, I never physically hurt anyone but I know that I emotionally scarred many, including my children. I apologize to them and ask for their forgiveness quite often.

I have not had a drop of alcohol in 7 years.

Over the past few years I have been on a journey of self discovery, personal development and growth. I am no expert, but I can share my own experiences. I can tell you that I have CPTSD and, on top of being a recovering alcoholic, I am also a recovering co-dependent. My adoptive father was a narcissist and was verbally and emotionally abusive. I also suspect there is other abuse that I have repressed – because my childhood is a black hole of almost no memories.

Let me tell you what, it is HARD to get really honest with yourself. It is HARD to really dig deep. It would be so much easier for me to sit here and blame everything on my biological father for abandoning me and then my adoptive father for his abuse. But something inside of me shifted about two years ago. I realized that NOBODY was going to “fix” me but ME. I decided that I no longer wanted to live as a victim of my circumstances.

Since then I have read countless self help books, listened to countless audio-books, watched countless videos, and listened to innumerable positive affirmations. The one thing that I still struggle with is keeping a record of my feelings along the way. You see, I have good days and bad days just like anyone else. Some days I am an emotional wreck; other days, I am on top of the world. I actually think that I am just now learning to feel the emotions that I have pushed down so deep for a very long time.

Since my self discipline to actually keep up on journaling is terrible, I thought that perhaps a blog would make me more accountable. Just getting things out and in the open has already been helpful. As I write about my journey, I am forced to come face to face with my demons. I am forced to look them square in the eye and tell them that they cannot control me any longer.

All of that said, even if no one ever actually reads the things I am sharing, it is extremely therapeutic for me.

I will continue to share. And it will get deeper and darker. Something keeps telling me to “keep going” and that someone out there needs to hear it.

Whoever you are, I need for you to know right now that


I wish someone would have sat me down years ago and told me that.

Whether you believe it or not, Jesus thinks you are to die for.

NOTHING you have ever done is so bad that it cannot be forgiven.

I will say it again – YOU ARE ENOUGH AND YOU ARE WORTH IT.

The Heartbreak Years

The teenage years… I could write an entire book about those years…

We moved to another house when I was about 11.  Man was I glad to get away from that creepy old house. 

By now I had a younger sister.  She would have been about 5.  I hated her.  She took all of my mom’s time and attention.  My adoptive dad doted all over her.  I was just the “red-headed stepchild.”  Not long after this, another younger sister arrived, she being a full 10 years younger.  Well, mom and dad had their hands full now and not a whole lot of time for me anymore. 

By the age of about 13, I had already begun to pull away from my parents.  I could tell they didn’t love me the same way they loved my sisters.  I was, after all, the reminder of a twice failed marriage back in Georgia. 

In desperate attempts to maintain at least some of their attention, I played sports.  That was the only way dad and I could relate at all.  But my sports career was pretty short because, well, I wasn’t any good. 

I want to note that through all of these years my sisters and I continued to protect dad – keeping his little secret.  I realize that many people don’t believe marijuana is a big deal but my perception is much different.  My dad was an addict; it was a true addiction.  He was a monster without it.  He became severely verbally abusive and slightly physically abusive without it.  I don’t remember the physical outbursts being directed at my sisters, only me.  One such instance that has always remained at the forefront of my mind is when he cornered me and proceeded to practice his jujitsu moves on me.

About this time, I met who would be my high school sweetheart.  We will call him B.  He and I adored each other.  Both of us coming from dysfunctional families, we held onto each other for dear life.  At the ripe old age of 14, I gave up my virginity to him.  Oh, how we were in love.  We had grand dreams of running away together. 

Fast forward a few years – B and I were still going strong.  I knew we would end up married one day.  But I was still longing for that perfect unconditional love, the kind that doesn’t judge and has no limits.  I did something that would end up making me a serious “in-your-face” mother to my own boys later in life – I began throwing away birth control pills. 

I was playing with fire and I knew it.  I so desperately needed to feel loved and accepted and, in my mind, a baby was the answer.  A baby would surely love me unconditionally, right?  And who better to have a baby with than my high school sweetheart?  At the age of 17, I announced to B, my mother, and his mother that I was pregnant.  Our parents cried.  They were shocked and heartbroken.  To this day, I don’t know if any of them know it was an intentional pregnancy. 

Over time everyone came to accept the pregnancy and even looked forward to having a baby and grandbaby around.  I absolutely loved being pregnant.  It is possible that it was only because of the attention I was finally getting. 

Six months into the pregnancy, my world came crashing down. 

At a routine doctor’s appointment, my doctor was not able to find the baby’s heartbeat.  She sent me to another office to have an ultrasound.  It was confirmed – my baby had died inside of me. 

Everything stopped and my world shattered.  How could this be?  How can I possibly go on?  No, this must be a mistake! 

The rest of that day is a blur.  Doctors and nurses giving me options to induce labor or let my body naturally expel the baby.  Expel?  What!?  No, no, no, this can’t be.  Get it out.  Get it out now! 

That very evening, I was admitted to the hospital and labor was induced.  They allowed me to pump my own morphine since the baby was already gone.  I told them when the baby came to just take it away.  I don’t want to see it.  Just make this all stop.  It was so surreal. 

Finally, my son was stillborn with just B and I in the room.  One single push and out he came.  As soon as I felt him exit my body, I knew I had to see him.  That was my baby. 

The nurses came and took him away.  I begged them to bring him back so I could say goodbye.  They cleaned him up and finally brought him back to us.  There he was, my tiny perfect little boy.  Our family came into the hospital to say their goodbyes as well (well, except my dad).  The hospital staff was incredible.  They allowed us to spend some time with him and take some pictures before they took him away for the last time. 

To this day I wonder what color his eyes would have been.  Or his hair – would he have had my red hair?  Would he have been tall like his daddy?

Over the next couple of days, we planned a small graveside service for him.  I couldn’t just let him be thrown away.  He was a fully formed little human and he had a name. 

My dad, well he disagreed.  He didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.  He thought we should just dump him.   

At 17, I buried my first child.  I clung so desperately to my boyfriend; he was the only male in my life who had not abandoned me.  My own father, well adoptive father, was states away at a softball tournament rather than being there supporting me in my grief. 

Incidentally, during my pregnancy, my doctor had discovered a large ovarian cyst – 8 cm to be exact.  Within a month of losing my son, I had to have my first major surgery – this was before laparoscopy was as advanced as it is today.  My entire ovary had to be removed. 

Within the span of a month I lost my son and part of my womanhood, and all respect and love for my father. 

As with a lot of tragedies, it tore B and I apart.  Our 4-year relationship came to an end during my senior year of high school.

So much loss in such a short time…

So it begins…

Do all good stories start at the beginning?  I’m not really sure that is the happiest place to start, but for the sake of chronological documentation, that’s where I will begin.

I was born 40-something-years ago in a small town in Georgia to fairly young parents.  My mother was just barely 20 when I entered this world.  I think my biological father was slightly older but truth be told, I have no idea.   

To start with, I survived on sugar water for the first several weeks of my life.  Unbeknownst to my young mother, her milk supply never came in.  Back then, for whatever reason, they believed that sugar water was an ok thing to give your infant.  I guess the fact that I even survived infancy is a small miracle in itself. 

All of my life, I have been told that my biological father was an alcoholic.  I have been told that because of his drinking, my mother divorced him but then remarried him after he promised to sober up.  As the story goes, he didn’t sober up.  My memory of this part of the story is foggy but as I remember it, we (mom, dad, and I) were at a lake and dad was drunk.  He proceeded to walk out into the water with me in his arms and lost his footing.  I am told that he went under and so did I.  Mom had to rush out into the water to save me. 

At that point, realizing dad was not going to sober up, mom found the courage to leave him for the second time.  I would have been about 1 ½ at that point. 

She packed up our belongings and moved us across the country to Arizona where my grandparents lived.  This is where my story actually begins.  Arizona is all I have ever known. 

Mind you, I obviously don’t remember any of this, but these are the details I have been told throughout my life. 

To this day, as far as my memory serves, I have not seen my biological father again.  I do vaguely remember a phone call with him somewhere around my 12th birthday but all that I remember is hearing his voice and bursting into tears.  The next memory I have is when I was 17 or so, I tried to reach out to him by mail.  I received a lovely handwritten letter back… unfortunately, it was a handwritten letter from his current wife and not him… and it included a $200 check.  Now tell me that doesn’t sound like shut up money. 

For many years I have wanted nothing more than to tell my biological father how he set me up for a life of heartache and pain.  After all, what else could possibly result from an abandonment so huge at such a young age?

My father was just gone – and I wasn’t worth following or fighting for. 

If only he said those words, would it have made a difference?