"Knowing what I know now, about God and His Sovereignty...
Somewhere there is a heart willing to listen to this story about this little girl, orange carpet, hollyhocks, a small town ...and violence. Somewhere there is surely someone who will read Your story and see the Grace and Mercy in your life...and God will use you to touch that person, for His Glory.
Your story touches my heart, Pat "
Sunday, August 26, 2012
A Fist Full Of Pills
Pitch black, stars shining bright, it was well after midnight. A beautiful summer night with the faint sound of sirens.
I suppose he came home after the bars closed, maybe after they threw him out. He had been suffering all week from a healthy dose of pity served in a bowl of heaping blame. Mom had cut off his finger, and of course, he was still mad.
Back in the 70's the exercise fad was a rope device that hooked onto a door knob. You would lay on the ground, head up to the door and place your hands and feet in the stirrups, the right arm and left leg would go up, then the other side, scissoring back and forth. She was getting ready to work out and they were once again arguing, she slammed the door and his finger just happened to be right there. He screamed something awful! Holding and shaking his hand, blood cast from floor to ceiling.
The tip was gone, it could not be reattached. He was sent home with meds and new ammunition.
If you hit someone it must be their fault.......
especially if they cut your finger off.
On that starry night less than a week later, they were at it again. I had awoke to screams of "Bob, what did you do?"
It wasn't unusual to see him stumbling drunk, but I knew something was different. He could barely stand, he fell down the stairs, he fell off the stoop, he fell to the ground and he laid there. A fist full of pills and a bottle of whiskey had done him in.
I stood outside watching, I could hear the sirens getting louder and I asked God if he would keep them from getting there on time.
I had become a calloused, fed up, skeptical 10 year old, who knew every bar phone number in town. I knew how to roll a drunk for rent money, I knew how to calm his storm by talking him down, I knew more than I needed to.
I was sick of it. Only 1 year into their marriage.....and I was praying for him to die.
Violence changes a person, even if it is not directly perpetrated upon you.
Our grading system in school was not A's and B's but U's, M's and L's. Upper, Middle, Lower- in regards to the rest of the class.
I had been straight U's
I was now straight L's.
I don't know who noticed, if anyone did.
It was a beautiful day, fall I think. The sun was shining in the screen door, I sat in the cascading light, warm, with my back to the door. I was looking at the rectangle of light before me when a shadow moved in front of it. I turned to look.....that day I learned,
when you check yourself in to treatment voluntarily you can check yourself out whenever you like.
My stomach sank, he walked in. I don't remember the rest of that day. He came home with more pills. Pills that supposedly made it hard to drink alcohol, he took them and he drank and he was very sick, and of course....very angry.
he had gone on many black out drunks that lasted from 3 days to a week or so, this time he never returned. We knew he was alive because he had called my grandma, whining and crying about life to her. For years I feared that shadow would once again appear in the doorway. That shadow only lived on in my dreams
by this time I was well on my way to being a rebellious teen. No excuses, I knew every time I did something wrong...it was wrong, I just really didn't care. I was willing to test all boundaries, a year from promiscuity, I stood on my own cliff of blame. I really hated him, but I also blamed her for her decisions to even bring him, let alone keep him around so long. He was one of many, he just stayed 4 years too long.
A friend and I decided to skip school, 13 yr olds willing to spend the day with high school boys, drinking and driving around. I guess we naively thought that if we went through our mom's medicine cabinets and did a little mixing we could somehow "enhance" the day. We took two of each, the number 16 sticks in my head, I do not remember if that was the total split or the total taken.
My own fist full of pills, chased with liquor.
I remember a few things about that day-
a very near miss, had not others walked in my virginity would have ended unwillingly at 13 rather than willingly at 14.
I remember hanging my head out the car window with dry heaves on Main Street.
I remember fighting to stay awake.
I was sick for days.
No one found out or figured it out. I was in my 20's when it really hit me how lucky I was to have survived that day.
By the grace of God I never became addicted to drugs or booze, anger was my vice.
A false power
A false strength
yet, it made me feel in control to be angry.
Anger like pills will poison you.
It does not lead to control, but discontent.
The bottom of a bottle will not soothe, only numb and when it wears off all feelings return and the cycle must be repeated.
The arms of a stranger will not make you feel loved, you will hate yourself in the morning.
We search for answers. We search for reasons. We look to blame, it is our nature.
Don't blame, it won't change things.
You may never understand why but you must move on. If you poison yourself- stop.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Jesus
To God be the glory, in all things. We do not have to understand it all, but we can trust he is loving, trustworthy and the only way for us to heal.