NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Assigning Blame - A Mother's Day Tribute

It’s 1:30 a.m.  Everyone else in the house is tucked in and sound asleep.  I’ve been sitting here in the recliner, listening to the dogs snore and the house creak for the last couple of hours …  struggling to find the perfect words for a Mother’s Day tribute.  You might be thinking, “For crying out loud, Patti.  You’re a writer it should be easy.”  Well, I’ll tell you a secret:  There are times when words hide in the recesses of my heart … preventing the raw emotions from surfacing and damming up a lake of tears.  This is one of those times, but through prayer, some gentle prodding from the Holy Spirit and a box of Kleenex nearby, I think I’m ready.

As most of you know by now, I was not the perfect daughter by any means.  The one word that comes to mind to describe my past behavior is “reprehensible.”  During those “dark days,” I would lash out at my mother and blame her for my actions.  Why?  Because in my booze-soaked, self-pitying, self-indulgent brain I was convinced she hated me and considered me a failure.   She would encourage me to strive for a better life, and all I heard was, “You aren’t good enough.” She would invite me to come home to work things out, and all I heard was, “You are not capable of being on your own.”   She would suggest I go back to church and all I heard was, “You’re going to hell.” I twisted all of her words of love and support into a declaration of my inadequacies. I would thank her by spewing out a mouthful of vile and demeaning comments. 

Praise God those days are long gone.  I am so grateful to have had many years of clarity before she passed away to realize and tell her what an incredible mother she was.  Blame turned into gratitude.  Gratitude for a life that overflows with blessings beyond belief.  A life that would have otherwise continued down the path of self-destruction had it not been for her faith, strength and unconditional love.

Thank you, mom, for never giving up on me.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you, miss you and thank God for being your daughter. 

It’s now 3:00 a.m.  The dam broke, and tears are flowing – but that’s okay.  My mom is worth each and every one.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In the Hills of Malibu - A True Story

One of my favorites
My son, bless his pea-pickin’ heart, has a habit of reminding me from time to time how I was before I got sober. Thankfully, most of the stories he brings up are humorous.
His favorite is the time my ex-husband convinced me of the existence of "dry-land tuna"... fish that lived in the hills of Malibu sans water (I'm turning red already).  My beer brain grabbed on to that little piece of Animal Kingdom trivia, and my slurred motor mouth shared it with family and friends.  It was only after I revealed my gullibility to the masses that my ex told me the truth...while he, my son and step-sons laughed hysterically. I was mortified at first but very quickly became infuriated and humiliated and yes...felt betrayed ....which totally justified my downing a beer or twelve then lashing out in retribution.

I learned early on in rehab that one of my biggest problems was I took myself too seriously. I wanted to be in control every minute, and heaven help those who stood in my way.  In time, I was able to give myself a break.  I found that laughing at myself actually brought me a sense of joy ... and peace.  God wants me to be happy, and I know when I laugh at myself, He's laughing right along with me.

By the way....did you know there's a man in Wyoming that sells jackalopes?