My Life Story
I came home from high school that seemingly normal day to find my dad’s car in the driveway. Wow! That’s unusual but great, dad’s home. I ran into the house but could immediately sense something was terribly wrong. I crept upstairs to my parent’s bedroom to find my mom in bed and my dad looking over her. I asked, “What’s wrong?” My dad said, “Your mother wants to die, she has taken an overdose.” I asked, “You called the paramedics, right, they’re on their way?” “No, she wants to die.” That’s when I exploded reeling from anger and grief. Was my dad really willing to let my mom die? How could he? I started screaming and crying and begging my mom not to die. My brother got home right after me and we did call for help. Thank God my mom did not die; she was my safety and my rock and the one constant in my life.
I was born into an upper middle class family and by all appearances we had everything. We did not lack for anything material but our souls were in great need. I am the middle child with an older and younger brother. My father was a kind man in so many ways but he had BONDAGE’S that stole so much from all of us. He was a workaholic, and very successful, but that meant we rarely saw him; and he was an alcoholic so when he was not working, he was at the bars. He spent more time at the bars and the friends he made there than with our family. My dad was very handsome, had a lot of money and presented himself well. With his choice to go to the bars by himself came the temptation of adultery. He succumbed. I remember the first time I saw lipstick on my dad’s white collared business shirt and was shattered, as I just knew it wasn’t mom’s. I was already a shy girl but now I felt deep insecurity not knowing what the future held.
Adultery is not just a marital problem, it’s a family problem. I felt that I was not important enough for my dad to come home to at night and neither was the rest of our family. I craved time with dad, we all did. My brothers were selected for “All-Stars” Baseball every summer but neither recalls our dad ever attending just one game.
Like my mom, I too tried to commit suicide. I just couldn’t see any point to go on but now as I look back, I think I was asking for help and wanted to bring my parents together to focus on our family. It didn’t work. When there is a secret in the family to hide, such as alcoholism, everyone learns to pretend that everything is okay. All hell could be breaking loose behind those beautiful Spanish style doors, but once we walk through them, we knew to put on our happy faces and give the appearance that all is well.
My mother decided she’d had enough and filed for divorce at a time when divorce was rare. That is what woke Dad up; he loved Mom in spite of all of his wanderings, and began to work to get her back. They ended up moving from California back to their hometown of Salt Lake City where they had family and old friends and really worked at their marriage. My dad got faithful and remained so for the remainder of his days.
I went to Utah, as well, to attend the University of Utah where I met and then married my first husband. He turned out to be an alcoholic but he chose not to work though he had every opportunity to take over his father’s very successful business. While he sat at home and drank, he thought about everyone and anyone who had ever “wronged” him, so he became a very mean drunk. He took his anger out on me and abused me verbally, physically, and emotionally. My self-esteem fell even further. I was on the brink of despair but that caused me to do the best thing I have ever done for myself and that was to call out to God for help. And help He did, He came to my rescue. I began reading the Bible and I began to change. I discovered that Jesus Christ loved me so much that He died for my sins and shortcomings so that I could live with Him for all of eternity. Wow! Someone loves me that much? How could I not love Him in return? He captured my heart.
The abuse from my husband continued, but I learned that God did not want me to stay and be mistreated. He hates abuse more than He hates divorce. So I told my husband, “Get sober, get to work and get some help and after you have proven yourself for one year, we will get back together.” My dad drove to the state we lived in, packed up his broken little girl, and brought my little boy and me home to live. He told me “I don’t want you to get a job for awhile, I want to take care of you and help you to get well.” I was under 100 lbs. by this time due to the stress of living with my husband, having a full time position, and taking care of our son. It was really good to be home with Mom and Dad; they seemed happier than I had ever seen them and I felt safe. They wanted to take care of my boy and me. Thank God! We had a wonderful time together, Dad loved being Grandpa and so enjoyed every minute with my son. But Dad at the age of 52 and seemingly in good health, dropped dead just three weeks after bringing us home. “No, not my dad, not now that I get to have time with him, no, please, no.”
Now what? Both men in my life were gone, and now with my father “out of the way”, my husband continually lashed out and would do anything to hurt me for leaving him. He thought , “With her protector gone, now I can really give it to her.” But my husband did not know that my Father in Heaven, God, was my Protector and He would not let him get away with his antics. Every time he brought me to court, I won. Every lie told about me was proven false, and when he and his parents said I was an unfit mother and the court ordered that a social worker be appointed to examine our family to see whom my little boy should live with, I won. God truly helped me. They had all the money, status and wealth, which made them look really good by worldly standards, but I had God.
I later met the nicest guy I have ever known. I needed nice, I needed kindness and I needed a gentleman. We were married and began our family. He had a little girl and I had a little boy. A few years later we had a baby girl together. Then my brother, who was a single parent, died so we happily took his ten-year-old little boy to join our family. Our family was now complete. We, like any other blended family, had to go through a process of blending. Though it was really hard and at times we felt like quitting, we didn’t, so now we are reaping the rewards. We have three beautiful, healthy grand-kids that are such a delight to us. We thoroughly enjoy all four of our grown kids and we get together as much as we can. We are all followers of Jesus Christ and have found that He makes all the difference in life.
I share part of my story with you so that you understand that I can relate with the situations we find ourselves in. I am not only trained as a Professional Life Coach but I have lived a full life. I understand the pain of adultery, how hard a divorce is (it is a death, the death of a family), what it means to be a single parent and trying to be both mom and dad (though we really can’t be both), and remarriage and the struggles that come with that. I have dealt with much substance abuse and I believe people can be set free of these bondage’s. Since I felt my life was not worth living at one point, I empathize with others feeling the same way. I have found that life is a gift and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
It is in the person of Jesus Christ that I have learned who I am and what my purpose is. I have the tools and the heart to help others discover their true identity.
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11,12 Msg.
Together we can uncover and discover the answer to some of life’s most important questions:
What is the meaning of MY life?
Who has God created me to be and do?
What will be the legacy of my life?
When do I feel most fully alive and have the greatest sense of satisfaction?