August 1989, after I had lost everything; my home, car, two jobs, and my sanity, because of an addiction to illegal street drugs and alcohol, my two daughters Bella (4), and Allie (3), and I moved into my mother’s very tiny one bedroom apartment. My mother had told me that my girls could stay at her apartment but I would have to find another place to stay, I wasn’t welcome stay at her place. I spent most the time, staying in bars, sleeping over at friend’s houses, or anywhere I could find to lay my head.
One night I had awoke to a shocking surprise; I had found myself laying curled up along aside a dumpster in a dark dirty alley, downtown Kansas City. How I got there was beyond me the last thing I remembered I was partying with a bunch of friends in the town of Olathe Kansas, almost thirty minutes away. An alarm began to sound off in my head. How could I continue to live such a destructive life? Something had to change and I was the only one who could make that change and it had to happen now not later.
When I returned to my mother’s apartment she started to yelling and screaming. That last thing I wanted to do was to listen to her, this time I listened, because she said she would help my ex husband take my children away. I didn’t blame her one bit, but there was no way I would stand by and let anyone take my girls away from me, they were my life all I had left. So about this time I really started to wake up, to see what I was doing to my girls, my life, my family, and to myself. I was on a self destructive path to the bottomless bottom, where a way out might not have existed.
I received a phone call from my favorite aunt Claire. She had been talking to my mother, and knew what almost everything that was going on in my life. Claire talked me into moving out of state where she lived, to try to give myself and my girls a fresh start. She told me we could stay at her house until I could get on my feet again.
Clair was always a strong willed, outgoing, person with a huge heart. At the age of 49, she was a little on the heavy side, had beautiful reddish gray hair, and worked long hard hours waiting tables at the Holiday Inn. She had two daughters Dana (19), away at college, and Renee (17) in high school. She may as well raise the two girls on her own for see never got much support from her husband. Claire was always on the go, busy doing for others, working, or attending church. No matter how tired she was Claire never knew how to say no.
I felt bad moving into her already busy household, I didn’t want to become a burden to anyone, but I knew I could not do the fight alone. I was drowning and falling into a huge black hole. When it seemed as if no one cared, Claire reached out her soft gentle over worked hands and started to pull me out of the darkness that had become my life. She made room in her busy life for a 24 year old disturbed girl and two beautiful little angels. I know the noise and pressure of all the people in her house had to get to Claire, but it never seemed to stop her.
I was soon able to open up to Claire, which was a new experience to me, because for 14 years I locked everything inside, building a mountain so high no one could reach me. For the first time in my life someone actually heard everything I said. Claire sat and listened in an understanding way. I poured out 14 years of heartaches, hurt, and pain, into her lap. She would gently gather up the pieces of the mountain and little by little it started to crumble. Claire started to make suggestions of what I could do to change all the problems, and make choices that would change my life. I actually listened to someone’s advice; I knew that without her help and advice I couldn’t change my life.
Claire talked me into attending Alanon meetings with her, to help me cop with my mother’s alcoholism. Through the meetings I discovered I wasn’t alone, and I also found out what I was making my own children go through because of my own alcoholism. AA was the next step, to help me adjust my life and give me more facts on what to do to stop the madness. Claire also started me into reading the AA Big Book, and the Twelve Steps, which helped my success even more.
Claire was there with me every step of the way, to guide me, or just to give me moral support. The support was needed to through the hardest part of all, facing reality sober. Reality became a very frightening experience, I found myself wanting to use substitutes to forget, at the point in time it seemed easier. I had to face 14 years all at once, without Claire by my side I know I would not have ever made it through that part of the battle.
I know there is no way possible to ever repay Claire for her love, understanding, support, that she showed me during the darkness in my life, her strength to stand beside me and hold me up to pull me out of the darkness. I thank God that there are people in my life and in the world; I pray that there are more people out there like her. Claire saved my life and I owe her for that.
© 2011 by Jackie S. Gordon , aka Fireeyes24