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12-20-02

From Out Of The Wreckage

                                                                                                                                  

Lets start at the beginning of my story, I was the youngest of four boys, my dad left long before I was born, not to take his inventory, but I do think he was an alcoholic only from stories I have been told, not ever meeting the man I could not judge him myself, but I sure did have a very intense hatred of a man I never met. He was my best excuse to act the way I did. I thought I was always picked on because, I was the youngest and just knew all my brothers hated me and loved to see me cry, always in a state of anger towards almost everyone in my life At age nine I found a case of dandelion wine this was to be the magic cure all for everything in my life. I drank a couple of bottles felt good going down but boy coming back up it was hell I was sick for a week after drinking the wine, but deep inside me I liked the feeling it gave me, the sense of well being I felt, before I got sick, like nothing seemed to bother me. Was not long before I found out that beer gave me those same feeling and it did not make me as sick as the wine.

When I drank I learned how to control my emotions, never again would anyone make me cry, or see my hurt, never again would I show anyone the fear with-in me. If you hit me I would laugh at you, if you yell at me I would laugh at you, laughter was my mask for every thing, the only emotion I would ever show was total defiance of anyone who got into my face, I went through my adolescent years learning how not to show feelings, I was a terror in the city I lived in, I ran with a gang of misfits like myself, we caused a lot of damage in this city breaking into the country club many times, stealing all the booze and ransacking the place causing lots of damage to the property.

My attitude was simply; yes I was a liar and thief, if you did not like it tough, I would beat you up if you said anything to me. I turned into a monster, I held onto the hatred of my dad, it was feeding my ego after a few years of this tough guy crap I got my license to drive and we were off to the races drinking and driving feeling more powerful everyday the bunch of us got caught up in the gang mentality. When one of them got caught stealing he was arrested and told every thing we had been doing. The whole thing went before the grand jury and we were facing time. But even then God was there with me, the kid who first got caught was the son of the trustee of the country club, he told his dad he took the keys to get into the club, and had done so many other times, he also told him after we ransacked the club we would lock the doors, throw a brick thru the window, to make it look like we broke in, we did many other things breaking into places and stealing booze and other things, think you get the picture.

Well court time was upon us and the city fathers did not want to make an example anymore, because to many of there own kids were involved, they just did not want to see them locked up, but gang mentality time was over, we all had real first hand experiences on the thing called amends and restitution. I had to find a job to pay back for all the damage. Still I thought none of this really was caused by my drinking, just got bad breaks in the monster department, only learned if you steal it or break it you pay for it, I Had to surrender my license to the court then. Found a job and started to pay back the restitution and fines but continued to drink. The drinking picked up now, working I had money to buy the beer this is the point I learned, liquor really was quicker, had a great job new drinking friends, I joined a men’s club at 18 and was served at this club never forget the bartenders face on my 21st birthday when I told him I was now legal and did not need that phony ID anymore

Time just seem to fly by, work was great had learned a trade became a tool and die maker, was active in this club ran for president, and got the job, met my first wife in the club her step father was president before me, she came to the club a lot with them, she had a son who’s father was killed when he hit a tree coming to see her. We fell in love and we went everywhere together, was going to marry later on that year. But one day I went to a bowling tournament in another city with the club, got drunk blacked out when we got back into town I drove out to see her, I had some words with her step father so he thru me out, and I went speeding home.

A cop saw me speeding, turned on blue lights, and I thought I could out run him, well my gas pedal was frozen to the floor, when he caught me I put my car in reverse and almost backed into him, he called for back up and four cruisers came to his aid. They ordered me out of the car at gunpoint and when I open the door I slide out on my face to the ground. Thank God his back up were friends of mine from the club, they picked me up thru me in the back of there cruiser and rushed me off to booking. The rookie cop just wanted to bash my head in took quite a while for my friends to talk him out of it well all this blow by blow description was told to me by another club member, I was stopped right in front of his house and he said at first it scared him to see all the cops there but he busted out laughing when he saw who they stopped.

I did not see any humor in that, but then I was scared out of my mind when I woke up behind bars, did not know what I did or why I was there, you would think that would be enough to make anyone stop, but not me, I went to court, got a big write up on front page of newspaper, president of club arrested for DWI, sure made me feel like a slug, but not for one moment did I think it was my drinking that did this to me, if only her step father had listen to me instead of throwing me out of his house. Now thanks to him I had no licenses to drive, so as a good alkie I moved up the wedding, got married right away because she had to drive me all around, but was not long before I drove without the licenses. God watching over me again never got stopped, even had the nerve to ask a cop for directions in Boston half in the bag but he just gave me the directions I needed.

I thought we had a good marriage at first, but my drinking just got worst. I was never there for her, always working or going to the club, I adopted the boy, he became my son felt great to be his father, but was way to strict with him. Then we had a little girl when she was about four months old, my wife went to visit her mom in the next town over, she left the baby in the crib and thought I knew this, well when I got to her mothers she asked where’s the baby, like the smart ass I always was I said where ever you put her down, her jaw dropped she said I left her with you what the hells the matter with you. One scary ride home to our house thank God the baby never woke up and she was OK, one of the amends I made later on in recovery, even though she did not know I had left her, I needed to make that amends. Soon after we took the geographical cure packed up and moved from Massachusetts to California, took all our worldly goods and off we went. I do not remember a lot about the trip I was in a fog most of the way, only thing I remember was camping, out we had a pop-up camper, every morning I would look for the sun, head in that direction just knew we were going west, after a few beer I would get out the map to see what route we would take that day.

This was the beginning of the end for us, she just had enough of my crap, because of my skills as tool maker and machinist I always found great jobs, always was in demand, always left before I got fired, my reasons were always, better job, more money, well California did not last long my drinking just progressed, to the point I was drinking 8 oz. Glasses of 100 proof vodka and washing down 20 to 30 Mg of valium on a daily basis. My wife just wanted to go home I did not know at the time she wanted to go home to be near her friends and family when she told me to get out of her life, and never come back. Hard words to take she said she has not loved me for the past two years, has no respect for me, and boy she sure as hell was not taking me back out of pity. WOW! My life as I knew it just crashed down all around me, could not believe it was happening. She even waited till I got another job, driving a truck around town picking up electric motors to repair, good job started in morning, drank and popped valium most of the day, got back late at night boss never around.

After moving out and being on my own for a short time, I got real angry about how she took everything away from me. I decided to end it all, I started to travel down the road to the very tree my son’s father crashed into and died. I was going to do the same thing but only I wanted to die, over come with the rage in me, I would show her if I was going to die, it was going to hurt her, having me die in the same place. Again God entered my life, the pictures of my two kids flashed before me, I slammed on the brakes stopping just in time only put a dent in my bumper, but I sat there and cried for a while, then I remember the mental institution two towns over so I went there, banging on the door at three in the morning, I told the attendant, after I woke him up, I need help I just tried to kill myself, well his answer really ticked me off he said get lost you GD drunk, go bother some one else.

I started back home and was speeding down Rt. 2, a state cop pulled me over, I told him to arrest me I just tried to kill myself, he knew I was drunk, he did a strange thing, he told me to follow him to this rest area just down the road, when we got there he took my license and my keys, he said I want you to stay here till I get back. Now I had a big decision to make should I stay, or just go home, I had another set of key, but he also had my license, so I did stay, when he came back with coffee, he told me I didn’t want to die, I just didn’t know how to live. He said look at you, you’re drunk, and you don’t know how to stop. There’s a place you can go to for help, it’s a hospital in Ashburnham, they helps drunks change their lives around, and teach them how to live.

You know I called the place that morning, and guess what, they just had a bed opening up, was signing out the man as we were speaking, come right over. Wow! God again entering my life I went over and spent the next 30 days there drying out. First thing I got back was my anger towards my wife, and what she did to me, I called her, she came up to hospital to see me with the kids, I thought it was all going to be good now, she can see I am getting help, and I was going to change, only problem was by this time she was seeing another man. She told me how wonderful he was, how much she loved him, went right over my head, I just wanted her back and my world turn back to normal, like it ever was normal, guess you all know that was not to happen. Sure we took the kids on a picnic one Sunday, when I was still in hospital, we just talked about things, how the kids were doing, how they missed me. But her new love always came up in our talks, and boom this only brought out the resentments anger and rage, thank God I never hit her, but the words could have killed anyone.

When I got out of treatment, I still wanted everything back the way it was, sure I was still sick, but I did go to meetings everyday, I still had that job driving the truck, I was still hurting a lot did not want God in my life. Took about 6 months to realize that God had always been there for me, it was not His will that we got back together, and I had to move on with my life. One night at the end of a meeting, when we said the our father, WOW a light bulb went off in my head, all these years saying I did not have a father, now it dawned on me I really did have a father, God was my father, He never left me, I left Him, that night was a spiritual awakening, an awareness that I did have a father who had always loved me.

I started to really look at the steps, I also wanted to learn about this new God of my understanding, even went as far as reading the New Testament in the bible, started to go to a church, but never fell at home there, my spiritually was coming from the halls of AA down stairs in the basements of churches. The time came for me to ask God with, all the humility I could find, to take the desire to drink away, take the demons, or whatever it was away from me, I was staying at my moms and sleeping on a hide bed sofa, after asking God to remove these things, I fell asleep only to be awakened by what I thought were rat like creatures trying to eat their way into my body, I remember throwing them at the wall of my moms living room, felt the fear pounding away in my heart, then I fell back into a deep sleep.

When this happened I was 6 Mo. Sober, I tell you the peace and serenity I felt at that time, was like I was transported into another world of absolute Love, I slept for 36 hours straight, on that hide a bed with the metal bar in the center, my Mother checked on me to see if I was still alive, because in all that time I never moved. I felt like a new man when I woke up, I had the feeling of total serenity, the peace and serenity I fell that night was perfect unconditional love from God. Like He had come down and picked me up holding me in his arms. When I got up I had the feeling that everything in my new world was going to be all right. I had just had a spiritual experience, like the white light one Bill W had, I know I felt Gods presents that morning, He has been with me till this day. I have not had the desire to drink again, and I began a new life free from that bondage of myself. Even after all that, I have at times, still doubted there was a God in my life. I could not hear what He was saying, when I was listening with a closed mind, filled with self-pity, hopelessness, and despair. So I knew I needed to be vigilant about the action I was taken each day, to be better able to hear Him. He has so many ways to communicate with us, I need to have an open channel to listen to His message.

Well thinks started to get better real fast after that night, did not get my wife back, but did get the love and respect of my two children, I started to see them a lot. I took my son on Tuesday, and my daughter on Thursday, and every other weekend I had them both, was the best time in my life, sharing the new hope I had with them, given them the love they never got when I was drinking, going camping with them, laying out under the stars, talking about my new found God, of Love and understanding, was quality time at its very best, and to think I almost died, before I learned how to live and love them.

Well as time went on God thought it was time for me to move into my own place, so I moved to the south side of the city, I found a wonderful 3 room apartment completely furnished, a playground right across the street from it. I know it was Gods doing. Because this is when I met my angel, God knew I needed someone in my life to help me share all the wonderful things, He was going to put in front of me. Fourteen months sober, now on my own feeling the loneliness, at night, wanting more from life. Here God put this angel into my life. When I first met Sandy we both were at a treatment center, she went her way after treatment, I went my way, but we did see each other at the meetings, it was good to see her growing and walking thru the pain of her recovery. God knew she lived just up the street from me.

We met at the playground one afternoon, I had my kids with me, she came down with her kids, Sandy and I just sat there watching the kids, talking about how much our lives were changing, I invited her down for coffee almost every time I saw her, but she never seemed to come for coffee. So one day I asked her to dinner at my place. She accepted!And she did come down for dinner that night, It had been a long time since either of us had dated, and we really did not think of this night as a date, just two friends having dinner together. We talked for some time about how many things we had in common, how we both wanted the same things in life, we had shared our feelings, of being hurt, of our guilt, remorse, shame, anger, and despair, all the feelings that put us in our own personal little hells, we had shared so many feelings about each other, because of where we met, and how we wanted to change our lives around. We were like a couple of school kids; I walked her home and kissed her good night.

My feelings about God came from my awareness, of His presents in my life, and the love He has given me, to share with my angel Sandy. God brought her into my life one of His most precious gifts to me to love and share everything together; our feelings are the most important things we share with each other. Six months later we got married, another one of those things I said I would never do again, but we just fell in love. Sandy always says she fell in love with my daughter first because my daughter was always sitting on her lap at the meetings,

In our marriage we had the problems of our pasts, It was not an easy thing in the beginning, after all we both had kids to think about, they had some damage done to them, so as a family, we had a lot of baggage to work thru with the kids, as well as with ourselves. We try hard to not take each others inventories, but instead try to share our feeling towards each other and how we raise our children, I never thought of them as her kids, and my kids, but always thought of them all as our kids. We had many problems through out our lives raising the kids, physical problem, and many other problems, but that’s another whole story.

Twenty seven years later we are still on our honeymoon, and its been the best thing that has ever happen to me, we had a lot of baggage to work on, but together we raise Sandy’s four children, and had my two every weekend for many years, till they all grew up and went out on their own, life was very difficult many times on our path thru life but we met the challenges as they appeared. When I look back on it all now, I know when Sandy and I were in treatment God had a plan for us, I think when God picked-up the broken pieces of my life He had a big broom, when He swept the floor, the broken pieces of Sandy’s life were mixed in with the broken pieces of my life, instead of sorting out the millions of pieces, He just ground them all up and made one big piece of clay, cut it in half and molded two people from it, Sandy and Al. I like what God made, out of all the broken pieces of us, He took a lot of junk, a lot of broken pieces, and created two warm and gentle images of Himself, what we did with them, was up to us, for today we are one person in two bodies, we don't have to suffer any more for yesterdays mistakes today is the first day of the rest of are lives.

             

Thanks for taken the time to read my story 

God bless you

Al M / LT25                                                                                                 Page written and designed by LT25