I would have considered my life ordinary until age 13. Mom and Daddy divorced when I was around 5 and Mom remarried a man I would call Dad until they divorced 8 years later. No particular reason or problems my mom and both Dad’s would divorce over except incompatibility that I would know of.
At age 13 I started skipping school trying to fit in and fighting with fists when I didn’t. We’d moved to another state before her second divorce and I was the new kid so I attribute changes and a sense of not belonging to these new developments in my life. I never fought, at this point, to prove anything but to defend my sense of self that I seemed to have lost. I started smoking regularly and experimenting with pot and alcohol while Mom was striving to have a career while single-parenting. My sister and I, left to our teenage devices, took full advantage.
From a kids perspective I was doing what I felt I could get away with and from a _now adult_ I was just lost. A divorce, a new school, old friends left behind, a new state, a new culture, new accent… and teenage hormones coming into focus. I did not know who I was. I started drinking heavily. Mom met and eventually married Dad #3.
I was popping Dexatrim at age 11 and drinking screwdrivers as I practiced piano at age 10. This I attribute to coming home after school to both parents working. My sister and I, having no one around to direct us, pretended we were adults it seems. I wasn’t overweight and back then the images that bombard us today were not so prevalent. Where I got the idea to not eat and refuse food, I do not know, but that it did seem as if I was practicing autonomy over my body in some perverted way. I did have a violation that occurred when I was almost 5 and after much recovery, understanding that my body was violated and my voice went unheard, I see that refusing food was the one area I could exercise with complete authority. This thinking would eventually drive me to emaciation by way of eating-disorder.
During the summers, sister and I would sabbatical to Mimi’s. Mimi was our grandmother [R.I.P. July 2004] and she was our favorite. She drank too much and cooked too much and pushed food too much and had too much of a good time. I refused the food but adopted her carefree attitude. She was just like me. I was just like her. I am her namesake for Karma’s sake. It was bound to happen.
To speed things along, I was entered into an alcoholic rehabilitational facility at age 15 after being caught by my parents with alcohol poisoning for the umpteenth time. This particular time I went to a friend’s house, drank and forgot to come home until really late. They took me to the hospital and even today I can’t fully remember what the sequence of events were. Up until that point, I had a colorful drinking history. My Dad [#3] would find me naked and covered in puke he revealed to me after I got sober, and apparently he was the one who would cover me and shut my bedroom door. It would be when they went out, I’d drink the vodka and add water to the bottle. I was 13 and to get courage to be around people, I’d drink my Dad’s VO. To have this boyfriend my parent’s liked a lot at age 14, I’d drink VO. To ease my feelings of shyness and insecurity, I drank. And drank. And couldn’t stop.
After rehab, I tried to not drink and was successful for several months. I made straight A’s trying hard to be the perfect daughter. I did adopt anorexia and bulimia full on, to help me cope with this illusion of perfection, as well as a boyfriend - my first puppy love - who disallowed me to wear make up, who told me what to wear, called me names, choked me, kicked me, and terrorized me. Almost a year later, summoning the courage to finally end it after his suicide attempt and worsening physical and emotional abuse, I started drinking again and used alcohol as the courage I needed to end it.
Thinking a change was in order, I moved to another state to stay with Mimi where I would enter college. Mimi’s drinking and the demons from her past began to catch up with her in her retirement and I was the one who seemed to absorb it. I turned back to drinking and after a secretive drunken suicide attempt I would move onto campus. I would stay drunk more or less when not in class and overachieve while sober in order to hide my alcoholism. My last semester of college is when I would go to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting - knowing something needed to happen.
The Recovery & A New Journey
:: Samsara - The Recovery ::