I have been on my own since I was 15. I was addicted to drugs for ten years plus, I got clean in 1985. I have been married and divorced three times. Today I live with a man who is an active alcoholic. I consider myself a work in progress, as I am always learning from my mistakes and my wins. I struggle on a daily basis with acceptance, patience, love, and understanding that shit really does happen.  I had been in intense therapy for many years, then became a counselor to hopefully help others in this journey called life. I have shared my life experiences with those I counsel, and I'm not sure who benefits more, me or them. 

I married when I was 20. I later discovered he was a kingpin in the drug world; hence my addiction became stronger, and I became more addicted. It wasn't long until he began to beat me for stupid shit - soon I was being beat on a daily basis. I remember one time the bars had closed, and we stopped at a 7-11 for him to get more beer. They wouldn't sell it to him since it was after 2 am - he laid a $50 bill on the counter and told the guy to go fuck himself, he's taking the beer. He didn't drink that 6 pack, instead he broke every bottle on me. He was pissed because he lost a "customer", so naturally it was my fault. The one that really sticks out in my mind the most is this one - we had been to the racetrack, and he lost a ton of money on the horses. As we were driving up the road he began to beat me. We were in a single cab pickup truck, I got myself turned around so my back was against the door. He wore glasses, and I knew if I could get his glasses off his face, he would have to stop the truck and I could "fall" out. I began kicking at his face and eventually succeeded in knocking his glasses to the floor of the truck. I opened the door and fell out and took off running. There was a long driveway lined with trees and a cornfield. I hid in the cornfield for several hours (which seemed liked days). I could hear his truck going up and down the road. It was about midnight until I finally made my way to the road. Every time a vehicle would go by, I would hit the ditch next to the road, hoping and praying it wasn't him. I heard a vehicle stop. I freaked out - two young guys got out of the truck and told me they were there to help me, please don't run. They put me in their truck and took me to a phone booth where I called my good friend to come and pick me up. They waited for him to get there. When Al arrived, they left, I never saw them again - how'd they know, where did they come from?? Angels sent from heaven?? To this day that's the only answer I have. Anyway, I lived in fear of my life for seven years married to that man. Every year for five of those years I would go talk to an attorney to start divorce proceedings but never went through with it. At one point he had me convinced that I was crazy. I went to see a shrink and he put me on lithium for manic depression. However, he told me he didn't believe I was manic depressive, and later found out the medication helped me come around and see what was actually happening in my life. It helped me see the dysfunction, and the abuse more clearly. My best friend used to get me drunk on tequila when we had parties because he knew if he got me drunk, I would get sick, and he would sit with me and take care of me, not allowing my husband to be near me. I laugh at the thought of that today - tequila and Al saved my life. Why did I stay? I feared my life, I knew that if I left, I would die. My friends all knew that too, the same guy who would get me drunk sat at my kitchen table one day and handed me an address in Oklahoma and $1500. He said to me: if your gonna leave your gonna have to leave town, because you know he will kill you." I told him if I'm gonna die when I leave then I'm gonna die cause I'm leavin. - then I left in 1989, I'm still here, alive and well.

I remarried in 1992. I knew I made a mistake the day after I said, "I DO". This man was mentally and emotionally abusive. I used to tell him I'd rather be beat everyday only because I knew physical wounds would heal. It was a rebound marriage, mainly for security. He was 20 years older than me but seemed to be attentive and loving before the marriage. Boy was I wrong. During this marriage I hit bottom mentally. I sat on the edge of our bed one day playing Russian roulette with my S&W 357 revolver. I made it through four rounds and the phone rang. The voice on the answering machine was my newfound friend, Bonnie. I wasn't going to answer it, but I listened. She was screaming for me on the machine saying, "something told her I was in a bad place and that she needed to call to make sure I was OK - I know you are there you need to pick up!". (I'm sitting here crying as I write this) - I called her back a short time later, I didn't tell her until years later that she saved my life that day. I was married on paper to this man for four years but left him three months after our wedding day. I wanted an annulment, but couldn't get it, and he wouldn't sign divorce papers. During these four years he would continue to buy me things to try and win me back, he would leave things at my parents' house for me, send flowers to my job, etc. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Then one day my attorney called me and told me he walked into her office, signed the papers and left. I remember just standing there in disbelief. I was free, free to go on with my life - finally.............

I began therapy before I left the first husband, somewhere around 1985ish. In 92 I finally found a therapist that worked for me and I stayed with him until he retired in 2008. He talked me into becoming a therapist and do it on my own, so I opened and office and worked part-time in the evening two nights a week. Meanwhile, I began my journey working with horses again, something I had given up when I was kicked out at 15. I started my own training business, and met a man on a trail ride, who became my last husband. We married in 98. Things were good for the first years (other than dealing with his ex-wife) he had twins he had custody of. It was always a battle with a broken family and rules at my house vs no rules at mom's house. I used to tell the kids the rules didn't change here just because you spent the weekend at your mother's house. I worked at the hospital as a nurse, trained horses at night to be able to keep my own and ran a therapeutic riding facility with my neighbor. After the first year of marriage his family cut me off. I didn't do as they said or as they expected me to, so I was trashed. Long story short - it was 18 years before they spoke to me again, it was at that time when I began looking for an apartment and was ready to leave. He never stood up for me, he allowed his family to treat me like shit. That's when I told them when they walk in my shoes and pay my bills then they can tell me what to do, but until that happens, they could kiss my ass, because I am nobody's puppet. I made a life for myself, I did my horse thing, worked three jobs until I had enough money saved to get out. I left him the farm, I took only what I needed, my clothes, my truck and trailer, and my horses. I didn't want a nasty divorce, I only wanted out. I was accused of having an affair, and the night of November 30th, 2017 - my husband came home from work and tried to force me to have sex with him. I ran to the safe and grabbed my pistol and threatened to shoot him or me while on the phone with the state police.  I was taken by the state police to the hospital and 302'd, however, no charges were pressed and after I was processed the doctor's all agreed that I was the victim of a bad situation and was released to move into the apartment. My lease began December 1st.  It wasn't easy on my own, I sat in my apartment and crawled into either a bottle of Jameson or a bottle of Captain Morgan for the first six months. Then one day I woke up on the porch, sick. I had had enough; I gave up the liquor and began my journey of taking care of me again. I started back in counseling for myself, how could I help others if I couldn't help me?? 

For the next 2 years I did just that, took care of me!!  Opened up my counseling office again, picked up the guitar and started playing - my therapy!  

Just before COVID I ran into an old high school sweetheart at a Charlie Daniels Band concert. I fell in love with the "high school boy" I knew back in 78. I had no idea he was an alcoholic until I moved in with him in March of 2020. I lost my job and my apartment, and I needed a place to live. It has been a long hard road here, and we have had many issues. I deal with his addiction every day, I take care of me, it seems to work and cause less conflict. Trust me it's not an ideal situation, for now I am making it work.

My mom was diagnosed with dementia, which was very stressful. I took care of her for 7 years until she passed in 2021. At one point I had to relinquish my duties of taking care of her due to the hatred she had for me. She would tell me on many occasions she wished she never had me. The situation became very toxic for me and my wellbeing. I did not want to crawl back in a bottle of Jameson or Titos. Settling her estate then became a challenge, with many court petitions and several court appearances, I became attorney poor. I had to have my brother evicted from the house in order to sell the house, which took two and a half years, then he passed in January of this year and now I have his shit to deal with.

The stories I could tell are endless. Some would have a hard time listening to them and for that matter believing I made it through. In my next life I hope to write a book, I just don't know where to start. When I sit down and take the time, I will make it happen.

The last several years I have lived in turmoil, I have come to the decision this is my 100th year - the phoenix has crashed and burned. Therefore, becoming a beautiful disaster.

I realized I am tired of being taken advantage of, I'm tired of being lied to, and I'm tired of living with abuse of any kind. I'm tired of dealing with an inconsiderate alcoholic. It's time to get back to me, I make the best of where I am currently and hope to remedy that sometime in the near future. The prices of apartments/houses are just out of my realm right now, and I pray every day that God will provide for me, and I trust Him to do so.  

I have recently taken a new job, with the hopes that I can retire in 4 years. I settled my mother's estate in 2023, I make short term goals, with a 5-year plan. I have learned to play the guitar - and I spend a lot of time walking the earth. I hunt and fish, so I get to spend a lot of hours alone, in the woods, or in a stream - with mother nature and all her beauty.

Since I am new to BD, the collection that sticks out to me is the Fire and Ice collection. Dreamcatcher really resonates with me, as well.  It all hits home because somedays it just seems like I can't do anything "right". I have been broken, put back together, and I continue to pick up the pieces.

I am a Beautiful Disaster!!!! 


Samantha Winburn Messersmith said:

You are strong & resilient! You are a Beautiful Disaster

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June 23, 2024