May 10, 2010

My Life As Told by Me 20 Years Ago

Written by Andrea Tadpole
in 1990 for the Catholic Diocese in Tulsa, OK
Part of Application to become Catholic and have first marriage annulled

I ran across this the other day tucked inside a book. I wanted to add it to my blog for my kids. I was 27 years old when I wrote it. While the events are true, I have changed some of my opinions since then. I think time brings clarity. So, if you read this, please do not be offended by it. It is what it is and where I was at emotionally at that time. ~Andrea~

Before I begin, I would like to state that I have been working on this for months and months. This has not been an easy job for me. I have written, cried, torn up paper, and written some more. When I began this self appraisal, I asked God to help me to be honest and to not blame or judge. I sincerely hope that I have included all the pertinent information you need. So.... here goes!!

My father is one-fourth Cherokee Indian and Irish. My mother is Black Dutch and German. Both of my parents went to college and acquired marketable trades. My father was an electrician for a local railroad until about five or six years ago. He was injured on the job and subsequently partially handicapped; therefore he could no longer do his job. He is currently attending Tulsa Junior College and majoring in their Associate Degree Registered Nursing program. My mother was a housewife until I was in fifth grade. At that time she attended college and became a Registered Nurse. Economically we were in the middle to upper middle class.

I am the oldest of three children. I was born December 10, 1962. My sister was next in June, 1966; and then my brother in February, 1970. My sister and I shared a bedroom all of our childhood years, yet I never really knew her. We fought a lot as children. At times in our adolescence we had no one but each other to lean on. Somehow, though we are still not real close today. When she was born I can remember having deep feelings of resentment and jealousy toward her for taking part of my dad's attention away from me. My brother was my real live baby. I was like a little mother to him. I protected him and loved him. As we both grew older though, our paths have drifted apart and we are not real close. Overall I felt extremely responsible for my brother and sister. More like their parent than a sibling. After all I was the oldest and I was in charge when mom and dad weren't home; of course I made sure they knew it, too!

My parents were both Christians and when they attended church they usually went to Assemblies of God or Pentecost. Because of their work schedule neither of them were able to be regular members of a church for any length of time. My parents did however teach me and my siblings about Christ, Salvation, and the other fundamentals of living a good Christian life. I believe that both of my parents did the very best they could to live a good Christian life. They were always there to help someone in need. Like most human beings they have from time to time fallen short, but they always seem to get back up and try again.

Looking back, as a child I remember my mother as being tender, loving, and always there. Sometimes she didn't do things the way "I" thought they should be done, but I know that she loved me. I believe that my mother always did what she thought was right. She instilled in me the morals and values I have today. She taught about God, not by what she said but how she lived. I remember many nights I would listen to her praying in the living room after we were all in bed. She always read stories from the Bible to us; and she would tell us never to turn away from God. She said He would be there when no one else would. My mother was always fiercely independent. She stayed home long enough to get all of us in school all day and then she attended college and became a Registered Nurse. I must say, she has built a reputable career for herself. She is highly esteemed by all she works with. If there was any flaw in my mother's character it would be that she "puts up" with too much. There have been too many times that she has allowed my father to treat her like dirt under his feet. I have to admit though, in the past few years she has started working on that, and has made great progress.

My father is the one that I find it difficult to write about. I believe that he has done the very best he could with what he had; he just doesn't have the ability to give much. On one hand he can be dashing and charming -- everybody's friend. On the other hand, he can be vindictive, and cold-hearted. I think he really tries to do the right thing and treat people nice, but sometimes he just doesn't know how. It is hard for me to describe my dad's personality. It's kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At times he's great fun to be around; at others no one dares to darken his doorstep. I have never understood this, maybe it’s not for me to understand; just accept.

My parent's relationship went in cycles, according to dad's moods. All would go fine for a while; then dad would blow up and they would fight for a day or two. Then everything would be okay for a while again. At times, if my dad got too irate, my mom would take us kids and herself to her mother's for the night, only to return the next day. They went through a period of about two and a half years that one week they were getting divorced and one would move out; the next they would be all lovey-dovey again. You can imagine what this did to us kids. We were fifteen, twelve, and eight when it all started.

My parents and I got along reasonably well until I was thirteen. On my thirteenth birthday my dad informed me that he would do whatever he had to do to make me mind. He told me if I couldn't tow the line I would be kicked out. At that moment, I don't know if I set myself up to fail, or if puberty set in or what. That's a point in my life that I still don't understand. For a while I tried to be perfect, but I always seemed to mess up and get punished. Then I turned totally defiant and rebellious. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. Usually I wanted whatever my parents had said no to and did it at three in the morning. From age thirteen until I left home at sixteen my parents and I were at war. That was one of the most miserable times in my life.

My mother showed affection more than my father. She would sing us to sleep at night; even when I was older. She always tucked us in, and she tried to make each of us feel that we were special. I was never afraid to wake her at night if I had a bad dream; she would always hold me close and tell me it was okay. My dad didn't show much physical affection. He would show materialistic affection. He'd buy me clothes, or hair clips, or shoes. Things like that. Once in a while we would horseplay.

My father was the main disciplinarian in our family. Mom would store up everything we did wrong all day, and yell and threaten us with dad. Dad in turn would line us all up and spank us with the belt when he got home.

Anger was chiefly expressed thru yelling, screaming and physical and emotional abuse. After I turned thirteen and I received my "I am Hitler you must obey" speech from my dad he began to beat me on a regular basis. This is something that as a very young teen I could not understand. My father had always been strict and knew how to swing a belt; but now he was abusive. There is a difference. Family life for me was to get home from school and walk on eggshells till I figured out what kind of mood he was in. I could tell within the first five minutes he was home from work whether I was going to get beat or not. If he had a bad day at work and I looked at him the wrong way I would get knocked across the room. If he was in a good mood, who knows? He might give me cash, or buy me presents (to make up for the last time he beat me). Many times it seemed as though he was in a "blind rage".

A few years ago my mother and I confronted him about his abusiveness to me. He denied ever having done what he did. I have come to look at him as a sick person. He's not a monster to me anymore. He's a man who's sick and doesn't see it. I do love my dad and I know he did the best he could. I would like to add that in the past few years my relationship with my dad has improved greatly. I have learned to get up and go home when my dad gets in one of "those moods". We have both made our amends to each other for past wrongs and we enjoy a close relationship today.

My parents did have the period of marital problems I spoke of previously, but they somehow got thru them and have been married almost twenty-nine years. I attended Tulsa Public Schools until twelfth grade. I dropped out of school the second day of class my senior year. I was on the Dean's Honor Roll up until seventh or eighth grade. My grades gradually declined from there. Alcohol, drugs, and boys became definitely more important than school.

I somehow managed not to get in trouble until eleventh grade. I was transferred to another school at the vice-principal's request. I was caught skipping class several times. I was skipping class more than I attended and they felt that they could no longer be of any help to me.

I was always a lone wolf. I ran in a pack; but I never really got to know anyone. I just wanted their drugs. I usually ran with kids much older than me. By the time I was fifteen I ran with people over twenty-one. They could get into liquor stores and could usually get me into bars without an I.D. They also knew who and where the best drugs were. I learned a lot about the drug world just by watching them and playing follow the leader.

I got along with most of my teachers. A few of them even "tucked me under their wing" and tried to help me. They would tell me I was smart and pretty. They would tell me that I could do better than I was doing, if I only believed in myself. They tried to reach me, but I was too far gone. I know, looking back, that they planted a seed. Years later when things got real bad I would remember the things those people told me. Sometimes that's the only thing that would give me hope.

I used to say that my childhood was terrifying, but that's not altogether true. Yes, some things happened to me that I had no control over and they hurt me. Those memories are terrifying and I still grieve over them today from time to time. What I failed to realize is that I have a lot of good memories. God put people in my life to love me, when my parents weren't able to be there. We did have some fun from time to time as a family; so I can't honestly say that it was all bad. I have come to realize that life is not fair, nor is it perfect. Today, I take the good with the bad. I have learned to use my past to make a better today for me and my family.

As a child I was in excellent health. As my drinking and drugging escalated my health deteriorated. I did not get any deadly diseases. What I mean is that I would get more colds and the flu more often. My eating habits were poor; therefore I did not get many nutrients, therefore more colds, flu, that sort of stuff.

A rough estimate of the number of jobs I had from fourteen to twenty-one would be fourteen. I worked mainly to support my drug and alcohol use. I would get to a point that I could no longer work and do the amount of alcohol and drugs I was doing at the same time. Each time I would get to this point I would quit just before I'd get fired. I mostly worked at fast foods or cashier somewhere. Once, I was a waitress.

From twenty-one to twenty-two I was a housewife/fulltime drunk. At twenty-three, I gained employment at a local hospital and worked there until I started college in January 1988.

In attempting to describe my own religious beliefs before and during my first marriage, one word comes to mind.....agnostic. By agnostic I mean, someone who believes in God, but doesn't act like it. I always believed that God was watching and keeping score. I believed that He was "gonna get me" for all the bad things I had done and I had a list a mile long.

To give you a little insight on who I was growing up; I started drinking at the age of ten and by the time I was fifteen I was a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. Keeping this in mind; God was "inconvenient" for me. I could not do the things I was doing and serve God too. He was used as a "bush-league pinch hitter". I only called on Him in extreme emergencies. Then I would plead and beg and bargain with Him. I would make all kinds of promises which I usually never lived up to. I was afraid to get to know God because He would either "zap" me or make me be a "nice girl". Of course, I knew that "nice girls" got nowhere in life and that wasn't for me.

At one point, about two years before my first husband and I divorced I did try to do right. My children and I attended church regularly for almost a year. I quit drinking and drugging, and I even quit smoking cigarettes. I believe in that year that I did find a warm and loving God, but He did things way too slow. I was looking for a "quick-fix"; just like drugs had been for me. I was still in a lot of emotional and mental turmoil and it wasn't getting any better at home. My husband was still drinking and using drugs. Because of all this I chose to start drinking and drugging again. I remember the day I did it too. I looked up in the sky and told God to leave me alone; I didn't want His help anymore. I felt the gates of hell slam shut on me. From that point on, it got real bad, real fast. I lost all respect for myself and everyone in my life. I was unfaithful to my husband, and got involved with some sickening stuff. My marriage ended in divorce, my family turned against me, I was totally emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. I did not make any attempt to have a relationship with God until I faced losing my children.

I checked myself into treatment in July, 1986. I knew that my only hope was God, and I had to do it on His terms not mine. Today, I am a totally different person; it's like night and day. As far as my religious practices, I attend mass on Sundays, regularly at St. Pius X Church. I am going to attend RCIA this year and convert to the Catholic faith. Spiritually, I have a one on one, personal relationship with God. I found God again thru working the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had a spiritual experience which changed my life. I have been sober and drug free since July 5, 1986.

I don't have any set "definition" of who or what God is. I have thought at times that I did. I have gone to great lengths in my own, personal life to figure out who God is. I have tried to "find" God. I have read books on many different religions and my search has always led me back to Christ. The only thing that I am sure of is that God-Christ-the Holy Spirit is more powerful than my disease of alcoholism and addiction, all forgiving, and He loves me. I believe that God is a gentleman and He won't help me if I don't let Him. I also believe that

God loves me so much that if I choose to die in the clutches of alcoholism and addiction He won't stop me. I had to come to a point where I wanted His help enough to ask Him for it without reservations. Today... I choose to live. Today I ask for God's help in all things -- I know where my own self-will has gotten me. Today, I pray and meditate; I commune with Him. He's the one that keeps me sober; of myself I am nothing.

Before I married my first husband I was predominantly angry, vengeful, and spiteful. Oh, if you had something that I wanted I could be sweet as honey in order to get it; but I was always looking for ways to use you. The one thing that would bring out a strong emotional response in me would be if someone drank all my booze or used all my drugs. I remember one time I had been working hard all day. All I had thought about was some whiskey and pot I had stashed. I couldn't wait to get home and get messed up, so I wouldn't have to deal with Cobey. When I got there, Cobey had used it all up. I freaked out and started cursing and throwing things. I felt most out of control when my ex-husband would be out bar-hopping without me. He was known for infidelity. I spent many nights and days not doing anything but staring out the window and crying into my whiskey hysterically. Wanting to kill him, yet just wanting him to come home.

I have not been physically violent to anyone. I tend to take my anger out on inanimate objects. I have been known to be quite mouthy in the past. Also, before and during my first marriage I was fearful of everything if I was sober. I would be paranoid and anti-social, yet I couldn't stand to be alone. I tended to stay under the influence of one chemical or another most of my marriage.

My general health overall today, is excellent. I am not under a lot of stress, so physically I'm doing okay. I am happy and content and my life is at peace most of the time. I work out at a gym and am attempting to maintain a fitness program today.

As I have stated previously, I did abuse alcohol and drugs heavily from the age of fifteen to twenty-three. The only thing I did not do was use intravenous drugs. I believe that God spared me from that. I probably would have shot up if I had continued to use drugs. My main drugs of choice were alcohol, speed, and marijuana. I tried whatever the person I was with at the time was using, but I preferred those three drugs to all the rest.

I went thru treatment at a local hospital for alcoholism and drug addiction from July 7, 1986 to August 7, 1986. I was in an inpatient program. I have followed up with an active program in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. I recently celebrated my fourth birthday clean and sober! I never thought that I could have peace and serenity and be clean and sober at the same time. It's amazing to me how much God will do if I just ask Him and am willing to take action.

As a teenager, dates to me were just a way to get high. I would find the guy in school who had the best dope and do whatever I had to do get it. My reputation when I was a teenager was that I was easy. I used to feel guilty and ashamed of that, and I still do at times. I do realize that I did what I had to do at the time to survive. I know God has forgiven me and I have too.

During my first marriage, I was true to my husband, Cobey, until after the birth of my daughter. Cobey had been unfaithful to me on numerous occasions and I played revenge. Eventually, the guilt of my infidelities is part of what drove me away. Also, our common bond ^drugs- was weakening. We did not communicate at all and our marriage disintegrated.

After I got sober, during my first year I learned thru a lot of emotional pain, that I had sex all mixed up with love. I realized after several one night stands that I had learned somewhere along the line that if a man "loved" me he'd have sex with me. If he didn't have sex with me I would walk away totally devastated. I then went celibate for a while and began to work on Andrea and my self-esteem. I learned that I did not have to have sex to be okay. I'm okay because I know who I am, where I've been, and what I want to be. I learned that I do have values and some things are definitely not right for me. As you have probably gathered I am heterosexual.

My general reputation today, I believe, is good. I was involved in volunteer work at the school my children attended last year. I have just started attending St. Pius X and hope to get more involved as I grow in the church. I am definitely involved in work with other alcoholics and addicts as the opportunities present themselves. For the most part, I am doing what I feel is my most important job, right now, raising my children.

I feel I have come a long way in four years. I am a responsible, productive, member of society today.

Before, during, and after my first marriage I exercised poor judgment in everything I did, simply because I was messed up all the time. I have used money that should have been spent for bills or food to buy dope and booze with. I have gone off and left my kids with family members for days at a time due to alcoholic black-outs. The list goes on and on.

Since I have been sober I have found that I really do have good judgment skills. When I'm not sure about something I pray, talk to my A.A. sponsor, and wait and listen. The answers come. That's not to say that I don't ever feel doubtful about myself. Sometimes there is uncertainty, that's where faith comes in. I hang on to God, and know that no matter how I'm feeling, He's working everything out for the good.

Today when someone points out a fault or criticizes me I usually bull up inside. Then after a day or two I usually realize that, that person was right and they love me or they wouldn't bother to tell me. Sure it smarts when someone points out my imperfection. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. Sometimes I even get mad and tell them I don't like what they said. They are usually right though, because they see me better than I see myself. Thank God, I don't have to be perfect today.

Before my first marriage I was selfish in the extremes. I felt as if the whole world should revolve around me. When it didn't I tried to make everyone around me miserable. Probably, everyone who came in contact with me thought I was selfish and self-centered. I was definitely envious and jealous of others good fortune and I felt the world owed me.

Before and during my first marriage I had a reputation as a back-stabber, a thief, and a liar. My parents and friends would hide their valuables before I came over and they never believed a word I said. Today, and since I've been sober, I do my very best to be honest and fair. I have not found it necessary to steal or cheat. I have caught myself telling ""white lies". You know... exaggerating a story- something trivial and meaningless. I have always ended up making amends to the person it was told to and telling the truth. In the past year or so I have made great progress in this area.

I was arrested during my first marriage for public drunk and spent the night in jail. I also had a wreck once and got a couple of speeding tickets. Before I got sober I was either morbidly wallowing around in the past or fantasizing about the future; therefore I lost many, many todays. Since I have been sober I have learned not to regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. I have learned that it is okay to plan for the future; just don't carve it in stone. Be flexible. The main thing I have learned to do is enjoy this sacred moment. I will never have another just like it. I definitely stay sober one day at a time. For the most part I don't get caught up in worry anymore. I know from past experience that God supplies exactly what I need, Right when I need it. Worry does no good it just steals my todays away.

The mere fact that I have written all of this is an example of following thru with plans. I intend to get an annulment, convert to the Catholic Church, and have a Catholic wedding with my current husband, Mike. It's what feels right in my heart, but it's kind of a token of my love for him, too.

I did not know the meaning of financial responsibility until I got sober. I robbed from Peter to pay Paul and then didn't pay either. Due to my divorce and the fact that my ex-husband and I did not pay the bills I filed for bankruptcy in October, 1986. I am not proud of this, but that was my first step in being responsible. For once I looked my creditors in the eye and told them the truth. Since then I have not run up unnecessary bills. My children have food to eat, a nice place to live, clothes to wear, and shoes for their feet.

Since my current husband and I have been married, he does the finances. We discuss what action to take, but he primarily does the money. I am in charge of groceries and household items. We have a budget worked out and let each other know of any unexpected expenses. We are even able to set some aside for savings. Now, for me that's progress!

My stability and maturity has definitely increased since my divorce. I got to a point in my first marriage that I could not stand Cobey. I thought that if I got rid of him I would quit doing the things I was doing. Of course I didn't and things got worse and worse. I was faced with the undeniable fact that I was the problem. Yes, I got married for all the wrong reasons and our marriage was sick from the word go; but I had a part to play in it. If I was ever going to be able to have a true healthy relationship with another man I was going to have to work on me. So, eventually I got sober and found out to my amazement that it was time for me to grow up.

The struggle for emotional and mental maturity has not been easy and it still isn't. Here I was twenty-three years old, I had two children, and I was scared to death and alone. At first just figuring out what to cook for dinner was a major decision. "Everyday" stuff would hang me up. I'd call my sponsor crying and she'd talk me thru it. I have found maturity and stability thru self appraisal. I have written pages and pages about me; how I feel, what I've been thru, who I think I am. The one thing I have learned is that I am here by the grace of God. I should have died many times and he saved me. Any maturity I have comes from Him.

Today I know who I am. Today I can live life on life's terms. Today life's terms aren't easy. My mother was recently diagnosed with cancer. I don't like that; it makes me angry and afraid. The difference is that I know God didn't do it to her. I know that I don't have to get high or drunk to get thru this. I just have to trust God. I don't know if I've told you if I'm mature and stable. I feel like I am. I'm a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a recovering alcoholic and addict, an aunt, a Catholic— I could not be these things if I did not get stability and maturity from God.

During my first marriage I made feeble attempts to make things okay. I went to a counseling session or two, but never really committed to anything. After I got about a year sober my kids were still bouncing off walls. I went to family counseling with them and found out that I needed to make a commitment to them, do or die, in my heart. It took about three months of weekly sessions to figure this out. Eventually I did make the commitment in my heart. Since then my children are well behaved and generally at peace, because mom's not a wreck inside anymore trying to figure out whether to keep them or not. I finally made the bond with them that I wasn't capable of making at their births.

You want to know about my ex-husband, Cobey. The truth is I don't know anything about him. We never talked unless we were drunk and then we fought. I know he came from a large family of ten kids. I never really took the time to get to know them. I was too busy getting high. I know that Cobey was part Cherokee Indian and extremely violent when drunk. He had very little education. He was in some kind of trouble with the law when I met him. I don't know what for. When we were married he was in and out of jobs. I have not heard from him in a year and a half. The kids haven't seen him in two years. I have no idea where he is. The last thing he said to me was that as far as he was concerned his children were dead.

Cobey and I met at a skating rink one night. We got drunk and high together and I moved in the next day. I was sixteen and living in my car- He had good dope and booze. I needed a place to stay. Cobey and I got along okay together as long as we were drunk or high. We never really talked much. We'd get high and have sex. Neither of us knew how to communicate any other way.

Cobey and I lived together about six to nine months before we got married. He did seem to be a bit violent at times, but I dismissed it. I couldn't go home and I didn't want to run the streets anymore; so I stayed. We would get in loud arguments when we both got drunk; which was most of the time. For some reason we stayed together. The only thing we had in common was that we both did drugs and drank. The night Cobey and I decided to get married we discussed it. Funds for dope were running low. My dad had mentioned more than once that he would help us out financially if we got married (of course he did not know we were buying dope). I mentioned this to Cobey and we agreed to get married. Shortly after this I discovered I was pregnant.

My soul reason for wanting to get married was to get money to buy dope. Cobey always bought good dope and I didn't want to live at home with my family. I know that I did not love Cobey. He was just "convenient" for me. Cobey's parents didn't care if he got married or not. They thought that maybe he would settle down now. My parents weren't too happy, but figured it was better than being on the streets. So, we were married on November 15, 1980.

I know for myself, I was seventeen years old when we were married. I do not believe that any normal seventeen year old is ready for marriage; much less a seventeen year old alcoholic and addict. I had no idea what I was getting into. When I was walking down the aisle everything inside me told me not to do it. I convinced myself it would be okay, because he got good dope and I could stay messed up all the time if I wanted to. I was under the influence of a chemical during the wedding, also. I took some speed to "perk" me up just before the ceremony. I probably couldn't have went through with it otherwise. No... I was not ready in any way, shape, or form for marriage. Cobey wasn't in much better shape than me; so I don't believe he had the skills necessary to maintain a marriage relationship either.

A brief description of our married life would be: one drunken brawl after another with brief attempts to pretend to be adults. We just couldn't live the lie that we were like normal people. At the time we were married I honestly didn't give faithfulness much thought. Cobey and I engaged in numerous infidelities throughout our marriage; and flaunted it in each other's faces much of the time. Cobey and I were not able to have any sexual relations with each other unless we were high. After I had been unfaithful to him; I lost all desire to sleep with him – even when I was high.

I didn't realize I had any responsibility to anyone, much less Cobey. I could not handle the responsibility of being a wife and mother without getting loaded. Cobey did not feel it necessary to work or provide his family with the bare necessities. Many times we lived with family members because of this.

We never talked about whether to start a family or not. I just got pregnant when I wanted to. I used the birth control pill until after I had my two children. At that time I had my tubes tied.

Cobey was a good "playmate" to the children, but he wasn't much else. He never disciplined the children; that was left up to me. I did the best I could with the children. I loved them, kept them clean, and kept them fed. In times that I knew I wouldn't be able to care for them, I left them with family members so they'd be safe.

Cobey and I did not have friends, we had acquaintances. We knew people to get high with or buy dope from, but we didn't have any true friends. People seemed to stay away from us; they said we were crazy.

I don't feel that our marriage was ever good. It was full of addiction, revenge, and hate. For me it was miserable.

The break-down of our marriage was due to drug abuse, alcoholism, and infidelity. In truth, how can you lose something you never had? We never really had a marriage. We just barely existed together. By the time I finally left for the last time and divorced Cobey, my parents were thrilled. Cobey had been physically abusive to me and they had tried to convince me to leave for a long time. Cobey's parents didn't care whether we stayed together or not. After the divorce, I never heard from Cobey's family again.

Since the divorce, I have had minimal contact with Cobey. At first he made sporadic attempts at visitation with the children. I received full custody of the children. After about six months or so Cobey quit seeing the kids and he also quit paying child support. I do not know if he's remarried or not. I remarried on September 9, 1989 to Michael A. J. Zelsnack. We flew to Las Vegas, Nevada to be married. He is catholic, never been married before, and is a member of Saint Pius X Church. I have no idea what condition Cobey is in. I don't know where he is and honestly I hope I never see him again. I know that it is hard for my children, especially my son to not see their natural father. Based on Cobey's track record, he is probably still drinking and drugging I don't want my children around that kind of stuff, they've seen enough already. I have no reason to believe that Cobey has any maturity or stability. He doesn't pay child support or attempt to visit the children; that right there tells me something.

The definition for invalid in the dictionary is null and void. With that in mind, invalidity to me means that the two people who were married did not have the maturity or stability necessary to uphold the commitment and vows of holy matrimony; therefore they never had a true union in marriage. Without that union there never really was a marriage.

I went into my first marriage with the ideas, "Till something better comes along", and "He gets good dope". I do not believe that given those two ideas; I ever intended to, or was capable of upholding the vows and commitments of marriage. I did not at any time experience true union of the heart and soul in my first marriage; not like I have with Mike.

Since the divorce between Cobey and I; things have gradually gotten better for me and my children. As I have stated before, I have been sober for four years. That in itself is a miracle. Thru a lot of growth and pain I have gotten to know me and God a whole lot better. God has blessed me with so many wonderful things. All my dreams have come true. I longed for a man that I could have a true union in marriage with. I was divorced three and a half years when Mike and I found each other. I sometimes am overcome with gratitude. I have watched God put Mike and I and our two children together and we are a family. He's a better father and husband than I could have ever picked. I truly love Mike with all my heart. It's not the "fairytale" kind of love. It's deeper. It's rooted deep within my spirit, and I know its right.

I had what seemed to me to be a very trivial, silly dream when I got sober. I had never flown in a plane. I always had tucked in the back of my mind that someday I would fly to Dallas and back just to say I did it. Isn't it just like God to have the perfect plan? My new husband, Mike works for a major airline. The first time I flew; it was to go marry Mike. Double gift - so beautiful!!

God has given me so many gifts since my divorce and during sobriety. I use to have to paste a smile on my face to go to work. I never felt it; my smiles were fake. One day, in my first year of sobriety, I was walking down the hall at work. I had a smile on my face, but it wasn't fake anymore, it was real. It came from my heart, out. It felt warm and wonderful! I knew then that there was a God and He was working in my life. I never thought it possible to smile without hurting inside. You might think these little miracles are trivial and unimportant, but the little things are what catch my attention the most. I expect God to take care of the big deals, but it's nice to know that He even cares enough to do the little stuff, too!

I don't know if I've answered every question perfectly, but I've tried ray best to be honest without passing judgment. In writing parts of this, particularly when I used drugs it almost seemed to be another person that did those things and not me. But, it was me. I am so grateful I am not that person today. By the grace of God I won't ever be again.

Mike, my children, and I are trying to build a firm foundation for our family. We have talked at length and I have spent hours in prayer and meditation. I know that seeking this annulment and confirming my faith in God and the Catholic Church are vital; not only to my spiritual growth, but the growth of our family.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting to read about your past and how you grew up! Makes me know you better :) I'm so glad and proud that you overcame your hardships and are the wonderful person you are today! :D