Christine Mclean, my guest from episode 3 posted this and I have her permission to share it with you here. To read more of her work visit: https://detroitalabama.com
Today I am 7 months sober. Last week I turned 55 and for 18 days prior I attempted to write a post about gratitude. There was one post I wanted to write but I could never get the words out. Probably because want I needed to say felt too vulnerable. But the words keep sitting in me and I cannot sleep and I may have a vulnerability hangover tomorrow but I can’t help myself. However, I am stone cold sober so I don’t run the risk of writing something and waking up the next morning scrambling to delete it with regret. So here goes.
When I quit drinking I am not sure what I expected. Probably something along the lines of life will be so much better but pretty much the same. I was not anticipating the profound change that I would go through. Why? Because I am no longer numbing myself out. I have to deal with all the shit I was escaping from. For me it was the pretty bow I tried to put on my childhood. The yes, things were shitty and then my dad and I made up and I took him to Scotland and we were in a car accident and he died and it was all meant to be story. I had gotten really good at that one.
Recently, here in Alabama, a women was murdered by her ex- husband in a parking lot, at a high school, in one of the safest neighborhoods in the country. She had just left him. She was a victim of Domestic Violence.
I started my blog last year because I wanted to try and write about my experience growing up with domestic violence. I should probably put this post there, but then you would need to take the extra step to click on the link and this is just too important of a subject. I did not anticipate that starting that process of writing about it might lead to becoming sober, but I do believe they are linked. I don’t think I have ever really dealt with what happened to me as a child. But I do believe being a witness to it for the first 18 years of my life was trauma and it had everything to do with numbing out. First with food in my teens which would lead to an eating disorder and then replacing it with alcohol in my 20’s.
I have spent the last 7 months reaching back inside to that little girl and loving her, which I can understand sounds kind of corny. But I think I just always wanted to whitewash what happened and pretend it was all kind of normal.
Domestic Violence is terrorism. You constantly live in a state of fear because the only thing you know for certain is that it will happen again. And as a young child being so powerless, and not being able to protect my mom left me feeling incredibly hopeless. But the worst part was the other adults. You knew they knew but turned a blind eye. As if it was okay for a man to violently beat his wife. Maybe because she cooked peas instead of green beans.
I was given one the greatest gifts of my life this year just by coincidence. Somewhere along the way I became FB friends with Tanya Ott. She started a gmail group for people in the podcast world. I asked to be on the list because, if there was a certification for being a podcast junkie, I would have one. Through that group I meet a woman named Ronit F Plank and she was starting a new podcast called And Then Everything Changed. She asked me to be a guest and I said yes and we made this podcast.
It is the thing I am most grateful for this year. After hearing it I cried the big tears, the sobs, the ones that just let it all out. The ones that say, I finally feel heard. What happened was real. What happened was fucked up.
Domestic Violence is still alive and well in 2020. Another woman was murdered on New Year’s Day in Tuscaloosa by her boyfriend.
We need to stop turning a blind eye.
Everyone knew and no one did anything. It still happens. Somehow as a society we still think it is none of our business if we suspect domestic violence. I wish someone would have stepped in. The kids are just as big of victims.
I am posting this in memory of Meagan Montgomery and Carla Mack. I am sorry we did not do better. –Christine Mclean