Later that day Marjorie and talked about things that strengthen us. She said, “My father abandoned my brother and me right after I was born. My mother remarried two years later. My stepdad was wonderful. He had two older boys my brother idolized. They treated me like a princess. When I was twelve, one of my stepbrothers died of leukemia. The week I went to college my stepfather and my brother drowned in a boating accident. My other stepbrother drifted away from us. I haven’t heard from him in years. During my senior year in college my mother and I were diagnosed with breast cancer a week apart. The day after I graduated she pulled into the garage and left the motor running. Life kicked me. Now I know I’m stronger for it. But back then, I wanted to kick Life back.”
“What do you mean by ‘kicking Life back’?” I asked.
“To show Life I wasn’t afraid, I put myself in jeopardy. I drove drunk all the time. I slept around, putting myself in dangerous situations with scary people. Now I have blank spaces in my memory and nightmares. Images I’d rather forget. Guilt and shame. Kicking myself to punish Life never made me any stronger.”
Today I will remember some things that don’t kill me don’t make me stronger,
especially things I’ve done to myself.
Sober Not Somber © 2015 by Ken Montrose
(Just a reminder: Sober Not Somber is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone you might know is purely coincidental.)