My first encounter with fear to a high extent was when I was six years old. I was riding in the car with my mom who was under the influence of alcohol. The fear that rushed through my veins made me think that something as horrible as death could happen. My older brother and younger sister were both in the car. We then pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store. My heart sank to know that my mom was consuming more alcohol to make her blood alcohol level rise. My mom stepped out of the car into the cover of darkness and walked into the store to purchase a fifth of whiskey.
When she walked out of the store, I thought to myself that something really bad was going to happen that night. When my mom returned to the car, I looked deep into her eyes and asked her, “Can you please take us home before anything bad happens?” She looked at me and said, while slurring her words, “Everything is going to be okay.” I knew that everything was not going to be okay. My mom then started the car, reversed, and drove out of the parking lot of the liquor store to run over the island in the middle of the road.
The car tilted from side to side and back onto the smooth road to safety. As I looked out of the window of my door with water filling my eyes, I blurrily saw cops drive past us as though we were invisible. Every part of me wanted to spring out of my car door and bring attention to the danger that was in the atmosphere.
Every time a chance came, I let it slip by because I was afraid that my mom would scream at me. All I wanted to do was fall asleep and wake up in my comfy bed at home, but I knew that was impossible. We had been driving for what felt like an hour but it was only five minutes. After I blinked the water from my eyes, I realized that we were in the parking lot of Papa Murphy’s. My mom sent my older brother in to go and get the pizza that she had ordered earlier that afternoon. When he returned my mom got off the car and walked over to a group of guys standing outside of a bar and started hitting on them making a complete fool of her.
As I watched those guys scan her body, disgust over took my body. As soon as her door clicked shut, I unbuckled my seatbelt, grabbed to fifth of whiskey out of the cup holder, opened my door, and through the bottle at a nearby tree. The glass bottle shattered into tiny pieces onto the grass around the tree. The relief that rushed through my body gave me hope and actually made me believe that everything was going to be okay. After my mom finally got back into the car, she looked back at me and my sister in the back seat and said, “I’m taking you home to eat dinner with your dad now.” When those words came out of her mouth, I was filled with joy.
When we finally pulled into our driveway, I unfastened my seatbelt in a flash and bolted into the house, turned the oven on, and ran into my dad’s loving arms as tears ran down my face. The comfort and loving care I felt as my dad wrapped his arms around me, made me know that I was safe. My dad then looked down at me and said with a serious look on his face, “I’m going to go and talk to your mom and see what she wants to do.” When he closed the slider door behind him, I heard my mom raise her voice in a way that made you think someone was dying. I ran to the slider door to see what was happening.
The look on my dad’s face brought tears to my eyes. He was so sickened to see my mom drown herself in alcohol. My mom through her hands into the air, got back into her car, and drove away angrily. My dad then came up the steps of our deck as though he just found out that he had only a week to live. When he finally reached the door, he looked up to see the dry tear marks down my face, opened the door, and embraced me. We then walked into our living room to see my brother and sister watching Sponge Bob, we joined them.
My dad then slowly walked into the kitchen to place the pizza in the oven. After about twenty minutes, we all sat down together and had dinner. Soon after, my dad looked at us three kids and said with a smile, “I have a surprise for you guys!”
I looked at my siblings and saw life come into their eyes. My dad then went into the other room and came back out with an enormous bag of candy. As soon as he placed the bag on the table, we kids dog piled that bag of candy like it was the last supply of food on the earth. After we were all satisfied with candy sticking to our faces, we all went into the living room to watch a movie. I sat next to my dad while my siblings sat right in front of the 60 inch television. After, I finally fell asleep in my dad’s arms watching Popeye, I felt secure and safe.
The next morning, I woke up to my dad saying to me, “Your mom got a DUI last night and she has to spend some time in jail.” When I heard that, I immediately thought that maybe my mom had either caused an accident or possibly even killed someone. We then immediately left the house to see if we could go and bail my mom out.
We couldn’t. She had to spend 4 days in jail. Those 4 days were the longest days ever. I loved my mom so much but I hated her when she was under the influence. Losing emotional connection from my mom was a hard thing to go through. I was a “daddy’s girl” so, my mom just always thought that my dad had to only be there for me. Even when they divorced she was never there for me emotionally. Ever since that day we’ve never emotionally connected. She confessed to me that she had to shut me out because I reminded her of my dad.
Aside from all the chaos, I learned a very important lesson; never drink and drive. Experiencing this moment, made me know that alcohol affects everyone; the devout Christian, the highest paid employee, the people who swore they would never drink, and even the Lindsay Lohan’s. I knew from that moment on that if I even dared to drink alcohol, I would not do it front of my children or drive.
Ten years after this encounter, my mom has lived her life as a recovered addict from alcohol. She saw how her drinking effected everyone she loved; her kids, husband, mom, dad, nieces, nephews, etc. From that moment on, my mom decided that she wouldn’t use alcohol as a numbing device to the pain. She hasn’t even touched the smallest bit of alcohol since. I am proud of her and am happy to see her live her life in freedom instead of bondage.
That day made me know that I didn’t want to be seen by my kids, drinking and driving. I believe this moment was put in my life just so that I would now not to make the mistakes that my mom made and actually live my life in peace.
Courtney from Study Moose
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