I grew up in a family where there were four step dads, alcohol, domestic abuse and drama happening 24 hours a day; my childhood was filled with trauma and terror.
In childhood pictures of me and my twin sister, my body language and eyes tell the story.
There were so many rules, spoken and unspoken. I became hyper-vigilant and learned how to put on masks and become a chameleon to fit the situation.
So many evenings I would hear the yelling and screaming coming from another place in the house. I was confident someone was going to get killed.
I fell for the party life where drinking, drugs, and sexual promiscuity were my choices to numb out. At the same time, I remained faithful in my workplace – a functioning, dysfunctional woman.to the point that I had to drink in order to function. I married young and ended up having a stillborn baby boy, Keith Christopher. I shut down all emotion about it and just worked and drank.
Enter my current husband, Wayne, of almost 41 years. When we met, the commonalities we shared were drinking, drugs, and sex. (All through this time, I was functioning in my job and getting promotions). It was all about looking good on the outside and hiding the pain and dying inside. Things got much worse.
Our communication as husband and wife was tumultuous, to say the least. We filed for bankruptcy and lost everything. There was not much intimacy or sex happening either, unless one or both of us was drunk or high. One of the many tolls my drinking took was on my body. I was stressed all the time. When I was diagnosed with melanoma in 1989, I handled it as a normal event and kept moving farther into despair, desperation, exhaustion, and burnout.
I eventually quit my job and went into rehab – I couldn’t play the game anymore. Wayne and I both got clean and sober on June 27, 1992.
So many things happened after that date. Within a month, I was in a head-on collision and injured my neck and back. In 1993 I was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. We knew no one other than our AA buddies. It was very scary and traumatic.
I ended up having three operations during 1993-1994, along with chemotherapy. I lost all my hair and gave myself shots almost daily for a year. Because of complications, I ended up in the hospital five times that year.
The last time I was admitted to the hospital, I was so afraid I was going to die that I cried out to God: “Lord, if you save me, I will do anything for you.” A cry in desperation!
That was the first day of my life. I had a dramatic experience in the hospital for three days. I heard the Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant; you have persevered. I want you to go out and tell everyone the good news of what I have done for you.”
I did, I have, and I will continue to tell others of the Good News about Jesus. We rededicated ourselves and our marriage to God on December 8, 1994.
Since that time nothing about our life has remained the same. We pursued healing for our marriage, healing from our past wounds, healing from all the years of walking in shame, guilt, anger, and self-hatred.
God has done a miracle work in us individually and in our marriage. We know that if He can do it in us, He can do it for anyone. We have been on a fast track for the kingdom of God. We are not the same people!!
Healing from trauma and on the road to recovery, I’ve been cleared of cancer which is awesome. One last trauma is when I experienced a heart attack in 2014. Guess what, no heart damage!! BUT GOD!
God is a God of restoration. I am grateful to be alive, knowing that every breath that I take, every moment I am awake, I give to Him.