Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published March 2011.

Web Exclusive: Dark Clouds, Silver Lining

A long marriage of fear, mental ward stints, and a terrible car wreck didn’t stop her from finding AA.

"I wasn’t allowed to go to the doctor, so I learned to set my broken nose myself. Ribs, you just use a large elastic bandage. Cheekbones, you just leave alone."

After graduation, I told Grandma that I didn’t want to go to college right away. I said that I wanted to live life a little. She wasn’t thrilled with that, of course, but she went along with it. I had an apartment of my own, and worked managing a gas station. I started drinking at about 13. Mom bought my booze because she wanted a drinking buddy. Of course, I didn’t drink at Grandma’s, but I did sniff some glue to tide me over. Well, after I moved into my own apartment, I started drinking again. I would drink about 2 pints of 190 proof, 95% pure grain alcohol over the course of a day, including at work. I was a functioning drunk, meaning that I won Employee of the Year 3 years in a row while I was drinking on the job.

At some point, I began to work at a tile and marble shop as a secretary. I met a man there, Byron. We dated, then he moved in with me. My folks weren’t thrilled with it, since he was a year older than my mom. Anyway, Byron treated me like a princess while we lived together. Then one day my mom came over drunk. She told me, “He won’t marry you. He’s just using you.” Of course, Byron and I were drunk, too, so I told Mom, “Oh yeah, watch this” “Huh” “Let’s get married.” So we got married.

-- Anonymous

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