Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published January 2014.

Out of the Wasteland

She was ready to take the First Step at her very first meeting

I was born and raised in New Jersey and spent my first eight years of sobriety there. The following 13 years were spent in Florida with my husband, Warren, before we moved to our current home in Bluffton, South Carolina.

My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic who died before I was born. My father disliked alcohol, but behaved at times like a "dry drunk" in that he was often seething with anger. In some ways, my childhood was a happy one. I was the eldest of seven children. But my father frequently beat me with a leather belt on my bare skin after pulling down my pajama pants. I think that is when I started living my life on two tracks. I was not dealing with the dark feelings I felt from being beaten. These two different tracks created a wobbly foundation for my life.

-- Mary B.

Bluffton, South Carolina

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

All the Love in the World
Nothing could fill the emptiness until she sought help to stop drinking

I Remember, I Forget
Seven years ago, he hit bottom all alone in a dingy house. Things are very different today

Mothers and Daughters
Sobriety showed her the struggles her own mother had and reunited her with the daughter she gave up for adoption as an infant

Worrywart in the Mountains
Sometimes when we question things, we get very specific answers