When I first saw this blog title on my friends' blog I thought to myself 'I'm 50 for God's sakes I can't think of just 5 things from my life'. Five incidences or experiences that have defined my life? There is no way I could do it. Then after mulling it over I realized that I could do it by decade. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket! So I will give it a whirl. I write off the cuff so I have no idea what will come out here. Deep breath -
1. 0-10 defining moment. I was a Daddy's girl and when Daddy went to Alaska in 1963 I was 5 and my heart was broken. He was gone around a year with one or two visits home during that time. I used to pray every night for my Daddy to come home and a pony. I remember when he surprised me for a Christmas visit, I was sooooo happy. When he did come home I was 6 years old and I was happy to have my Daddy home. Sometime in that first few days my Mom, brother and sister were gone and it was just me and Daddy. Daddy took me to my room and he hurt me. You can come to your own conclusions but this was the defining moment of my life. I did not understand what had happened yet I knew to be ashamed. I didn't tell anyone. This special relationship went on for 5 more years and later when I was in therapy I had flashbacks and realized that it had happened when I was even younger. It's a sad thing to say that my earliest years when I should have been happy and only worrying about who was coming to my birthday parties I spent afraid, ashamed, confused and lonely. Lonely because I absolutely knew that no one else had my dirty secret.
2. 10-20 - Now this was when I found relief. I found it at 10 in a tumbler full of homemade Portuguese wine that my best friend's Dad made. I gulped it down and I had some moments of numbness. Sweet, evasive numbness. No fear, no shame just numb. This started me on a decade of drugs and alcohol that as I look back I am convinced it saved my life. I didn't have anywhere to turn that I trusted so this served as my escape to somewhere else other than the hell I was in. I still functioned very well thank you. And I had the boys - yes, the other drug of choice. Sex = love, right? I chased it looking for a little love, looking for approval and the validation that I was OK. I was lucky that nothing too bad ever happened. Bad enough but not life lasting. Thanks Dad.
3. 20-30 - My life's dream was to have a baby. I dreamt of my first child from the time I was 12 years old. I wanted only to be a Mommy. As I look back I realize it was the selfish wanting of a baby to fulfill my own needs and not to give love unconditionally but when I first held my baby girl I knew that I was OK that nothing and no one could steal away this joy I had in my heart and my arms. She was everything to me and she taught me all about selfless love. My goal in life was to be the Mother that I didn't have. To never, ever allow anything bad to happen to this child. Unfortunately no matter how much I wished it it just wouldn't be. She was hurt, life wasn't always fair. I failed in my quest to be the perfect Mommy. Only later in life did I realize that there is no such thing as a perfect Mom. I did the best I could do and if loving her was a testament as to a good Mom then I believe she had the best.
4. Is still in the above decade. I went through many life changing events in this decade. The second was during a major crisis in my life and through people in my life that loved me I was led to the Lord and gave my life to Jesus. I am putting this in here even though I no longer consider myself a Christian but this pivotal event in my life gave me so much and it gave my children a decent home to be raised in because I didn't know how to believe in anything so I followed my Christian friends. I no longer drank which was a biggie and for the first time in my life I felt that I could be loved. From this beginning I was able to continue on my path of Spiritual experiences and find the peace that I now have.
5. 40-50 - Addiction/Recovery. Due to 2 auto accidents followed by a diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia I ended up addicted to Vicodin. It became the love of my life and the death of my life. Then full circle to learning how to live my life fully and joyfully in recovery. I don't always do this thing perfectly and in fact have fallen a few times in the last 10 years but I keep getting back up and striving for the fullest truth and the joy of knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this very moment in time. This past ten years I have and am learning how to love myself, who I am, how to love others, how to speak my mind and I could go on and on. Basically because of my addiction I ended up in AA and discovering the Higher Power - God of my understanding that I have searched for my whole life. The worst possible thing could happen to me and I absolutely know in my heart that as long as I look to the Divine/the light of the Universe that I will be OK. I have learned and I am still learning how to live this thing called life on life's terms. I am a work in progress. It is progress not perfection.