• Marney Liston

Free Yourself

I must apologize to you, readers, ahead of time for the intensity of this blog you are about to read. I say this because the following is a genuine piece of my recovery journey.

I am letting you into a painful section of what many women go through... and some men too. When you are in rehab and pick apart all the things that got you there, inevitably there are the people in your life that were terrible for you....and more often than not, this means… terrible TO you.

They tell you in rehab it is suggested that a good assignment when you are delving into your shitty life, and you’ve finally become able to put into words those realizations, that you put it into a letter. Seems easy enough, right???? Oooooh no. You’re digging up decades of the awfulness. .... the anger.... the sadness...the emptiness. It is painful and difficult.

Mind you, this was written about 4 months ago, with only 6 months of clean time. I do know that I tried my HARDEST to be as kind as I could when I wrote this letter to someone that hurt me so immensely in my life, and that took effort.

Mostly, I am saddened by knowing how many of you reading this have felt, or currently feeling the words in the content that I wrote in this letter. So, prepare yourself...

Bradley, March 8, 2020

I feel like I’ve told you a lot of this before... it may seem like I’m ignoring you but I have told you what I think about us... and then time goes by and you write me as if I’ve never addressed it. In some way, I will always have some kind of love for you Bradley, you know that. But for me, it is the hate-- a reminder of the mistakes, chaos, and upset-- that I cannot shake. Our lives had been that... and we couldn’t get out of it. You can say it was all me... if you want... that I ruined you or kept you down… but you are a grown man and every decision you made was your own. I would get away from you and things start turning around... and then some time would pass and promises of change and insincere apologies would be said. I’d fall for it, and like kryptonite, we get back together and not right away, but it ALWAYS turned out even worse than before.

You were controlling, and you say you never used me... you did. You had me calling my family, friends I had left, even random people begging for money for food and rent, and you had no problem using it for drugs and booze. Sadly, sometimes neither did I. I hated myself... so much so… I didn’t care if I lived or died... and you didn’t either. You treated my disease like an inconvenience. You constantly reminded me of what a useless, terrible person you thought I was. You loved that I was broken, and you kept me that way. You knew that if I was sick then I would never be strong enough to leave you. What I don’t get is you would feed me alcohol and then turn around when I couldn’t protect myself and beat me for being drunk? I had to lie to so many people to keep you out of jail for what you were doing to me. I lost jobs because I couldn’t go to work letting people see my battered face or casts.

We will never be able to find the little happiness we ever had. Think about it; weigh out how many terrible days we had and then compare to the good? How many were there where there wasn’t any blood, or bruises, or fights, or hospitals, or overdoses, or abandonment, or hating the lives we were living so badly I needed to be drunk just to get through it? I wished I were dead so many times. I didn’t care about anything… and neither did you. You probably truly wanted me dead... because you’ve said it, and God knows you have come close to doing it.

I hate having to keep writing about this to remind you that I have known, and you have too, that we are just not meant to be together. And all those “bullshit” letters, as you call them, that I sent you in my rehabs.... at least I was trying to get better... and it may have taken a million times, but I am now. And still, in your selfishness, you are asking, “What about Bradley?”

Well, Bradley, you need to ask yourself that. What about him??? Only you can work on you. God knows you never tried when you were with me. You were even drunk for your substance abuse assessment you had already missed twice that was supposed to prove to the world you weren’t an addict and a monster. You kicked me out of the apartment, or the car we were living in, and left me stranded I don’t know how many times… only to find me later and beat me for.... me being angry with you!! You could fuck up over and over and felt you always had me to point a finger at.

Question: can you today admit you are an alcoholic/addict? Are you still fighting that battle? Cause I was damn tired and over it. But go ahead and keep pointing if you want. It won’t fix you and your issues. You need a counselor, you need treatment, and you need God to ask for forgiveness for all the wrong you did… and not just to me... to your own children, to my family, to your family, and to yourself.

I don’t know what you have of mine, but it can’t be much. You say you are going to burn everything that is there of mine, which is fine. It can’t be much since you sold pretty much sold everything that I had of value already. There is nothing material that is worth opening any doors with you ever again. You gave up... we both did. I’m tired. I have no desire, or energy to keep going back through our hellacious lives together. I’m doing amazing now, I have met wonderful, loving, supportive people, and all of the things I knew I could do... I’m doing them. That nightmare that I was living is over. I have woken up and the world makes so much more sense now.

I want you to do the same. It’s fuckin work though, I’ll tell you that. I still struggle, but my struggles are small and real. I can’t fix the mistakes I made, but I can apologize for whatever part that I had, and ask for your forgiveness for that. I do care about you as a person... it’s just that there are no amount of “I’m sorry’ s” that will clear the wreckage of this past. I can’t say that I will ever be able to TRULY forgive everything that you have done to me, as much as I wish that I could.

Forward is the only way, and to do that here I say…. “Goodbye to you…. Forever.” You deserve happiness just as much as anyone else, I pray you find it. Marney

This was the last real communication that I had with that individual. I can’t tell you why it is that I kept this email for as long as I did. I promise you that I debated long and hard before deciding to write this blog and include it, but part of the reason I am is that I’m convinced it had to be a God thing. I must have kept it for me to pass it along to others. As hard as it was for me to re-read it, and possibly for you to read, I’ve determined it is the right thing to do because as messy as it is, this is part of the healing.

Most importantly, I am sharing this so for those of you who can relate, I want you to know you are not alone in how you can feel about someone who is abusive, and how you feel about yourself and your part—in that relationship. When you are active in your addiction, it is complicated. And that letter proves that even when you are working on yourself in your recovery, how you feel about it can be even more complicated. Sometimes, you have to remember how bad things were, to realize how far you have come and how good things are today.

Don’t invest too much time putting your mind back in these moments of your life, though. Go back just enough to remember that you don’t have to live like that anymore and find strength in those memories. Know that today YOU are amazing and deserve amazing things. You are capable of whatever you put your mind to. In sobriety, anything is possible. I say it all the time; recovery is a new beginning.

So, if you have a Bradley… do what I did and free yourself. Say “Goodbye” to him… and say “Hello” to yourself. You can do it.

Marney

P.S. I’m Grateful.

©2020 by 217 Recovery.