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We come to a point in our lives when for a split second, everything seems so perfect. This is when all that ever bothered you is no longer a problem but merely a figment of your memory. You reach a point where you can comfortably laugh it off and brush it off as a ‘lesson-learnt’.
Sometimes I even have to pinch myself, refusing to believe for just a moment, that my family is as blessed as we are now. We have our struggles, yes. But nothing compared to the horrors of yesterday. I am still amazed at how far we have come..each one of us. Trully, God answers prayers.
10years ago, a time like this, I would probably be locked up in my room trying to drown myself in little sketches that I liked to do when I was sad and feeling lonely. I would then try to numb the recurring stomach ulcers with some soft humming from my favourite radio. I would try to occupy my mind so much so that I would not even dare think about the violence that would follow in the night; the yelling, throwing around of furniture and utensils, the beatings, the exchange of words, the rumours that would go around among the neighbours the following morning, missed breakfast, getting late to school, skipping lunch coz of too much stress.
It left me and my 8 year-old sister so scared and helpless. Even though he didnt touch or insult us, the much he did to my mother was enough to scar us and to make us hate him more everyday. Alcohol. He had succumbed to it. It was ruining our lives. We suffered for 7 long years. On and Off. On and Off.
Finally, around this time, in 2005, we managed to convince him to go to rehab. Yes. God had finally changed his heart, made him more willing to give it a try. Second Chances. Our prayers of Redemption were finally being answered. This was only the beginning. He recovered well in those three months he was there and then joined us.
If you see us today, its unbelievable. Many wonder how we did it. It was God’s Divine Power. My mother, sister and I clung to prayers like they were our daily bread…our breathe. They actually were, come to think of it. Soon after, we even moved to a new neighbourhood…way better by standards and even psychologically. There was no point of staying there, where we were under constant scrutiny from the neighbours, waiting for any slight fall. It was a fresh start for us.
Dad has been sober for 8 years now. I am proud of him. Never misses mass on Sundays. The most positive person I have ever met. Sometimes he can be so positive it even starts to get annoying. Haha. Well…I have started to turn into that myself.
You might think that it is now so perfect. Yes…perhaps when compared to the past, but in reality, no, far from it. But we are managing. The hardest thing has been trying to rebuild the burnt bridges. The fear we had for him still lingers on. We used to isolate ourselves and avoid him and thus we never really got to bond well. We are obviously closer to mother and so sometimes he feels left out and instead of trying to reach out he gets angry and pushes us away. Its a struggle getting to know each other all over again. He is a perfectionist, likes to have all control and is very short-tempered. Am getting used to that. Its not easy, but am trying. We all are.
He wrote me a letter when I was still away in highschool; in boarding school. Of all the things he said, “A Soldier Live To Fight Another Day”..has remained etched in my heart. I hold on to that everyday. Things never get easier. We only get tougher!
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