Thursday, December 31, 2009


Surprisingly, my parents drank a lot.  Surprised? 

Me neither.

Their parties were always something to behold.  Free flowing liquor, wine, and none of the cheap stuff.  I knew a party was upon us when the liquor store mobilized and brought their goods directly to our doorstep.

I loved the labels.  The fancy colors.  The carefully branded shape of each bottle.  Into the corks I would dig my small fingernails.  I have no recollection as to why those corks felt so fascinating.

The nights of these events were the highlights of my worn and tired years.  Free to roam, just out of sight of his lustful radar, I pretended these parties were for me.  A celebration of good grades, an acknowledgement of good behavior, a bash just because I was me.

So many people.  Beautiful and handsome.  Smiling, laughing, pouring, drinking, spilling, expounded tales, more hysterical laughter.  These were the highlights.  Half empty glasses cast aside to make a ring on an unsuspecting table; I would rescue such table by picking up the offending glass.  My remedy: throw my head back and gulp the burning liquid.  To me these glasses were half full.  My eyes always sprung singular tears in response to the fire in my throat.  Glass after glass; these were tears of joy. 

My life grew better with each set of tears.  Wobbly eyes made her look a little happier, him less intense and leering.  My parents looked like the people I wanted them to be. 

From a distance I could see how others saw them and it made me happy.

Ultimately, these evenings never ended well.  When my tired haze could no longer hold its own I found a bed.  But I wasn't the only attendee who was on the verge of bedtime.   Warm from the inside out I would fall into an easy sleep.  Until I found someone weighing heavily upon me.  What should have been scared, instead I did not mind.  It was easier.  I was easier.  My drunken warmth relaxed me and whomver it was slid easily inside.  No mistaken tears, no overwhelming pain, no staggering fear. 

Alcoholic breath breathes deeply into my being.  Sloppy lips bring me out.  A joyful stupor makes me fun.  My smile comes easy.  No faking of any sorts.  I am awake and I am so alive.  I dance, I flirt, I tease, one after another needs are made whole.  Art and beauty are created.

I am Lively.  Fun for now.  A painful child deferred for later.


The Pliers said...

Happy New Year's Eve, Shattered, James, Elliot, Nobody, Sara, and Lively. May 2010 be an illuminating, revelatory, and cohesive year for each and every one of you!


Mike Golch said...

I hope that you have an enjoyable New Years.

Friko said...

That time is over, you are getting further and further away from it.
2010, a new beginning, a life rebuilt, a life without the old familiar pain.
New pain maybe, a different pain, more life to learn, that goes for all.
May life go easy on you.

With love and best wishes, Friko.

shadyrae said...

It is crazy how alcohol makes everything better, but worse. It's a love/hate, good/bad sort of deal.

one of those 'hand within a hand' things.

However, as it has been said, these times are falling further and further from you, and at the same time, you are growing stronger and stronger!

Happy new years! May the new year bring even MORE joy!

Saranne said...

You have started down a NEW path...yes, you will bring "what was" along with you....but, you are learning to see with a different perspective. That which does not kill us truly doesmakes us stronger. And you ARE a strong woman, with a powerful voice. This too shall pass. Bad days and memories will be interspersed with good days, along with memories of the good days that you have made for yourself. The struggle is worthwhile, because YOU are worthwhile and lovable! Thank you for sharing your journey, and know that you are not alone on your path. May the New Year bring you both hope and peace!

Ruth said...

I understood what you meant about the liquor bottles. Liquor was a bad word in my family. When we played the alphabet game in the car we couldn't use the Q in "LIQUOR" of the bars we passed. The bottles were seductively beautiful if I saw them in billboards or perchance in person. Such beautiful calligraphy, enticing colors and rich bottle shapes and label designs. Beautiful covers for powerful stuff.

You know, sorry as I am, I am also grateful for the relief it gave you.

Yes, I wish all of you well in 2010. May every moment, hour and day be where you live, finding a way to bring forward this pain in ways that help you (and us). Bless bless blessings. I raise my glass of water to you: CHEERS.

Deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah said...

Jennifer, I wish you a New Year full of hope, love, understanding and supposrt. Above all, hope. I'm so glad you came back here to talk to us.

sarah said...

I hate the pain of what you numb...using to forget...being used. worthlessness.....all too real. all too familiar. Stay strong. In your corner. sarah

Anonymous said...

It's understandable. Absolutely. What probably started as a happy accident, turned into a way to medicate against the horrors you lived through. What else could you possibly have done? I think you are fortunate you found even that much.

Of course, I'm sure that didn't help later in life, when you were trying to heal. But here you are, bravely writing about this and all those other horrible stories.

Here's to 2010: may it bring ever more healing and joy into your life!

Shattered said...

The Pliers,

Happy New Year to you as well!

Shattered said...


I hope 2010 is healthy and prosperous for you!

Shattered said...


Thank you. All I can really hope for is that each day is a little better than they day before. I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for you.

Shattered said...

"It is crazy how alcohol makes everything better, but worse. It's a love/hate, good/bad sort of deal."

Shady, that is a great way to put it. Now if I can just cut back on the love side of alcohol... ;)

Happy New Year to you, friend.

Shattered said...

Saranne, thank you for sharing in this journey with me. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. :)

Shattered said...

Ruth, how interesting is your memory about the "Q" in liquor. Sounds like your family and mine were quite opposite. :) I still love beautiful wine and liquor bottles. And yes, I am thankful for the relief only now I wish I could move past seeking that calm and warmth.

"Yes, I wish all of you well in 2010. May every moment, hour and day be where you live, finding a way to bring forward this pain in ways that help you (and us). Bless bless blessings. I raise my glass of water to you: CHEERS."

And the same to you...

Shattered said...

Deborah, I too am glad that I came back here to talk. Thank you for all of your continued encouragement.

Shattered said...

Sarah, I hate the pain of it as well. I am sorry that it is familiar to you. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

Shattered said...

Svasti, it really is a double edged sword. I am glad that this was a way that I found to cope but you are right, it has not served me well later on.

I hope 2010 is a wonderful and healing year for you as well.