May 08, 2007

God always brings good.

Last weekend on the television it seemed like several shows aired the home footage of David Hasselhoff, intoxicated, sitting on the floor of his Las Vegas hotel room, trying to eat. His 16 year old daughter was the one holding the camera. Apparently he had told her that if he ever "fell off the wagon" to record it so he could see himself and use that as part of a recovery program.
Watching that minute of footage brought back years of memories. As I saw Mr. Hasselhoff struggling to sit up and hold his sandwich, not being able to speak clearly, it was like a dream, like I was remembering something that I had forgotten. When I saw it the second time it was like the fog lifted. That could have been the scene from my childhood home growing up.
I am not sure when people hear the word alcoholic they picture what that looks like to the family of the alcoholic. Most people outside of my family thought my dad just liked to party a bit. He was the life of the party, charisma that walked through the door, a friend to all. There would be a line crossed many nights or even afternoons that the charisma went away and the life of the party became the guy who couldn't sit up straight or make a complete sentence, or hold a fork properly.
The damage that was and is done to the family of the alcoholic is significant. It molds the way a child thinks of him or herself to see your daddy passed out on the couch. There is a shame that hovers over that situation.
What does alcoholism look like? Ugly, shameful and embarassing.
Satan would have loved me to let that shame hover over me for the rest of my life. It took some time, but the day finally came for me to step out of the shadow of my earthly father. I had made alot of choices based on my shame and perceived self worth. I stepped into the shadow of my heavenly Father and took my self worth from Him and it was like the bar was raised, the standards were higher, the expectations were hopeful, and the love and grace that filled in the holes was more than enough to lift me to a higher ground.
I truly believe that I am a product of my raising. If I had the chance to pick a new family or new life I wouldn't change one thing, God brings good from all things. He heard my cries as a little girl, and He hears them now, and has counted each one, my choice is to find goodness in every day and be grateful for every moment because it has made me who I am today.
I think that seeing the footage on TV just opened up a part of my heart I had closed off and sometimes that can sting a little (or alot).


Amber Joy said...

I'm glad you had these realizations, although they were hard for you. Alcoholism has haunted my family - probably in bigger ways than I'll ever know - but I am eternally grateful my Dad had the sight to see beyond the actions he witnessed. To realize those weaknesses and deliberately opt to avoid alcohol. Bless God for my parents, whose lives I can truly strive to emulate.

Erica said...

One of my dearest friends had a father who was an alcoholic. He tried several times with the help of his immediate family and church one to overcome the addiction. Unfortunately he was never able to overcome the disease. It eventually cost him his life. It was so hard to witness the depth of the pain to his whole family. He was a sweet, kindhearted man. My friend also chooses to focus on the Lord and be thankful for her experiences.
I continually feel blessed by your love for the Lord and life. Thank you friend.

Troy M. Stirman said...

Tammy, thanks for sharing!

Growing up my family was a LOT like the Cleavers. However, the very nice family across the street had to deal with a similar situation you mention on a daily basis. The father/husband was never mean, abusive or otherwise negative when we saw him, but I always wondered what effect(s) it must have had on his immediate family.
Thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts though they must be painful at times. Rejoice that you are not chained by this insidious disease that affects so many.


Denise W said...

I was surprised at how bad David H looked on that video. I had no idea what a drunken man looked like. Praise God that He lead you over that shame. Praise God that He has lead you down a different path.

Love you friend