17-I Came to My Senses
In the fall of 1974, my teaching friends and I went to New Hampshire for a conference. My mom wrote that I came back with strange religious ideas, like reincarnation.
For a year or so I had been reading books by Edgar Cayce and Ayn Rand, and others, and had subscribed to a daily devotional from a religious group called Unity. There was a void in me, and I was trying to fill it with ideas that were intriguing and mystical and being tossed about by some of my intellectual friends. Ideas that were without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In November my mom called me in tears. She said that daddy had received three DUI’s (Driving Under the Influence of alcohol) within a two week period. In shock, I cried with her and advised her to take Connie (who was still living at home) and go to an Al-Anon meeting as soon as possible. In the meantime I contacted a local Alcoholics Anonymous group, acquired some literature, and sent it to her.
This was the crisis that brought me to my knees. I was humbled, I was in shock, and I was afraid.
My rock was crumbling. The man who had always been steady and dependable for me was no longer strong. He had been in the background of my life, but he had been there. Although I had been living very independently for eight years, the realization hit me that I was just a small fish in a big pond. I was full of myself, enjoying the praises of colleagues in my profession and believing that I was somebody because a small group of partiers included me in their drinking games and antics. I was deluded, and the scales came from my eyes.
I also knew that of the three of us girls, I was most like our father in personality. Was I on the same path as my dad to alcohol dependence? I began to take stock of my own life.