Why I Don't Drink Now And Why I Never Will

Why I Don't Drink Now And Why I Never Will

After all, I lived through domestic abuse.

People often come to me asking me why they don't see me at parties on campus. I don't come because I don't like drinking. I have a dark personal background about why I don't drink. I still hear after I tell people a little about why, how that my past shouldn't affect my decisions now. That I'm letting my past control me. Maybe I am. I'd rather let it control me, though, than let it haunt me. Even then, I still get a drink shoved into my face telling me to let go and have fun to "be young". I refuse and if they won't let it go, I walk away. Walking away is one of the easiest things I learned to do. People think it's hard when someone keeps coming at you, whether it's an ex or some drunk girl/guy at a party being rude, to walk away but it's so easy for me. I don't like confrontation, I even shy from it. I try to be the best person I can be, while still making myself happy - but that's not the point of this article.

Often times, the dangers of drinking are ignored. People drive drunk or use someone's intoxication against them. People even become violent. My stepdad did. I remember when I was about 11, it was the first time things turned south. He and my mom had just gotten married two weeks before. I was home sick from school and my mom and stepdad were fighting. I could hear it from my bed upstairs. The fighting lasted all day and night. My brother came home and was with me, protecting me, from a threat I had yet to perceive. My stepdad was drinking and was getting louder and angrier. My brother had disappeared down into the fighting, and I was scared. I was so very scared and my stomach hurt. I started to walk downstairs when I heard a loud bang and my mom screaming, then utter silence. I'll never forget that silence or the dread that slid through my body causing my heart to stop then start at an accelerated rate. I remember it was almost as if everything was happening in a dream-like state, my brother came running out of the kitchen yelling for me to call the police but I didn't move. He grabbed the phone and called them since I stood frozen on the steps. I knew something terrible had happened but when my brother went back and carried my mom to the couch, it all became so much more real. My stepdad had hit my mom so hard he broke her eardrum. The pain must have been just horrible because she was crying and moaning.

Finally, my muscles came back on and I went to cuddle with my mom. She held me and told me she would be fine. "Don't be scared," she said. "Everything will be okay." Two days later, my mom called me downstairs and sitting on the couch was my stepdad. He said he was sorry and that he loved us. My mom told me it was okay, that it wouldn't happen again. She told me to hug him and so I did. The sad thing was, this wasn't the last time he hit her, nor was hitting the worst thing he did. Every time, without fail, I could guess when something bad was going to happen. How? Because he was always drinking when he went crazy. The fear is still embedded into me. The nights of hiding in my room when I'd hear the yelling start, the nights of holding my brother back so he wouldn't fight him and begging him to please stop, and the nights where I thought he was going to kill my mom all come back to me in nightmares. I would go to school terrified that I'd come home to my dead mom. I would go to school hiding the pain and the terror that happened in my home, covering anything on myself for fear of discovery.

My mom got us away but then her third husband was worse. It wasn't that he hit me but he did hit my mom. That's not what made him worse, though. What made him worse is that he changed her. My mom became violent and unpredictable. My first stepdad damaged her but my second stepdad broke her. All of this happened because of alcohol. There were many other factors but I will never forget the damage alcohol left on my family and my life. When people are drunk or tipsy I feel fear rise to the surface and everything comes back in flashes. My anxiety runs rampant and I can barely tell reality from memory.

People often don't think about their kids and how fighting affects them. They don't understand that fighting and yelling ruins them. It makes them think that that is what relationships should look like. It teaches them that abuse and fighting are normal. Their personal relationships will suffer. I promise you that. When voices get raised in a household, kids get scared. It stays with them. Hitting is worse. When mommy or daddy hit each other or even a stepparent, it begins to leave mental and emotional marks. Most parents think the kids can't hear because they go outside or they don't know about the hitting. Kids are much more intelligent than people give them credit for and they know. You think you are hiding it but you aren't. Take it from me, you aren't, even a little. Hurting the kid's other parent, whether it be physical or emotional, will hurt the kids more than the other person. Leave them and be done with it. Take it from me, everyone will be better off. After all, I lived through domestic abuse.

Cover Image Credit: the drunken fig

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The New Era of the Period

You Know You Want to Know

We've all heard of them. Whether you're totally disgusted, intimidated or fascinated, you can't deny, you've definitely been curious about them. Well, here's what it's all about in seven brutally honest steps.

1. Reading the instructions.

This looks so easy. I totally have this. I just need to fold it like this. All right. Here we go.

2. Putting it in.

How the actual fuck am I supposed to get this in my body. I literally cannot. Maybe if I fold it like this...? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. ABORT. I've been in this restroom for a solid ten minutes. I just need to shove it up there at this point. Okay. Here we go.

3. It's in.

Wow. This is great. I feel nothing. Watch me do this split just because I can. Holy fucking yes. I need to tell everyone about this. Everyone needs to know. My body is a temple. I am freaking Wonder Woman. NOTHING CAN STOP ME!!!!

4. Taking it out.

Okay so I just pull this spout and "gently pull." This is grea---where. the. fuckity. is. the. spout. I can't find it. Oh, there it is.

5. It's not coming out.

I CANNOT get this out.

6. Mental breakdown.

I'm going to have to birth this out. I can't get it. This is bad. This is really really bad. It's up there forever. I'm going to have to go to the ER to get someone to pull this thing out of me. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I have to call my mom. She always knows what to do. No answer. I need to go to the ER. I can't get this out. I'm crying right now.

7. Celebration.

Wow. It's out. I'm so glad that I didn't actually go to the ER to have someone pull this out. I feel so free. I am never going back to tampons again. This is incredible. I'm saving the planet. I'm saving so much money. Just gonna pop this back in now. I am a new woman. HERE I COME WORLD.

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia

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I Looked Out The Window, And Here's What I Saw: A Tribute To JSU

I look out the window, and I see home.

I looked out the window, and I saw a sunrise as my alarm clock rang in my ears and beat on my eardrums. I see the tall buildings that stand carved with Greek architectural designs. I see students making their way to class, by car, by foot, by bike; whether they are trying anxiously to make it on time, or they are trying to take their time. I looked out the window, and I saw a normal day at Jacksonville State University.

I looked out the window and saw a storm brewing. It seems like everything is suspiciously calm before disaster hits; perhaps that’s why they call it “the calm before a storm”. I looked out the window, and I saw the sky immersed with ominous, dark clouds. I began to hear the wind howl and the rain tick, harder and harder with minutes passing. I looked out the window and felt worry run through my veins as the weather started to pick up.

I can no longer look out the window because I am out the window. That window is now part of total destruction. I stand outside the window and see my home in pieces. I see glass shattered, trees down, roofs missing. I see my heart breaking as my home away from home is now scattered everywhere. I see faces of distraught, dismay. I see people overwhelmed with emotions as they have lost almost everything, yet can still find it in them to be grateful because they are indeed alive. I see cars totaled. I see those Greek buildings with a chunk taken out of them.

However, outside the window, I see communities coming together. I see people taking others in, giving out donations, doing whatever they can to help us rebuild. I see people putting in overtime to help restore power, buildings, and anything else to ensure the safety of citizens. I see people waking up at the crack of dawn to help with the clean-up of the town. I am reminded of why I chose JSU to begin with.

One day, my window will be back. I will be able to look outside the window and see smiling faces. I will be able to see the sunrise as it reveals a beautiful, reconstructed campus. I will be able to see the sunset as it kisses us goodnight. The bells that ring whenever it hits an hour will be pleasing and not dreadful. I’ll look outside the window, and I’ll see home.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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