One Day At A Time: One Woman’s Journey
By Tanya Hazelwood
I’ve been coming across the topic of forgiveness a lot lately. Every time it’s mentioned, there is always this one past regret that haunts me. I am going to tell you a story I’ve told very few people. It’s probably one of the most embarrassing drunks stories I will ever own up to. It was several years ago. I was still married to my ex. We lived in an apartment in Ronceverte. We had been at my uncle’s house drinking liquor. I went from being coherent to black out in a short period. At some point I passed out. While I was out I was put into my vehicle and driven home and left in the car. I woke not knowing that I had even left the last place I remember being. Still drunk and confused I got out of the car. I went to the nearest door and went in. Now, I am telling you this story not from my own true recollection but from what I’ve been told at this point.
I have very vague and fuzzy memories about the incident. I apparently went into someone else’s apartment, tripped over their furniture, climbed a baby gate and trotted upstairs. I found my way into a child’s bedroom where I then sat on his bed and woke the child up, asking where my Uncle Johnny was. The child was petrified. Again, I restate, I really don’t even remember doing this. Any slight memory I have about it is almost a dream state. I then went into his unaware, sleeping parents’ room, flipped on the light and scared them half to death, startled of course, they jumped up and all I did was question where my uncle was. I assume they rushed me out of their house. I do remember stumbling around aimlessly in the parking lot, confused of where I even was and then the police came. Thankfully I wasn’t arrested but I was issued tickets for public intox and trespassing. I was allowed to go in my place and go to bed.
The next day I was notified that we were evicted. Come to find out, the apartment that I intruded upon was my landlord’s daughter. We were already on probation for many complaints for noises because of domestic violence issues. So the day came when we went to court for the eviction. The landlord and his daughter were there and they wanted to meet with us before we went into court. The daughter was very angry, as she should be, and expressed how upset I made her young son. She said I was calm when I spoke to him but I really scared the poor child. He started having nightmares and had anxiety. Apparently at one point he had seen me out and I had no idea even who he was and he panicked. That was gut wrenching to hear. The landlord offered to let us stay in the apartment on one condition. I had to submit to a rehab for drinking. Boy, did I take offense to that. It made me so angry. How dare he?
Needless to say, we left the courthouse and moved out right away. It took me awhile to own up to what I really did. How awful of a situation I put that little boy and his family in and didn’t even want to take responsibility for my actions. After my divorce I was set up at an expo and the mother of the child was one of the ladies in charge. I didn’t realize who she was at first. I could tell this person was very unhappy at my presence. Later that day I figured out who she was and sent her a message, apologizing and begging for her forgiveness. She never responded.
I’ve carried this with me a long time. I’ve prayed repeatedly that this lady and her family find it in their hearts to forgive me. I haven’t tried contacting her again because I know that when she’s ready to forgive me, I will know. When I apologized to her, I meant it, but I was still drinking. Still messing up but I thought because I was away from the bad marriage, somehow that made me a better person. I know now, I wasn’t and probably didn’t deserve her forgiveness. I am at a place now where, that was the past, I can’t change it. I’ve asked forgiveness from God and from the lady. I am sober now. I am NOW a better person. I try very hard to forgive quickly these days. How can I expect someone to forgive me if I cannot forgive those who have hurt me.
This was a very tough subject for me. Forgiveness. I was the type to hold on to a grudge, even the smallest thing. But even if there is a party, and I stand outside pouting with my lower lip out and my arms crossed and refuse to go in, the party isn’t going to stop just for me. I’d rather let stuff go, forgive and get in that party and get my groove on!