Learning about alcohol, jail, bail and DUI’s at 14

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a true story, it’s my story. When I was in high school, it was a typical Monday afternoon, I got home from school, and the apartment was empty, which was odd.

My mom was usually home or would at least leave a note. Maybe she was out, running an errand.

Surely, she’d be back soon.

As night approaches, I’m distraught, my mind is racing.

What’s happened to my mom?
What’s going on?
Something is wrong.
I’m only 14, and I’m all by myself, alone in our apartment.
I had to make myself dinner, get ready for bed.
Truthfully, I was scared.

Finally, the phone rings, it’s the local county sheriff’s office. It’s a call from jail. Do I answer? Maybe it’s my mom? Do I accept a collect call from jail? This is a collect call from “Trav, it’s mom, please, pick up.”

My mom is calling me from jail?! What the heck is going on?

What did she do? In that conversation, she tells me to call my dad, have him come over and bail her out. She’ll repay him.

Imagine explaining to your dad. Then add the fact he’s an hour and a half away. He’s got to drive over the next day to bail out his ex-wife. I stumble through that conversation. The next day, we go get a bond to bail her out of jail.

While she got out that next day, she didn’t stop drinking. She eventually got a few more DUI’s. Eventually lost her license, but not before getting a machine in her car so she could start it.

Today, she has stage 5 liver disease. She’s damaged her liver to the point of no repair. Years of abuse and neglect will take its toll on your body and your relationships.

Update: She has passed away. Read more.

In high school, drinking and smoking can be very alluring. They can be fun even, my mom started drinking and partying in high school to hide the pain and shame. She also decided to have two kids, and continued to drink and choose alcohol over her kids most of her life. This had a profound effect on me.

So each of you has the power of choice. To build up or tear down. And your choices have a ripple effect. Actions have reactions. My mom’s actions deeply hurt me for most of my life, it wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t right, but that’s why I think it’s important to tell you guys this story.

If you are going through a similar situation, I’m here. If you are masking more profound hurt of your heart with abusive substances, it is only a band-aid & it will never fill your void.

We become trapped by things that seem fun and exciting. We all have issues, and we’ve got to learn to cope with them. We must learn to share, express, and process our feelings.

The best place to do that is with Jesus. He is willing to accept you and all of your flaws. You are beautiful to Him. Take time to read Scripture and understand that God’s grace is available to you. It is incredibly freeing.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are great places to start. Then read Proverbs. It’s filled with wisdom.

Reading the Bible changed my heart from a hard evil heart to one filled with kindness and love for other people. It allowed me to see people as people. Humanity with all its flaws needs help like I need help and that asking for help is perfectly okay. It’s better than the alternative of trying to go it on your own.



Writes about design, investing, and business

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