My name is Whitney. I am the wife of an amazing man, mother of two wonderful adult sons, mommy-in-love to two beautiful daughter-in-loves, and "Gramps" to the most incredible grandchildren anyone could hope to have. I have siblings whom I adore, beautiful nieces and nephews, and friends who love me so much more than I deserve. In addition, I have a precious Mother and Poppa who have always loved and supported me in every endeavor.
I earned my Master's Degree in Education and have worked in the field of Special Education for over 20 years, where I pray I have made a difference in the lives of students with disabilities.
And I am the adult daughter of an alcoholic father.
Six years ago, unexpectedly, my father died. He died drunk and alone, just as I (and truthfully, he) had always feared. I will always have a great deal of guilt about that, as we were estranged at the time. While cleaning out his apartment two days after his death, I came across some of his writings and I began to see him in a different light. The more I read his writings, the more I understood his heart, his mindset, and his addiction. The more I applied his own words to my experiences with him, the more I truly understood about him. My father was not a demon. He was an incredibly wonderful man, unless he was drinking, which unfortunately, was most of the time. When he was drunk, he became a different person and he could be terrifying, abusive and belligerent. He went through rehabilitation many times and typically drank the entire time he was there. He worked at a rehabilitation facility for several years, and was so proud of the work he did, yet in the end, his own addiction still killed him. And yet, I know without a doubt, that he had a true desire to help other men stay sober and live better lives.
Since my father's death, I have been much more open about his addiction and about the dynamics of my childhood home. For years, I never told anyone how he was, but once he passed away, I desperately needed support. I reached out to my friends and slowly began to tell some of the stories of my life. They weren't always pretty stories; in fact, most of them were horrible. I shared Daddy's writings
with a few very close friends. One dear friend, with tears in her eyes, told me I had to publish them, although at the time, I had no idea of how that could be done. By opening up and being absolutely honest, I learned that everyone has a story to tell. And most everyone is related to or knows a person with an addiction of some sort. I learned that by being more open and sharing things about my daddy, I was able to let go of most of the heartache caused by the bad memories, which in turn, made the good memories that much sweeter. Most importantly, I learned that by humbling myself to others, I opened doors for them to share and feel safe in doing so. That is where this blog comes in......
After two years and many hours of prayer, I felt strong enough to share in a much more public manner. I had no idea if this blog would ever even be read, but I strongly felt that God's hand was evident in the development of this site, so I persevered.. If my experiences can help even one person, I will be grateful. I have no desire to sugarcoat anything. I will be honest and truthful. My intent is not to make my father look bad, but rather to honor him by allowing him a voice, now that I am able to focus on his heart and not my own. Perhaps now, through our stories, his desire to help those with addiction problems can be fulfilled. Maybe our stories will give hope to other children of alcoholics. I want my father's life to have a purpose. As my little sister said, "Daddy needs to have the opportunity to leave a legacy other than being our drunk dad." My baby sister is wise beyond her years. She is the greatest gift my daddy ever gave to me. My hope is that this site will become a source of help and solace to others and perhaps, a safe forum for sharing and healing.
Whitney is available on a limited basis to speak to your group or organization. Please use the Contact Us form for more information.