This Is My Life!


My name is Michelle Knapp. I know this may cause some confussion because my name on here says Michelle Smith. I will explain this as I go along. About two years ago my husband and I went through a divorce. We cancled the divorce but my name has not been legally changed yet. I am 32 years old. I am married for the second time and I live in a small town named Sparta in Wisconsin. Ihave three children. Most people do not know this about me since I had to give up my oldest two daughters for adoption. I lived a hard life growing up and my alcoholic grandfather lived with my mom, my two sisters and myself. Needless to say, I had a very dysfunctional family life. I have always believed that no matter what you go through in life you can always build a better future for yourself. I have always used this fraise. I will not allow my past to dictate my future. I am not sure I thought of this on my own; if someone else has said that to me; or if it is written by someone else, either way, I try to live by this saying. Due to the things that have happened to me and the experiences I have in life I decided it would be a great opportunity to see if I could become an AODA councilor. I didn’t give it too much thought when I was in high school but, I did think about doing it back then. I have went to several different colleges with this on my mind but, decided to try to become a legal secritay. I took courses to do this for about 3 years, not really putting much effort into my deciseion. I then decided not to finish my degree and I then took six years off from school. I thought about what I wanted to do for the last six years and decided that I wanted to be an AODA councilor. I guess I always knew that this was the direction my life had always meant to go in but, I fought against it. I was not sure if I would be able to do it and I have always second guessed myself. I know I was smart enough to complete the work, yet I was afraid of frailer. I had a lot of time to think about what I would be good at for three years. I do not try to hide where I have been but, I do not feel it is everyone’s business to know. I was in prison for three years for a very stupid mistake I had made. I had lost everything that really meant something to me except the love of my family. When I was released from prison I was told the alcoholic grandfather I had mentioned above had quit drinking. I did not believe the man I had come to know was able to change at all. I loved him but, I also hated him. I remembered times that he told me that he would die with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I honestly believed what he had told me. There was a part of me that wanted to believe that he had not changed. I went to his house when I got out of prison to see if he was lying. I hate to admit it but, I wanted to be right, that my grandfather was incapable of changing. I was proven wrong! There was no bottle in the back of the fridge any more, no bottle in the freezer, no bottle hidden under the cupboard in his bathroom, and his house no longer reeked of alcohol. I didn’t want to believe he had changed because my grandfather had hurt me when I was younger. I am not about to go into detail with this but, he is the reason I have chosen this field in particular. If he could quit drinking it means to me that anyone could quit; if they want to. My grandfather is dead now but, it seems as if his life along with the abuse a little girl suffered could have a great impact on many people’s lives. I don’t expect any sympathy from anyone; I am merely mentioning this because it is a very important part of my life and the situation itself is an example that there is hope for anyone who has an addiction if they chose to make the right decision. Ultimately, the addictive person has to be willing to change themselves and be willing to take the steps to make the change happen.

precious1976 precious1976
1 Response Mar 21, 2009

1st I would like to Welcome you to EP :). I have only been here since February myself but have found a warm and caring bunch of people here and I know the same will happen with you.<BR>Now, your story. How very sad. And it's not hard to read between the lines about G'pa, I had the same happen to me with 2 G'pa's and Uncle and a best friends Dad. Those type of people always prey on the small and defenseless. And sadly it is something the abusee' carries the rest of their lives.<BR>Everyone makes mistakes - everyone. Whatever landed you in prison I am sure you learned from it. Giving up 2 daughters had to be the most horrible thing in the World! Being a mother myself I can not imagine the pain but I am sure you had your reasons and that is no one's business but yours.<BR>Your life seems to be filled with a lot of pain and you will find that a lot of us here are in the same boat. Every experience is different but pain is pain. I have found that talking about it helps. It will never take away what has happened but NOT keeping it bottled up inside is a good step forward. To me, pain is like a cancer that eats and eats until the person is no more than a shell of their former selves. Getting it out and finding people that has been in a similar situation is like the "chemo" that fights it. Once you find out you are truly not alone it does help at least it has with me.<BR>I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason be it good, bad or indifferent. Everything that has happened to us in the past has made us who we are today. There are always lessons to be learned. For an example, in your case, a G'pa that you thought would never change, did. And although he was an abuser you found a way to forgive him. That takes a lot of heart and courage. <BR>From your story it is easy to see that you are a fighter and that is more than I was in the past. You have a good heart and want to help others. GO FOR IT GIRL!!!!!! Everything that has happened in your past has given you the experience to helps others in the future. You will find your niche' and will run with it and there will be a lot of people benefit from knowing you! <BR>As I said before there are a lot of good folks here that are more than willing to listen and help. Keep coming back and look through the stories and comments and keep writing your own, the healing power here is unbelievable. You will also find laughter when you least expect it. You have already taken the first step do not be afraid to take the second one. If you would like, message me anytime you will always receive an answer.Take care!