By now, I had become terribly confused. Where is the love that I was promised that God was going to show me if I was a good child? My world was quickly falling apart. First, I had done something so bad, something that angered him so much, that he took my leg. Then I dared to doubt him and his master plan, and he punished me with kidney trouble. And now, in my mind, I had committed the “ultimate sin”. I had broken one of the Ten Commandments and committed adultery with my aunt. I wasn’t even sure what adultery meant, but I was sure that I had done it. And now to cover all of that up I was lying to my family and treating my stepfather badly. I knew that God was really going to be angry with me. It wasn’t long before I got what I considered to be my next punishment. I broke my right hip.
In the fall of 1974, I went back in school following my kidney surgery and was doing my best to fit in. My gym teacher, Mr. Harold McKenzie, had been working with me diligently to help me learn to use my new artificial leg. He would work with me daily, teaching me how to fall without getting hurt, and how to get back up after I did. This man was an inspiration who supported me in my desire to fit in. He even encouraged me and actually coached me as to how I could adapt to do certain gymnastics. I have to say, if there was one person who early on helped instill in me the drive to overcome, and taught me how to pull myself up, it was Mr. McKenzie. It wasn’t long before I was even competing in football games during recess.
It was during one of these football games that I broke my right hip. One afternoon in the fall of 1975 while we were playing outside of the school, I jumped up into the air to catch a pass. And as I came down, my artificial leg went out from under me and my right hip crashed into the curb of the parking lot. The teachers came rushing out to see if I was ok and helped me into the school, but I played the tough guy and shook it off. You need to remember how I was by this point. I couldn’t show any weakness.
One month later, after not being able to stand the pain any more, my mother took me to the hospital and we found that I had fractured my right hip.
It was time for me to learn more about inner strength. They couldn’t put a cast on my leg because of where it was broken, so I had to spend the first month or two of my recovery time in a wheelchair.
I had come so far, and now I was back to where I had been right after I lost my leg. After all the progress and being part of normal activities, I was back in that chair, one of the most glaring symbols of my being “different”. I was determined to get out of that thing as soon as possible, but that was going to be another obstacle. As a part of my rehabilitation, the new trick was to learn how to walk on crutches, using my artificial leg as my good leg, and to make it even more interesting, not being allowed to put any weight on my right leg. That was a trick and a half. I don’t even know what to compare it to so you could have some vague idea. It was like being on three sticks and no body part that you had any control over is touching the ground. Just as an experiment some time, try this. Borrow a pair of crutches from someone, stand on them as you would if you were to use them, and now, lift both feet off the floor. That will give you about 1/100th of the idea of what that experience was like.
But again, on the outside, I had to be the shining example of strength. I continued going to church, even though I didn’t know why. I continued to sing God’s praises in church solo’s that praised his name, even though I doubted every word. Inside, I was going through hell. But I did what had to be done. Meanwhile I continued to spin, more questions, more doubts, and more anger. What happened? Where is the love I was promised?
< Chapter 2:4 Chapter 3:1 >
The Warrior Sage Chapter/Section
Who Is Willard Barth?
Preface - Exploring Strength And Weakness
Chapter 1:1 - The Process Of Self-Awareness
Chapter 1:2 The Stages Of Child Development
Chapter 2:1 The World Changed Forever
Chapter 2:2 The Vicious Cycle Begins
Chapter 2:3 Losing Faith
Chapter 2:4 My Dark Secret
Chapter 2:5 Where Is The Love I Was Promised?
Chapter 3:1 Seeking Paths Of Acceptance
Chapter 3:2 The Road To Alcohol Dependence
Chapter 3:3 Leaving My Childhood Behind
Chapter 3:4 Escaping Responsibility; The Joy Ride Ends
Chapter 3:5 Living A Duality Begins
Chapter 3:6 Out Of Control
Chapter 3:7 Crossing The Line To Insanity
Chapter 3:8 The Black-out Drinking Begins
Chapter 3:9 Facing The Music
Chapter 3:10 A New Beginning
Chapter 3:11 More Lessons To Learn
Chapter 4:1 The Final Party
Chapter 4:2 A Moment Of Clarity
Chapter 4:3 My New Life Begins
Chapter 4:4 Sober - Time To Face The World
Chapter 4:5 The First Year Of Sobriety
Chapter 4:6 Major Change Comes In Year Two
Chapter 4:7 My Daughter Is Born April 20, 1992
Chapter 5:1 Life Changing Decisions Follow My Daughter's Birth
Chapter 5:2 Recognizing The Voice Inside
Chapter 5:3 The Empress Hotel
Chapter 5:4 A New Chapter In My Life Begins
Chapter 6:1 Finding My Way Home
Chapter 6:2 Falling Into Place
Chapter 6:3 A New Awareness
Chapter 6:4 Personal Finances And Personal Development
Chapter 6:5 The George Washington Story
Chapter 6:6 Letting Go So Others Can Grow
Chapter 6:7 The Wrap Up
Jump HOME from Where Is The Love