We Don’t Get To Chose Our Family ~ A Letter to My Estranged Family, “Leave Me Alone” Is My New Year Wish . . .

We Don’t Get To Chose Our Family ~ A Letter to My Estranged Family, “Leave Me Alone” Is My New Year Wish . . .

Unfortunately, the entire book is filled with lies. This is her attempt to get back at a her family of which I am a part of by slandering my Grandmother and Grandfathers good name. And all of the rest of us are sick at what she said in the attempt at writing a novel. It is hardly based in fact, in fact, this the stories in this novel only exist in her delusions. The one thing I would like from her for Christmas is to stop slandering my family. And to stop writing or sharing about our family. Thank you


MY RESPONSE Comment on Blog:

Dear Matthew and Family,

Well, Matthew, sorry you feel that way. And I don’t know why but once again my little sister filling your head with a bunch of crap as she keeps seeing things on my Facebook and sad to see “The Family Dysfunctional Dynamic” has not changed in “The Townsend Household.”

Let’s first put all of this to my friends and readers in proper context before I answer you.

My Father had stopped talking to me YEARS before my book even came out in 2013, as he stopped talking to me in 2005. His choice, I respected it and moved on.
WHY did he stop talking to me? I have NO CLUE.

At this point, I couldn’t care less as I have forgiven him and moved on. BUT? I won’t tolerate YOU or family members coming to voice their negative opinions in open forums as you all chose to not speak to me years ago.

And again, NO SURPRISE that you and my “so-called family” who chose, by the way, to be “estranged” from myself and Tom and who happens to be your uncle and “a son-in-law” who had not done ANYTHING to any of YOU or to my father, and it seems YOU have your FACTS INCORRECT.

My Memoir, not NOVEL, has nothing to do with family bashing as you put it, nor discrediting my parent’s name. Maybe your Grandparents should have known better before they chose to keep a lie from their children and SON for years and not think their children would never find out? My father opened that can of worms and it came back when Robert (my brother) found all about when Cecil died…. And we all know how that turned out right? Parents raise their children the way they were raised. It’s Fact. Like my mother always told me; “you kids were not born with a “rule book” on how to raise you, we did the best we could.”

Yes, she did. When my mother was in the hospital before she passed in 2003, and you all treated me poorly in July 2003 and I ended up flying home early because of it, mom and I spoke every morning as you all didn’t know about. We did make our amends and she shared much with me before going into the nursing/rehab where YOU ALL said she had no phone in the room??? Funny, Lil and Jim told me otherwise after a visit, as Lil called and told me at the time because I asked her to do so. So who lies to who Matthew?

It is also a surprise how you changed your feelings about my book after you told me your true feeling shortly after my book was released and you read it.

THIS BOOK is an inside look into gambling addiction, mental health challenges, and recovery. As many other people turn to addictions to cope after being “verbally and parental physically damaged and sexually abused” in one’s past childhood. You were not around then, so I don’t think you have the RIGHT or are qualified really to speak for my ex-family members. You were not even born yet as you told me on Facebook in a direct message reaching out with an amends letter.

Your mother used alcohol as well as we all know due to the amount of DUI’s she has and my brother used alcohol and dabbled in drugs, and Angela? Well, all of the above and has an anger problem. So why do you all keep denying the truth?? The truth sets you free and the healing can begin when you take your part of the ownership of what goes wrong in family relationships.  Face It, even my own father used alcohol to cope. Where do you think we saw and learned about addictions, Matthew? Each one of your aunts and your uncle had turned to something to cope.

That is the truth.

MAYBE it is time you and the rest of the family look within your own hearts and start taking accountability and ownership of how you tore a family apart. THAT I feel was started years ago by two parents as wrote in my book. Enough said about that.

This is not between you and me Matthew, as this isn’t even between me and my sisters which have shown their “True Selves”, this is about MY LIFE as a former addict and a person in long-term recovery and giving service to others in recovery. My book shows those who don’t understand addiction and recovery, as like many families don’t, that in recovery people can turn their lives around and be ‘Exceptional Human Beings’ coming out the other side.

So you all can say and think what you want about my book, but book reviews speak for themselves, Matthew. So I have nothing to prove to YOU or my Family.  I live my life today helping others and enjoying my life with my husband. I have moved on. You all need to do the same. What I shared in my memoir is the truth of which the family can deny all they want. I have faith and the backing of the “Man Upstairs,” and now, even my mother in heaven also NOW knows I told the truth inside my book. I did a lot of research and have lots of documents as well to back up all I wrote about. Most are all public records. Birth, adoption, marriage, Cecil’s death records and more. So I stand behind all that I wrote and shared.

Here is the beauty of my life today in ‘Recovery and Believing in God’ Matthew, ….
I now live my LIFE not needing your or anyone’s approval or affirmation including my estranged families.

Thank Goodness those days are over!


SO, please just give it a rest and let it BE! I understand family may have closed hearts, minds, and no empathy ….. Just leave me alone.



Author/Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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“I Don’t Understand Why Some People Hate”….Is It Them Or Is It Just Stigma?

Hello And Welcome Recovery Friends & New Visitors,

Tamra Judge's photo.
So I guess I just don’t get it? I happen to get an email from an anonymous person that simple read, “why would you waste your money on gambling in the first place? you made that choice, not society”….

OK,  Yes I did happen to make some poor choices in life, who doesn’t? And yes I did use gambling addiction for many reason’s, but it wasn’t like I woke one day and said to myself, “Gee, I think I will become a ‘Compulsive Addicted Gambler’, and destroy my life, waste money, and let gambling almost cost me my life, TWICE. Everyone is entitled to one’s opinion, but to be rude like that is not cool! To me, I smelled two things with that email, one ignorance, and two, STIGMA.
Why do people have to be mean, or just plain rude to get their point across?
Most of us in recovery have come across a time or two where life, and something in our PAST comes back to bite us in the ASS, but for a person, another human being, take the time to send me a hateful email  just to make them feel better, because they haven’t a clue or understanding about any ADDICTION? it’s kind of ignorant of them. We know that STIGMA still exists, and most of the time I just chalk it up to the path I happened to go down, and that’s no one else’s fault but mine, and mine alone. I have taken the ‘Responsibility & Accountability’ for all did wrong while I was deep within my addictions with gambling and alcohol. What I don’t understand is the HATE others believe necessary to hurt others with words.
It’s just another form of bullying someone. Do I hate this person back? Hell No, I learned a long time ago in my treatment, and in recovery that others ‘HATE’ really has nothing to do with me personally. So that’s on them. But when we talk about people not being kind to others, I know it opens a bunch of other can of worms. Let’s look at the definitions of both “Hate & Stigma” to see if there is anything similar between them,…and NO, I have not Googled the words before this blog post….LOL!


verb: hate; 3rd person present: hates; past tense: hated; past participle: hated; gerund or present participle: hating
  1. 1.
    feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone).
    “the boys hate each other”
    synonyms: loathe, detest, despise, dislike, abhor, execrate; More

    be repelled by, be unable to bear/stand, find intolerable, recoil from, shrink from;
    “they hate each other”
    antonyms: love
  2. used politely to express one’s regret or embarrassment at doing something.
    “I hate to bother you”
    synonyms: be sorry, be reluctant, be loath, be unwilling, be disinclined; More

    “I hate to bother you”
  3. “he hates flying”
noun: hate
  1. 1.
    intense or passionate dislike.denoting hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice.

    modifier noun: hate
    “a hate campaign”



noun: stigma; plural noun: stigmata; plural noun: stigmas
  1. 1.
    a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
    “the stigma of mental disorder”

    synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, opprobrium, humiliation, (bad) reputation More

    “the stigma of bankruptcy”
    antonyms: honor, credit
  2. (in Christian tradition) marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and others.
  3. 3.
    a visible sign or characteristic of a disease.
    • a mark or spot on the skin.


OK,….. so there you go. The definition of both words.
Can we see anything similar to one another? Well either way, many of the meanings of each description of words used in the definitions of both are pretty similar like, Shame Disgrace, Dislike, Dishonor, and Regret…

It really hurts me that in today’s world, knowing what we know about many issues that surround many people with Stigma, like those of us in Recovery, Suffer Mental Illness, and those who endured Childhood Trauma & Abuse, that more people would have some understanding, or a little empathy. We are still human beings just like everyone else. Like these people think that it’s OK to tear others down when they feel or think we are not ‘Normal’ like them.
Well, sorry to burst their bubbles, but you’re not any more normal than we are if you keep feeding the need to hurt others just for the fun of it.
Am I more sensitive than others due to my past pain & hurt? Maybe, but I think we all have a pretty good idea that there are still people in this world who go out of their way just to be racist, bigots, hurtful, mean, bully others, spew hate, and so on.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room in my life for such people. To me, when others are like this I think to myself, “man, someone must have hurt them, or they are holding in some pain or trauma that happened to them, and the only way for them to cope in the world is to lash out at others.”  That just seems like a big load to carry around all your life don’t you all think?
I remember when I was a little like them myself. Most came from the pain and rage I had going on inside myself within my addiction. And again, THAT was on me. I have made most all my amends to those I hurt.
Many don’t understand how shame, guilt, and not loving yourself can make a heart go black & cold. That’s what addiction does to you. Many who have not been touched by any addiction may not know about the ‘major mood swings’ that come along with addiction.
No excuses, just insights. And No, I’m not trying to judge ‘other people who ‘hate’ on others, as I have had enough hate thrown my way to know when it maybe an underlying problem for someone, or being done to someone for all the Wrong Reasons. I think my point is proven by all the needless ‘SUICIDES’ these past years of our teens taking their lives due to being bullied to death! It’s got to stop!
Even many of the school shootings have been because someone may not be mentally stable, being bullied to the point of wanting to HURT BACK! No, it’s not how to fix the bullying problem, but a person, or  a teen can only endure so much bullying and hate to where they may just snap!  I think I see myself just a wee bit ahead of them, as At least I had the mental ‘Light-Bulb’ go above my head to tell me I needed to reach out and get my load I was carrying, a lot less heavy!….. “Awe The Good Life In Recovery.”
Well that’s my Ramblings for Today all….LOL.

Happiness & Blessings To You All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of “Addicted To Dimes”