I love hockey... I love the speed, I love the grace, the grit, the sounds... I could go on and on for hours... plain and simply I just love Hockey. I know that I am not the only one either, this site and those that help create and shape it have never ceased to show me that I am not entirely alone in the universe in the passion towards this game. For me my love of hockey has been one of two things that I thank God every day for, because plain and simply with out hockey I would not be alive.
I have only ever shared this story with one other person in the world, I have locked it away because its not the type of thing I want to remember or discuss. But recent events have proven to me that I can't run from what my past holds any longer. This is a painful topic to discuss for me but its time for me to share a little... mind you I don't want pity, this isn't a sob story nor do I want those of you to feel sorry for me, I love you all dearly here and I am so happy I have a place that I feel comfortable enough to share this... so Here we go.
My father was abusive.
That all but killed me as a little kid. I didn't understand why it was happening or what I was being punished for. I deal with the repercussions of it every day in every relationship in every decision I make. It has gotten easier but I am not going to say it dosn't effect me anymore because it really does... anyway onward with my story...
When I was about 10 I tried to commit suicide. I just wanted the pain to go away. I had also had it drilled into my head that I wasn't good enough or I was an accident and that it was a mistake that I was even born for years by then, and as a young child I believed it and trusted that it was the truth because it was coming from my father. I ended up getting so scared and didn't go through with it.
A week later I went to my fist Blues game.
My family was always a hockey family, we watched the games on TV and listened on the radio but I had never been able to go to a game personally because school, swimming, and the visitation rights of my father prevented it from happening. It was a game against Calgary, I remember almost everything from it. The Blues won 4-3, it was a entertaining game full of passion, creativity, heart and fight, everything a good hockey game should have in my opinion... I actually still have the ticket floating around somewhere... but I remember how it made me feel. I remember the sounds and the smells and just feeling alive and curious for the first time in a long time. I remember being able to yell and scream, something I wasn't able to do when my father was around. For the first time in a long long time it didn't hurt to be alive.
The pain didn't go away completely after that but at least it gave me something to look forward to and to hope for. Hockey gave me strength, it gave me the fight to carry on even though it was almost 5 years later before I was able to escape my father.
To me, the passion and the strength to carry on even when times are rough and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel is what this sport is all about. Its why day in and day out I will never cease to be comforted by the embrace of the cold air on my face or the sounds of skates gliding on ice or the hard snapping sound that a slap shot makes. It reminds me why I am alive why I never ever will stop fighting. It has made me who I am and I am SO grateful for it. I wish I could go back to that first game and thank every player, coach, staff, and fan for giving me life. This is probably the closest thing I will ever get to achieving that wish, So thank you I owe you one.