* Deep and possible triggering post coming up, but hopefully these reflections may help to others. That is my dearest wish
So this morning i had my usual morning chat over coffee with daughter who lives with me and works from home. The topic this morning centred around family and friends. It brought about some interesting thoughts about relationships, and how 'severely disfunctional' relationships can be contribute to someone's problem drinking, or infact be the root
cause of it.
I appreciate that not every family is affected by mental health problems and/or abuse. Many families however, are
blighted with this sickness that runs right through right through the generations. It can breed complex and painful relationships that are endured in the name of 'duty' for far too long. Like many of us, i was born into such a family, where it was 'normal' to have secrets, and where we were taught to lie
and protect/condone those who inflicted abusive behaviour on us as children. In most cases, it is the parents themselves inflicting the abusive behaviour, and/or condoning it, just as somebody taught them. However, in some cases, the abuser was never abused at all. With such conditioning it is hardly surprising we develop into adults who have little sense of self, have extremely low self worth, and have a blurred sense of truth. Blurred boundaries are also a common theme and it can take years to learn self respect and assert ourselves in relationships. Years.
My experience is that i went from a 'subtle' abusive upbringing to a marriage that included a another subtle abuse. By 'subtle', i mean it was the 'underground' kind. To the outside world the family i was raised in was 'The Perfect Family'. 'Respectable, happy and well presented'. In both cases, the abuse is presented with some kind of 'warped love' which create a loyalty to the abuser for years. This may sound be familiar to many. It is well known that most abuse happens behind closed doors, and just becomes normalised and accepted for the 'targeted' person.
From personal experiences and that of others, i have learned that such conditioning from age early age really does eat away at the very core of one's soul. And there is no doubt that it often leads to addiction problems and many other forms of life disfunction. Since i got sober, the years that have followed, the same pattern of accepting psychological abuse from certain people has manifested. The reason i want to share this learning is because, one by one, i have had to remove these toxic people from my life. Part of getting sober, and growing in sobriety, has meant that i have learnt to recognise these relationships that cannot be repaired. The relationships have continued out of self blame, duty, and love. Until now.
Recent events have been the hardest, yet most freeing
events to date. A series of events have led me to realise that i never really knew
two remaining family members at all. It is the acceptance that some people, though once close to me, have far bigger issues than i can fix. Their 'make up' or their 'issues' are just too big for me and i have to let them go. Getting sober has given me the gift of choice. As sad as it is to let some people go from my life, there is such a good platform built from getting sober. Through this recent hurdle in life, i realise i am surrounded by plentiful family and friends that love and support me. That has grown in number since i got on the right road. It is both humbling and enlightening. That said, it has only developed from my new policy of facing up to life, and doing my very best from day to day. Truth is setting me free, i no longer have to live a life based on false beliefs and lies. And it is the most amazing revelation ! I enjoy taking responsibility and striving to live a life of peace and goodwill. I am so grateful for this life that i just want to live it to the full and be around good, sincere people forever. It is the real fruit of life. Not money or material things, just loving relationships with others.
Anyway, that's my reflections for today. It is my understanding that no matter what cards we have been dealt in life, we can learn from it and make our own happiness. We must believe that we are worthy, and believe that we can change for the better, no matter what, because it is true !
With much love and good wishes to all, from Nicky xxx