I haven’t personally posted anything for a while, I have just been so busy with everything going on that I just haven’t had a chance. The ‘secret’ facebook group is in full swing and has a really good bunch of people in there already just sharing experience. It really has offered a place wherever I am to take comfort. I don’t always interact with everything but just in reading I feel more at ease. So I wanted to give that a mention and say a huge thank you to everyone who is playing a part in that. If you would like to be in the group then please do get in touch with me through my facebook page and I can invite you in. We are keeping it strictly for people who have been impacted as a COA, just for the safety and comfort of the members.
Anyway, on to what I wanted to post about…. It is something that has been popping up again and again and so is something I wanted to really put out there.
Blood is not always thicker than water!
I understand the thought processes behind it. I mean, I get why people say it, but it is one of those black and white statements that just doesn’t always add up and so shouldn’t be fired at every one.
People say it because of a deeper family bond right? To put it even more simply- I am going to let my brother off much easier than I am going to let off the man next door….. but this kind of thing doesn’t go all the way.. Does it?
If all families followed a balanced and totally functional path then it would make total sense. After all, life is far too short to have a fall out with your family over your Great Aunt Annie not showing up at Nan and Grandads 50th wedding anniversary right?
But in most cases, life isn’t balanced and I am actually yet to meet a fully functional family, because life happens in the grey bits between the black and white. And further more, maybe Great Aunt Annie deserves to be fallen out with because she didn’t turn up because she was drunk….. again?!!
For the record, Aunt Annie isn’t real, but I hope somewhere in this I am starting to form a point and if I haven’t yet, I am going to get serious again.
One of the most brave and courageous things I hear of children of alcoholics doing, is finally setting a boundary that is going to offer themselves some kind of emotional freedom, or at least the chance of it. These are people that have often had their whole lives tainted and intruded upon by their parent. Their very make-up is the result of their parents drinking. Drawing this boundary is a completely forced ‘turning of the back’ that they have spent years upon years trying to avoid. And even after all that, it isn’t the end, it still causes them pain and leaves them with feelings of guilt and remorse… But it is their only hope. This boundary, this ‘cutting ties’ offers that light. Its not the easy way out, because when it comes to having an alcoholic parent, there is no easy way out….
It is an opportunity at a better life. One that takes daily courage for the rest of forever. One that requires rigorous determination. One that is often rooted in love for both themselves and their alcoholic parent. It is a decision that should be seen and praised for what it is –
And potentially cycle breaking.
So when ‘society’ comes along with its prefixed ideas that you ‘stick by family no matter what’ it creates a battle that many shouldn’t need to fight.
‘But she’s your mum’
‘I know he’s done bad but he’s your dad’
‘You can’t just turn your back on your parents like this’
These are all comments that are often coming from a loving place, but are just not helpful. Life is not black and white. Ive flipped them round a little below to further highlight how we can be different.
‘You must be really hurting to have taken the brave decision to set such a boundary with your mum, let me support you where I can’
‘Must have taken some courage to make the choice you have with your dad even after all he’s done. I am here for you’
‘Doesn’t matter if they are your parents, in the end you have to put yourself first and its commendable that you have managed to do that’
Everyone has their own story to tell. Be free from judgement and allow people to feel justified in the choices they make and most of all listen…. when you listen properly you will hear all this anyway!