I am writing this with an internal smile, to express my truth and knowing that the world owes me nothing. To simply share what is real for me, to me, without blaming anyone, and minus the guilt that the old me would have felt for sharing this (I love the feeling when you recognise your own growth).
My mother is alive in a physical sense, but her life is now possessed by the spirit of alcohol, which has become a poison through our entire family. Those who have lived with people who are alcoholics, my heart goes out to you, its f*cking hard.
Witnessing our loved ones succumb to self-destruction is a painful aspect of life, something I grappled with for the longest time. Unraveling this enigma, however, has become the north star of my existence.
My parents' addictions have no doubt presented some pretty intense challenges, and brought to my attention in a very visceral way, the genuine problems that many people face in the world. But it has also been a blessing, a gift, because my purpose is fuelled by the determination to create something different for myself and for my children.
The realization struck at around the age of five; my mother lacked the tools to care of me, and I realized that my life was about survival. I endured, as children do, by making it all a game, by seeking refuge in creativity, by constructing an alternate reality within my mind.
In the realm of my imaginative musings, I birthed a parallel life. Each night, before sleep, I inhabited a world where a mother, who looked and sounded like mine, would engage in motherly duties. I would live out a day where she would play with me, clean my room, and help me with my homework. It was a coping mechanism, a form of dissociation, common among children with alcoholic parents. My fabricated world became a sanctuary, a haven where I accessed the love my heart yearned for.
I often bow to that resourceful little girl who, in the sanctuary of her imagination, crafted entire worlds to meet her needs. Children adapt, and the subconscious mind blurs the lines between what is real and what is not.As an adult however, this coping mechanism birthed challenges such as limerence, undiagnosed ADD, fantasies, and an anxious attachment style.
Awareness and acceptance of these facets marked the process of what modern-day healers term "the work"—my inherited assignment, a lifelong challenge willingly embraced.
I wouldn't change a thing
I have reflected on my journey and circumstances over the years, and yes it hurts to have no contact with a parent, but I am not a child anymore, I am the woman who has been formed through that.
Besides, if I had perfectly ‘normal’ parents, maybe I would have been so safe and content that I never wanted to leave my home town, got a local ‘decent’ paid job, bought a house, had two children before thirty, went on two holidays a year and been quite happy. Maybe I would have felt like I had everything I needed right there so there was no need to explore anywhere else. How different my life would be. I would not change a thing, I have made peace with the whole experience of the past and accepted life's duality, the dance of dark and light, suffering and peace, allowing me to gather tools to not slay the demons in my mind but to actually learn to love them. And the best part of it all, to teach others how to do the same.
A Thank You to My Mother:
Thank you for catalyzing my rock bottom, without that, I would have never known my strength and discovered that pain is a portal. Through surrender, I realized that 'fear is safe,' a revelation only those who've emerged from rock bottom moments can appreciate.
Thank you for not prescribing a path that I had to follow, because you gave me the freedom to forge my own. I have blazed my own trail and gradually understood the clichéd yet profound term 'trust the process.' There's liberation in knowing there's nothing to lose, allowing life to become adventure.
Thank you for making me a better mother one day. You taught me, indirectly, what it actually takes to be a mother, to question motherhood as a whole, only to come all the way back to it being a chapter of my life that I am so excited to embark on.
Thank you for showing me the damage alcohol can do, without those experiences I might have blindly walked down that path. Because of you I gained insight into being human, healing, and the power to change. You taught me the poison of jealousy, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of feeling pain and grief.
Thank you for putting me on a path to self-discovery. I reached a point where I could ask myself, "Do I want to be a victim of my perception?" I realized the power to choose how I perceive my life's events, my circumstances and life in general. From feeling trapped and lonely to yielding and surrendering, I discovered the treasure—I get to make this whole thing up! I can retell my life story in a way that empowers me.
Thank you for showing me more of what unconditional love is. Thanks to you I realised that love may not look like it does in Disney movies, and in the fairytales. Maybe our experience was exactly what I needed so that I could learn how to truly deeply love myself, and for that, how could I be anything but grateful.
I love you, I chose you, I am you.