Shh… Denial!

Old stuffI had a lightning bolt type moment about my past when I was coming out of the fog in early December.

It was an upsetting discovery to make and exciting at the same time, as many things about my life began to make sense. Pieces began to fall into place.

Let’s just say… A perspective began to be created. My life began to make sense. Then the breakup happened and it was all set aside.

Cheers to sleep deprivation, more draft sifting and another visit back to the early years…

When I was young I wasn’t considered a suitable playmate for most of the other children on our street. I remember being told I was too old, too young, too active, too quiet. Shrug. Many parents sent me home as soon as they found out who I was, where I lived. I don’t know when I worked out the real reason, or if I always knew in that way children know things. My father was an alcoholic. The only parents that didn’t send me home were a Croatian family up the street, so I would at times go and play with them. My mother would come to get me. Seems she didn’t consider the Croatian children suitable playmates for me.

I consider myself out of the fog. The words are there, they’re coming out. I feel no joy to be out as I’m feeling a little detached. I came to the realisation that the fog is triggered by strong emotion, both good and bad. I find that a depressing thought. As a child I had to protect myself from being too happy? From feeling joy? From feeling love? Yep, it’s a depressing thought, so I’ve let myself detach.
(Unpublished draft – December 2, 2010)

The daughter of a family friend told me of going to Alateen and how it was helping her to leave the past behind. It was the first time I heard the word dysfunctional. She wanted me to go along as well. I refused. My father had stopped drinking when I was 8 or 9, so I didn’t have an alcoholic parent. I mistakenly thought my father’s earlier drinking had no affect on my life. I think I was around 15 years old when that conversation took place. She was 19 and recognised herself in me… the damaged child of an alcoholic.

The fog. Yes, I can see that it has improved over time. It doesn’t last as long each time and there isn’t the same emotional upheaval when I come out as there used to be. I don’t run away. But.. There. Is. Doubt. Trust. Abandonment. When I’m in the fog I have such issues with trust. Maybe that’s what is at the heart of the fog… mistrust and doubt. I shouldn’t doubt. But. I. do. When I’m in the fog… I doubt. I have tunnel vision. I don’t see the big picture. I only see what is in front of me.
(Unpublished draft – 11 November, 2010)

Therapists would ask me… do either of your parents drink? I would tell them my father stopped when I was young. The conversation would then usually lead to the possibility of incest. I think they thought they were dealing with lost memories of incest and that was the direction our sessions went. No surprises that I was still as screwed up whenever I left therapy as when I started.

I was coming out of the fog knowing we were over. I knew then that you didn’t love me. I think I knew when I went into the fog. I didn’t want to know that I was unlovable. As always, I pushed it away. Chris lie to me? No, he does love me.

Still I tried to trust you. I believed I had to, to prove my love for you. The pain of knowing I couldn’t, but still trying. The pain of ignoring all the signs, not listening to the whispers, trying to trust you, over and over.
(Unsent mail – December 8, 2010)

My father stopped drinking when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Really, the only changes after he stopped was that we no longer had him driving home drunk and there were no more visits from police about the latest drunken fight he’d been in. He stopped cold turkey. There was no counselling and no treatment. We were still dysfunctional. Nothing changed.

We didn’t miraculously stop being dysfunctional
just because he stopped drinking.

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Draft sifting becomes an interesting journey when I end up gathering tidbits from over an extended period of time. My perspective has changed a lot in the last couple of months. The way I feel about the past has changed. My understanding of the past has changed. The next part of this particular journey, understanding what this finding means, will be published tomorrow.

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Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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