I learned to trust no one as the child of an alcohol-dependent mother
For as far back as I can remember, I had a lingering feeling something was terribly wrong. My parents were preaching ‘do right’ and holding me to ungodly standards while actively doing wrong. I learned integrity by understanding they were the exact opposite of what that term means. I remember the first time being asked to cover for a ‘white lie’. I very clearly remember understanding the meaning of those words at age seven.
After my father passed losing his battle with mental health at age thirty-four (I was nine), my mother had several severe alcohol related accidents following. I was called several times from the ER while I was home alone with my younger sister. Never knowing when she would be home but understanding if it was after a certain time she was intoxicated. There was no way to contact her as we did not have cell phones. Anticipation of her intoxication made me want to leave my body. My father was already dead and she was putting herself in life threatening situations time and time again. Justifying and never taking accountability.
The first time I called 911 was age seven. Domestic violence, as my parents were drinking and fighting. My mother told me to call. The day after, my family MOCKED me for calling and not once did anyone defend me. I understood from so very young my place. My silence was my only means for survival. A people pleaser was my means for connection. People pleasers are hosts for others demons. The very definition of setting one up for failure. I breathed manipulation and my young child brain was recording it all.
Embarrassed to have friends around.
After drunk nights—name calling, physical violence, countless phone calls, cigarette smoke filling the house, partying in the street with neighbours, as I was unable to fall asleep—the sound of the screen door opening & closing … The next morning, went on like nothing happened… HOPEFULLY (which is so sad to say as the alternative was worse!!). There was never an apology and if you ever dared to ask there was an excuse and I was called selfish for making the situation about my personal feelings. I was a child! I was worried about my only surviving parent that I truly loved and adored!
Embarrassed to have friends around, I kept anyone except very close friends away.
I remember always understanding my home was different but not understanding why. As a child I remember thinking there must be something terribly wrong with me to have this life dealt to me. I struggled with the question constantly running through my head, ‘Why did two people that, to me, didn’t seem to want kids, have them? Why Am I Here!?!’ Once I had children, I realised how much more I prayed and hoped for them. I couldn’t imagine hurting them in the same ways I was hurt.
Unfortunately, because my mother perceived her childhood as lacking, the narcissistic personality disorder or ego she vibrates from feels that I should have it just as bad or worse than she did. As if me going through absolute Hell would somehow make up for whatever pain she continued to feel.
Makes no sense whatsoever.
I have learned to trust no one.
I felt an extreme hatred underneath those closest to me. It radiated in each person I sought refuge in.
I have learned to trust no one. I still struggle with that. My theory is that everyone is human and will make choices unfavourable to myself. That is not where my power lies. My power is in my reaction. I have learned to pray before every word so each is what I mean and truly fearless to say to the world.
People surrounding told me they understood what was going on yet they still sent me back to the environment. I told myself if it got what ‘they’ considered ‘bad’ enough, someone would have to do SOMETHING… Right??!! WRONG. Even more confusing to a child’s growing brain.
She was feeding off how awful her family treated her and I heard the same from them about her. Twilight zone! Yet even experiencing the wrath for myself, I still defended my mom until now. It was my means for survival. My basic needs were held over my head if I did not stay silent, comply and submit to every mood she was in. When a person is traumatised, it’s not only the trauma they are healing from. It is the number of times they weren’t believed. It’s being exposed to people that defended the perpetrator. It’s being shamed for not letting go. It’s healing from the world’s response to vulnerability.
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