Family skeletons....

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton you might as well make it dance." George Bernard Shaw 

Many alcoholics or addicts come from families who never really embraced open communication. Many grew up in homes where one or both parents were caught up in addiction or perhaps a mental illness . there is this familial system of unspoken messages . what happens is that the children begin to experience shame, and tend to feel alone. Like maybe it's even their fault . They don't know what to do.

I grew up in such a home where one parent was an alcoholic and the other suffered from depression and anxiety. I never really learned to communicate well or to even know what I was feeling. I got very good at taking care of myself in my own little world. But I definitely developed some negative core beliefs about myself that came back to haunt me later in life.

In recovery, I have found it helpful to be able to talk openly about my childhood in my family growing up. I don't talk about it in a bad way though. they were definitely family skeletons, but I've learned to be able to talk about it and sometimes even joke about it. Meaning, I've lightened up and have now look at things from a different perspective. My greatest pain and suffering have been my greatest teachers . Over time, I broke away from that isolation and shame , coming to value my own worth . And talking about it openly and honestly, sometimes with a sense of humor. 

What about you? 
  • 4 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I grew up in a big family; my dad worked a lot and my mom had some anger issues. Every issue was swept under the rug and never dealt with or talked about. My parents divorced when I was 14. My mom expected so much out of us older kids and later married a violent alcoholic. I was sexually assaulted, also at 14 and never felt comfortable telling anyone. Many issues, a lot of pain, and I am surprised I turned out ok. Now I also use humor to get through everything. We still can't talk about or through any issues, or I'm treated like crap. I'm working hard on evolving so I can try and give my kids a more open base of communication. I'm a work in progress for sure. I'm pretty sure most the time I'm on top of the shame and pain. I have an amazing boyfriend who I can communicate absolutely anything with. We have our issues as well, but I trust we can get through them from open and honest communication
  • I grew up with an alcoholic father and experienced a lot of the same things you did, @dominica. Some of the negative thoughts and feelings still linger today, but I do my best to work through them whenever they rear their ugly heads. It's not easy, though. Talking and writing about it helps. Back in the day, I was ashamed of what was going on in my home. I didn't want my friends to know for fear that they would reject me because of my dad's behavior. But now I discuss it openly so I can help educate others. I wish I wouldn't have felt so ashamed and embarrassed all those years ago. Live and learn.
  • @DeanD ;I think perhaps more people today are sharing openly about the dysfunctions of their past, as well as their own emotional issues. I think it's great that we as adults can educate others , and by sharing our own stories give them permission to share theirs. 
  • @ern ;Thank you for sharing. Sounds like you grew up in a household like a lot of us. Even so, like you, I feel like I turned out all right. I went through my stuff , and always resolve to keep moving on with the best attitude I can. But it certainly takes work. We are all works in progress!

    I'm super glad that you have a boyfriend now that you can communicate with openly and honestly. That is amazing! And I'm glad that you are working on evolving . having the attitude to grow personally and spiritually can make a world of difference as your journey in this planet. 

    Again, so glad that you shared with us and I hope that you're having a great day!
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