Alcoholism & Family Secrets


I’m trespassing in this world. I hide and watch the world from afar. I am violating time energy and space. How do I get back home to my own world? How many times have I just wanted to seriously disappear? I literally did not want to exist on the face of the earth. Not having been allowed privacy of my own. Feeling constantly exposed and ridiculed all the time I became so defensive I would isolate and drink. I knew underage drinking was wrong so I wanted to keep it a secret as much as possible although there were people who knew I drank. This need to keep everything a secret about me for fear of being shamed and judged became my biggest obsession next to alcohol and getting drunk.

What kind of a beast I must be to have witnessed and experienced such intentional cruelty and abuse by the people who were suppose to love and protect me? Of course I took it personally and turned the feelings of hate, contempt, shame and guilt on myself.

My family’s secrets are more important than I am. My family’s secrets have more value than I do. My internal self lives hidden in the shadows. Surrounded by all these entities of dark energy. They are the secrets. They crowd and overshadow me. They bully me. They tell me what to do and what to say. They dictate my actions and reactions. I’m a captive audience. I’m a hostage to all of these secrets. What are all these shadows I see back here. It’s hard to distinguish myself from all of the family secrets. I cannot recognize you from all the secrets. I am so enmeshed with the family secrets I would not be able to point my true self out in a crowd. That is how little I know of me. 

One thing I can surely count on. They keep me in place. They keep my life predictable. They keep me guarded and I don’t have to worry about people getting to close to me. 

“I kept these secrets until they gradually faded into the fabric of shame and guilt that came to dominate my sense of identity.” (John Bradshaw Author, Family Secrets, prologue xii) 

I didn’t have secrets; I was a secret, trying to stay hidden and concealed from the world. The more I tried to hide from the world the more people noticed me. I absolutely didn’t know what to do with myself. People would sense my shame about who I was and criticize me for it. I’m very awkward and self-conscience. I can never remember a time that I didn’t feel less than or not good enough inside. Everyone looked so good around me and happy and I felt so bad. I just knew there had to be some other secrets…you know good secrets that I wasn’t in on. But then it really didn’t matter because I knew I was a figment of some other girl’s imagination anyway. I wasn’t real she was dreaming me. One day she would wake up and poof…I will just disappear and that is just fine with me. It’s so hard being here. My family remind me everyday how less than I am and that I don’t’ deserve anything. Just shut up make myself useful or stay out of the way. I don’t deserve much of anything. 

People will always feed off of you if they know or think they can. Rarely does a person rise above and show compassion or understanding when another is exhibiting such soulful wounded-ness. I can and I do with people on a regular basis. I’m very proud of the fact that I own and value kindness, understanding and compassion towards another human being walking around feeling vulnerable, exposed and stripped naked. 

(John Bradshaw Author, Family Secrets). “Self-ownership is forbidden.  The Patriarchal and Matriarchal Authoritarian ownership of their children is the rule of law.“ These authoritarian Patriarchs and Matriarchs are delusional. They thought they had complete ownership and control over who and what I was; but I did have another side to me. I knew and eventually acknowledged to myself this other side. To acknowledge it to my family would have been futile. It would have diminished the ownership and reality of the fact that I had this other side that they had no effort in creating and could not control inside of me because we get two sets of DNA not just one. They were self centered and ignorant to that fact; but there was more to me than just their narcissist egotistical judgment of who I am. Just because they said something didn’t mean in my own mind it was true. 

I just never bothered to challenge them. What for…? It wouldn’t do any good anyway. I would just bring on more of the rage. Besides I was tired all of the time. Keeping secrets and getting drunk were full time exercises that required incredible amounts of energy. 

How much anxiety and anger the secrets created caused chronic back and neck pain and over time the anxiety reached a point to where I would have heart palpitation in my early twenties. And I would feel many times through out the day that I was going to lose control. I never did lose control. I didn’t realize at the time that my internal coping mechanisms quick working. They just gave out. I reached a point when I could no longer get that euphoric high from alcohol anymore. I couldn’t get drunk. And yet I couldn’t stop drinking. Hell for an alcoholic is not being able to get drunk or sober. Just suspended in emotional and mental agony and pain all the time. I had lived in isolation and fear for so many years building up walls to protect myself with the false identity of who I was. I had a complete disconnect with the human race. I was an island unto my self as the saying goes. And only god knows how lonely I was inside because all these secrets had robbed and stripped me of so much laughter, joy, happiness, success and security. 

Just because I harbored secrets for what every reason did not make me a bad person. Just neurotic as hell…ha! Just because I became an alcoholic at 14 with an overwhelming false sense of responsibility didn’t make me a failure as a person. It just made my life more difficult and made me feel worse when the alcohol wore off.  But I’ve come to realize through my recovery that just because I feel bad and some times I still do, doesn’t mean I am bad. My worth is not based on how I am feeling emotionally. My worth is based on what I treasure and value about myself as a human being. I decide my worth and value today and no one else.


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