This is not just a story about drug addiction, but about a need and desire for a relationship that offers little reciprocity.
Let me back up…..
I haven’t written in almost two years. TWO. YEARS. I guess I’ve been out of words, although my husband would probably disagree. The truth is, it’s been a weird few years. A lot has been going on in my personal life and I’m writing here again because not only do I want to offer you some encouragement through my own experiences, but equally, I’m here to receive it. Now that I can finally put a few thoughts together, I want to share more of my story so you know you aren’t alone. We women these days are so covered up in insecurity and comparison that letting someone see our junk is just too exposing. But I have found that letting some light in is a healer, and I’m here to mend and help you do the same. That said, I’m going to continue to word-vomit right here and hope that something sticks to the wall. If ”word vomit” sounds like a phrase you’d like to get down with, let us continue.
Like I said, a lot has happened in my personal life during, well…the entirety of my personal life and I’ve touched on some of it here and there – divorce, single-motherhood, miscarriages, the death of someone closest to me, bad dating choices in my 40’s, love, marriage and as of late, peri-menopause. Not to mention all the juicy little details that y’all know nothing about – bad business dealings with a side of lost relationships over these past few years that have caused me many tears and self-reflection. Jenn, my counselor tells me I’m making great progress. Even with such a long way to go, I still think I’m ready to let you in.
We are all going through our fair share of “issues”. It’s important to me that you know – I don’t think mine aren’t more meaningful or note-worthy just because you’re reading them. Also, I am 100% unqualified to give direction to anyone about anything – just to be clear. But I know this – talking about our crap matters. Whatever your crap is, It can’t stay bottled up inside or swept under the rug. One day you are gonna bust like a can of biscuits or the button on your too-tight jeans and it ain’t gonna be pretty. I know because I have come to this place. My biscuits busted, y’all. The layered ones. So many layers, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so grateful for all of the beautiful things in my life, and there are a lot! But over the past few years I finally hit a point where not dealing with all the bad ones nearly took me down.
While it seems like everybody else has been facing hard things surrounding Covid and the overall state of our world, my challenge has been internal. My brain is on overload but it’s not from all the news outlets, statistics, or CDC guidelines. It’s from the constant chatter and inner-workings of my own psyche. My fight isn’t with my neighbor who disagrees with me about the vaccine.
My fight is with, and FOR, myself.
Something that you may not know is that I have struggled over these past few years in coming to terms with an issue that has attached itself to me since I was born (and I’m not talking about the fat on my thighs). Against every bit of my will it has made its home inside my heart, helped shape my personality, walked with me all throughout my childhood, haunted me into my adult years and created more dysfunction in my family than you can shake a stick at. It has effected me so much that every choice I make and every thought I think until recent months has been filtered through the destruction that this subject has caused.
It has been hard for me to talk about because in no way, shape or form do I ever want to cause hurt or harm to any human being, including those who have not withheld either of those things from me. But my trauma-brain is finally understanding that my intentions matter and when it comes to this difficult subject my intentions are pure – to heal, move forward and to take you with me. This is my objective. I am sick to death of hiding my story for fear of hurting those who had a hand in creating it. My need and burning-desire to use my voice to help my community of sisters feel more understood and less alone has finally won the battle in my mind. If my reality benefits you in any way – if it empowers you to tell your story that will inevitably help others, then THAT is worth the rub and the backlash that any of the words on this page may bring me. So, here we go.
MY MOTHER SUFFERS FROM ADDICTION.
I grew up an only child in a small town in Tennessee. From when I was a little girl (up until middle-school, maybe) I have a few really sweet memories of my mother – her bringing cupcakes to my kindergarten class, helping me with projects, letting me go to work with her when I faked being sick on school days, making sure Christmas morning was magical. She was the prettiest lady I had ever seen. When I got sick she was a good caretaker – always letting me sleep in her bed so she could tend to me. I remember my parents taking me and my friends to the lake on the weekends. I remember them always getting together with their own group of church friends and even though I never felt a bond with my mother, she seemed so happy and full of life back then…until she didn’t.
I do have some good experiences worth hanging onto, but as I sit here flipping through my mental records for more happy memories, the ink on those pages seems to have faded. I’m sure somewhere on the bottom shelf of my intellect sits another book-full, but new narratives written-by-the-volume have stacked up and kept that old ledger buried deep, if it even exists at all. Maybe as my emotional work progresses I can blow the dust off of some hidden keepsakes that my mind has forgotten about. But for now, these are the remnants of nostalgia concerning my mother.
I see parts of her in me that let me know there is so much goodness there. If you have any kind of need whatsoever I will fix you and your entire household a pot of chili that will keep you fed until Jesus comes back. I’ll host your baby shower, let you borrow my clothes and I’ll visit your dying mother in the hospital quicker than you can say HOSPITALITY because that’s what she always did. When it came to others in need, she modeled an unselfish generosity, and I have tried to follow suit. Those beautiful attributes that she has passed on to me are not overlooked, and I am grateful for every good gift that has spilled over from her cup to mine. But in full disclosure I have to tell you, the love and affection she has shown to others is not something that has been given quite so freely to me. In truth, the grief and torment my heart and mind have felt from this relationship so deeply over all these years far overshadows any virtuous features I may have acquired from her. Because in the midst of drug-addicted chaos, my mother never stopped baking those casseroles for people in need, but she did stop nurturing me somewhere along the way. That is one memory that will never leave me no matter how much I try and wish it away, mostly because it is still my reality. This is not just a story about drug addiction, but about a need and desire for a relationship that offers little reciprocity.
My mother was present but she wasn’t. She loved me but she couldn’t. She hates being an addict, but she doesn’t. She tries so hard…sometimes, but it just always seems to get the best of her and our entire family, for that matter. It never ends. It never has. There is so much more to say here. So many memories of confusion and loneliness over the years. So much rejection and feelings of abandonment.
My younger years were not all bad, though. They were good, in fact! I have so many great memories of big family get-togethers, of living next to my grandparents, of friends and dances and shenanigans. Outside the walls of my home I had a near-perfect childhood but behind closed doors the struggle often times overwhelmed me. And because we were not aware that drug addiction was a big part of the problem until later, there were no family discussions – only questions. So many questions – Where has she been? Why is she so angry? What did I do wrong? Why doesn’t she like me? Why do her words and this buttoned-up little middle-class life feel like a lie?
Why don’t I matter?
Over the course of my adolescent years my mother became disengaged, despondent, angry and hollow, and I became anxious, worried and depressed. It wasn’t until early into my senior year of high school that we cracked the code and found out she had been addicted to pills for years. Knowing it and naming it helped, but the gnawing awareness that my mother’s relationship with pills always seemed to be more important to her than her relationship with me was, and is, a gut-wrenching absolute. And I’m not sure why, except that Henry Cloud says ”Nobody changes until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change.” Maybe it’s that simple. Maybe it’s not.
I remember pastors and friends being at our house at various times trying to help sort through the trauma and the drama – looking into rehabs, praying, delivering, yelling, screaming, sorting through the tears and the lies. This was a scene that I would soon be brought into somewhere around age 16. Most of my high school memories at home are of me questioning my mother about drugs, deceit, strange behaviors, missing money, or her unknown whereabouts. This role I played as Parent and Interrogator would become my reality as the decades passed, and eventually included a new role – my father’s Savior and Confidant.
I’m not sure this one blog entry has the bandwidth to handle all of the things I’ve experienced. There are memories that plague my mind in abundance and there has yet to be any amount of clarity or distraction that erases them from my brain. There are so many ways I’ve been affected by a life not only wrapped up in drug abuse, but one affected by the lack of relationship that a girl needs, and should have, with her mother. As I try and move forward and push these words out onto this paper I am forced to stop and sit, once again, with the fear of hurting my family by my words. But this is part of my work – to realize that this thought pattern is a repercussion of being raised in an environment where others’ feelings and experiences mattered way more than mine. And this has been a lie that has been forced upon me my entire life, until I recently chose to finally resist it.
If you know you know…
And if you do, then it’s you I’m writing for.
Let’s keep going.
Throughout the course of my life I have been taught a lot of things. Most of the good things worth hanging onto were taught to me mostly by my paternal grandmother. Thankfully, she lived next door to me until I left home at 18. She was my best friend and confidant and she knew what I was going through. My dad understood it too, from his spousal perspective. He was a really great dad growing up and most of my little-girl memories include him. He coached t-ball, took me fishing, taught me to drive, and when I was little, every night after work I would sit in his lap while he watched Sanford and Son. Eventually the light in his eyes dimmed as his every thought was, and remains, consumed by my mother’s destruction.
Thankfully, my grandmother filled the gaps for me along the way. We had an unbreakable bond and actually, it was her death three years ago that eventually gave me the nudge I needed to finally see a counselor. The loss of her as my center and the glue that held our broken family together caused every crack to be exposed and every fracture more vivid than ever before. So much so, that I could no longer pretend that our family dynamic had not left me devastated. She did a wonderful job making me feel as loved and secure as possible. And while I know that any nurturing, loving attributes I have came straight from her, so many more dysfunctional traits came from being raised in addiction right next door.
The things I’ve seen and the lies I’ve been told could be made into a seven part docu-series. I’ve lived with my mother being in and out of rehabs for as long as I can remember and I’ve seen my dad get her out early just as many times. I’ve lived in a world where my reality is continually denied, my anger suppressed and my wounds unattended for longer than should be allowed. I have been taught to always try and fix others because that’s what matters most. I have waited for the other shoe to drop my entire life because inevitably it always has. There have been naysayers, guilt-givers and scripture-speakers who, many with all-be-it good intentions, have done their best to direct my focus back to “being there for my family” with no regard whatsoever for my heart or my mental health. I have inadvertently been taught that Christianity and the love of Jesus means that we let others walk all over us as we continue to “turn the other cheek” and give people a free pass to abuse us. These days, I know better and am a firm believer that God cares just as much for my mental state as He does my mother’s.
I have been a protector, people-pleaser, a peacemaker, and a private investigator. I have been taught to live in fear, to mistrust and always proceed with caution. If I had a suspicion it was always right. And if I had a need, it probably wasn’t a good time. Just step aside and take care of yourself. Go play while we figure out what to do with your mother. The adult version of that narrative still reads the same but with grown-up nuance, in case you’re wondering.
All along the way, I have known deep down that this weight was too heavy to carry. The weight of never being able to say the right thing, to be good enough, love hard enough, pretend well enough. The weight of co-dependency. I’ve tried to lay it down at various times in my life but either toxic habits or manipulation has caused me to lug it around and take every single bit of this fear-based craziness into my adult life. It has affected all of me, including my parenting and every relationship I have ever had. I even inadvertently sought out adult relationships that resembled my wounded childhood because sadly, it felt familiar and fixing people was my M.O. And although worth every penny, it has cost me thousands of dollars in therapy. I’m not just talking about how drugs have affected me, but about how the choices of someone whose sole purpose was to love and protect me has.
I’m not writing this to gain your sympathy. What I do need, however, is greater understanding for why we become so hyper-focused on the chaos itself that we forget about the victims of it. We forget to look at the little girl and ask her if she’s ok, if she needs a hug or a counselor. Maybe we forget because we are too busy trying to save face or fix broken people who can’t be fixed or don’t want to be, instead of mending the fractured sufferers who are begging to be put back together. Maybe we forget because we are too busy enabling the persecutor all in the name of Jesus or love or “doing the right thing” – so much so that we forget to do the right thing! We somehow forget to be Jesus to the ones who have been persecuted.
I don’t understand. Why can’t we be Jesus to both?
If I sound fed up, I am.
If I could go back and do it differently, I would.
If I can help somebody in my shoes stand up for truth and justice and themselves, I will.
Even though my upbringing has been full of trauma and constant undoings and even though I have brought a lot of little-girl wounds into my big-girl life, I have also brought a plethora of beautiful attributes with me as well.
Untangling myself is a constant work in progress. My feelings still overwhelm me at times as I get caught up in the remnants of my past dysfunction. I’m still working it out, learning to hope as I continue to dip my toe in the waters of trust. I have a ways to go, but I’ll tell you this – the empathy and compassion I’ve developed for others has been a gift I may not have ever received had I not been raised inside of my story. Knowing where I came from keeps me grounded and gives me a continual supply of reality (and content) that helps me navigate my line of work. Remembering the life I’ve lived makes me put in overtime to be a loving, trustworthy partner. And working through my false-beliefs of inadequacy and acknowledging my little-girl-need for love and direction has made me a better parent. My adolescent emotions of insecurity and uncertainty have made sure I created a grown-up world where above everything on living earth, my children know they are safe and secure in my presence. I fail constantly, but my heart feels right. I am a living testimony that you are not your circumstances. My backbone and my faith are stronger and my call to justice is louder than ever before. And deep in my knower I am fully aware that in spite of everything I’ve gone through God is still good…and so am I.
For the record, I love my family very much. My parents are good people. They are just tangled up in a toxic cycle. Being a part of this cycle requires more from me than I can give these days, so I’ve chosen to no longer participate. It hurts me beyond words, but not nearly as much as my previous alternative.
I am on a continual road to restoration. I don’t know what I’m doing or how to do it, but I’m walking it out the best I can. Sometimes I handle it with grace and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m full of compassion and sometimes I’m madder than a hornet. Sometimes I pull in close. Currently I’ve stepped away. “Won’t you regret that one day?” Maybe. I don’t know. I just know that I’m doing the best I can right now with what I’ve been given. I’m always aware of my need for help and support and even more aware of my need to continually forgive and extend grace, even from afar.
Please hear me when I say – I know that addiction is a disease I didn’t give quite enough credit to in this story. I know there are studies and facts and facets that I didn’t touch or know nothing about. This is just a sharing-of-my-life and a look inside my brain and heart as I’ve navigated addiction and devastated relationships from a daughter’s perspective.
If you are in recovery of any kind and you are doing your dead-level best to walk in humility, be a good human and change the narrative for the people you’ve effected including yourself, you should be proud of yourself! You are doing good work and making your story count.
If you’ continue to be a victim of other peoples’ choices, whatever that may look like, I hope you will love yourself enough to tend to your own heart, give yourself some attention and get the help you need, whether from a pastor, counselor or friend.
For those of you who are staying in a toxic environment out of any guilt or fear, let me offer my humble opinion: You can love people from a distance – it’s still love. You just get to choose what your heart can withstand and when your grace period is up. That’s between you and God. If you need a breather, just know that removing yourself doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. Making those changes won’t be easy, but pouring into yourself the way you’ve poured into others is worth it. Your life is just that – yours.
I’ll be offering resources on these subjects in the coming days.
For now, if you need help breaking co-dependent/addictive cycles in your life, here a few of my own personal reading suggestions to start with:
-How To Do The Work by Nicole LePera –
-Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. David Townsend –
-You’re Not Crazy, You’re CoDependent by Jeanette Elisabeth Menter
87 thoughts on “LAYERED BISCUITS”
All I can say is that was an amazing read. I saw myself in your words, even though there is no addiction in my family. Thank you!
You are a gifted writer and sharing your story is going to be a blessing to sooo many, even those who haven’t experienced what you’ve gone through. It’s hard raising girls these days (and boys too) but I had my only child at 46 and I constantly pray that God will help me to be the mom that HE intended me to be! Thanks for opening up your heart…from one Tennessee girl to another!
I am so sorry for what you went through, I have Friends that have been through the same thing, I work at our local sheriffs Dept, we have inmate workers that have gone trough and still are going through so many bad things and we try to talk to them and help them but only they can make the decision to change.
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Wow, thank you Heather and all for sharing your stories. Most times I think I’ve forgiven my mom; not for addiction but for her distance and withdrawal from us. But then I’ll remember something and feel a 50 year old hurt.
I read not only your words, but, that of so many posted here. I wish I could say they all made me feel better. Instead, it just points out to me that time is no longer on my side. I feel like, at age 60, there just isn’t enough time to bother. My life was screwed before it got started! And, then, the one thing in my life, the one person I could call All mine, she left me. Because of a disorder we shared. In 5% of known cases, 1 will go into total renal failure. Why Her? Why Not Me! She had so much more to offer this world than I ever have. In my younger days I dealt with everything by being the jokester! I spent so much time making others laugh, while I was dying inside. Now, each day is the same. Get up, MISS HER, wish I was strong enough to kill myself, go to bed… You make me Laugh. And, it feels good. I just doesn’t last. I will be here to read everyone’s stories, maybe share a little of how I was lost before I even started. Until I am no longer here. God Bless you for doing this!! MAYBE, maybe I will find a way to begin a life not lived in fear… ❤
Hang on tight. You matter, you’re valuable.
Alanon meetings helped me understand they are sick people not bad people and they say they hurt the people they love the most what type of up bring did your mom have? They also say you didnt cause it and your can change it. Its sucks but sometimes you have to nuture that little girl yourself if its not available . your own mental health needs to be on the top of the list .. Give that little girl the love and attention she needs now
Thank you for sharing. My first marriage crumbled before my eyes due to alcoholism. I have two super amazing kids from that marriage and I am forever grateful for that. I always thought I could fix him. I did all the right things and all the wrong things until I eventually had to snatch my kids up and run. My son understands and gets it. He knows I had to take them and leave because I had to keep them safe. My daughter, although younger at the time (only 5), blames me. To this day (she is 17 now) she feels she deserves an explanation. She stays mad at me and talks about how perfect her dad is. She has lived him abandoning her and moving out of the country, moving across the country etc… He has missed her activities, never paid for anything… and the list could continue. Still, she has this sense of obligation to constantly talk about him being amazing. It’s hurtful. She is in counseling, though. She says she likes going, but I am not seeing much fruit from it. She is blessed with an amazing step dad who loves her and has supported her since elementary school. I just wish she could realize that. It’s hard. So hard.
Lbs I just love you
Oh my sweet girl, I’m 61, my mother was in the hospital most of my 8 yrs I had with her! My grandmother step in and help my daddy also to take care of me and my baby sister. During the summer, we stayed weekly, but everyday he would come to see us. On weekends we would go home! I understand you completely. Not the same story but so Similar. I don’t remember my mother ever tucking me into bed, I remember one time her telling us that she loved us. It was right before she passed. We always went to church, that’s my saving grace. Because my dad remarried three years later, had a heart attack six months after and passed away! He loved us fiercely. I had him for almost 12 years he instilled in me A lot in those 12 years. First of all he had me singing in church since I was three. After he passed out stepmother became mean! So I asked to get married early, I was 17/10th grade, I married a marine. 12th grade I became pregnant I went to school half a day and worked a half a day. I graduated June 6, 1979 gave birth to my baby girl June 18, 1979. I have three beautiful children from that marriage, but he beat me. I am now married to a wonderful man that loves my children, just like I love his. We have nine grandchildren that we adore. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that homesick feeling before? Are used to have it every time my daddy would come to my grandmothers to visit us, and he would leave I would go to the bathroom and cry. Definitely don’t wanna hurt my grandmothers feelings. My kids are my world, so when I had them they gave me a purpose I love them with everything I had, took them to church from the day they were week old. I love my husband and my grandchildren and my pets. I have felt that homesick feeling twice in the pass month!! My children are busy, my grandchildren are growing up the oldest two are in college!! There are times I just need a hug. I love my husband he’s good to me, we been married 23 years, he’s not the best on Listening to her feel. I don’t go to him for a hug I just pray. My grandmother taught me at eight years old how to divide closed to proper piles to wash, what are the last year the washer because it was a wringer washer! She taught me how to hang clothes on the line, and the fold them like they came out of the department store. I’m very OCD, that’s the only thing my husband gets on my nerves about his not😂 16 years ago my baby sister took her own life. She left a note, no reason no ryme For a any reason. She’s getting ready to get married for her 2nd time. I talk to her multiple times every day, I don’t understand why she couldn’t talk to me. I’ve seen a psychiatrist for help dealing with her death! I miss her so do my children. I just feel like there’s something missing in me. I I don’t understand why I’m feeling this way, just keep leaning on God help me through it. I know you pray so I’m asking you to pray for me, and I’m so excited about this group. I could write blog about my life I’ve hit and missed my with you! I’m excited for this group that you’re starting up! I’m very proud of you for what you’ve been through. And I know you’re gonna make this group a safe haven for ones like us!
Your story really touched me. I am 62, grandmother, stepmother, mother. I cannot imagine the pain you went through and have now. I grew up with a functional alcoholic in a military family. Violence and secrets. I have been in and out of therapy, always helpful. The worst thing is how we continue to hurt ourselves. Time for peace now, thanks God!
I first heard you share your story yesterday morning while getting dressed for work. I’m a teacher. In Alabama. Teaching is hard work any time but this year, has been one of the most mentally and emotionally exhausting experiences of my career. You spoke of going to church on Wednesday night “because where I’m from, we either do church or do crystal meth” 🤣 I was mesmerized. I was encouraged. I laughed. I was ready to face a school day with overwhelming demands for the first time in a long time because of your spirit, shining through my phone screen!
I suppose the Facebook algorithms put you on my newsfeed tonight and I heard of your desire to use your platform to foster a community of women. What a wonderful way to bring light into the world!! I’m convinced that you are walking right, straight, down the center of your life’s purpose. Keep on keeping on, girl! I, for one, am blessed by your courage and perseverance.
I too had to walk away and love from a distance and I struggle all the time. My mom has mental health issues and I did everything I could to be enough and keep my sisters safe. I never understood why other people didn’t see what was happening. I have only found the courage very recently to talk about it with my husband and it has helped so very much. The irony of it all is now that I have stepped away, my mom’s health is really starting to decline and I just can’t bring myself to feel much of anything about the situation. Reading your words is very helpful and seeing so many other women with similar situations makes me feel strong, thank you so much.
Omg. I feel like I’m home. This blog will be helpful to so many. Not ready to share my story yet, but eventually I will be.
I have lived your life. We are joined at the hip. The only thing I will say right now is you are in a new marriage so be very careful not to make the person bleed that didn’t cut you. God I wish we could sit and talk
I’m new to the group and just looking forward to what God has in store .
I have no words, other than, I just love you. You poured out your heart to so many unknown people and I admire you for that. *hugs*
I can imagine how difficult this was for you to write AND publish for others to read. Many things that happen to us when we are in our developing years plague us and our relationships as adults. We must do the work to heal from those things so they don’t spill all over the good things in our lives. I’m proud of you for doing that!
Just FYI, the cracks let the light in. We crack and we break, but it’s during those times that God does his best work!
Thank you sister for sharing your heart! I know it isn’t always easy to be vulnerable but when God tells you to do it, we just find the words to write! There’s healing in sharing. I do not have a current relationship with my biological mother because she chose abusive alcoholic men over us kids. As a child, it felt like abandonment. As an adult, I view her differently- It looks like co-dependency, unresolved mental health issues / childhood trauma and possibly batter’s wife syndrome. I have forgiven my mother but have never felt the need to open the door to restore that relationship. My older sister has thought about it. My younger sister still views it as abandonment. You are right about being worthy of love as well!
Wow!! Thanks for being so real and raw with your life experiences. I’m certain many women will benefit from this platform.
The courage you have shown, by putting this all down, bespeaks of your dedication to love. You can, and will, find your peace. Love will ultimately, fill in your cracks. I am the daughter of a parent with addictive tendencies, who was the daughter growing up in a household of an alcoholic. Lot of layered biscuits there. I moved away from home at an early age and I have since learned my family felt abandoned by my decision to do so. Looking back, I was self-preserving. I finally moved back home just before I turned 30. It took me that long to put all of that baggage down (you know, when you overpack and have too many stuffed bags of luggage?). I waited until I was fully ready. I decidedly would no longer carry my parents bags for them. I would instead, give them love and time to let them unpack their bags. I have seen it take a lifetime to do this unpacking and I have gained empathy and understanding (most days). Not easy. You are not alone. ❤
Oh my gosh! Thank you, Heather, for writing this. I saw myself completely in this beautiful, yet humbling on-going life journey of yours. I come from a background of parents who are God-fearing, but something just isn’t right. My mom is a hoarder a physical things. I was raised in a very supportive home to the best of my parents abilities. If it weren’t for my maternal grandmother, she was the one who showed me what true love was. I lost her over 10 years ago. The family glue cracked and peeled so quickly after that. It continues to crumble.
Yes, these resources are an excellent resource. Stepping away is so hard, especially as your parents age, knowing you don’t know how much time is left. All you want to do is help. You’re story resonates with me sooo much. I appreciate your heart. I knew when I came across your “I Ain’t Doin’ It” you were someone who tugged on my heartstrings. I was right. You are a beautiful soul. I look forward to following you on this journey of healing. Just know you aren’t alone. Sending love, support and so much gratitude for your bravery.
Oh Heather, your story is my story. My mother was not addicted to drugs, but was verbally and emotionally abusive. Everyone else was better than me. She wanted to live her life through me. I was miserable. She loved prestigious people and wanted me to be prestigious so it would make her look good. I was never good enough, so I was pushed aside and rejected. All those people she put on a pedestal was not there when she had to go into a nursing facility. My father passed 15 years earlier and my only brother and sibling passed 11 years ago. So it was me, the one that was never good enough, that was responsible for her needs. I so need this group. Thank you for creating this group so people like me have a place to talk about these things.
You are like the sister l never had and l admire you for sharing you for sharing what you have been through. I also come from a dysfunctional family as well and always seemed to be in the way.
Thank you so much for sharing! I grew up in a similar situation but with a undiagnosed unmedicated Bipolar mother. Lots of chaos, anger, and violence. The result let me feeling like I couldn’t trust anyone least of all my self. Also felt unlovable. I have been able to make a lot of progress with my healing but I continue to uncover the raw layers that need some tender loving care still to this day. I am so proud of you for standing in your truth and willing to speak it. I know it’s very scary. Please remember you are a very beautiful soul and deserving of all the Love in world. I encourage you on your journey for wholeness. Big Hugs! Big Love!
There are many things that you lock away in your heart and try to forget and never speak of. That would be sexual abuse. You bury it but it comes back every so often.
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Oh Heather…. I can so relate to you. I had to walk away from my parents and brothers 8 years ago. My father molested me as a child. My mother knew about and did nothing. She has always hated me for it. I’m 55 years old and I tried my whole life to please her. I was the only one on both sides of the family to go to college. When I graduated all she said to me was “I can’t believe you actually did it.” No “I’m proud of you.” Nothing. She would degrade me every chance she got.
I lost my son in Afghanistan in 2010. I was crushed! And my life has never been the same. It’s created so much anger in me. I lost my job that I worked 20 years working. I have no focus left. My middle child is going through a horrible custody battle. I try to help, but feel like I’m failing him. I feel like my heart is just crushed into small pieces! I cry every day! And not sure what to do at this point.
Thank you for doing what you do! You always seem to put a smile on my face. So thank you! We will all get through this life together.
Honoring every word you’ve shared, every line written, every ounce of your life’s experiences and journey poured so lovingly and bravely onto the page.
We share the same thoughts on Jesus and showing up for all-My favorite word is AND-it’s not either/OR-it’s AND as in we, as in all, as in WE are ALL in this life together and most of us are trying our best.
When I read your words “Even with such a long way to go”…I was reminded of my own thoughts as I had written them in my journal this morning –
“Those who accept where you are on your journey, supporting how far you’ve come versus how far you have to go-My People. (Angela Peyton)
I’m so happy to have this space and be considered one of your people.
I am so proud of you and hope you are so proud of you too and fully embrace your counselors feedback that you have made great progress-now BELIEVE it.
Here we are-TOGETHER WITH YOU, on OUR journey!
Love to you,
Beautifully written. I have also read the comments others have left, and it leaves me feeling so very grateful for the upbringing I had. No parent is perfect, and my siblings and I all have our gripes about our childhood, but jeez, what spoiled brats we must have been to have such petty grievances when compared to the true trauma and emotional neglect/abuse that so many have suffered! I am in awe of your honesty and willingness to share your heart and your story. I also want to say that I think it is truly remarkable that you, and so many others in this group, have been able to live your lives with humor and grace despite the internal pain you have. Do you have moments where you fail or act like an ass? I am sure, but you keep pushing, and trying to see the positives in life, and doing your upmost to make other’s lives better. Decent, honorable human beings. I am very grateful to be a part of this community ❤️
Thank you. I don’t feel alone. Dysfunctional families are everywhere. Mine included. I too need to write my story my friends say. You’ve given me a new look. Stepping back away from siblings has been a huge blessing to me. Love them from afar. Yes. Safer there. Hugs and prayers.
Thank you. I don’t feel alone. Dysfunctional families are everywhere. Mine included. I too need to write my story my friends say. You’ve given me a new look. Stepping back away from siblings has been a huge blessing to me. Love them from afar. Yes. Safer there. Hugs and prayers.
Wow.. I could have written half of this, except my grandparents were out of state and my mom passed away when I was 28 due to addiction. Where in TN are you from? I wasn’t born there but grew up in Kingsport.
This was so beautifully written. As I was reading, it occurred to me that there has never been anyone in my life that made me feel safe and loved. No grandparent, aunt, friend. No one to help me navigate the trauma that was my childhood. It seems my entire life has been spent surviving one situation after another. Through it I still managed to function. I worked, made a decent living, and raised four children who are good human beings. I screwed up plenty in the quest to find some meaning for myself. I don’t know that I have really done the work to heal. I have always been afraid of it. Afraid that if I really deal with the pain, the anger, and the betrayals, it will be too big, too much and will swallow me up. For me, to keep moving and no dwell in it meant surviving. In order to do so however meant becoming numb. I am very giving and empathetic to strangers and those I deal with in my career, but personally I struggle. I do not like to give anyone that kind of power to hurt me. This creates a lack of real connection. Thank you for sharing your story. I felt it in my heart. Perhaps it is time I start doing the real work, just for me.
I felt every word of this. Thank you for your courage to share. God has the amazing ability to create beauty out of ashes, joy out of mourning, and praise out of despair. (Isaiah 61:3) The trauma of my youth has given me the empathy that I might not have known otherwise. God has healed my heart and He has given me the freedom to let the hurt go. I have prayed that He would give me a step-by-step plan that I could share with others, so they could lay it down too. As of now, all I know is that real faith and submission to His will, will guide you there. Others journey to healing won’t look like mine and I pray they find theirs sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, I was more of a live and learn, rather than listen and learn. I certainly don’t have it all together or figured out. I know there are broken parts of my personality that are a result of that trauma and I may not overcome them on this side of heaven. But I also know that they serve a purpose too, and I’ll do my best to let Him use them for good and try not to let them drive my husband crazy. 😜 My prayers are with you and your family Heather. I’m praying for a peace that surpasses all understanding for those of us that need to let go of that chaos. ❤️
Thank you for caring enough to put yourself out therre, sharing always makes me feel so vulnerable.
Although my mother was not an addict, I can identify with many of the things you shared.
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First, I LOVE word vomit!! Sorry not sorry but, I Am going to steal that!! Second, my fight is, and always, has been with Me too! I have struggled since I was born. Now, at age 60, I find myself looking back and wondering just What have I accomplished by living a life full of fear and self-loathing… NOTHING! So, Your words, others comments, they are Teaching me to step outside of myself! Together we can All remake some aspects of our lives, Lift each other up, and Laugh! Oh, and, I am Still waiting for a show in Charlotte, NC! ❤