What if I told you a story about myself?
Once I was frozen in my feelings. Our alcoholic family of origin lived by the Alcoholic unspoken, but strictly enforced, rules of “Don’t think,” “Don’t talk,” “Don’t feel.” When I began attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings and Al-Anon I started breaking all of those rules. It was as if I was “breaking out of an inner prison” as I first wrote in 1982.
Someone at a Christian group told me about this book. The first time I read “Codependent No More” I bought my sister a copy and told her, “She lived in our house. She got in our heads. She wrote it all down!” I was truly amazed that someone else on earth not only understood the life in our house on Skyview Lane, but published what she knew!
There is a hillside on the way to my house now that is studded with stones. When the temperatures get frigid, as they are right now, the water might drip from the stones, but it quickly freezes into bars. It often reminds me of the prison I once lived in.
The stone that was once my heart has thawed and been healed in so many profound ways. I would be hard pressed to list all of those ways! I have been learning to think and feel and talk in appropriate ways for many years now. I do not ever want to go back to the ways of my upbringing. I spent hours in sessions of therapy trying to untangle the mess that was made in me.
I am certain my husband and I made some mistakes while raising our children. We used to joke that they might one day need counseling as I have needed it. But “we did the best we could with what we knew at the time.” And I, too, believe that my parents did the best they could with what they knew at the time. Hope my children can understand how not having alcohol as a constant influence in our home set them free from many weird things.