Part of this week was working around boundaries and what was the greatest boundaries we lost growing up. I heard everyone’s stories and it touched me in a way that made mine incomprehensible to everyone else’s however that’s the thing about our individuality, it’s owning our own story and what that story means to us. Like I said some of their stories were incredible and I am glad and privileged to have been able to hear their stories.
My greatest boundary that I lost growing up was my innocence and as hard as it is to write I know I need to get this out because this is the tape that plays again and again in my mind and I cannot get away from it. My hope is that it opens up more dialogue because not talking about this has gotten me to where I was before I chose to quit drinking and the selfishness, resentment and anger was the fuel to my drinking and the pain of not wanting to feel my own feelings. It’s a little insight to the problems I was faced with growing up and as my drinking progressed through out my life. It also tells a tale of how people are dealt with a hand to play with and as unfair as it can be, we have to do with what we have in the moments that life gives us, my grandparents, my parents and myself included.
Growing up my brothers and I had a beer bottle come between our parents and us. Babysitters would come by to take care of us when we were young so the intentions were there, I won’t downplay that however we didn’t want babysitters, we needed security and the comfort that only parents could give. Eventually when we were older I was the one to look after my siblings and for a time it was acceptable, it made me feel I was finding my place in the family and being the oldest brother I had responsibility and it felt good. The experience was soon diminished very fast, the fighting or partying was too much for me, I had the need to care take my brothers and the need to make sure they didn’t know what was going on when my parents showed up, as much as I tried I still don’t know what they actually know what was going on. I did my best.
As an adult I lived by the bottle, I’ve been normalized by the bottle, I’ve used the bottle to find and have that connection that it so took away from me and by doing that I started at an early age to use it to drink with my parents.
What I felt when I was young was that I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t loved, I had to compete with that bottle and by doing that I ended up using the very thing I envied over to have that connection. Also by doing that I felt and found comfort by what was in that bottle. I made choices at a very young age when those choices should never have been there to begin with and looking back I don’t have resentment anymore.
I said earlier that we were dealt with a hand of cards and whether we can use them or not, we have to do our best. My parents never folded because folding wasn’t an options for them, if at best they waited till the river and hope for the best and they I believe did their best. I love my parents I understand how young they were when mom had me and how young my dad was when he met my mom. Mom was only 19 when she had me and when dad showed up he was only 18. That’s young to be taking on a kid that was never yours to begin with and yet I am so very grateful he chose to love me and raise me as one of his own. They gave me direction and morals that I still hold on to today. They gave me two younger brothers I hold dear to my heart, we may have our differences however we have a great dad, we still have great memories growing up and we are who we are today.