If your family of origin is as completely screwed up as mine is, then you will be able to relate to this post. Rarely do I write when I am emotional or feeling as anxious as I am right now, so this could be interesting.
Do you know why I write so often about breaking cycles and moving forward or why I focus so much on encouraging other people to break free from margins or categories or boxes or expectations?
Because it’s my real life.
I don’t just know what addiction feels like, I know what the chaos of having alcoholism, mental illness, addiction, and everything in between looks like from the inside. And you know what? It hasn’t been easy digging out, dusting myself off, and moving forward. It’s been tough, awkward at times, and really, really hard.
It is what I know and writing is how I heal. I don’t have answers, I have thoughts pertaining to my experiences. That’s it.
I can only write what I know, or as my family member put it so eloquently about a half hour ago, “I pretend to be a Christian who wants to help people when really, I want all the glory for myself.” Apparently, I am just a narcissist with a bad habit of sharing hope and publicly exploiting my own feelings & flaws & bad choices & also how I coped with them.
Am I angry? You bet your ass I am. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I don’t think I am right about everything. I have never adopted the belief that everyone needs to live out loud.
But if I choose to, that’s my prerogative.
“I am living a double life. One, as a Christian and the other, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing who tries to pretend care about and help other people. I am cold. I am a bully. I am like the girls in the movie “Mean Girls” and I just love creating drama. (Insert tears)
I haven’t spoken to this person in years.
Why? Mostly because I needed some space and because this person isn’t as stable as they think they are and I knew I needed stability and calm. I needed to find out who I was without any outside noise. I had spent years enmeshed with my surroundings like some sick chameleon and when I got sober I wanted and very much-needed to create some room for me to grow.
Tonight I was boldly accused of being cold, heartless and unfeeling for not having connections with certain family members. Yet, however, when their argument saw fit, I was accused living my life to trudge up drama.
I also had the pleasure of listening to threats of being sued by ‘real lawyers’ if I even so much as mention specific names in my book or on this blog. To which I say, sorry. I never mentioned you in my blog and didn’t in my book either. So try and rest easy sweetheart. Paranoia is a motherfucker.
I am sick and tired of being talked of and not talked to. I am over feeling as if I could make a day job as a defense attorney representing myself.
I will not be pushed around or guilted or smacked down to the ground anymore and you don’t like that.
I am not a bully, I am a woman who won’t take your shit anymore and you don’t like that either.
I am not a fake Christian, I am a very real, mask-free human being. Read the blog. I screw up all the time. The difference is I try to own it. I am aware of how flawed I am.
I am not heartless for not taking my homeless family member into my home, I am a wife and mother who is trying to make decisions that are best for my family. You just don’t like that I have healthy boundaries that I have actually committed to and honor and adjust the best that I can.
I am not a drama queen because I talk about my feelings and I am also not a pot stirrer for being open with my feelings and I will not be forced into thinking that there is something wrong for being who I am.
It isn’t that I don’t love or care for people, it is that I am not capable of loving or caring in the ways that you believe that I should love or care. You think that it is all linear. We should all do it how you do it.
You talk so much about how much I don’t understand, how I simply am too selfish and narcissistic to see my role in things.
And you know what?
I am calling your bullshit.
I created an entire space on the internet to share my mistakes openly with the world, holding nothing back aside from speaking openly about the sexual abuse I endured on different occasions as a child.
So fuck that.
This is my space.
Take your empty critiques of my character and find something else to do besides reading my blog or worry about if I will mention you by name or some other annoying and recognizable trait you encompass.
The truth is that addiction and mental illness breaks families apart. It shreds people and leaves you with a pile of pain. I write about my truth and no amount of intimidation is going to stop me. I will not shrink back down to the person that you have created me to be in your head, and certainly not to the person you remember and are having a hard time waving goodbye to.
I speak of my pain because I know that it is what helped me survive it and I speak to the people who are too afraid of their crazy family members to speak out for themselves. I speak to those who know what it is like to never quite feel like they have fit with people who share their blood.
The truth is that some families come back from this kind of stuff and some simply don’t.
It doesn’t mean there isn’t forgiveness. It doesn’t mean there is some hidden hatred harbored in the hearts of everyone.
It just doesn’t act as a regular, healthy system. And that’s the reality.
You think I am fake and that I am only here for attention and glory?
How’s this for harsh truth:
I don’t have a relationship with my mom, my dad, my brother, or my mother. None of them like me. None of them know me. None of them want to know me and yet, each one has taken the time to criticize me, my life, my choices, my parenting, my blog, my book, my writing, and my personality overall.
My mom only comes around these days to buy things believing that if she gives enough money or things that somehow I will forgive her, despite how many times I have told her she doesn’t owe me anything at all, and that I forgave her years ago. Mostly, we don’t talk because we don’t know what to say to each other and because she feels like I abandoned HER because she embarrasses me.
My dad hates me as a person and I am treading lightly so he doesn’t find some reason to sue me. He thinks my husband is useless and that I am just a selfish drama queen who talks too much on the internet and thinks the world spins around my head. If I write about him in my book he has threatened to lawyer up and in fact, he might be on the phone now putting one on retainer. In his eyes, I am the same screw up who was throwing up in his kitchen sink 20 years ago.
My sister keeps her distance, but we are taking baby steps to try to get to know each other. We’re at a standstill but there might be hope there.
My brother and I don’t have a solid relationship as adults because we don’t know how to and he is also busy with his life at the moment. I don’t know how to be a big sister and that makes me feel ashamed of myself.
And this other family member I won’t mention by name or connection says I am a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a fake, heartless Christian who only writes to ‘give glory to myself.’ The distance that I have created with her and the rest of my family indicates just how cold, empty, mean, and ruthless my heart actually is, and, I probably won’t be getting into heaven according to her checklist.
So there you have it, people, me with all of my imperfection and broken relationships. The mean part is where I don’t cry about it anymore. The cold part is that I don’t pine away for acceptance anymore. The hypocritical part is how I don’t sacrifice my well being anymore. The dramatic portion is happening right now.
This blog has never been a place for me to get pat pats on the ass for being such a wonderful person. Anyone who knows me understands that.
I spend way too much time dedicating and handing over precious time that I cannot get back, defending myself against people who refuse to shift their perspective of me or anything else. So my hope is that they will all stay close, healthy, happy, and maybe they’ll even plan wear coordinating outfits to court when we are sitting around waiting for a judge to tell us that I am in fact allowed to speak the truth I’ve written about.
So bring it, babycakes. You aren’t messing with the young, timid, girl you used to know.
And after writing this I have come to the conclusion that most often in my life I can see patterns with people. The people who try to intimidate me or guilt me for changing but who try to beat me down if I don’t comply with their ways, are usually always the same ones I should part with anyway.
Doesn’t make it suck any less.