It’s a Family Affair

You want to see some great acting? Being raised in an alcoholic abusive family puts the Stanislavski Method to shame. My parents raised six hellions. My mom tried to control us with manipulation; Daddy just used fear and force, especially when he was drinking. Stupidly we would run from him at top speed trying to escape his wrath and his belt. Why? He always won! But we kids learned to be fast, and we learned to lie for and about each other. Being a kid, living in the 50s and 60s, much wasn’t known about child abuse. Even today not much is known. All I knew was something wasn’t right, but where did we go with it? Besides, we were taught if we didn’t talk about it, it didn’t happen especially when outside the house. When we left the house it was Show Time. Step over that dead body, put a smile on your face and go forth!

There were advantages to my upbringing. I learned to be charming, a real people pleaser, vigilant. But the symptoms and learning to tell the truth were the challenges. After being estranged for years, my brother and I talked for two hours about our childhood and the resulting ptsd. He doesn’t remember much so I started filling in some of the gaps. For the first time, we both completely understood each other. Have you ever talked to someone who has been through challenges similar to yours?  It means not getting that pitying “oh, how terrible”, that expression of sympathy. It means being respected and being in a world where we feel normal.

Have you experienced talking with someone who has a similar background or challenges? What was that like for you?


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