Grieving the losses
When I was around 16 years old, I had a kind of psychological awakening that rocked me to my core. I can remember sitting on the sofa staring at my mother and thinking " you cant be my mother", "I don`t know you at all", there seemed to be no emotional bond between us, in fact it felt like there was an invisible screen between us, one that I could not penetrate. I remember feeling a surge of anger and frustration and I desperately wanted to shout at her and ask her where had she been the previous sixteen years.
I quickly realised that I was about to enter into adulthood and i didn`t have a clue how to survive in the real world. I had no emotional vocabulary, I was in a lot of pain from the wounds of abandonment and was already escaping through the use of nicotine , alcohol and solvents not to mention marijuana.
When I hit seventeen, the proverbial shit really hit the fan. I started to drink much more, I began to act out in anger and rage very often damaging property. I lost my job as an apprentice plumber,(this still hurts,even 25 years on)because I couldn't get out of bed with hangovers. I even stood up to my father who routinely tried to humiliate me. I threatened to do him serious damage, from that day on he never came near me. For the next ten years i drank alcoholically and my life went down hill fast. I have now been sober for 15 years, thank god.
I have just started reading a book about a guy who was taken hostage in Beirut in the 1980`s.It caught my eye in a charity shop.Probably because My best friend at that time worked with this guy and we used to socialise quite a bit with him, just before he was kidnapped. Reading this took me right back to these times, when I was seventeen. I was so young vulnerable and damaged, the world should have been my oyster, I should have been looking forward to experiencing life and all it`s wonders, instead I was already in trouble with booze, desperately looking for guidance and a way forward.
Only through reading about the iceberg on internet of the mind, I know realise when I hit seventeen and adulthood the pain of my abandonment issues must have surfaced and subconsciously I must have realised my dependency needs were not met. Not having the tools to deal with this pain I ran into the arms of addiction.
I have now spent 15 years of my life recovering and clearing away the conscious wreckage of my past I am now grieving the stuff I should have grieved at seventeen.I am not one of these Alcoholics who says they are glad to be one, I would have preferred to have been nurtured and loved from day one. All I can say about those ten years of drinking is 'what a waste' and I know I can never get them back I must grieve the losses and move on. Never the less I am grateful I can grieve this stuff and I `m glad that I am one of the lucky ones to have found A.A. recovery.
I am now 42 and I`m looking forward to feeling that the world is my oyster again. Hopefully I am breaking the cycle of abuse so that my children can carry on a healthy and loving legacy. So thanks Don and everyone who contributes.
Coamhin (Pronounced, KWEE-VEEN)