Shame still tries to raise its ugly head. As I listen to lectures on Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families, it’s so clear to me how ingrained this insidiousness has permeated every nook and cranny of my life, bringing a stench of rot with it. It’s destructive force overcame all attempts of mine to outrun it, to break if off me. My endeavors to outsmart it by arming myself with knowledge of the family disease has me defeated. The vast knowledge I have accumulated on Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder gives me insight into the nightmares, depression, hyper-vigilance to name just of few symptoms of C-PTSD. All the money spent on various therapists, too many to list, defied my power, enabling It to destroy yet another generation. My dear son, my oldest, at the tender age of 23, succumbed to his own demons of destruction when death caught him in its grasp far too early.
This inherited sickness still, in some ways, permeates the very fiber of my being. Still I am attracting narcissistic men. I even see its ugly traits in myself and wonder if it’s what is keeping me from overcoming the inner “ick”. Bring raised by a selfish, overgrown abusive bully has left its scar tissue deeply embedded within my soul. Behavior patterns are deeply entrenched in my brain. I continue the hard work of renewing my mind into the mind of Christ. “Progress not perfection,” as said in the healing rooms of various 12 step meetings.
Intellect does not save one. Years of various types of therapy, a college degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling with credentials and extensive research pertaining to healing from addictions and all forms of abuse, both obvious and hidden. I have also spent countless hours viewing You Tube lectures looking for answers on these destructive conditions, and yet I still feel so frustrated and empty. My head totally gets it, and I can use my knowledge to help others heal, but my heart is still broken.
Since being a young child I have sought my fathers’ love, approval, validation, adoration and protection. As an adult I have attended an Ivy league college, become a published writer, obtained professional credentials, and become an accomplished woman . Nothing I have done has been able to gain his approval. I still yearn to hear affirming words validating my worthiness for love and adoration from him.
I have heard it said many times: one cannot give to their children what was never given to them. Hence the deficits in the loving department.The shamed shame. The rejected reject. The abused abuse. The shame is insidious and unquenchable – toxic and so hard to heal. It only heals in relationships with healthy, loving, affirming people.
Praying and crying out to God has been the way of healing and restoration for me. I have a love relationship with my Redeemer. I cling to Him, hoping someday to escape this insane evil plot against humankind.
At times I am so lonely it hurts. I feel an ache in my heart, a yearning in my soul for connection, laughter, fellowship.
I think to myself, This is why people go to bars. They are so vulnerable to being picked up by unsavory characters; falling for the age old pick up lines like , “Where have you been all my life?” and other wonderful sounding, captivating entrapment lines.
This is why people escaping abusive relationships often return to the abuser. Loneliness. Emptiness. Shame. Feeling of being such a loser.
Regarding loneliness…flashback to myself as a little girl, the lost child, retreating to the safety of my pink painted room. Sanctuary. Retreat. My own sacred space. Pink for girl. Pink for softness for a precious little girl. My mother labored over that room; carefully selecting curtains to match the soft pink walls. She was so proud of her efforts to camouflage my fathers junk stored in my sacred space.
That room was supposed to my safety zone, instead it turned into a torture chamber. No doors were hung, but merely curtains to block the view of whether I was “decent” or not as my father would always asked before entering. His hobby room was off from my sacred space. The man that scared me so asked me permission to enter into my sacred pink room in order to enter his man cave. Little did I know he had a hidden stash of porn in his man cave.
Demons of lust abode in that room, right next door. Demons of anger, rage and shame manifested there also, in my supposed sanctuary, on a regular time frame. Sunday night my parents went bowling, leaving me in the house with my abusive brothers.The precious little girl, at the mercy of the cruel brothers. Sunday nights were torment nights. As their abuse began in the living room, I tried to ignore them as much as possible by staring at the television, rocking my body back and forth in an attempt to comfort my terrified self. I tried so hard to ignore them as they surrounded my chair, taunting me, threatening me, accusing me of whatever their evil minds could conjure up.
As the vicious momentum reached an overwhelming level of terror I could no longer tolerate, I fled to pseudo safety. They pursed me with their evil surmising . My father, being the typical Adult Child of an Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Family did not complete the remodeling job he set out to do eons ago. Still I had no doors hung on my doorway, therefore there was no lock to ensure my safety. Regular beatings took place in my pink torture chamber. That is where I learned to take beatings, emotional, physical and sexual. This is where I learned to tolerate the intolerable. As my mother has said for years “You are a glutton for punishment”. “I wonder where I learned that, ma?!”
Today, as an adult, in my periodic times of feeling that loneliness, those demons of shame, resentment, bitterness and un-forgiveness still try beckoning me to acknowledge their presence, their right to continue to torment me. In prayer, I seek my Savior and Deliverer to fill those lonely places. ( I invite the Father to protect me from anymore unsavory characters to take up residence in my haven of rest in the here and now.)
I have been lonely in my marriages. It is ironic that the last two husbands were so much like my brothers in terms of verbal, not physical abuse. The generational crazies began again…as these professed Christian men set out to character assassinate me with their mouths, I fled to the sacred space of my bedroom. Attempting to detach from their demon-like shrieking, they, in turn, came at me with their verbal assaults upon my soul, and they, like my brothers, violated my boundaries, entering into my sacred space to continue their tormenting accusations, bullying and projecting their own sins onto me.
I am grateful that I was able to flee those habitations of demons by the grace of my Heavenly Father. I would rather endure this kind of loneliness than be in another loveless abusive marriage. Today, my bedroom is not pink, it is not invaded by any man, abusive or otherwise. It is indeed my quiet, sacred space where I can relax into deep slumber, knowing that I will not be harmed.
This is not what the Creator designed marriage and family for. The enemy of mankind fuels generational sins of abuse to torment the souls of humankind. Our Creator gave us boundaries and guidelines found in the Scriptures. Although my mother tried to raise us in the fear of the Lord,my father was not a believer. He and my mother both grew up in abusive homes, they were both abused in various ways, they were both abandoned by parents. They were both raised with alcoholic families. This way of child rearing has profound impact on the next generation. The scriptures talk of the sins of the fathers being visited upon the next generation. When and if we, individually and as a family return to our Creator and follow His ways, He will forgive and heal our families and our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14. Also see Exodus chapter 20. The whole of the Torah instructs His children how to love Him, and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.