I always say that we get here how we get here, so many different stories, so many different roads but it all ends up in the same spot, incomprehensible demoralization. In the addiction we believed we grew wings, just in the end the addiction took away our sky. It’s a high price we pay for the low life we live and it’s at that point that the differences in the journey become just “chatter.” I often ask my clients to write a story of how they got here, just so we can begin to unpack it. The bill must be paid to go forward. One of my brave women wrote this story and then allowed me to reuse it here for the blog. I hope you all enjoy it.
Once upon a time…
There lived a timid lass that longed for her mother’s attention. Because she was the second born, her mother’s love had already been taken, not by her father, but by her older brother. The sun rose and set upon this young boy and her mom was so blinded by his brilliance, she could see no further. “Mommy, watch me, watch me!” this maiden would joyfully squeal. This longing child would sing, dance, slay dragons, climb mountains and do remarkable things but still the mother had no time or want to see the little girl.
She wasn’t the only one who felt alone and left out, for her father too wanted to be seen but couldn’t. In desperation the father came to her and reasoned, “My dearest daughter, I can see you desire your mother’s love as do I, but there is no room for us in her heart. My heart is hurting and lonely, like yours. We can laugh and play, and hide our pain in one another.” And so they did.
The young girl was thrilled that someone was wanting to love her. She embraced this relationship, even though it wasn’t her mom. Time passed and the child and her father became inseparable. Skiing, telling marvelous stories, and learning to explore their neighborhood became their world together. Many called her “Little Jack” for she was the exact mirror of her father. Life was pleasant in their cocoon, just big enough for two.
And when she grew up…
This child became a lovely, capable young woman and recognized the tremendous power she held over her father. She was placed high upon his pedestal, even above her mom and siblings. Secretly this pleased her and she used it to her advantage. “You are late, young lady! Go to the castle tower and stay there until I give you permission to return!” the frustrated mother shouted, in an attempt to discipline this unruly child. “Daddy, the draw bridge was up and Sir Henry needed my attention!” she would plead with her father. As always his princess held his favor. “Release her!” The father would demand and she was set free. Often she was disrespectful to her mother and again her mother would try to manage her behavior. “Daddy”, she’d cry. “Mommy took my beautiful stallion away and I’m supposed to meet my ladies in waiting. I need my horse! Oh please, I promise I’ll be good!” “Return the steed at once!” The father bellowed and it was done.
Her mother being both clever and manipulative began to use the daughters’ special powers to meet her own needs. “Darling child, please ask your father for a bed of rare and stunning roses for my garden.” … And so it was done. “Darling child, please ask your father for silk spun with gold for my newest gown!”… And so it was done.
Years passed and the girl found herself torn between loving her father, feeling loyal to him and needing a life of her own. Boyfriends came and went but none of them ever matched up to her father. Perhaps her heart would never be ready for romance because inwardly she felt complete knowing she had her father’s love.
Indeed she finally did marry the one she believed to be her one true love and together they had many beautiful children. Just when things felt even and peaceful, life played the maiden a cruel trick. Unexpectedly both her father and husband were taken, leaving her feeling desperate, alone and abandoned. She knew she was nothing without them.
For fifteen years she searched high and low to find a loving, kind partner to fill the “hole in her soul”. No one was ever right enough! “He’s too short! He’s too tall! He’s too smart! He’s not smart enough!” She wailed! All of her attention was devoted to finding “the one” and her own children were left unattended. Life had become unmanageable.
Depressed and unhappy, finally our maid came to the realization that her search was futile. She could never love another until she learned to love herself. Miracles began to happen. Her spinning and chaos stopped and in her stillness she found value and worth within herself, not dependent upon a man. She found joy in being truly present for herself and for her children. Healing and forgiveness was quietly seeping into their lives.
Happiness was no longer illusive but attainable. There were numerous new and exciting activities that brought her joy, as well as a circle of alike minded, supportive people to keep her company. In her abundance, came the greatest gift of all, a precious new grandson. This baby arrived into a healthy, thriving family, free from addiction and now able to communicate in an honest and transparent way. This woman no longer used her children, like her parents had, to meet her own needs. She was now experiencing a full and content life all of her own. Of course she’s hoping the rest lived happily ever after too, but this is really none of her business!