2 Ways How Having An Alcoholic Parent Teaches You To Thrive {While Swimming In Dangerous Water}

Hello Mermaid Junkies,

How are you? I hope you're doing well.

Not the kind of post you want to read? I get it, sincerely I do. I lay awake at night thinking that most of my readers want the pretty artsy posts. The sweet ones that bring happiness to their heart. I love those too, but as I have been changing throughout these last two years, I promised myself through this blog (especially if its to be my mothership for bringing in an income for the gardener and me) I have to really be out there. I promised myself that I'm going to talk about the things sometimes that are hard to read. I think that if the reader wants a great story, a sense of humor and some good take-home value, my blog is the one for you.

I became a writer as a young child because that was the way I was able to express myself. I would write journals upon journals expressing my emotions, feelings and all the in-betweens. I would even write and dream about that someday in the future of how someones going to find my writings and read them like a novel. Yeah, even as a little-freckled fox I thought I was no one to mess with.

I know I've been forever interested in that kind of thing and I somehow believe there are others out there just like me. I still have those boxes and boxes of journals. It makes me wonder what they say after 30 plus years of writing.

So back to the writing about my unpleasant childhood and having a father that was alcoholic. As I've grown up, I have realized so many things about this particular subject. It does not often get spoken of and if it is, it's seen as a very hush-hush and one from the perspective of the survivors in the family to not talk about it. How often do we see this in families?

So before I get ahead of myself let me lay the foundation first. My story probably isn't going to be much different than most if you've experienced having an alcoholic parent. I grew up with a father that was very unavailable. He still is unavailable to this day. He grew up with a father that I tend to think he didn't much care for, and in hind site, he turned out very similar. Drinking daily, unavailable, emotionally detached, selfish, arrogant, destructive, egotistical, chauvinistic, and abusive. Let me preface something here before I proceed. I am in no way angry with my father. If anything I'm empathetic, understanding and accepting. I share this as my truth and in some small way attempt to help others along their own personal journey. If I kept all this shit bottled up inside It'd be like that saying." You're only as sick as your secrets." So all in all, I no longer hold any distasteful feelings for my father I just want to be very transparent here as I'm speaking about my journey. I think it'd be wrong of me to only say the pretty flowery things.

Families hold all sorts of secrets. And honestly, that's why I write this blog because I know what alcoholism does to a child. I have worked endlessly as an adult to heal, and I thought for a long time I had healed all of those aspects of myself. I haven't and that's okay. Things take time, and I am finally at a place of self-love and acceptance that I'm okay with that. Even when you leave that type of environment, you realize like I did that it takes on different forms. The alcoholic may not drink alcohol but they replace that behavior with another to fill the need. Unless, like I said before, they constantly work at healing themselves and trying to understand the ramifications.

Everyone must take responsibility for the alcoholism, and I've found that not many want to. Once again the thread is that everyone's a victim. I am in complete disagreement with this. I get that I was literally not the one to drink, but after everything is said and done, most survivors want to push the addiction under the rug and never speak of it again. "That's in the past, why do you keep dragging that up?" I drag it up IF I have a life event that has occurred and I am trying to understand why I do certain things. I don't drag up the past to blame another, make them relive their hurt or anything like that. I do it because it's my absolute right to and I want to heal and not continually pass those traditions onto my children. And I'll be darn if I didn't do that anyway in my last marriage. I have found that people want to be victims because to be a victim gives you an excuse for why you are the way you are presently.

I will never be a victim. I take full accountability for my actions and for all that has happened. Now that may strike some people oddly, like oh, she still has that victim mindset. Nope, actually, I am attempting to own my personal experience. That should be held highly that I have the courage to actually write about a subject that many don't like to touch because It makes people uncomfortable.

My father was always and still to this day a hard worker. I think the time period that he grew up, they all learned to be hard workers. They also did some hard living. So, because I think of this as a learning tool let's dive deep into the internal aspect of WHY.

I have said this in my youtube videos a million times and I'll keep saying it, people don't drink alcohol for the yummy taste of it, at least not initially anyway. The main reason a person drinks is for the feeling they get. It takes them to the path of least resistance. I'm speaking Law of Attraction here.
The reasons for people drinking are mostly because they either watched someone doing it as a child, or they have enormously deep internal pain that they can't rid themselves of. If people only knew, that what I teach, to women especially, is that with self-love and self-worthiness they can heal themselves of those internal wounds.

It takes 3 days, yep... three days to stop drinking altogether, but it takes a little longer for you to get your cells to stop desiring the sensations of inebriation.

It's all a mind thing you guys. It always has been and it always will be.
Here are the 2 ways having an alcoholic parent teaches you to thrive in chaos:

1. You become a master housekeeper.

Now, I'm not sure about you, but I knew from an early age that in order for people to not know the exact goings on in our home (I'm sure it partly has to do with being a southerner) that meant you became a very detailed fabulous housekeeper. I lived chaos in my mind, so all of the controlling was happening on the outside/externally. I couldn't control my insides but I could control my environment; the house. I know how to clean a house exceptionally well, like magazine kind of well. In a rapid fire amount of time too. Oh, someones coming to the door, or your dad is coming home from work, "Get this house perfect, NOW RAQUEL!" Let's just say you learn to see for everyone. Nothing can ever be out of place. The deeper reason for this is because as someone living in a conditioned unhealthy environment, we think what people see on the outside is all that matters. Forget the fact that what's going on inside of us is torturous, especially as a little child. The chaos becomes normal, it becomes the only way you know. I acclimated to it. The noise, the screaming, the abuse, the fear, it all becomes normal. It actually becomes so normal that if it's not happening, you think somethings off or you get scared that something really bad is about to happen. That sounds messed up, doesn't it?

As a 30 plus-year-old adult, I had this friend back in Utah and I learned from her that I had even more ramifications of growing up in an alcoholic home. It's like a freaking onion, with a shit load of layers. She was the kind of person that had grown up in a household where there was never any drinking. And one day she said to me, "How can you handle all the kids wanting to go in different directions, and then you can paint a bedroom, and then go and do and do and do almost at the same time and you aren't stressed at all. You just fly by the seat of your pants. I could never ever do that." When she said that I realized I was so used to living in the chaos that was how I was able to thrive. I could do fifty things at once and not ruffle a feather, babies screaming, one needing a diaper change, two wanting a snack, and the other getting into a cupboard. I was on top of it. I have learned to use this quality as an asset. It's once again what a successful healthy minded individual does. I could and can handle chaos like its no one's business. I'm sure some of those qualities are still inside of me and would arise if I were to be put into a situation like that, but nowadays I thrive on pure silence.

2. You Become a master at coverup.

My home was immaculate, organized and extremely clean. That meant clean everywhere. You could open the inside of the cabinets, dresser drawers, pantry, garage, linen closet... you name it, if it was my home it was perfection. Because here's the thing... Remember I was telling you that in order to maintain sanity as a child in an alcoholic home, you become a master at a cover-up. The reason this occurs is that in the mind of a child, we are always trying to stay one step ahead. So if the alcoholic were to look into the fridge, the closet, the bathroom cabinet, and things were a mess, that would give them a reason to either hit, go get more drunk or act out his frustrations (and in my case) on my mother. So you think that by having an immaculate home and space it'd keep him from getting triggered. It's like living in a land mine, and you always worry you're gonna hit a trip wire. Keeping a clean home was an absolute must for my mother. I later married into that same situation. I repeated my childhood history. I married an alcoholic, and I would come to realize this decades later because he was a closet alcoholic. It's the mirror reflection philosophy.

I remember the day I realized my childhood tendencies came back to the forefront and I went to my bedroom closet (you find places to hide even as an adult) hid behind the clothes and bawled like a 2-year-old. The trigger was when I saw my daughters face and how she reacted to a fight about a sandwich that happened between the ex and me. It was 2011 and I was living in Orlando, Florida. My ex-had asked me to go to Subway and get him a sub. He specified that he hated mayo on his sub and that I needed to make sure It had NO mayo (now mind you, I had always had them put mayo on his sub and hide it. He always loved the taste but I never told him the sub had mayo). Well, that day, the hidden mayo came out the side and he went ballistic. He started screaming at me profanities, throwing stuff everywhere and then threw the entire sub sandwich against the wall above the china hutch and it basically stuck there. A wall of lettuce strands, mayo, mustard and the whole sandwich fell behind the cabinet.

(At this point in our relationship, all hell was breaking loose on a daily basis. Two years prior I had an emotional affair with his best friend at the time, and I was already 3 years into wanting to leave the relationship anyway. He had been cheating on me for decades at this point and I was becoming more and more detached. I had built a fortress around my heart at this point. I was breaking down more and more every day.)

So when the sandwich throwing and screaming match started, I noticed immediately that Zoë Kennedy began shuffling around, trying to fix things, running to the drawer for a dishcloth, saying how eagerly she could clean it up. Now when that happened, my survival instinct to protect my child reared up and I became unglued. I went freaking insane. Have you ever gotten a redhead really super angry? I started screaming at him, saying "that I was gonna let the damn thing rot there, I was not cleaning it up and neither was Zoë Kennedy. That he should've been humiliated that he has created an environment like this as the provider and patriarch of our home. I told him he was an embarrassment as a father and husband. This was the last time I was cleaning up his messes to save face. I was done!." When I saw ZK immediately running to get something to clean up the sub I forbid her to do it, and he demanded that she better clean it, and that then became a whole other fight with the ex. I realized at that moment I had taught my daughter to clean up his messes and to cover up for him just as my mother had taught me.

Needless to say, the ex-cleaned up the sub and not another word was said about it. I don't even know when he did it, because I never saw him. It had stayed on the wall for a whole day. My take away is that we must have a backbone, we must only work at saving ourselves. It's not my job to save anyone, but my own. We have to start, even if it's little by little. That's what builds and gives us more and more strength. Don't be hard on yourself, but don't sit passively back and just allow things to happen. The Universe/God is allowing these contrasting experiences to occur to inspire us to take back our lives, to love ourselves unconditionally.

I share this message with you as a way for us to grow in our friendship, and for you to not feel alone if you've experienced something of this kind or if you are experiencing it now. I also wanted to leave you with something valuable from this post so that it can be a teachable moment.

 I learned that to cover up for others is a complete disservice to myself. I have had to unlearn all of those traits by removing the costume to reveal the truly authentic Mermaid within. I now stand in my truth and keep that space open for others to stand in theirs and that feels really wonderful. I have also learned that alcoholism taught me how to keep a clean home, and I very much appreciate that quality, regardless of how it was taught. I have taken the good of a not so good circumstance. That makes me a winner through and through. So, in essence, I've realized I'm forever and always trying to paint you a picture and that's what makes me a great artist as well, don't you think?
Yours til my next swim, Raquel


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