December 25, 2008 Christmas and why I’ve been silent a while
So it’s taken me this long to be comfortable blogging about this here, but my father is an alcoholic. I’ve blogged about a recent associated drama elsewhere, so I won’t repeat myself, but it had me thinking about secrecy in my family.
I’ve been preoccupied with work, and with a lovely time in which my son was away being spoiled and I was playing ’ grown ups’, so I haven’t posted…I almost posted at 2:30 a.m the morning of Christmas Eve.
I’ve been anticipating the tension of Christmas in the light of dad’s dramas, and other family shit that’s been going down, and I was due to leave for the family home that day. I’d woken up from a dream in which I’d told a big-mouthed friend about what was going down (because she’d have understood and I needed to discuss it). She’d managed to let that slip. In the dream my mother was just wounded – she was so hurt and angry, and I was sad and scared to make the trip up given her anger.
When I woke up I thought: “Well, it’s only a dream, it’ s not real”. Except that it is. Because of the dynamics set up, if I talked about it and that was found out, THAT would be more of a source of anger and direct confrontation than what my father did to mean that I needed to talk.
And suddenly the immense tragedy of the whole damned thing overwhelmed me. I rolled onto my belly hoping to calm myself and get back to sleep but instead I started sobbing. I tried to be quiet but I clearly shook and sniffled so much that I woke my partner up who said with sleepy wryness: “Something I said?”.
So here I am. And I love Christmas, and I love my family…but it’s not easy to be here in this space, with the recent debacle hanging over us, and the ramifications of years of drinking, lies and self absorption, the roles we’ve each had to assume, the games we’ve had to play, the coping mechanisms we’ve each developed.
It feels so fucking traitorous to discuss this, but I just can’t pretend that I’m okay with not discussing things fully.
I don’t like the ethics of secrecy about family issues. If you treat people well you’ve nothing to hide from others. If you’ve nothing to hide, it shouldn’t bother you that it’s being discussed. For me it’s a matter of mental health. If I don’t discuss this, if I don’t leech off the more toxic feelings I feel cooped up, anxious, overwhelmed.
Discussing problems doesn’t reduce my love for my family, it allows my love for them not to be tainted by those things I have issues with, for me to seperate these things out…
So anyway. That’s what’s the what with me, why I’ve been so quiet, what I’ve been thinking about.
I’ll be posting a little, but lightly over the next few weeks. After a few days with the family, I’m heading down South for a week with my wonderful lover and our kids. Oh my god, how delightful!