I have been thinking about my misguided loyalty that I used to have. I think it started for me as a child.
Growing up in the dysfunction, it was never verbalized that we had the “No Talk” rule in our home. But we all knew not to tell what was going on in our home. All I knew is I couldn’t let anything out.
I never brought a friend home after school. I did go to one of my friends home. It was nothing like mine. I could see the glaring differences between us.
Her home was quiet. Her mom smiled at her and me. It was peaceful. I did not tell her how different it was. But I knew not to bring her to my home.
Shame had a lot to do with it also. And you do not feel. If anyone of us was crying, we were told “I’ll give you something to cry about,” therefore I learned to cry when I was alone.
Somehow I felt I had to protect the problem drinker and others in my family. To deny myself what was really happening. My mother’s anger and yelling made an awful impression on me.
Then when I was old enough, I knew I had to leave. I did leave home. I found a guy with good humor that attracted me to him. We married and we had beautiful children. But I also brought to that marriage, without even knowing, the fact I was carrying around all these ugly feelings.
They now call it baggage. I had two bags full, and they were running over. All my frustrations, my not believing in myself, my self esteem was nil. But I knew not to tell him even about my childhood. I had to protect him and my children. Let everyone think everything was great. My loyalty belonged to my husband and children.
It was misguided, because I made choices based on my people pleasing. I wanted them to like me. I would not give a thought as to how it would affect my children or my husband.
At times, I hurt them badly. I became aware of what I had done. I started to learn by my hurting others that I was not feeling good about myself. And I knew I needed help. I would cry because I thought I was going crazy. Finally, I was led to the doors of Al-Anon and a whole new world opened up for me.
I held onto it like a life jacket. I would do whatever it took to feel and act like these members. They had peace even in the face of adversity. I wanted that. Because my home was so chaotic. I was ready to leave. If you recognize anything about my story, won’t you come give us a try?
We meet every Wednesday evening at 6:30 and every Monday at noon. Both meetings are held at Hope Lutheran Church, Wautoma. Hope to see you there.