Saturday, October 22, 2011

Make Me Lose Control

A recurring theme with this week's step work in ACoA is control.  One of the things that causes a problem is the misunderstanding of what can and cannot be controlled in an ACoA's life.  The Serenity Prayer is the cornerstone of that effort:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Often in an ACoA's early life they have had to take on a role they were not supposed to have, whether it was an adviser to a drunk parent, a protector of the household, a chancellor of the exchequer, or a replacement companion for an absent spouse.

This is how ACoAs can be so reliable and yet so naive about the human condition.  They have learned life out of order.  In my case, I would have to say that my relationship with my mother took on an inappropriate level.

My father worked a lot.  Early on, he worked two jobs.  He would come home tired and not be worth much.  Back then I didn't think he drank on work days, but I could be mistaken.  Later, instead of working two jobs, he would salvage scrap and valuable items from the trash route to make extra money.  This involved a friend of his and drinking.

I was my mother's favorite child.  I was a literal answer to a prayer in that I was the first biological child of she and my father's together to live (my older sister is adopted).  I was also fairly smart and so I represented to my mother a hope for the entire family.

I became a confidant of sorts, not about my mother's relationship with my father, but just someone to talk to who actually understood many of the things she was saying.  My love for having philosophical conversations comes from her imparting her wisdom and that of my grandfather.

But I always felt I was too responsible for my mother's happiness.  I felt a lot of pressure to succeed and felt alienated when my definition for success did not meet hers.  Childhood is precious and should not be about pressure.  It is easy to see how a kid can get confused.


Cleveland's own Eric Carmen.

No comments: