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  • Jayne Stearns

Fractured Families

Updated: 7 days ago

It may sound obvious, but addiction isn't isolated to just the addict. The results of their addiction, the neglect it creates in themselves, and the relationships around them endure in the form of generational trauma long after they are in recovery. And it's complicated. Layers upon layers of hurt, miscommunication, and unresolved feelings pop out of the emotional waters like alligators seeking prey. And it's regularly around the holidays. 

True to addiction's need to create chaos and drama on the one hand, while swearing they hate drama and need to leave on the other, holidays are regularly familial blood baths. The most harmless of incidents can escalate into indictments of character and cause some members to excommunicate themselves from the family and the event temporarily - 'little' events like Christmas and Mother's Day. Thank God for technology that most of the mudslinging happens via texting now, but it still stings the heart whether said or fingered into existence. And it's meant to. No screaming. No dishes smashed; just words that have the power to cut you open like a sack of of horse feed. 

Socrates once said, "The misuse of language induces evil in the soul." And he was right, especially without anyone taking responsibility for what comes out of their mouths. There's a kink in their think. What's in their hearts comes out of their mouths, usually based on distorted facts, while simultaneously making them the victim/hero of their own story. Until they get rid of that kink, their emotions and their reactions to life's inevitable challenges are going to continue to cause them problems. But it's not them who is to blame; everyone else is at fault, you see. 

A Kink in Their Think

That comment you made 20 years ago that they never told you bothered them suddenly comes out of their mouths amidst a stream of other accusations you had no idea even existed—that apology you didn't say to them when they expected it, those times you couldn't watch their children, and the list goes on and on...

You become the reason for their suicidal ideation. Someone needs to be responsible for how badly they feel, don't they? And so they project it outward onto you. They can't look inside themselves because it's still too dark in there to see.

The seventy-year-old woman who has two cocktails every night with her husband while watching the news becomes distorted into 'the raging alcoholic' in their minds because she hasn't satisfied their needs but is, instead, satisfying her own. 

That time, you warned them that they'd lose their children if they continued their self-destructive behavior, gets you demonized, your pointed horns impaling them upon a painful truth that only their actions can avoid from coming to fruition. 

The list of what you don't do right for them grows longer daily. And it's never enough. They will continue to hold you responsible for the healing they so desperately need themselves. The voice of pain speaks louder in them than any good you do for them can wash away.

So pray for them. And hold on! It's a bumpy ride!

I see you.

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