When you grow up a child of an addict, the idea of the stereotypical functional family is deceptively beautiful. You picture them waking up together, eating breakfast then going about their days. They come home together, eat dinner, talk about those days. The kids get tucked in, kissed goodnight & then the parents lay together in their master bedroom talking about how much they love each other and their perfect little children. Of course, the time will come when they will have to discipline them for not applying themselves more or breaking curfew.
All of that seems so surreal when you get asked “why can’t you make your own dinner?” at seven years old. The loss of a key to a house that’s not even yours anymore sends your parent into a fury. She needs that key, she needs things to sell, she needs to get high, and you’re in the way of that so you think she’ll never love you again. Playing house is different to a child with this parent, there is no dollhouse, there are no play aprons and tea sets. You want to prove your independence and what a perfect little girl you can be. So you clean the house, you run a bubble bath, you walk the dog, and just hope she notices. Any bit of admiration you can get is a step closer to getting playing first fiddle in the band instead of second in the background.
Mostly, she doesn’t notice. And you retreat. Your room is your sanctuary. And everything is imaginary and safe. There’s such a easy regular quiet that fills them home that even your TV’s white noise seems loud and abrasive. Then life goes on, you learn to be alone. You learn to care for yourself. You set goals, achieve them and pat yourself on the back because there’s no one else there to. Next thing you know, you’re an adult.
With adulthood comes new relationships and now you love a boy. The picture you painted in your head of what a family looks like seems so wrong now because you know now that you’ve found it. There’s a security in the warmth of another body in your bed or the sound of someone else going through life’s motions in another room. Slumber comes so easy because you don’t have to lay in the darkness thinking endlessly about how you can change, how you can be better, how you can get someone to love you more.
These new relationships can pull the rug from under you too. They in the same way that family with the white picket fence and the mini van, are deceptively beautiful. It’s been awhile and where as before he rubbed your back until you fell asleep you lay next to him while his phone lights his face, and you stare. You watch, you wait, you wonder. Then you eat, and he texts, and he talks to far away friends, and you feel the same hopeless loneliness that you felt when she would leave you at the table to eat alone when you feet couldn’t sweep the floor yet.
This is feeling seems so familiar, but now something in you has changed. You want to fight it’s arrival and make it disappear and the same over compensations that you executed before are now back to haunt you. The similarities between childhood and adulthood? Again they go unnoticed. So then you just condition yourself, to just be happy alone. Try to find that feeling in something else. If you did it once…
Lucky to be going into 2013 with someone who loves me unconditionally or at least lets me think so.