A friend has been reading a book about Adult Children of Alcoholics. He explains the cascade. Feeling abandoned triggers distrust triggers withdrawal, throws the person back to their childhood, yada yada.

"Now wait a minute. What about healing?"

"Tell me where the feelings come from."

I am narrow eyed. "Yeah, well, I remember my childhood, but YOU didn't tell me you were responding. Barely a word about it for two weeks. So I thought you weren't."

Anyhow, the trust thing. Does love mean trust to you? If you love someone should you trust them all the time?

Well, hello, if I am a child growing up in an alcohol household or addiction household, I am DAMNED SENSIBLE to pay attention to whether the parent is fucked up or not. This is SURVIVAL, people. It doesn't have to be physical violence, either. My sister and I agreed that the stage of drinking that we hated the most was the one where my father would cry. Because he made no sense and he'd try to talk to us and WE WANTED TO LEAVE THE ROOM. So it is emotional survival. My sister said she would walk in the front door and try to tell from the feel of the house whether it was safe or not. The father-curled-in-a-fetal-ball stage, asleep, was relatively ok. She could step over him in the hall to get to her room.

This is not "damaged" brain wiring. This is children who have learned that you can love someone but that they are sometimes not to be trusted. So all of you who had the Leave it to Beaver childhood: yeah, that's nice, but we live in the real world. Trust must be EARNED and we watch others like hawks. So we know when to step away....


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