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Toxic Family of Origin:

No More Guilt... No More Shame... No More Secrets!

by Paul D. from Florida

January 29, 2012 at 2:13pm

     Surviving all kinds of insanity leads to one's mind, body and soul closing down, disassociation, toxic emotional loyalty and frozen tears from day after day and year after year of abuse from the people that supposedly love you... Or so they say! There is only so much pain one's soul can take!

     When my mother died, my father said not to tell her sister, our supposedly crazy aunt of her passing. And I of course said,"Why?" He said, "Because your mother and I owe her $40,000.00 and never paid her back and that she would sue the estate for it." And of course without hesitation I said, "So I didn't get to know my aunt because you owed her money and made her out to be crazy! How could she not be crazy? If you were owed that kind of money and they didn't pay you back would you not be crazy about it? You have been working a 12 step program of recovery for many years and you never made amends?"

     And so it goes from one generation to the next. If you were to take my family and look at it from a distance you would see all sorts of joys and pains growing from its very fruitful branches within a forest of dysfunctional love. There are many stories like this weaved throughout my siblings and their children... Its sad to see, but its reality!

     They say the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree! This fruit-loop as one of my five brothers use to call me, when I came out of the closet to him, decided one day after having a nervous breakdown to roll a little further away! So I could take a good clear look at the tree which I had fallen and then I noticed that generation after generation a forest of dysfunction surrounded it. One secret after another... We are as sick as our secrets. But as the saying goes in Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families... "Don't Talk, Don't Trust, Don't Feel"! This was truly the tree I had been germinated into, as many of us are in this world.

     As one of my five sisters is on her death bed from a brain tumor at 55, it is very hard for me to get into the car and go be with her. I did call her on Christmas evening and wished her well as we tried somewhat to make amends to each other. She said, "Paul sorry we had a rough time in this life. And I hope you are healing your issues." I said, "I was and that I am doing very well" and then I said "Be gentle with yourself!" Then the phone went silent. It must be the way God wanted it to end for us. Nothing happens by mistake... The pains, joys and sorrows are all part of the drama of life. Unconditional Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness are the keys that set one's soul free while they are still alive.

     This sister in all her childhood pain, adolescent pain and adult pain had the vile, evil and vicious nerve to say to me... That she wished I would get AIDS and that it would go to my brain and kill me, so she could dance and tell dirty jokes on my grave and that I was the "turd" that our healthy loving mother use to call me! Sounds like a very loving and healthy family does it not? She just didn't like me, the baby turd, speaking up when she was handling monies for both our parents estates as executor and attorney ... For no one ever really has spoken up to her, until me. And now she is dead, may she rest in peace.

     After having been raped of my innocence in childhood, as I am sure a few of my sibling were and beyond the brutality of dysfunction that encapsulated us all, no wonder these very sad and deprived words were spoken from my sister. We all survived shit most couldn't fathom, even our parents and their parents. My own father didn't even show up with a baseball bat or the police when I was first raped at 4, because my mother said stay out of it. So sad!

     After my break down in 1999, the brother that called me the fruit loop also shared with me that the whole family thinks I am unstable. I said, how could I not be unstable, you saw me get raped as a child and did nothing about it and now your using it against me. What if your child was being raped would you not say anything then! We have not spoken since. Two other siblings sexually assaulted me when I was a teenager! One of their children got shot by police in a sting operation and the other wouldn't leave me alone with her boys when they were young because she thought I would do to them what she did to me, and now one of her boys might be dealing with his own fear of being truthful about his sexuality!

     Another sister, who I also stayed with in TN and slapped me across the face and said when are you gonna snap out of it and then years later said she wished she had bashed my head into the fire place instead... She also asked me point blank when I came out to her at 18, please tell me you did touch my boys... and all I could think after sharing all my hurts with her over the years, is give me a fucking break! I come from a very hurt family where feelings were being hurt all around. It was like a war zone and now they have a name for it... PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!

     And as a friend once observed within my family dynamics... Everyone is talking, but no one is listening! That was the truth of truths and still is for the most part even today! There never has been a real validation of feeling on any level and as I detach with love... All I can do is forgive my siblings, my parents, my grandparents and all of my ancestors for nobody ever really tried to stop the cycle of abuse most likely, because no one knew it was okay to speak up and say enough! I wish each and everyone of them all the love their hearts could ever imagine, all the money there safes could ever hold and most importantly... All the happiness that this life time has to offer!

     I detached with love from that tree I had fallen from a few moons ago. But when events like this unfold, transition, passing, death, hereafter, eternity... Hopefully, one stops in their tracks and takes an accounting of where they have been, where they are at and where they might be going. Karma has a way of making things real. What one says or does may come back around, for they may need to look in the mirror of truth to learn the lesson themselves. Now, we all know no ones gets out alive and upon that occurring one usual has to rot like a piece of fruit before the last breathe is given.

     Having been born with a defective heart, I have tried to imagine what it was like for all my 10 siblings and parents to deal with this news, their baby brother might die at any given moment and the feelings they must have all felt. One sister pointed out to me recently, that they had taken bets over the years that I would die before all of them and here I am even after being thrown from my car and landing on my head!

     So in the end... Does treating others as well as yourself with love, respect and forgiveness really help the soul heal?... You betcha! It is amazing what has come to pass in my life from making amends to many I have hurt, not just saying sorry or apologizing, but really meaning it and changing myself for the better. Trying my best not to be that selfish, self centered child at 43 and allowing others to have their own feelings and thoughts really heard, as I have learned to listen and grow.

     That sense of unconditional love is very apparent within me and the ones that I call family today and for having learned that Karmic lesson... No secrets to be found here, what you see is what you get, for it is not about whether you love me or like me or feel the need to judge me to make yourself feel better about yourself... Its whether I really like me! And I do and for that I am forever grateful! May you find that same self love I have for yourselves... Because it does start with the man or woman in the mirror looking back at you!

     Whether I ever get to say it to you personally or even if you have already passed on... Know that I am always learning to love you unconditionally my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and all the rest of the fruit on the tree of life... I hope that you are gentle with yourself and the ones you love as you roll along on journey... For it is not a destination!


And maybe, just maybe, we are all innocent in the end!