...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Walking on Egg Shells & Boyhood

Recovery is possible 
A review of Boyhood only touches on what you could call the film's elephant in the room, that of growing up in an alcoholic  or dysfunctional family.

The accurate translation of walking on egg shells, however, is really "don't trust, don't talk, don't feel." If you are an adult child of an alcoholic or a dysfunctional family, find out more about our recovery in the Big Red Book.

Walking on eggshells means that hyper-vigilance becomes our default. We do not say or think or feel anything that we have learned the drunk cannot handle, which is everything. It does no good to "stand up for each other," as the review queries.

The healthiest possibility is to learn to care for ourselves.
Boyhood was truthful in depicting the violence and trauma of trying to live safely or "survive" with the insanity of family alcoholism or dysfunction. But survival is a complete misnomer- in reality, it means sacrificing- not nurturing- our true selves. By telling ourselves the lie that we can assuage or fix the alcoholic, we create a false self, one that is empty at its core, because it's all about people pleasing, and not being present to our true self.   

Yes, the movie well- portrayed family roles in an alcoholic and para-alcoholic family. The non-drinking parent continued to be needed through workaholism and taking care of the alcoholics she chose to marry.

The last scene showed the once young boy, now young man in college, numbing out chemically- a very predictable course for an adult child. I only wish there was a hint of hope, that recovery is possible at any age.  And that applies to the review as well.     

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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