On Blogs and On Being A Total Mess
Blogs. They're ancient by now, right? My first blog is 13 years old. That's a millennium in Internet years. And yet I’m pretty sure I’m the same person I was as the 30 something that started it. I’ve made a few discoveries since then. For instance, I know now when I have a home repair, the first place I should look is YouTube. I finally own a cast iron skillet and stand mixer. Twitter is a thing. And... oh god oh god is that really it?
What else is also the same is that inner debate on how much to share. Originally my online life was completely separate from my real life life. This was very much on purpose. Facebook came along and that line started to blur. The freedom of electronic anonymity was disappearing. The ability to ponder all the ridiculous things in my head that I could expound upon online were suddenly things I kept to myself again. Why are people whose faces I don’t see everyday (since I’ve actually met quite a few of my online connections since 2004) un-intimidating, but people I have known for decades off line are able to hold my tongue (or more precisely my fingers) with just the thought they might see my words? It’s not a secret, I don’t think, that I’m an odd duck.
But how odd?
One thing that I have discovered since my first post all those years ago is that there is a thing called an Adult Child of an Alcoholic and being one comes with a laundry list of traits. Guess what? It’s not a happy list. Unlike in TV or movies, where sometimes children of fucked up adults are miraculously awesome and well adjusted, it doesn’t really happen that way. I had no idea. When this was first brought to my attention I was furious. I’m still pretty annoyed about the whole thing. Because one of the lovely traits is lack of self interest. This inherent impulse to take care of everyone else over oneself. Oh goody. Basically I’m the idiot trying to put the air masks on everyone else’s face while holding my breath and not putting one on my own.
I have no idea where I’m going with that analogy.
I have no idea why I’m typing any of this out.
But it’s been a few years since I was told of this… well, it’s not really a disorder. Condition? Oh hell, I don’t even really know what it *is* other then “not OK”.
I should try not being not OK anymore.
So I did what anyone does in these situations. I googled. And I found that the same group that helps alcoholics quit drinking has an offshoot for the offspring and it also includes a 12 step program and OH HELL NO. Not just because of all the “higher power” fluff, but specifically Step 8 & 9:
8) Make a list of all persons we have harmed and be willing to make amends to them all.
9) Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
What the hell kind of victim blaming bullshit is this? Not only does it basically lay the responsibility on someone raised with skewed thinking for not magically understanding their impulses and reactions were the result of circumstances beyond their control, the steps then expect them to accept responsibility for not intuitively countering those impulses and reactions! Life skills don’t bloom fully formed inside someone as soon as they hit 18. The ability to function normally is not learned through osmosis, nor is it retroactive. It’s like asking someone to take responsibility for a boulder that rolled off a mountain in front of their car causing them to swerve into someone else even though if driving conditions had been normal, they wouldn’t have.
However.. now that I am aware, I am the boulder. But if anyone is waiting for an apology for my fucked-up-ness, they should probably hold their breath. I’ve got a mask I need to put on myself first.
(Oh look, I brought that analogy back around quite nicely! Go me.)