Just Being

Well! My SO and I drove to meet”the brothers” for lunch last week.

I can say it was interesting-in many, many ways. There were two of them.  And with one of them, I felt some kind of energetic connection from the get go.  The other one, not so much.  As soon as we sat down, the waitress came to take our drink order and to my surprise my SO ordered some beer that they were advertising on the table.  One of the brothers almost immediately said the neither one of them drank any more.  That they’d both been heavy drinkers from a young age.  Hmmm! Whaddaya know!  I didn’t respond to that. Anyway, we were there for like 3 1/2 hours!  They had put together a thumb drive with a jillion pictures on it-explaining who everyone was-with lots of my birth mother. There was no discomfort on my part or theirs for that matter.They were definitely more interested in filling me in about my “history” than hearing about my upbringing. I suppose that’s to be expected.  Actually, I don’t really know what is to be expected in this kind of situation.

As I think I may have said in my last post, I really wasn’t looking for a family thing.  And to be honest, it really found me. I tell you what!  If I hadn’t been given up for adoption, I would have been raised almost the polar opposite of how I was.

So, what did I take away? Of course, I talked about it the whole 2 hour drive back to Austin.  And I have to say my SO was very patient and open about that.  Anyway, I think one of the biggest things was my lack of feeling or connection while looking at ALL those photos. Even at the ones where I resembled someone.  I realized, that for me, memories are so important!  Before we went, I pulled out a box of old family photos mainly of me- my brother has his-throughout my life .  And just the memories that came up-the settings, the people.  All of that.  So looking at all of those “family” photos of my birth family without any memories to go with them, well, they didn’t really mean much.  There were lots of Christmas pictures-lots of lake pictures, lots of pictures taken in the country-one of a family reunion with a Confederate flag flying high in the background. Of course, if you’ve read any of my blog you know that I was raised in a Jewish family.  We didn’t hunt squirrel-certainly didn’t celebrate Christmas-none of that.  I don’t mean to diminish them-I think they have good memories of growing up.  It’s just stuff that I have never, ever resonated with.  Even while experiencing some of these things with friends growing up.  One of the brothers made, while maybe not an anti-Semitic remark-something that just didn’t sit right with me.  We were talking about prejudice and I was recounting how in the 8th grade the class bully came up to me and pretty much yelled out that I had killed Jesus.  Shit! I didn’t have a clue as to what the hell he was talking about! Anyway, the brother remarked that I didn’t have to worry about it because I wasn’t Jewish.  Was that anti-Semitic?  I’m not exactly sure, but it somehow felt like he meant it’s okay for people to bully others.  I can’t put it into words, but it’s really bothered me.  Like, it’s okay to put children in cages because they’re not mine and I’m not Latin American.  Anyway, I let it pass and didn’t react.  Even though I had told them that while I didn’t practice Judaism, culturally that’s what I identify with.  That’s in me and it’s not going away-nor would I want it to.

Another thing that became apparent while looking through the pictures is that everyone smoked and drank-a lot.  Supposedly the stepfather drank a lot.  My birth mother smoked  til she was 76.  Jeez!  It made me wonder if I’d even still be alive if I’d grown up in that environment.  I mean, I drank and drugged like a maniac living in a family where no one drank.  I mean when my parents had company, they put out a pitcher of tomato juice for God sake!

I don’t know.  I want to be clear here.  These people couldn’t have been more welcoming. I am in no way trying to diminish or demean them.  But at the same time, my feelings that I was raised with the people and the way I was supposed to be raised just got reinforced a hundred fold.  Ok, and now I’ll get a little metaphysical here.  Here goes.  I think that my parents were with an adoption agency.  They probably had ties all over the country.  They specified that they wanted a girl.  So, when I was born, they were contacted.  I have the original papers releasing me to my parents dated 2 days after my birth.  So, it was a last minute thing.. And because of that, my father couldn’t get off work.  So my mother-who had never been on an airplane before flew into Texas from Nebraska and got me.  She came alone.  And-here’s the vision part-as I was thinking on this the other day, I just got this intense vision of this almost visible bond of love that came from her and just surrounded me the first time she held me.  I’m sure that I was pretty fussy the first few weeks- of course I was! I’d been separated from my birth mother. But my mother-the woman who wanted a daughter so much that she would overcome her fears to get me, just enveloped me in a love that never knew any bounds. When I saw this, I just felt so very blessed.  And so extremely thankful that I have experienced the life I have.

I also touched on something in my last post that I would like to raise again.  I was wondering if all of this would have happened if I’d still been drinking.  Of course I’ll never know that-although I can certainly picture how I would have handled it if I was still knocking back the vino.  But I had said something about it maybe taking this long in my sobriety-almost 3 1/2years for some kind of energy to flow.  For some channels to open.  Yes, in these 3 1/2 years, things have been so much better.  Just not having hangovers or the mental anguish-all of that.  But while that was happening, I think some kind of clearing was going on.  Something that had been shut a very long time ago opened.  And so for anyone reading this, this is what I have to say to you.  Forget about all of my family stuff.  What I want you to know is that the longer you go without drinking, the more open the channels become-the current becomes stronger.  It goes from being a barely there dim light at the end of a very long tunnel to a strong free flowing energetic current that is YOU! The other day, a friend of mine wanted to know what I was doing.  She said I just seemed so powerful and so grounded.

“Just Being”, I said.

With Love

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A Dangerous Liaison

Still here.  Still sober.  Still appalled at the politics going on here in the U S of A.  My intent is not to go on a political rant.  However, I find myself in an almost perpetual state of agitation, anxiety and anger-and of course all fear based. Which comes from things not being the same as I’ve experienced them for the majority of my life.  Many of the the so-called norms rapidly changing. Seeing injustices done and seeing that so many don’t see them as injustices.  On and on and on..

I did watch the testimony of Dr. Ford-felt that I had to as a form of supporting her as well as the realization that many of us have or could be in her situation.  After watching her, I stayed tuned and watched Kavanaugh’s testimony. Without going into all of my thoughts and emotions about that-one of my first oberservations-within about 5 minutes of him beginning, was, “that man has an alcohol problem.” To be honest, I hate to think that I have or had anything remotely in common with him. But, he was doing something that I know I’d done many many times while I was drinking. Trying to normalize it all.  Trying to find a common ground with people through connection to alcohol.  He did it repeatadly. I used to to do that.

It’s funny, that slippery slope of having a drinking problem.  On the one hand, we try to hide it-not admitting how much we’ve had to drink.  Denying any kind of black out.  Saying the words “went to sleep” instead of “passed out”.  Expending a ton of energy to deny it to the world that surrounds us. Jumping through all kinds of hoops to hide it.  Sneaking.  Lying.  And yet, at the same time, trying to make it all sound so normal.  For instance, I’ve got a friend that’s been sober for like 35 years.  We drank like fish through high school and college-but she eventually stopped. Got in to AA-and is still very active in it.  I would find myself, in conversations with her, bringing up alcohol in some way.  I would be conscious of it. Almost as if to say, “see, I’m still drinking, but it’s just normal drinking. I don’t have a problem.” I will say, that she never once said anything negative to me about my drinking-or tried to step in.. But somehow, for some reason, I would bring it up-The thing is though, while I was talking about drinking as if it is oh so normal, the voice in my head was telling me that I was full of shit. That I know that I drank way too much..I mean I don’t normally talk about how much water I drink in a day-or coffee.

What I saw Brett Kavanaugh doing-and what I was trying to do-was validating it.  Normalizing it.  He was trying to get Senators to say what they drank-how much-whatever..

So we go on and on and on. Trying to normalize it.  Looking for validation.  Always on the lookout for someone “who really has a drinking problem!”  Always comparing – so that we can feel better about ourselves.  And even when we’re doing that, there’s that internal struggle-that voice that knows the truth. The voice that’s constantly pulling at us and driving us crazy until we can medicate it away again for a few hours.  That voice is always there.  Does Brett Kavanaugh have that voice?  Who knows.  Denial works until it doesn’t. What was interesting was seeing and identifying that behavior on the stage it was on.

I do know is that with almost 3 alcohol free years, I never talk about alcohol.  Rarely think about it.  There’s a behavioral aspect that just changes when we stop and have some sober time under our belts.  We’re not always thinking about it. We’re not looking for normalization or validation of our drinking. I get a picture in my mind of someone in a situation that’s unfamiliar to them. They go overboard in several directions because they don’t know how to act.  That’s how a drinking is when they’re trying to act like they don’t have a problem. It gets to the point that it becomes such a huge, ingrained part of our lives that it seeps out into every aspect of it.  It’s a noose around our neck and our psyche. It’s unbelievably freeing to be rid of it. And oh so easy to recognize when we see it.  Like I did the other day. One of the things that alcohol does is unite people who have absolutely nothing in common. It can make us complicit with people and situations that would otherwise be abhorrent to us.  It’s a total mind fuck!

With Love

#IBelieveHer