The Fifth Promise of the Adult Children of Alcoholics Fellowship states, "As we face our abandonment issues, we will be attracted by strengths and become more tolerant of weaknesses."
As a child I was first abandoned by my parents. Not for something I did, but rather their needs and their addiction to alcohol made me more of a burden then a loving child of God. By the time I was a teenager, I basically gave up any hope that my parents would be there for me.
That logic helped me survive. With the insanity of the drinking and the physical violence that accompanied it, I learned how to tune them out. I wasn't the “hero.” I had no wish to save my mom from the beatings. After awhile I couldn't even hear her screams for help. It wasn't that I didn't care... it was just that I no longer had any strength left to try and stop it. I barely had enough strength for myself.
It wasn't just my parents though that abandoned me. My brothers did too. They knew how unhealthy that environment was... but they did nothing to get me out of there. Even if they didn't want me... just to get me out of there might have made my life a little more manageable. Just to stick me in a foster home would have been better then the hell I witnessed.
Does it sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself? I really am not. It's just with each passing year... I just can't understand why nothing happened. I told a priest about my family... he did nothing. “We'll pray for them.” I called the cops to our house after a beating and dad went to the bar to get drunk. The cops came in and there was mom telling them it was a misunderstanding. I pointed to her face, with fresh cigar burns and they still didn't do nothing.
What did I learn from all of this? To absolutely never trust anyone 100%. But deep down inside I so much wanted to trust and I gave it away freely just looking for the acceptance I never got as a child. And just like my childhood, this trust I gave away made me feel even more abandoned.
But I kept trying and I will continue to try. I'm figuring it out slowly. My weakness is trust. I gave it away to people I shouldn't have simply by giving them the power over me. But this weakness is slowly becoming my strength.
I still want trust... but no longer will I just give it away and hope it was worth it. Today, I work on it by being vulnerable. By letting others know how hard it is for me to trust. How scared I am to trust someone. I still have my setbacks with it.
No, I don't give out my trust freely... but sometimes I just want to run and hide. Sometimes those few folks who I have trusted and they have respected my trust, I still have that unknown fear that they will hurt me. They have given me no reason to believe that... but it is still in my mind.
Trust for me and actually letting people so close to me is part of my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and my paranoia's and fears are not like they used to be... but they are still there. But today I see it and I recognize it... and slowly my weakness is becoming my strength.