There are so many stories of grief, of “just” surviving and healing out there. I say “just” because living doesn’t happen for many until recovery–it is about just surviving the day. I’ve spent most of my childhood and young adult life in some kind of survival mode and I now find myself in a compassionate community of others recovering from similar feelings.
I’m incredibly grateful I’ve decided to attend Al-Anon meetings because even though alcoholism isn’t a disease in my family, the trauma from being raised by a narcissistic father runs eerily parallel to alcoholic survivors. Meeting after meeting reveals very similar pain, sadness, abandonment and self-flagellation: how can I fix this? How can I be different? How could I have done better? These feelings and auto-responses bear witness in friendships and romantic relationships.
Of course, it’s none of those things. To actually know it in the heart and practice it, well, there’s the rub. The struggle and the attachments, ergo, a community to share in our humanness. I’m fortunate to want to practice hearing the wisdom of Buddhist teachings reach my heart. It could be any spiritual practice that opens the heart really. Synchronistically, these same philosophies come through in meetings as we all share stories of recovery. It’s truly amazing. “Letting go” and “let live” and “self-care”. Practice. Practice. Practice. Amazing.
Community reminds you that you are not responsible for any of those “other people” or fixing or controlling or “making her/him see her/his destructive behaviour”; but to find forgiveness within yourself for fallibilities. In the end, being in a community of fellow survivors of childhood and adulthood trauma is healing. Also too, practicing what “safety”, “vulnerability” and “openness” can feel like to survivors who have had little to none in their lives.
Being able to honestly communicate from the heart at three minute intervals is incredibly powerful. Listening to other human beings share their grief, pain, joy–I keep crying it’s so healing as the trauma finds it way out–finally.
It’s an incredible level of self-care that I’m grateful to share.