Monday, June 4, 2007

well. that was a bit bloody awkward...

i have been very open with friends, not to mention random bloggers, that i have been attending weekly codependent's anonymous meetings. i listen, laugh, cringe, shake my head and nod my head; i have never spoken up. i do not "speak UP", i leave that to the baby boomers who's histories are littered with alcoholic fathers, controlling or passive mothers, and physical and sexual abuse. i cannot relate to their stories, but i can relate to their experiences; on how they choose and relate to their families, friends and partners.

today addressed poor communication styles. apparently i am doing an excellent job at communicating poorly on every bullet point; defensiveness, scapegoating, diversion, passive aggressiveness; i could teach classes. mary, our outspoken facilitator, asked the group what were some things people used to fill their "potholes". shouted out was the usual hit parade of; sex, money, food, computers, work, codependence, cell phones, and drugs.

today i spoke up.


oh shit. everyone turned around for a (blank) look. sitting at the back is not a good thing when you start volunteering information. mary "rescued" me. my experience was validated just as legitimately as anyone else sitting in that room. she told us that the military "kids" (or adult "kids") on the inpatient unit got the "itch" to move every 3 years to fill their "potholes". she asked who my best friends were growing up. my brother (when not fighting over who used the milk last/had the most crucial piece of lego).

~"moving" families become enmeshed.
~they have no one else constant in their lives apart from each other.
~they accrue grief and loss like interest on a credit card statement.
~they think of their siblings still as children (even when we are 40, errr, 30).
~they have a hard time when siblings find partners and get married; because we think ~that we are the significant other in their lives! (oh god).

so; i found my words. the meeting ended and a woman who had been trying to catch my eye (that i had been avoiding) approached me. she demanded to know where i worked. she looked familiar in that 'former client, grown up' sort of way. i suspiciously asked "why........?" when she confirmed my place of work, she informed me "your my boss, im one of the relief people, so we haven't met, but i recognize your name and when i heard the accent i knew it must be you".

oh. well. its a good thing i didnt share the story about my crack habit.

she smiled and told me that now i would have a face to put with her name when it came time to doing her annual evaluation.



total-spender said...

I think my comment to this anecdote can be neatly summarized by the title of your post. Yes, how bloody akward that must of been!

One of my friends had a similar upbringing to that of yourself (so it would seem): his father was in the military which meant he was off faster than a bucket of prawns in the sun whenever he started to feel like somewhere was home.

saltandsaffron said...

I studied in a military school most of my life, so I know how it was, to have new set of friends every 3 years, to loose touch with those who left and try and make good friends the new bunch. It always reminded me so much of a bakery..a fresh batch of people to set, mould, help, sift, saute and then just hug. It isnt as easy as it seems for those who are left behind either.
Ps: I never could understand why the military wud want to move families every 3 years or so...they could do well with people settling at some place and being jst happy.. cudnt they?

maggie said...

It's interesting you say that about siblings being enmeshed. When my brother left for London, and is not moving back anytime soon, I mourned for a bit. He needed to be away....away from our mother. My little brother did the same...I think we were a bit enmeshed. But when we, everyone, comes/goes home for holiday we will always think of each other as 'that little brat' who snuck in our room and stole our candy, or our dolly. (OK so there were two thoughts in there...i have trouble w/ the ADD today).

I'm so proud of you for speaking up. I will come next week. It's weird that I was thinking of you last night and thought about going since i didn't ride. love you

Melinder said...

small town known as Louisville...damn! Everyone should wear mascarade masks in would be easier...hotter and sweaty but easier on the fragile egos.