Having to walk away.

This was taken at Father Daughter dance at my wedding. This is the moment my Dad chose to apologize that his girlfriend was not there.

“ You know __ is sorry that she isn’t here right?”

As the child of an Alcoholic I am expert at hiding in plain sight. Covering my emotions when needed. But on that day my mask slipped. The disbelief showed on my face. We were surrounded by cameras, so I quickly forced a smile. I didn’t want anyone to know something was wrong.

But the photographer caught it.

This picture holds so many emotions. I feel anger, and sadness and disappointment. I look back and I feel let down. He took a moment from me that I will never get back.

Outsiders who say “ But they are still your family” have no understanding of how how hurtful family can be. They don’t understand the pain that brings us to the point of no contact. It is not easy, but sometimes we are left with no choice.

People always ask where my healing journey began. It was in this moment. When my concepts of my family was shattered and I was forced to see the truth. When I realized that the dysfunction was much bigger than my Mothers alcoholism. When things got incredibly complicated, but also painfully clear.

The truth is sometimes the best thing you can do is leave your family behind. You can love them and still walk away.

It is complicated sometimes.

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