Navigating the good and the bad

“If you want, or need to tell of your experiences, it’s ok with me. I’d just hope that you don’t discount your good memories because those are the ones I cherish most. “

After a few months of limited contact, my Dad and I are talking. Its complicated for me as I work to navigate that old relationship with new boundaries. It brings up many feelings.

I was not surprised by the statement. He tends to be uncomfortable when I tell my story. He thinks that I am rehashing the past. That I am focusing too much on my pain.

I love my parents deeply despite their flaws. I tell my stories in a compassionate way, doing my best to show the complexities of families like mine. Yet In order to be authentic, I need to share the full truth of being the daughter of an alcoholic.

Moving forward into healing, I need to integrate each part of my story. That means holding space good memories, while also acknowledging the painful one.

I share all of this to give others hope. For the millions of children around the world living with an alcoholic parent. For those adults that are still coming to grips with that legacy. There are so many people that need to see what being a COA like. I feel a responsibility to tell my story. To make things easier for the next generation of children of alcoholics.

I will always cherish those good memories, but sharing those challenging experiences is important too.

And that is exactly what I told him.

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