I always knew my family was different. I am the youngest of four sisters. I started to gain memory when I was about four years old. The biggest childhood memory I have is my father’s alcoholism. My father would drink until he passed out. That wasn’t even the worst part. He would get aggressive when he drank. He picked fights with strangers and his own family. We became his enemies; he was far from my father. I remember hiding in the closet when he would become terrorizing. I hid kitchen knives thinking one day he might just start killing all of us. My childhood was dark, to say the least
I could go and on about how my dad’s alcoholism and his own depression affected my life. I will have to share that with you another day. What I want to share now is how I dealt with it.
From a young age, I always had a smile on my face. I would go to school and literally forget that my home life was so stressful. I would turn it off and turn it back on when I faced reality. It came naturally to me. It wasn’t the best way for me to cope with it. I never spoke to anyone besides my sisters about my home life. For some reason, I was embarrassed, as if my dad’s actions were a reflection of mine. I would tuck it away and put a smile on my face. As I grew older, I found better ways to cope with dark moments.
Here is how I found light in those dark moments:
- Faith- When moments are dark, I tell myself and believe that better days will come.
- Crying- I feel crying is looked at as a sign of weakness or even annoyance to the presence of some people, but crying is the best emotion for me to let those feelings out. I don’t apologize for crying, as it is cathartic.
- Music- Music connects me to another reality and brings those feelings into check. When I’m done crying, I put some tunes on and zone out.
- Praying- I prayed for better days. I spoke to the universe and told it how miserable I felt in that moment. Just saying it aloud made me feel that much better!
- Sleep- Sleeping to me is accepting the dark moments and knowing that it did have an affect on me, so I let my body rest from all the emotions I have felt.
My father didn’t stop drinking all through my childhood. I moved out when I turned eighteen and started a life of my own. It wasn’t until my mother was diagnosed with cancer that my father stopped drinking. I can say now I have a real relationship with my father. Through my childhood, I learned that it’s okay to have dark moments. It is okay to not want to get out of bed. What is not okay is letting those dark days take over my life. Accepting that there will be dark moments, but for those moments there will be twice as many good moments.