The story behind this painting.
I was born an orphan in a house full of orphans.
According to Wikipedia, an orphan is; someone whose parents have died, are unknown, or have permanently or emotionally (sometimes unintentionally) abandoned them.
The Bible calls it; A person who has been deprived of parents.
Lamentations 5:3: “We have become orphans and fatherless, our mothers like widows.”
My father lost his mother at the age of 10 when he found her dead on the floor. Both he and his younger brother were brought up by their grandmother and various aunts and uncles.
My dad was an extremely clever man with a very high IQ, very sensitive and never had the opportunity or counseling to deal with his loss. He started drinking at a very early age and was already a highly functional alcoholic in his twenties.
During his life, he was very successful at his work but was constantly in and out of rehab.
I have no doubt, that he did the best he knew to do. He did not grow up with a father figure and had no one to tell him how to be a husband and a father.
They call it ACA, Adult Children of Alcoholics
How did it affect me?
They call it ACA…Children of Alcoholics.
If you grew up in an alcoholic home, you never know what to expect from one day to the next. When one or both parents struggle with addiction, the home environment is predictably unpredictable.
Arguments, inconsistency, unreliability, and chaos tend to run rampant. Children of alcoholics don’t get many of their emotional needs met due to these challenges, often leading to skewed behaviors and difficulties in properly caring for themselves and their feelings later in life.
The website, Very Well Mind mentioned 13 characteristics of ACA Children…and I had all of them.
If you were never given the attention and emotional support you needed during a key developmental time in your youth and instead were preoccupied with the dysfunctional behavior of a parent, it may certainly be hard (or perhaps impossible) to know how to get your needs met as an adult. Furthermore, if you lacked positive foundational relationships, it may be difficult to develop healthy, trusting interpersonal relationships later on.
Children of alcoholics often have to deny their feelings of sadness, fear, and anger in order to survive. And since unresolved feelings will always surface eventually, they often manifest during adulthood.
In my life, it manifested in distrust and hatred of both my parents and seeking affirmation in the wrong places. I was drowning in my own bitterness.