All my physical needs were met, but no spiritual or emotional needs.
I grew up in a lake of bitterness and despair, with waves of resentment and storms of anger.
Learned early on that I had to be strong and courageous as no one else was going to protect me. No one would stand up and ransom me. I had to be brave…
Much later in life, I learned that each person’s name has a meaning. We are not named randomly. Every person’s name describes their calling.
For example, Robert means, Bright Fame. Gary means Bold Spear. Niel means, Champion or cloud, and my name meant…
My mother also came from a dysfunctional background.
Her father was a violent alcoholic. She grew up being given too much responsibility at a very young age. At the age of six, she stood on a chair, in front of a cole-stove cooking breakfast for her younger siblings.
She also had a very bad stutter and because of the stutter, she was sent to a special school. She did not have the opportunity to finish school but had to go work to support her family. (She was also a brave girl)
At this point, my grandmother had already divorced her first husband due to his violence and drinking.
Take into account that this was during the depression, and a single divorced woman was an outcast. My mother felt responsible for her family, giving her whole income to my grandmother to help feed the rest of the family. At this point, she was staying with her family in Parrow, a suburb in Cape Town, and working as a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, also in Belville.
When we have alcoholic parents, we became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfil our sick abandonment needs.