Family of origin

Family, photo by Jean Scheijen, Maastricht, Netherlands, unconditional loveWhen someone comes into recovery from addiction, dependency, emotional illness, or a loss of some kind, an important step is to share about their family of origin story. This is vital to recovery because some issues get buried unknowingly and can fester, affecting the person’s behaviour for years. On the other hand, also remembering the positive things about their family of origin can contribute to their recovery. This process can help a person improve the relationship with their family of origin, if appropriate to do so.

she used to hate going home for
important times such as Christmas
and as we spoke it became apparent that
the angst she felt was valid
but at other times unwarranted
nevertheless because she had
not dealt with these issues
resentments had be debilitating
both to her and her family
so she made a plan to
approach her family of origin
and be honest about how she felt
regarding certain past events
not forgetting to make amends too
when it was appropriate to do so
I reminded her not to be
attached to the outcome and
then the process could set her free

New beginnings

behold, photo by Arjun Chennu, Chennai, India, new relationshipsWhen relationships end, either by death or divorce, part of the growth process is how we make new beginnings. We complete our grieving and only then can we accept that it’s over. Some decide to spend time alone to recover from their loss, while others search for a new relationship. Nevertheless, Life goes on and so do we, that’s the way it should be.

every other time he had gone after her
this time he waited for her to come back on her own
and she didn’t!
so he licked his emotional wounds and
got back up from the depths of his depression
“Life goes on” someone had said
and now it was the best thought
as he considered new beginnings
the future was more promising
last time I saw him he was smiling and his life
was so much brighter now
behold, photo by Arjun Chennu, Chennai, India,


center of a rose, photo by Jan Roger Johannesen, Trondheim, Norway, sorrow, tragedyWhen we are faced with the death of a loved one the pain is deep. The shock can be so immense that we cannot believe it’s true. Sometimes even sorrow is buried by the shock. As time passes we adjust to the reality of the death and grief takes over. Then we flip back and forwards through those stages of shock, awareness of the reality, and grief peppered with attempts to justify our inability to have prevented this outcome. Finally with relief reality takes hold and we accept that we must give up and say goodbye.

last week a dear friend told me of the
loss of her friend as she mourned Verna
then at the beginning of this week we lost
another respected member of the community
Dr. John Hirshman A.M., such a loving friend
and today I found out that our closest friend Sally
was killed by a car on her way to work
all week I was sorrowful but today I kept repeating
“it’s unbelievable” realising that I will not see Sally again
such a heartbreaking week full of death and grief
it made me become aware of my mortality and
that of everyone else near and dear to me

center of a rose, photo by Jan Roger Johannesen, Trondheim, Norway,

Samís loss

Sam commented on the loss of a love

The feeling of an immense loss is so hard to deal with. To be told that after 17 years that now nothing is left is shattering. No clue no hint it just is. Two children whose world has been ripped from under their feet. Security and protection is gone. How do I pull myself up from the biggest low I have felt in my life? Waiting for him to come back and say its alright I made a mistake. I want to feel anger, it would be easier to hate him, still loving him makes it so hard. I hate what he has done but I canít hate him.

When Sam wrote about the betrayal she felt from the loss of her love of 17 years and how it affected the children too, my heart went out to her. We have all experienced betrayal Ė some of us not expecting it and others finding it the end of much misery. Nevertheless, we dream of the possibility of the offender returning and making a soulful remorseful apology. Unfortunately, waiting for the offender to come back and make us feel worthy is an unrealistic expectation because even if they do just that our worthiness needs to come from within not from them. Sam was wise to separate him from his behaviour and although she hated what he did, she did not hate him. In that way her self esteem is enhanced and she will have a faster recovery from her emotional trauma because it is not dependent on him.

When you came back and told me that
you had realised how much you loved me
and that you could not live without me
I was elated and believed you!
but although I forgave your indiscretion
I could not forget the trauma!
most importantly I found out that
I needed to believe in myself before
I could believe you!