Happy hopping and welcome! My theme for the Challenge is addiction because both my hubby and I are recovering addicts. No worries though. I like to keep things fairly light even when dealing with a heavy topic like this one. Want a glimpse into my world of cocaine addiction? Listen to Metallica’s, Master of Puppets. If that’s too heavy, you can try Staind, It's Been Awhile instead. Much more mellow.
Don’t worry, you read that right. It says FOO, not FOOD. Although now I could go for some food. Hang on, let me grab a Krispy Kreme doughnut real quick. Delicious! If you have a Krispy Kreme near you, do yourself a favor and get one today. You deserve it! Also, I’d appreciate if you didn’t tell my hometown fav Entenmann's that I’m currently eating Krispy Kreme. Told you I flipped-flopped.
If you’ve never heard of FOO, that’s okay. I hadn’t either until I found myself in counseling after disclosure of my hubby’s sex and love addiction. Then it seemed like that’s all we talked about: his and mine.
FOO is the acronym for Family of Origin. What I lovingly call our mommy and daddy issues…although I usually save that snarkiness for inside my head. Or my books. Or my blog. Or my groups. Hmm. Seems my snarkiness is everywhere. You’re welcome.
Thanks to my rockin’ counselor, I discovered that our family of origin, those people who played a key part in raising us and even those first social groups we hung around can have a powerful impact on what our future relationships will look like, the inner-talk we have running through our heads, and what we find acceptable in other people’s behaviors not just for them but towards us too. It turns out that children really do learn what they live.
My FOO was complex. My mother doted over me when I was small and my father traveled into the Big Apple at the crack of dawn for work. I have a much older sibling who was out of the house by the time I was six.
My dad was my go-to guy. He taught me about the birds and the bees, my period, and boys. There were some things he wouldn’t talk about. The man who abused me was one. The topic was never to be discussed. Ever. He was out of our lives but still in other people’s lives that we knew, which meant that a lot of whispering went on when I was around…did they think I didn’t notice? Because I did.
We also didn’t talk about was my mom. Probably because it was the most painful for him. In hindsight, I totally get it. He was torn between his two favorite people: his wife and his daughter. One of them was showing signs of mental unrest, the other finding comfort in drugs and alcohol. That’s a tricky spot to be in as husband and father. I imagine he felt lost and confused on what to do.
Eventually, I emancipated myself. That also meant a whole new set of FOO. I’d been spending a majority of my time around two sets of families. One was very large and very loud. They cursed and screamed at each other and at first, I was almost scared to visit them. Yet, the more time I spent there, the more I was able to see what truly lay beneath the surface. Underneath all that chaos was love. Dysfunctional, yes. But they loved each other and would come to the defense of one another in a heartbeat.
Dirty laundry was aired with no shame. In fact, it wasn’t “dirty” at all. In my home, the things this family had gone through would’ve been spoken in hushed tones after the kids went to bed. Not here. The family was involved so they could help each other through it. Wait, what? Help each other through it? Everyone? Very interesting.
The other family I found myself around at this ripe young age, was of course involved in the criminal side of things just like I was. They were an exciting bunch for sure. Oddly enough, as tough and scary as they could be, they were also very gentle and protective of those they loved…and they loved me. But what could I possibly learn from a family like this? It was riddled with secrecy and lies.
From them, I learned the value of loyalty. I also learned about respect and how it’s earned and not given. Most of all, from them of all people, I learned that sometimes people are not what they appear to be. We may see them for one thing, but they are truly something else, so always be willing to love people, no matter where they’re coming from in life. (Here's lookin' at you, Uncle J.)
Learning about my FOO has allowed me to understand why I communicated the way I did. Why I had negative talk swirling in my head all the time. Why I felt guarded against people and why I wanted to rescue them all at the same time.
The really cool thing though, is that I can pick and choose what I see as the positives I carried forward: our family talks (thanks, dad), no name calling (parent opposite of my mom), let’s talk about the embarrassing stuff (thanks, dad) and work through it together (thanks, second family), be loyal and don’t judge a book by its cover (thanks, criminal crew). There’s so much more good to be seen but I’ll spare you. This time.
Laugh of the day:
Are you snarky too? Did you have a great FOO or a complicated FOO? Or did you just read FOOD and now you’re hungry?
I look forward to seeing everyone during the Challenge! Click here to get to the master list sign up sheet. I'll see you all this afternoon.