“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
– Excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’
When I was a kid, I fell in love with Alice in Wonderland. I could never pinpoint why exactly I loved the story so much. It was funny, yes…but there was something else there that I could never put my finger on. As an adult, I realize now that I probably loved the story so much because I’d always felt like young Alice: navigating a curious land through an illogical series of events and encountering only the most absurd characters along the way.
I had felt like I was spending my life trying to figure out how to get back to where I came from–then racking my brain to figure out if I had even come from someplace else to begin with. I’d been wondering if I were the same as I’d used to be–then racking my brain to figure out if I was even the same as I was that morning…and if I wasn’t, who the hell was I, anyway?
I realize that these are clearly the thoughts of a child who grows up surrounded by half-truths, inconsistent messages and kaleidoscopic delusions. This is the part where I stop alluding and say that I am an adult child of an alcoholic family.
The thing about family alcoholism is, you’re not supposed to talk about it. You’re meant to act accordingly and pretend that everything is hunky-dory. Smile and laugh perfectly on cue, even if your chest feels hollow and you’ve disassociated yourself from your own feelings so long that you’re not even sure if you’re genuinely enjoying yourself at the given moment or if you’ve become so good at pretending that you’d seriously consider purchasing beachfront property in Idaho.
By creating a blog to talk about this openly and frankly, I am breaking the oldest rule in the book. There are people in my life, particularly my mother, who will be very hurt and likely feel betrayed by my words (should they read this). Why would I do this? The answer is that I am tired.
I am tired of having to ‘run as fast as I can’ just to keep up appearances because it helps other people exist in their world of denial and delusion. I am tired of being told that I’ll have to ‘run twice as fast as that’ if I want to convince myself of my own “okay-ness” with it all–to deny and delude myself.
Because it’s not okay. Not any of it.
I have chosen to do the right thing and break the cycle. Something about being in Wonderland never felt right. I wish to speak frankly and openly about my experiences and my thoughts about those experiences. I want to release the pressure of it all from my brain, and more importantly, I want to reach people–adults, young adults, teens and children alike–who can relate to my story and encourage them to break their own cycle and build something real and strong and true.