Everything I have read about Adult Children of Alcoholics begins with a list of common traits. The number one trait for ACoA is guessing at what normal looks like. Wow! I never would have guessed! I was grown and married before I realized normal life was not what I saw on tv sitcoms. For the majority of my adult life, however, I think I have fooled most of the people most of the time into believing I do know what normal looks like. Until yesterday, that is.
Yesterday it became blatantly obvious that I do not behave like a normal, rational human being. What happened yesterday, you ask? Believe it or not, I made a mistake. Now, I’m just guessing here, but I imagine most people don’t come unglued when confronted with a tiny mistake. I am guessing from the reaction of those around me yesterday that mistakes are not seen as the end of the world. They are to be acknowledged and lessons are to be learned. In my past life, I may not have learned anything from my mistakes, but I certainly stayed glued. Well, at least my mouth remained glued shut. I might have been crumbling on the inside, but I was able to hide it like any “normal” person would!
So back to yesterday…and what I realized during my sleepless night of rehashing my little mistake that before I knew what was happening had taken on Godzilla proportions. I made a mistake at work. A co-worker pointed it out to me. I thought I took care of it, but said co-worker wanted to “fix” it for me. This is the point where Godzilla arrived and threw my “normal” right out the window! To make a long story short, I was unprofessional and inappropriate. I basically told her to quit trying to take over. She was taking over, but not with the malicious intent that I attributed to her actions. What the heck was wrong with me? Good question! I think maybe I have an inkling into what is happening to me now that I am old enough to know better, but not really mature enough to “be” better.
During the past ten years, I have experienced chronic physical pain, a total hysterectomy, and now a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. My chronic pain is relieved through a daily dose of Cymbalta. My diabetes is treated with Victoza. For a while, I did Hormone Replacement Therapy, but quit out of fear of breast cancer. Last night at around 3 a.m. I realized that FEAR is what is happening to me. I am no longer in control of anything and it scares the living daylights out of me! My children are grown. I have no control over their choices and I FEAR that, like me, they have no idea what normal looks like. I am no longer a classroom teacher with full control of twenty other little bodies. I am an “activity” teacher… an extra body. I FEAR that my job will cease to exist before I am ready to retire. I am 51 years old. I was supposed to die at 45 like my mother. I had it all planned! Now I FEAR that I have forgotten how to fake normal and no one will show up for the crazy old lady’s funeral. My list of FEARS goes on and on, but I won’t. I’ll call it a day by telling you my next post will be a childhood memory that I think may be the day my ideas of normal really became skewed. I will introduce you to the ten year old girl that likes to disguise herself as Godzilla when grown up Alison is foolish enough to make a mistake.
For today, I am still guessing at what normal looks like. I think there is a town in Illinois called Normal. Perhaps I should visit someday. I think I’ll take the kids.