I have been thinking a lot about family and what is normal, and if I had a normal up-bringing or not. I think a lot of kids that grow up with parents dealing with addiction are concerned about others finding out. This can come from fear of being judged, or rejected.
It wasn’t until the past few years that my dad recognized he was an alcoholic, and bipolar, or at least that is when he brought it to my brother’s and my attention. So, I didn’t grow up associating my dad with these things, and in some ways that made it easier. I could ignore the things that I didn’t like, and pretend that my family was normal because there were no negative labels put on it yet.
On the other hand, it made somethings harder, not knowing why he was acting a certain way, and thinking that this was normal. This not knowing, or feeling of normalcy, is what I believe contributed to my fear of growing up to act like my dad.
I wouldn’t change the way I was brought up, or the things that I have been through. They made me me, and I like the person I have become. If anything, I wish my dad didn’t have to struggle so much to get to a place where he is comfortable and getting the help that he needs.
Normal is overrated.