I can, oddly, see exactly when it began. Age six is when I became an adult.

A couple of years ago, when Alex was a wee babe, I decided that it was high time to take pictures of Baby Aunt Becky and put them into an album. Dutifully, I gathered them up from my parents and threw them into a large Rubbermaid tote where I began the arduous task of sorting them into some semblance of order. When I was born, you see, my father, brother and grandfather were into photography.

For most people, that might mean a couple of snapshots on an old Instamatic, but we had a darkroom worthy of any college photography class in my basement. The photography hobby bordered on compulsion (see also: my orchids) and I was a perfect rolly-polly subject. My younger years are painstakingly documented.

There I am in the greenhouse with my grandfather, looking at his orchids and roses with wonder in my eyes, age one, there I am at Ravina at ages newborn through sixteen, there I am running around in my big fat cloth diaper, curls bouncing, looking every bit the nudist my own children are.

But age six is when it all changes.

Instead of the well-groomed child I had been for those first six years, I take on a new look. My hair isn’t brushed. My normally darkish skin is unusually pale and shiny. My clothes, once the nicer brands, now bear the signs of being cheaply made and too-small for my growing frame. Colorblind since birth, it’s clear that I have had no help picking out what I am wearing. Nothing matches.

I look neglected.

I look neglected because I am.

I don’t know what precipitated the change. I’d had a loving mother; one who brushed my hair, took me shopping and made me food. At age six, she stopped loving me. I stopped existing.

I’ve never recovered from that abandonment. That feeling of not mattering. Of not being enough. As a child, I was certain it was my fault, the reason my mother stopped loving me was my fault and occurred because I did something wrong. Magic Thinking at it’s finest. Certainly there are horrifying things I’ve seen and taken care of while I was the child of an alcoholic, but the feelings of being unworthy of love; of not mattering, those are what I grapple with most. I don’t know, and I’m not sure if a clinical psychologist agree, that feelings carved so deeply into your psyche can ever be completely erased.

I’ve thought a lot about my feelings this week. Normally, I’d rather carve out my eardrums with a steak knife while teaching the refrigerator to dance the foxtrot than discuss my feelings (probably in part why I have so many issues with emotions).

You probably didn’t know this, but there is no class for feelings. There’s no “IF this happens THEN you should do this” master book of emotions for those of us who didn’t learn it as kids. Someone should write one.

For years now, I’ve been shrugging things off. Telling myself this or that, well, it didn’t matter. Minor infractions. Nothing I couldn’t handle. Why bother really saying how I feel when it’s probably wrong? It was easier to rationalize the wrongs that people were doing to me than to stand up for myself.

In doing that, I took something fundamental away from myself. My feelings.

Slap a gag over my mouth and throw me in the corner. How dare I actually be offended when someone is being a crotch to me? How dare I call someone out on their bullshit? What if someone says something mean to me? HOW WILL I HANDLE IT? OH NOES!

Well.

Now.

C’mon.

I’ve already dealt with the worst kind of abandonment. How could I possibly give a shit when some Internet Mole Person or even a former friend of mine who stalks me for the express purpose of feeling smugly superior doesn’t like me? I don’t. Or I might. It might hurt. Words do hurt. Even if they’re flung by anonymous internet trolls or people I like. But this is not the end of the world. And I need to stop behaving like it might be. Why are their feelings any less valid than mine?

This is my blog. These are my words. I do own them. And my feelings do matter. My feelings are as valid as yours.

I am enough.

I owe it to six-year old Aunt Becky to stand up for myself. I need to show her that she is enough. That I am enough.

I am enough.

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. You should leave (or at least THINK about leaving) a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

154 Responses to I Am Enough

  • Bella says:

    I’ve been there. Great post.

  • gorillabuns says:

    i want to give six-year old Aunty Becky and grown-up Becky a big ‘ol hug!

    and any internet moles need to drown in the hole they came from.

    the end.

    xoxoxo

  • Me too honey. In fact I’m an adult child of three alcoholics – dad, mom, stepmom. I so understand abandonment.

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    Oh, Aunt Becky. I want to scoop up 6-year old you and tuck her in my pocket where I can keep her close and take care of her forever and ever. Breaking my heart again, woman. Love you to the moon and back.

    xoxo

  • Michelle says:

    I like you, Becky.

  • Pbpdesigns says:

    You are awesome. I want you to know that. I feel that from the bottom of my heart and we have never even met. I sincerely hope that if you are ever in the New York area you will let me know and we can meet. I NEED to meet you. Not in a stalkerish way but in a real OMG we are kindred spirits way. Please, dm me on twitter and we can share info. I seriously wish I could hug you right now.

  • BobaTheFett says:

    And you are awesome.

  • BobaTheFett says:

    And you are awesome.

  • Paula schuck says:

    This is a brave post. I can relate. I am the adult child of a deadbeat dad who was an alcoholic. He was absent and then my mom was left alone and I have vivid recollections of her going through the motions but clearly now with my adult lenses I can see that she was depressed. She gained weight and we were dirty. I recall counting the number of days I went without having my haif washed, I got to about 45 days as I remember. Same for my brother. I have never written about that time.

    Paula
    @inkscrblr

  • lie_2me says:

    I wish I could just give you a hug.
    I’m not going to say I know what you’re going though, cause I don’t. But I hope you realize that you are so much more than enough. It’s a long, hard road admitting to feelings and dealing with the hurt, but in the end it’s worth it.

  • It’s true… and I hope you can raise your head high and move forward keepin that thought in your head.

    It’s just super-hard to unlearn what you’ve believed to be true for so many years. My own sister pretty much hates me for something that happened to me that wasn’t my fault. Years of therapy have allowed me to recognize it wasn’t my fauly and that she isn’t being cool, but every unreturned phone call hurts. Every ignored email. Every blocked chance to see her kids. Every insult about me spewed before them.

    My rational mind knows I deserve better, but I still hurt for it all the time.

    I hope you are wiser and stronger than I am. I am so sad to think that your mom stopped loving you, but as you know now, it was her issue, not yours. You’re too fucking lovable. Just ask the Daver.

  • Natalie says:

    My dad was an alcoholic when we were growing up and my mom was co-dependent which is just as bad. I have many of the same pictures. I understand. Thanks for sharing, I wish I had the balls to do it on my blog, and I’ve been too afraid to share it at Band Back Together.

  • Dana says:

    Got nothing … but you already knew that …

  • Momalegal says:

    I was not the child of an alcoholic, but I can’t begin to describe how much I relate to your post. Because my family is full (like bubbling over) of Crazy, my story is much too long for a comment, but I so get feeling abandoned. It took me a very long time to even begin to think of having emotions, much less what to do with them. One of these days I’ll be brave enough to write a post for Band Back Together. Which is one awesome and kickass website. Thanks Aunt Becky! And please don’t take your post down.

  • ryanandjoesmom
    Twitter: ryanandjoesmom
    says:

    You are enough and I am glad to have ‘met’ you! Keep taking care of that 6 year old Aunt Becky!!

    xoxoxo

  • The Sweetest says:

    Yes, Ma’am! And if somebody gets uncomfortable with what you choose to write, or not write about,? Well, nobody made them read your blog.

  • Elizabeth says:

    you are awesome.

  • Bea says:

    bravo, love.

    we are kindred spirits in our quest to understand, express, maybe even feel our feelings.

    since it’s easier to remind others than feel it ourselves… but i’ll remind you, you are worthy of love, your opinions are valid and your feelings are to be accepted, by you and by others.

    fight on.

  • Jana A says:

    Damn. You made me cry. I love you and 6 year old Becky. I wish you hadn’t been through what you have. It breaks my heart :(

  • Lance says:

    Not only are you good enough but you matter to others…a lot.

    I had the opposite childhood that you did and I’m probably more screwed up (with the meds to prove it) than you.

    Take some time this week to look at your blog, your words, because that’s I and these other people know of you. That’s talent. It’s specialness that comes from within you.

    thank you for sharing…Go Jets

  • Erin says:

    Don’t know what to say – as tears are streaming down my face as I try to find the words to say that I understand..although every situation is made of its own differences and unique little bits of..crap..I just wanted you to know that..a lot of the feelings you speak of, I’ve been there, I’ve felt it…you’re not alone.

    Also. Just for the record.

    You are enough. You really are.

    And you’re so amazing for finding the words and the strength to write this.

    Oh – and yeah – internet mole people really can suck it.

    Sending you much love..

  • sue j. says:

    Becky, darling — you are enough and then some.
    Choose 6 of the best pix for your album and put the rest away.
    Great video of Amelia feeding her bug, btw. She is cute as one, but you knew that already.

  • CJ says:

    Thank you for sharing. It must have been difficult. You are not alone in feeling that way. Although neither of my parents is an alcoholic, my mother has always seemed to be manic-depressive (she has never gone to a professional to have this verified, but her actions tell the story). Sometimes she was loving and sometimes she wasn’t. It was like living on a roller coaster, at night, with no lights to let you know what was coming next. So I can definitely relate to your young Aunt Becky. Big HUGS to you for being brave enough to share.

  • well said, I too have feelings, and they matter, and I need to get over what people think of me! Especially the inter-web moles!

  • rox says:

    Damn straight you’re enough. You always cheer me up aunt becky, so I’m sending some cheer your way! The internet trolls can suck it. They stompped me out years ago.

    I have a little shell of a blog where I blog about the shell of my existance after losing my daughter and it’s no fun to read. What can I say? Nobodies perfect… HA!

    Chin up, you’re a funny lady. Yeah so humor comes from pain… so what, it’s FUN! Maybe if I can transform my pain into humor I could get an audience and further my social cause.

    some day. still working on it. Take care hun.

    -rox

  • Katya says:

    HUGS

    I love you Aunt Becky! Your feelings are important and do matter and if you want a manual, check out Difficult Conversations. It’s all about how to handle situations that are charged with complex (and conflicting) emotions… I’m reading it now and it’s AMAZING…

    But no matter what, your Pranksters love you and the Daver and the kids love you and with all of that, you simply can’t be totally unworthy of love or we’d all be wrong. Hold all of that love close as a reminder when you need it. You are worthy, and not only that, you are LOVED already!

  • rox says:

    PS oh my god I so totally am a robot! How did the blog know??!!

  • pixiemama says:

    Email me? I have to show you my tattoo. We have too much in common. love.

  • pixiemama says:

    Email me? I have to show you my tattoo. We have too much in common. love.

  • Stacey says:

    You’re very brave for putting this out there. I bet there are many people who can relate but who aren’t ready to share their experiences.

    Sending you virtual hugs.

  • Stacey says:

    You’re very brave for putting this out there. I bet there are many people who can relate but who aren’t ready to share their experiences.

    Sending you virtual hugs.

  • Can I join in the crowd of folks who want to jump into our handy-dandy time machine and go back to whisk away 6 year-old Becky and give her all the love and care she so needed and deserved?

    Yes, yes, yes, own your feelings, value yourself, tell people to stick it when they say mean things to you. You ARE enough. More than enough, overflowing with the yummy. Kick the yucky to the curb where it belongs.

  • Lorikingbrown says:

    Oh man. I know, I know, I know. I am also the adult child of an alcoholic. I also was left to take care of myself. I still get hurt now and have such a fear of getting feelings hurt that I don’t do as much as I could. Lately I have been going through a process of getting over this. If I’m going to live my life, I have to get over this. I’m trying. I’m getting better. I believe with all my heart there is hope.

    The thing that struck me most about this post is that my daughter is now six. I’m a recovering alcoholic and bipolar. I am not the perfect mom, but the thought of my daughter thinking I ever stopped loving her scares me. It hurts my heart. My heart hurts for you, too. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. You are brave for writing this post. Don’t take it down. Much love and stuff to you.

  • Johi says:

    You made me cry. You are an intelligent, beautiful, capable woman who is very worthy of love. It is hard (for me too) to deal with the ugliness that some people insist on smearing in our faces, but those are the things that make us wiser and stronger.

    We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Rock on Aunt Becky.

  • Editdebs says:

    Lovely post. And, yes, you are enough. I sure wish I didn’t understand what you’re talking about–but I do. I truly do. My father was the one who abandoned me–yes, the other kids too, but really more me than anyone else.

    You do deserve to have your feelings respected; they do matter. And so do mine.

  • Minipeds says:

    As someone who’s had an alcoholic father my whole life and only now at age 25, is my mother going to divorce him (and involving me in the emotional pain all over again), this post hit me hard. One of my home movies (only from ages 4-6 somehow were captured) shows my dad scolding me while Christmas tree hunting. Seeing my own little face crumple before I went and hid among the unsold trees made me realize how I needed someone to shield me from that crap, and no one did. People used to tell me I had an “old soul” (I bet you heard that a lot, too). Compensating for a lack of reliable parenting is a sad way to grow up fast. Thanks for writing so hard, Aunt Beks.

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    How many people can say they have an entire Band of Merry Pranksters who think they’re great? No many, but YOU do. You’re so full of the awesome, there’s no room left for much else. Well, maybe some sparkles. And I <3 you. Even if you don't like spray cheese.

  • steffanie says:

    Thank you for that touching entry – high five for suriving and thriving past the childhoods we were dealt. I always know in a sink or swim situation, I will swim – because I have no choice.

  • Josefina says:

    Yes. Go, Becky.

    And I love your blog. And you. And your feelings. I am delighted that you are not content to wear the gag. It is too much to ask of anyone.

  • onecookieshort says:

    You are awesome and definitely enough. And anyone that doesn’t think so isn’t worth your time. But yes, their words can still hurt.

  • Tom says:

    After reading this, I want to reach through the computer and give you a great big hug.

  • ender says:

    I am pretty sure you’re the girl version of me because we are that much alike except for the glitter and unicorns and shit like that.

    Love all of us ACoA folk chiming in. Almost makes me want to find a local group.

    One of these days I’m gonna make the day trip over to Chicago so we can meet up.

  • ender says:

    I am pretty sure you’re the girl version of me because we are that much alike except for the glitter and unicorns and shit like that.

    Love all of us ACoA folk chiming in. Almost makes me want to find a local group.

    One of these days I’m gonna make the day trip over to Chicago so we can meet up.

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  • Kate says:

    You are the awesome! It’s way to complicated to go into here but my mom is also the adult child of an alcoholic (her dad) who lost two moms (the first to death when she was 7 and the other to divorce when she was 17) and it’s only no that I’m an adult that I understand how fully those two things are the reason she is the way she is. She was so desperate to re-create that parent child bond and not be rejected that she is to this day much too dependent on me for emotional support and created a spoiled brat out of my little sister. So yeah, yay for you for know that you are enough!

  • Leslie says:

    Yes you are! And some of us that have the same issues/feelings are so empowered to hear that others do as well. Especially someone we think is sooo cool! :) THANK YOU!

  • MKP says:

    XOXO – I am sorry that you experienced that. It sucks and you deserved better.

    Just my two cents…for me, Al-anon is totally a class for feelings. I grew up with a dry drunk dad and a rebelliously codependent, and my uncared-for-ness came on when I stopped being pretty and cute and started being pudgy and tomboyish, and Al-anon helps take that sting away.

  • Jess says:

    If I ever get a tattoo it’s going to be those three words on the inside of my left wrist. I Am Enough. Took me 35 years to figure that out. And this post? This post made me realize that my father isn’t just my father. He’s also the adult child of an alcoholic (which I knew, but apparently never KNEW because apparently I am slow) and I have an entirely different perspective on why he is the way he is now. Thank you.

  • mae says:

    Love it. You are enough and you are awesome. Furthermore you are loved and liked and cared for (in the extremely real sense that I will be happy to come brush your hair and pick our your clothes for you if you don’t already have that covered) by so.many.people.

    It’s the hardest part for me as another child of an alcoholic. How do I not feel guilty for feeling sadness and anger at the way I was treated or not treated by the addict? And how does that translate to an adult relationship with said addict when they’re using and/or not using?

    When do I get up the balls to say “sometimes you were a crappy mom and you damaged me and I will always be angry at you for it because you had the choice and I didn’t.”?

    I still have no fucking idea when that’s going to happen.

  • I love you Aunt Becky. This is one of the many reasons. Standing up for yourself takes 10 times the guts it does to stand up for others which you do handily. But somehow even when you’re standing up for yourself, you’re still helping others. It’s a gift you have. I’m glad I have the pleasure of knowing you even if it’s through the internets.

  • Prankster?!?!? says:

    You are enough!

    As the old saying goes, admitting it is half the battle. Living it is the other tough 1/2, but, you’re 1/2 way there, so don’t give up now.

    Much success to you in discovering the parts that are untapped beauty within.

    ;D

  • You are more than enough!!! I wish I could hug both 6 year old Aunt Becky and Grown Up Aunt Becky. Feelings kinda suck.
    I don’t have the same kind of abandonment but I have abandonment issues from my father. And I need to feel like I am enough and that he doesn’t matter. Wish Me luck.
    Thank You for sharing this I know it had to be extremely hard. You did it wonderfully.

  • Maria says:

    And yet another big whooping cheer for The Awesome Aunt Becky travels from freezing Sweden to the big country in the west.

    Thank you for sharing your growing pains. Sharing pain will reduce it, that I hold for truth.

    Much Love.
    Maria

  • Nicole says:

    Beautiful… Very well put. I was 9 when I was forced to become an adult. It was after my grandma died. With an absent drug addict mother and workaholic father, I was alone. Who the hell do people think they are trying to drag us down?? We (YOU) are warriors!!! And all you naysayers better believe it!!! Becky please know that there are people that have felt what you felt and of course don’t “know” what your feeling but can empathize with you. You are a strong amazing person, and I am so glad I am able to know you even if its only through the interwebs!!!

  • You are worth fighting for. Worth standing up to those who aren’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated. We are all worth that. Don’t let anyone else dictate how you feel. Your feelings are your own.

  • jen says:

    yes you are! and thank you for putting into words things i struggle with every day, it helps to know others out there go through the same. exact. feelings.

  • Pam (writewrds) says:

    Your Aunt Becky = Full of the AWESOME!!!
    Feel your AWESOME — for what you’re doing and who you are — and thanks so much for sharing.

    I’m very grateful.

  • Gretchen says:

    You…are EXTRAORDINARY.

  • Kris22 says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you too struggle with being enough. While I didn’t have to deal with an alcoholic parent I had a father who abandoned me multiple times in multiple ways. I won’t go into the messy details of all the things I went through to get to where I am, where you are, where we are right now. I’m happy to have gotten here and it makes me extremely happy to know that others get there too. It gives me a huge surge of hope and since when is that a bad thing. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in that little spot of acceptance but just the fact that you found it once means that you can find it again if you ever lose it.

    To help remind me that I found that spot I have the word “enough” tattooed on the inside of my one wrist. It’s very small and done in white ink in a language that many in the US don’t know but it’s there for me to look at and touch when I need it.

    May you always have enough in everything that is good in your life.

  • steph gas says:

    “There’s no “IF this happens THEN you should do this” master book of emotions for those of us who didn’t learn it as kids. Someone should write one.”

    truer words have never been spoken. and if you did learn this as a child, you have no idea how crippling not knowing it can be. for those of us who weren’t given appropriate coping mechanisms and emotional support and love and shit like that growing up, it’s a struggle every day.

    thanks aunt motherfuckin’ becky.

  • @wtfinmontana says:

    I am totally intimidated by how many comments you get!! It is nice to know that others suffered the same childhood. Mine ended when I was 9 or 10. I don’t really remember the transition for some reason. My parents were drug addicts.

  • Steph says:

    You are MORE than enough.

  • TeacherMommy says:

    I was five when my world changed somehow, and I don’t know exactly what all it was that did it, because my parents weren’t alcoholics and didn’t stop loving me. But somehow that’s when my walls started being built and somewhere along the way I became convinced, deep down, that I was never, ever, ever going to be good enough.

    Ever.

    I thought I’d worked through a lot of that shit, but it turns out–not so much. I teared up when you wrote the line about not knowing if emotions carved so deeply on your psyche can ever be erased. Because that’s what I fear for myself.

    I wish I felt as strong and confident as you seem to, there at the end. I wish I could convince myself that I’m wrong.

  • Suzy Voices says:

    You are most definitely enough! I do believe you’re getting your muchness back!

  • Is it sad that I’m focusing more on who this troll is so I can kick their ass? I tend to be a results driven person.

    • Karen says:

      Nope, because that is exactly what I am focusing on. Just point us at ‘em Aunt Becky and let us kick their butt(s).

  • Kenya says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I LOVE it by the way. I rarely comment on stuff, but this post hit home. There is no way to explain to someone who had two loving, present parents just how deeply it affects you when the two people who are supposed to be the people who love you unconditionally, take care of you, praise you, and be there for you, aren’t.

    Trying to explain to them that it has nothing to do with them, but that you can’t just trust that they love you and they aren’t gonna leave you, because the people that were supposed to show you that someone can love you this much, didn’t.

    They say that with effort and therapy you can get over these feeling, but there is always that feeling of being broken, damaged.

    My mantra for 2011 will be ‘I am Enough’ :)

  • Chelle says:

    I constantly over think anything I say or want to say because I am afraid someone out there might not like what I have to say. Someone might call me out on my own ignorance. Someone might judge me. Someone might not like me. I have realized lately that it is OK not to be liked by everyone. Some people just won’t like me. What I need to focus on is whether or not I like me.

  • Sam says:

    Aw man. Normally I like to leave a humorous (or attempt at humor) comment and be in on the internet fraternity. (Sorority?)(I suck at that Greek crap.) But this? Makes me all serious in the head. You can’t see my face but it’s full of empathy, and sympathy. We all have some moment or moments or relatives or friends that/who defined so much of who we are. And all we can do is stand up to those ghosts in the halls of our pasts and give ‘em a big middle finger and try to resist the knee-jerk reactions when situations summon those old demons. You are awesome. For every internet troll, there are ten people who give a shit. I’m just one of them, but I think you’re great. You write good stuff. Keep it up.

  • andygirl says:

    YES you are enough! and you are entitled to your feelings.

    in dealing with my mom’s narcissism and addiction (my mom smothered me with control, but never with love), I did a great uncorking of emotion. once I let myself get really, really angry at her, I lost all that guilt for not being good enough AND I suddenly didn’t need her approval anymore. but then an even more amazing thing happened. I didn’t tolerate that from other people anymore either. I was suddenly not a doormat. suddenly the only approval I needed was mine. I still battle it, but my bullshit meter will never go back to what it was before.

    so let your feelings flow, honey!

  • Kelly says:

    My parents were not alcohlics, but my paternal grandmother was a raging one. Eventually drank herself to death.

    She hated my Mom, for taking her son away. When I came along, she hated me for being the deal breaker. Since my Dad never had a relationship with his father, she knew he’d never leave my Mom alone to raise their kids.

    For some reason, she liked my sister, but always hated me. That is some hurty stuff. She’s been dead for almost twenty years, and it still fucking hurts.

    Until the last few years, I have always had a problem with older ladies. Then one day, I realized, it wasn’t them, it was me. Working with the public as long as I have, you’d have thought I’d have put that one together a long time ago.

    You are a strong woman Becky. I’m proud of you.

  • You ARE enough.

  • Laura says:

    Oh, I’ve sooo been there. Here, that is. Am still here, still wondering when and if I’m going to figure out how to care more about what people who love me say than what people I wouldn’t use to shine my shoes think of me.

    Aunt Becky, you are made of the AWESOME! I want to bake you cookies and knit you fuzzy red sweaters. Though to be honest, while the cookies would rock, the damn sweaters would be crap since I can’t knit to save my life.

  • Beth
    Twitter: star_momma
    says:

    My dad was the alcoholic in my family. The last contact I had with him was when I was sixteen and he called on my birthday and ended up yelling at me for god only knows what. I didn’t speak to him again. He died in 2005, and the saddest part, really, is that he’d destroyed things so utterly that I could only feel sad for what *might* have been and not for what was.

    In any case, that little ramble is mean to say: I get it. It’s easy to revert to being a kid as soon as someone treats like one, and sometimes it’s damn hard to dig your way back up out of it – and you’re AWESOME for fighting so hard to do that.

  • Sing it, sista!!

    Whenever I feel my boundaries are being trampled and I feel all pressure-y to comply, I remember that little girl who appologized for things that were never her fault. Then I think, “Don’t worry, sweets! I’ll take care you!”

    Super cheesy, I know. But hey, whatever works, right?

    Doing this kind of work is hard, but totally worth it. And there’s no diploma at the end of it. So take your victories like this one here and celerate. Because it was not easily earned.

  • Janet says:

    Darling girl, you have me in tears. You are very special and much loved.

  • Amelia says:

    I like you Aunt Becky. And I’m so super proud of what you’ve been doing.

  • Joy says:

    The best part of this? “This is my blog. These are my words. I do own them. And my feelings do matter. My feelings are as valid as yours.”

    Preach on, sistah. And get in touch with those feelings — your 6-year-old self needs you to do that. (And I’m so sorry. That sucks every sort of shit.)

  • KYouell says:

    I love you. I’ve been working on this kind of thing this past week or two myself (which is what lead to such a dark day yesterday). My mom is not an alcoholic, she didn’t stop loving me; I’ve never felt that connection so I thought that I couldn’t feel the loss of it. Wrong. Why didn’t we bond? Why is Mothers’ Day the hardest day of the year? Why am I thinking about this now? Gee, maybe because her birthday is this month?

    I’m trying to see myself as worthy of being loved, but deep down in my heart I don’t feel it. Fake it til you make it, right? I’m so glad I found your spaces out on the interwebs. Frickin’ lifeline.

  • Kim says:

    You absolutely are enough.
    Walls are very easy to put up, and a complete mind f*** to try and knock down. Hopefully there are a few people who find a way to walk around yours and help you knock it down. It’s an awesome feeling. Trust me.

  • Sunday says:

    Fight on little Aunt Becky

  • melinda says:

    Do we ever get to that point that we feel strong enought to block any arrows that fly towards us from friend or foe?
    God, I hope so….I’m 45 and I think I’m done with feeling less than enough.

  • Scatteredmom says:

    You are enough. You are amazing.

    Fantastic post, Becky.

  • Tracy says:

    Such a hard lesson to learn for all of us. We ARE enough!

    Here’s a link to the new video by P!nk that shows that none of us are alone in those feelings.

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1656352/pink-gets-gritty-f-perfect-video-watch-now.jhtml?xrs=share_fb

  • Squatlo says:

    you should let the refrigerator learn to dance without you, and continue to make “feelings 101″ part of your blog, ma’am.

    I’m so impressed! Having grown up with alcoholic parents of my own (and they ARE ours, like it or not…)I have some regard for what you’re saying.

    I’ll be back. And if you get “trolled”, or insulted, just take names and post them. Spite, malice, and revenge can be a group-sex kind of thing! We’ll take turns fucking their brains out for you!

    It’s a free service, gladly provided.

  • Melissa says:

    Yes, you are. And you stand up and fire back. Love you.

  • c8h10n4o2 says:

    It was 9 for me when the alcoholism hit, but the crazy had been around for much longer than that. Crazy that has made multiple therapists cry while I just stare at them, bemused. I’m still trying to get those words through my head sometimes. And I still get the urge to punch my mother in the face sometimes.

  • KaraB says:

    You are more than enough Aunt Becky and remember your Pranksters love you!

  • Tisti says:

    While I didn’t grow up the child of alcoholics – I married an emotionally abusive man. Words DO hurt. They hurt more than many people realize.

    Because of that I am obsessively careful about saying anything that could hurt my daughter. The child has never been called naughty. She has been told that her behavior is not what it should be but she will never be a naughty child. The difference to a 5 year old? Negligable. But *my* daughter will never feel the helpless feeling I felt when I was threatened and called names. When I was made fun of and when I cried.

    As long as I’m in charge of her she will never hear it.

  • Angel Smith says:

    The really sad thing is that this world is now populated by echoes of that feeling…almost all of us feel invisible…not enough/too much…like body snatchers took all the real parts of us and left us with no idea of how to truly breathe in the body we find ourselves in. Something in our world is broken, because those feelings you so eloquently spoke of here *should* be the exception, but they are becoming the rule.

    PS You *are* enough. It had nothing to do with you. It was her. I wrestle that demon myself, but it’s from my father’s complete abandonment. I grew up thinking if I were prettier/smarter/thinner/better-behaved/whatever-I-felt-I-was-lacking, then he’d have loved me enough to stay. But the truth is, even if I was the most of any of those things that a person could possibly be, or even ALL of them? He’d still have left. Because it had nothing to do with me. I was the catalyst for his behavior…not the cause. Now I know (most of the time) that *I* am enough, too.

  • Christine says:

    Wow. I could have written this… well, except that I don’t write nearly as well as you do. You go, Aunt Becky.

  • mamikaze says:

    Way to go, Becky! As a former emotionally stunted now adult child of abuse, I am struggling with the same topic. I keep telling myself that “My thoughts and feelings are valid. It does not make me a selfish bitch to think that way, dammit!” It’s a difficult journey. I’m becoming a better person regardless of the people who are trying to hold me down.

  • Avitable says:

    Yes, you are enough. You’re amazing.

  • Nikki says:

    You may think you can’t feel, but your pain bleeds through your words every day, and in those words, we know you can feel. You ARE enough. You are an amazing friend, wife, and mother.

  • Meredith says:

    Hells ya you are enough! More than enough! Love the post.

  • Yes. You ARE enough.

  • igster101 says:

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the child of a parent like that.
    As for the Internet Mole People? Screw em’. You’re Aunt Beck Dammit. There are those that will love you and some that will hate you for no reason. To hell with them. We like you, care about you etc.

  • Nancy P says:

    I wish all that bad never happened to that little girl. I want to hug her/you.

  • The_BMG says:

    This post just breaks my heart. I want to go back and hug six year old Becky and make everything better. To give her clothes that fit and brush her hair.

    As I said in my tweet, do I need to get my ass kicking slippers on and come out there to kick someone’s ass? Because I totally will.

    You are totally enough. You are amazing and wonderful and I’m so glad I found you.

  • Megan says:

    Thank you for posting this. It made me feel a lot better.

  • Evelyn says:

    Simply put – this is wonderful. I became an adult at a young age, and I’ve never learned how to embrace that “I am enough.” But I did learn to embrace words, wit, and humor and you graced the page here. PS – I’ve decided that life isn’t complete unless you have an enemy or two or some Zombie moms who hate you…

  • Amy Hillis says:

    YOU are enough. I applaud you for every honest word that comes through this blog. You’re right you OWN this space – F*ck the Moles – I think you are awesome & so do A LOT of others.

    BTW, once upon a time we were local to each other – I grew up in Villa Park, but I’ve since moved down here to Cincinnati. If I was still home – I’d be at that Birthday party, just to share a hug and say Thanks for all the awesome that you do.

    Peace~
    ~Amy

  • I was married to an alcoholic once. And I felt much of the same; to make matters worse that marriage followed up a marriage in which I was physically and emotionally abused for 4 years.

    I didn’t have a whole lifetime of those type of relationships, but I can understand not feeling like you are validated; like what you think is wrong; like it doesn’t matter.

    It has taken me 3 therapists and almost 8 years, but I’m finally finding myself again. I know our situations are not the same, but you are worthy, your feelings are valid and you can learn to love yourself. I did.

  • Great post, Aunt Becky. I’m glad you found a way to say what you were feeling. This struck home.

  • JewelH says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter…
    It broke my heart to read your story, and broke it again to read that commenters were being cruel.
    My mom did the best she could raising me in a home with an alcoholic father. It’s something that never stops hurting, and I don’t believe the feelings ever go away. We just need to remember that they will subside for a while again and enjoy the space between them.
    Sending you love and hugs.

  • JewelH says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter…
    It broke my heart to read your story, and broke it again to read that commenters were being cruel.
    My mom did the best she could raising me in a home with an alcoholic father. It’s something that never stops hurting, and I don’t believe the feelings ever go away. We just need to remember that they will subside for a while again and enjoy the space between them.
    Sending you love and hugs.

  • rys says:

    Becky, you know I understand. Hell, I have a whole blog devoted to it.

  • Susan says:

    I think you’re wonderful. I became invisible to everyone (except Uncle Charlie…) when I was 8. My parents were wonderful and caring. They also had 7 kids and many, many foster children. (My mom was going to single-handedly save the world.) Keep sharing with us!!

  • Breeh says:

    You could have been talking about me! Wow, I was moved when I read this. The only difference is drugs not alcohol. Neglect is neglect though no matter what the cause.
    I love you blurb about feelings, ditto. And I too think it’s profound when you look at old photos and suddenly everything changes. When you ponder it, you realize that was indeed when I grew up.
    Thank goodness for blogging, I am terrible at therapy.
    Mostly this comment is a thanks, I am not a freak, I’m a product of my dysfunctional childhood, other women have difficulty with feelings too.

  • Jen P says:

    I feel like I say the same thing every time I leave a comment on one of your posts where you talk about the deep stuff, but I think it bears repeating, here.

    Becky, look around you. You have built this amazing, thriving, supportive, incredible community both here and at Band Back Together, not only for yourself, but for all of us too. You let all of us share this amazing gift. Little Aunt Becky deserved better, and I echo the sentiments of so many when I say I would love to go back and give little Aunt Becky the love and support she missed. But the grown up Aunt Becky? Clearly, she is bad ass. And loved. And cared for. And cherished. You are enough, Becky. You matter. You are important.

  • Becca says:

    You write hard!! I love your words today!! :)

  • Stefanie says:

    I too was raised by an addict. And I struggle with all of the things you do. Petrified to stand up for myself for fear people wont’ like me. Or? That maybe I am somehow wrong and they really don’t mean what I think they mean. I have gotten a little better as I turn 40 next month. A wise friend that reached that mark first said to me, “I lived my life caring what everyone else thought for 40 years. The next 40 are for me.” I try and embrace that. I don’t always succeed, but I keep trying. So you go on with your bad ass girl. Stand up for yourself because guess what? You totally are enough. And your words? They matter.

  • teri says:

    {{{{{HUG}}}}}} I love your blog! You are Amazing!

  • SharleneT
    Twitter: SolarChief
    says:

    There are no words. Whether abandoned because of alcohol or just plain meanness, nothing ever makes you feel good about yourself. It lightens but it doesn’t go away. But,I’m so proud of you for taking a stand and letting your voice be heard. That’s the beauty of your blogs. You can share your pain and discover there are many who love you and wish they could take the hurt away… {{{HUGS}}}

  • Peter says:

    Enough? Enough? Young Becky, you are something special! Nobody, my dear, knows how to feel. Every one of us was brought up by imperfect people, doing the best they could with what they had. Some of us by an alcoholic or two (or three or four), some by folks who were abused, some by deviants of one sort or another. My whole generation raised by those wounded by the great depression and the war, my kids raised by a guy doing the best he could to forget how he should have done more for his brothers who rode back from Viet Nam in plastic zipper bags.

    Becky, some of us are crushed by who we are, some of us are someone special. I did all I can to make ordinary. You? A star.

    Here is a clue about how you should feel. You should feel exactly what you DO feel. Our feelings are our own. Our actions are somewhat more constrained, otherwise I’d have machine guns on my car.

  • suenigma says:

    This is a very poignant piece. I certainly hope that you don’t take this blog post down. Indeed, I would love to see you explore this obviously painful subject further. I don’t have any idea what is going on with you in terms of the Internet bullying recently (I just followed Dublin Cook here on Twitter, LOL), but the brief illumination of your childhood had me in tears. You stike me as a very insighful and compassionate person, and a kick-ass writer. Off to read your past blogs…

  • Meredith says:

    Becky,
    My kids are turning 6 and I’m asking them to do things like brush their own hair and get themselves dressed. I promise you that I dont love them any less, I’m just trying to teach them how to take some responsibility for their bodies.
    m

  • Veronica says:

    You *do* owe it to yourself. And I’m mostly a lurker, but you are enough.

    I got trolled this week, told that I ‘gave all young mothers a bad name’. That shit hurts and I defended myself. Bullshit about ignoring it so it goes away is crap, ignoring it just makes me feel crappy and them feel that they’re right. Gah.

    Anyway. I’m ranting. Excellent post, thankyou.

  • a says:

    You are enough

  • Sky says:

    If I could give you a big hug, I would. I’m a child of and alcoholic too. There are days when I’m not good enough, but I’m getting better at giving them the finger.

    You are enough. Period.

  • zak says:

    I love you, you wrote the piss out of this.

    XOXO

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    “I am enough” tough words that I am not very good at telling myself.

    You are enough (that is true..and much easier to say)

  • karen says:

    you n me, Aunt Becky? We got a few things in common. Like not being “cared for”. Like being kids of addicts (only alcohol was not a part of my mom’s issues). Like being wrong, wrong, wrong all the time and having to eat my feelings till I had none.

    I know I mentioned this in the comments from a post you wrote about your son, but that feelings list I had to use everytime I “might” have one really was a great place to start. I used that list for years. Wish I could put my hands on it now, but I have a better idea. I need to do it, so it will be fun. I’ma email you my thoughts because they are HIGH CONCEPT man, so …

    Oh, and one other thought? Have you ever considered nominating somebody to vet the comments on these sites for you? You could give those iTrolls and iXfriends a miss if somebody else removed ‘em. Talk about THWARTING the dumbwads in the best way possible! You could banish it from your Queendom … just a thought …

  • Jeni says:

    Great post Becky, thanks so much. I could have written it me self; very close to home. My I AM ENOUGH work continues. Hugs!

  • Sunny Delaney says:

    You are definitely enough! Thank you for addressing issues that many of us would like to but for whatever reason, are not yet able to. You are So Enough! All of us are blessed to “KNOW” YOU! Rock On!

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    Damn straight you are enough! You are an incredible woman and I know this because I don’t have slack asses as friends. You truly are a special, wonderful woman.

  • Heidi says:

    How did you GET IT so easily and so well? Everything I am struggling, for years, to teach myself, you just… SAY. As if it’s been there all along. You ARE magic.

  • Ami says:

    I wish I could give you the worlds biggest hug right now. You are absolutely right. You are enough. You have emotions that are every bit as real and valid and important as anybody else’s and you have a divine right to stand up for yourself, especially because you are a mother and they will learn by watching you how to stand up for themselves and what is and is not okay.

    Thats what I tell myself every time I have to face dealing with my own chit and I don’t want to because it sucks butt and I’d rather nail my tongue to the table every morning than think about it – If I don’t deal with my chit I will wind up passing it on to my son Caleb. And I don’t want him to have to deal with my chit because I didn’t. I’ve got great faith that he can come up with chit all his very own to get over but I refuse to gift wrap my chit and give it to him like I’ve seen SO many others do.

    So when I look into his handsome big hazel eyes and see that huge smile I swear to myself all over that I’m gonna be the best Mommy I can (even though I fail repeatedly – at which point I tell myself that I have to give the kid SOMETHING to tell his therapist when he’s older) and that means dealing with my chit so he doesn’t have to.

  • ChrisY says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,
    Your feelings absolutely do matter, and your words are powerful. Since I’ve found you, your words have made me laugh, have choked me up, and–always–have touched me. What you wrote above is what I needed to read right now. I can’t pretend to understand your own childhood experience, but I want to replicate what you’ve learned from it. I too want to be enough.
    I’m working on a post for Band Back Together–about being abandoned by my husband of 20 years last week. But, I don’t own those words yet. Chris

  • Halala Mama says:

    Bravo! Simply, bravo! Own it baby.

  • Amanda says:

    My mom was a completely different person through different periods of my life. I remember my awesome mom, I remember my shell of a mom. My dad has struggled with alcoholism forever, and again with him I remember both his real presence, and what I’ve had for years again now. Which is his shell, and his shell is obnoxious.

    I relate so much to this and also struggle with my worth. On behalf of your strength in understanding this about yourself and writing about it, I will tell the next person who has it coming to stick it. It’s actually a good practice for us.

    I love how we see so many sides of you. Screw the weirdo’s who try to mess with what you’ve built. They are just to weak to do it themselves.

  • Emily says:

    This hit home. My daddy died of alcoholism and he was also a photographer. Although my mom wasn’t An alcoholic and she took very good care of me, I felt neglected w her always having to take care of him as a child also. Tha k you. You are good enough as am I. I would never raise children in the hell that I was raised in. I hope others learn from their parents mistakes also.  

  • Emily says:

    This hit home. My daddy died of alcoholism and he was also a photographer. Although my mom wasn’t An alcoholic and she took very good care of me, I felt neglected w her always having to take care of him as a child also. Tha k you. You are good enough as am I. I would never raise children in the hell that I was raised in. I hope others learn from their parents mistakes also.  

  • Squatlo says:

    I’ve not been called a robot before, and I’m not sure I like it…

    For what offense have I been culled aside and thusly labeled? I merely offered to smite thine enemies!

    Seriously, loved that post, thought it took WAY more courage to write than I possess, and I admire you for it.

    Now call off the robot dogs, or you’re gonna hurt little feelings.

    Squatlo (come see me!)

  • Aunt Becky, you are more than enough.
    (I too know what you’re talking about. With us it was depression more than alcoholism but still. It’s good timing as this week I too am all about the reclaiming (or first finding) of the self-esteem. Go us!)

  • Brandy says:

    Yer fuckin’ right, you are enough!

    I was also raised by negligent parents, and only in the last year did I realize how hard emotions are and how little the bullshit had to do with me, so this post really got me. It’s good for those like us to find each other, so we know we’re (FINALLY!) not alone.

  • mumma boo says:

    You are more than enough. You are an inspiration to many, and we love you for it.

  • Kelley says:

    Damn RIGHT!

  • not only are you enough, you are more than enough, and giving your children the love and support you didn’t have.

  • Kate says:

    I’ve been there. I AM there. Thank you for writing this.

  • katrina says:

    Fuck the universe for dealing you such as shit hand as a child! You are a strong brave warrior for kicking it in the balls! And fuck those internet trolls! Stupid assholes, they are a waste of space and life…..How dare they fuck with your feelings!! You are soooooo much more than enough! You are a special enlightened soul with the talent and the desire to share your goodness. Your feelings are valid. own them. love yourself and know that you are loved. let the light in becky.

  • Crystal says:

    Thank you for putting a voice for those of us who haven’t found ours yet!! I hope that soon enough I have enough balls to put forth my own real story to the world!

  • Neeroc says:

    You know how people convicted of DUI need to have that breathalizer installed in their car to disable the ignition if their wasted? Someone needs to develop a jackass test before internet moles can get on the interwebs.

    Take care of that sweet little 6 year old you, you’re both more than worth it.

  • Alison says:

    Can I just say that you are more than fucking awesome? I just started following your blog and love it. This post was incredible, not only just for the fact it must have been a bitch to write, but because its fucking hard to accept who we are and be damn proud of it. My mother (thankfully has passed from this existance) was the kind to fuck with your head and emotions just because she could. To see your reaction. Fuck everyone else, you are good enough, smart enough and gods damn we all love you!

  • Anna says:

    That was beautiful and I plan to switch out some words and apply it to my life. Because you know what? I am enough, too. Thank you.

  • I hate to quote Oprah, but she once said, “When you are a little girl, you think the emotion will consume you.” You are not a little girl anymore. I recently realized on an emotional level (because I’d know this intellectually for awhile) that, in fact, there is nothing wrong with me. I commend you for speaking out. I can tell by the comments that I am far from the only one that you have inspired. I provide a link to my blog only because I mention you in this particular post. Love! http://priscaknitsbyknittingbyheather.blogspot.com/2010/12/speak-my-mind.html

  • Kristin says:

    So
    much
    more
    than
    enough.

    The easiest thing in the world to do is to beat the shit out of yourself. The hardest thing is to come back from that and start treating yourself like the damn big hearted, foul mouthed warrior mom that you are.

    The world is a better place for you being in it and you wouldn’t be you without all the shit that you’ve had to wade through.

    Keep your head up and tell that invalidating voice in your head to shut its whore mouth.

  • Suniverse says:

    You are more than enough. You are amazing, just as you are.

  • You are so incredibly enough. whether it was fair or not, little aunt Becky made you strong. She gave you courage and insight…and you are so truly amazing. xo Thank you sweet you for sharing this story, and for linking it up on JBE!

  • WOW!!! I am a first time visitor here, visiting (late…sorry) from Just.Be.Enough. We all have stories don’t we. We all have pain that impacts how we move through life and who we are. You are so very brave. Brave to have looked back. Brave to have remembered. Brave to have shared. I am not a child of an alchoholic, but one of a mother with a mental illness and while it did not show its truely ugly side until I was grown… I wanted a mother! It was not until MANY years later that I even found reason to embrace her memories, love her and hate the disease. What a brave story! The feeling of being enough is such a huge step! I am so happy you wrote this, so happy you linked up and so happy I made it here to read your story! -Laverne from Just.Be.Enough link up

  • Sending 6 year old Becky a big hug. And grown-up Becky, too.

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