“I learned to be a caretaker and to guard the secrets of the house.”
For so many years I held in what was true. After my father left the house for work, my chores were to sweep up broken glass from the night before, empty sticky glasses, and open the window shades to let in morning light and fresh air. While my mother slept, I walked to school bleary-eyed and tense.
I learned to be a caretaker and to guard the secrets of the house. As my mother taught me, I should never tell anyone what happened behind our closed doors. I obeyed until I arrived at Al‑Anon and found that listening to others bravely sharing their stories gave me the courage to do the same.
My first words, shared slowly, began to unravel my past. After attending many meetings where I got to know others and they got to know me, I felt a release each time it was my turn to speak. I found freedom from the secrets of the past and allowed help and healing to take the place of fear and repression. In Al‑Anon, I discovered a new way of living in the company of friends who shared their honesty and hope.
Elizabeth F., Massachusetts