Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Fun in Dysfunctional

Time to get a little bit personal.  Like some other actors, I was raised in a pretty messed-up home.  My father was a raging alcoholic and my mother was the ultimate codependent who sat by allowing the horrors to happen.  There was little focus on my two older sisters and me, except to expect us to make the family look good and keep up the illusion that everything was fine at home.  The only problem with that is that everything was far from fine. 

As expected, this manifested itself in my life in many negative ways.  By my mid-twenties, I was fed up and dove into fixing myself with everything I had.  Years of therapy, lots of books and the grace of God have gotten me to a really good place in my life today. My parents are different people now too.  My dad has been in recovery for a few years and we've all done a lot of healing.  I've even come to a place where I appreciate a few things about my upbringing which I'd like to share with you.

# 1 - I can laugh at life. 

My upbringing helped me develop my sense of humor.  Most comedians had pretty messed-up childhoods.  Comedy is the ultimate ice-breaker, it can diffuse any situation.  I used it to provide relief in our home and for attention at school.  Even though my parents were messed up, they both were and still are, very funny people with a great sense of humor. 

# 2 - I have zero tolerance for abuse.

Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive about this but if any situation smells the least bit unhealthy, I'm outta there.  I've worked hard to create and maintain healthy relationships in every area of my life.  Having been in horribly unhealthy relationships and situations is what brought me here.  I insist on the same for my kids and owe it to them to be a good role model for this. 

# 3 - I have great emotions for my acting.

It's a fact, you can't recreate an emotion that you've never experienced.  Well, my past offered me such a variety of emotions and sense memories to pull from that I should never have any shortage!  This has proven to be one of the biggest gems in my actor's toolkit. 

#4 - I've learned how not to parent.

As my therapist once told me, we either choose to repeat what we've learned or we do it all differently.  I chose to do it differently.  Much of my adult life was spent reparenting myself.  In the process, I've learned the skills I need to be a good parent to my kids.  It's something that I work on every day and feel like I'm doing pretty well, but there's always work to do. 

Why am I sharing all of this?  Because we all have a past, some better than others, but there is good to be found in all of it.  Healing helps us not only become better people but better performers.  Having  raw emotion from your experiences is great but you can't do much with it if you haven't fixed the parts of your life that are required for success. 

Find the fun in your dysfunctional and see the difference it can make.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alison!
    I'm hopping by from the blog hop! Love your blog! I'm now following on Twitter @StyleDecor and Facebook.
    Best of luck with pursuing your dream of becoming an actress!
    Hope you can hop by and visit my blog too!
    Have a great rest of the week!