Kerri K. – Family Recovery Speaker – “How to accept I’m powerless, but not helpless!”
Kerri is a wonderful Al-Anon speaker who shares an emotional story of how adverse experiences helped shape her life and bring her closer to a Higher Power… So I began to keep secrets and I began to learn how to wear a mask and not show you what’s really going on inside of me. I’m telling you, I was cutting my teeth early. I didn’t even know it. I don’t think any of us do. Denial is very powerful. So I began to learn how to not be authentic. I disconnected from my feelings, I shut my feelings down, and I was always had a smile on my face because that was acceptable. Well things rocked on. I have a step brother who is two years older than me and where we grew up there was not much to do. You could fish, you could drink, and have sex; but there were very limited things to do. Also, if you had a TV, there were only who stations and if you wanted to get that third station you had to go out and move around the antenna. I mean really far out, right?
In my early teens we went out in our family car. My step brother was driving and we were out with some other kids my father really did not want us to associate with. That night I made a mistake and got with a guy who my Dad hated, and on the way home my stepbrother took advantage of me. I want to show you my distorted perception of the situation. I couldn’t discern that my stepbrother’s assault done was worse than what I had done willingly earlier that evening. So I just again shut it down pushed it away and pretended like everything was okay. I dealt with that for the next year and a half living under the same roof of my stepbrother. I would control and manipulate situations so that I didn’t have to be around him alone ever if that was possible. I got very good at doing that. You know, I can tell you that I would lay awake and if I didn’t go to sleep before my parents did, I would lay awake petrified with fear till two or three o’clock in the morning. That’s really not a way for a child to grow up. It’s just not. But that’s how I am. That was a situation that I was in and I learned to cope with it; I did the best I could with what I had. But then, those coping skills I had developed, they ran out. They quit working at some point.
I remember back then one morning I heard the phone ring, we had a phone and when it rang it usually meant something was wrong. We ran over to my grandparents’ house and my grandfather had fallen away from the breakfast table. We didn’t know it, but he had an aneurysm in his brain and it burst. I remember my father was on the phone with my grandmother and I remember my grandfather’s head turned towards me. I watched the life leave him and that was a very powerful experience for me. I immediately began thinking how I could be there for my grandmother and that I didn’t cry because there was always an unwritten rule about what you’re supposed to do. After the funeral, I went back to the place that he and I used to squirrel hunt together and I broke down. I could finally cry. That was a powerful experience. I realized looking back that God was always there and walking with me through those experiences.