On my way to Barcelona airport to catch my flight back to Amsterdam I was listening to flamenco music on the radio in the rental car. This brought some intense memories back, I started crying like a little girl, it reminded me of my alcoholic father and how we are alike.
My father listened to flamenco, the language of passion, of the soul. When he listened to it, he turned up the volume, really loud, and I saw his rare happy and satisfied side.
Listening myself to the flamenco, I felt what he must've felt back then. I was proud about belonging to such passionate people that feel intensely, live intensely. I felt extreme happiness as the Spanish language brings me back to my soul where otherwise I am sometimes numb by life's challenges. I felt it all: I was proud, happy and worry free. Sigh...
This reminded me also about his alcoholism and about how I now can understand him better. Not so long ago I hated his guts, I thought the world was better off without him, including me and my family. As I write this down I feel very ashamed. At that time I was suffering from a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSS) and depression and anxiety. Often I found myself crying in the shower, I was in so much pain and I blamed my father for this.
Luckily, I started on a big transformation journey. I couldn't live like this any longer. Every day a little piece of myself was dying. Until one day there would be nothing left of me. I knew I needed to move on. And the key was forgiveness. And to let go of the past. Of the heavy emotions, my traumas and my destructive thoughts that did not serve me. I needed to embark on a journey of self love, compassion and forgiveness.
For this I needed understanding first. So the last few years have been years of awareness and (self)reflection. It turns out I am not so different as I used to think. I judged my father so hard. But I too use substances to feel better, like CBD oil to let me sleep. And... I hate to admit this... I also like the relaxed, worry free state alcohol can bring you in. Don't get me wrong, I would never hit my children or expose them to dangers like he did. And I am not favoring alcoholism. It can really harm. Yourself and the people you love.
But all these insights helped me in my little piece of the puzzle I was missing. Last year I already told my father I forgave him. And now it seems like I really made peace with my past. In seeing I am his daughter and therefore his reflection. Yes, he made mistakes, who doesn't? Nobody deserves to get a life sentence. Including me.