21st of October 2023 | Vanessa de Largie
Vale Suzanne Somers. (16.10.46 – 15.10.23)
I was saddened to hear that Suzanne Somers had passed away. So much so, that I wanted to write a blog post in tribute to her. But let’s start at the beginning.
My brother Damian (who died at the age of 34) was an alcoholic. At 46, I still carry trauma from my childhood because of his alcoholism.
- It is not normal to see your brother bash and terrorise your parents.
- It is not normal to live in a house with locks on every door.
- It is not normal to feel tired at school because of the violence you’re witnessing at home.
- It is not normal for a young girl to be locked away in a psych ward at Princess Margaret Hospital (aged 15).
But this was MY REALITY as a child.
And this is where the wonderful and triumphant Suzanne Somers enters the picture.
In 1979 (when I was only two-years old), Somers penned a book called Keeping Secrets. The autobiography details her journey of living with an alcoholic father.
But more importantly, it discusses the traits ‘Adult children of alcoholics’ carry into adulthood and how patterns can so easily repeat themselves – if not kept in check.
I was a teenager by the time I read the book. I remember feeling less alone, knowing that another woman (on the other side of the world) understood what I was going through. And that, in itself – was healing to me.
Thank you Suzanne for writing Keeping Secrets. The book changed my life and it is still changing lives today.
Only your body is dead Ms. Somers.
Your beautiful spirit lives on.
What is even more extraordinary and coincidental is Somers died on the same date as my late brother Damian – only different years.