German radio operator

Why Bother Deciphering the Code?

Recently, I made a new friend, Deb Runge, a woman who is a lot like me. Not only is she a first time author, but she is also an adult child of an alcoholic. Even though I grew up with an alcoholic father, that particular component, and its affects, I thought, paled, in comparison to surviving his suicide. But, after spending a little time with Deb, I’ve learned that growing up as a child of an alcoholic has also had its effects in the course of my life. 

  Decoding the Message

My dad served as a cryptographic technician with the 2nd Combat Cargo Squadron in the China Burma India Theater. He enciphered, deciphered, encoded and decoded classified messages as well as operated all types of cryptographic systems and equipment. In short, he sent and received messages that, at times, if interpreted incorrectly, would have led to devastating results. 

I can’t imagine the mental and emotional load he carried as a cryptographic technician. Though I’ve never spoken personally with a code breaker, I’ve read about them. Their jobs were special and so were they.  

My new friend Deb wrote a book entitled, Recover Your Mission: How a Drunk From Wisconsin Became a Missionary in Haiti. When we met her for breakfast, we exchanged books and since then, I’ve begun reading hers. 

Recently, I read a statement from her book that caused me to pause; adult children of alcoholic parents or ACOA, live by the mantra; “Don’t talk, Don’t Trust, and Don’t Feel.” 

Those three statements summarize the code I’ve lived by for many years. Though those thoughts fueled my subconscious thinking tank, I never knew where those ideas originated from. Now I do. They come with having grown up in an alcoholic household where I never quite knew what to expect from my parents. 

Therefore, to remain silent, emotionally cautious, and in denial of how I felt was much safer than to use my voice, trust another person, and admit how I felt.  

Though I did not need to know exactly where my code “Don’t talk, Don’t Trust, and Don’t Feel,” came from before I began to change my thinking, it is still good to know. I am not the only person I know who is an ACOA. I have six siblings. Knowing they too, more than likely have received and deciphered the same code as me helps me to understand them better.  

But, here is the most difficult part of decoding a message; is it really true? 

In reading about cryptographic technicians, sometimes they were taken captive along with their piece of equipment. When that happened, they were forced, at gunpoint, to send out messages that were not true, causing all sorts of devastation. 

Why bother deciphering the code? As adults, we’ve already received all sorts of information from various sources. Decoding those messages with accuracy, as well as knowing the source, will prevent all sorts of devastation in our lives. 

Leave a Comment

New Release

A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens