Elephant in the Room


An elephant in the room is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is ignored, overlooked or goes unaddressed. When you admit you having an elephant in your life, you admit to being truthful to yourself and others. It expresses your compassion for life and those affected by the presence and consequences of the elephant.

I was raised in a small village where everyone knew each other’s business. On weekends men used to drink and women made sure their families are fed, clothed and put to bed. As a child my dad started drinking this way and still does to this day. I remember how friends used to visit us and they would drink, eat and sometimes even argue together. Throughout the years my dad’s drinking habits became worse.

I remember begging him to stop and telling him his drinking ways are destroying the family, his health and life. I remember my mom and brothers struggling with him. Then the day came where we all had enough and began to live our lives with this elephant in our room.

The birth of my daughter was an amazing gift to the family. Afterwards I confronted him about the elephant – unfortunately with no luck.

What I know today is that I choose to live my truth and I am turning towards the elephant because I love my father and I believe that he can be healed. I hope and pray that he will stop and that it won’t be too late. If you know you have an elephant in your room, please take a look at it and see if you can free it from its misery. They say ignorance is bliss, but what they don’t say is that with this kind of bliss comes lasting suffering and pain which stems from being untrue to yourself and others.

2 thoughts on “Elephant in the Room

  1. Niven Maree says:

    This is a very insightful and heartfelt written piece Clivia. Well done. I do believe that each person is able to overcome the fear of setting their ‘elephant’ free. But ultimately it can only come from them. As family members we cannot make another do something they do not wish to give up. I know, I’ve seen it with my own father and his own alcoholism.

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