Breaking the Generational Curse

Not too long ago, my mother Marilyn and I got into a conversation about the generational curse.


My sisters and I had a healthy, lovely childhood.

However, this was not necessarily the case for Mom.

We grew up understanding that she'd gotten therapy in her young adulthood and that she recorded an album which she named "Powerless" following the 12 steps of recovery, inspired by her father who was an alcoholic.

Recently we got into a more detailed conversation about everything she went through involving her Dad's alcoholism and how it affected her. We've decided to share it with you to this specific point:

...that - although it is never easy:

What you experience as a child does not have to dictate your future or the way you raise your own children.


It is possible to break the generational curse. My mother and I are living proof.

Here is her story,

 - Angelique.


Firstly, I want to say that I felt very loved and adored throughout my life. My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom who tended to all of us and the household very well.

The glue in our family was music and the Catholic church. We went to Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pasadena where my parents had a very prominent role.

My Dad was the choir leader and played the organ. My Mom was (and still is) an incredible classical singer.

The real strength in their relationship was also musically based. They had an amazing relationship within that realm: music brought them together, held them together.

Here my mother is at 88-years-old and I think she looks back on her past and just remembers all the good; all the magic in the music that they had.

What she's chosen to forget is that my Dad was a severe alcoholic.

It seemed like every couple of years from the time I was seven-years-old, he would fall into this ditch of despair where he would just drink cheap red wine and beer... pretty much all day long.

He would just sit on the couch, watch TV, and completely withdraw - crawling into this abyss. The thing about my Dad was that he actually had a gregariousness about him that was really, really fun. He was either making everyone around him laugh - completely entertaining people, or he was falling into this ditch that would last a month, or maybe two.

I remember when I was 11-years-old, he had to be hospitalized because of the drinking - he'd stopped eating. He pulled me to the side and told me that when he died, he wanted me to have the piano and the organ. It was just a quiet little interlude between him and I. But it left me with this devastated reality. I remember as an eleven-year-old just thinking, "My Dad's gonna die from drinking."

He got out of that situation and it smoothed out; he was able to go back to work.

But after that point in time I took on a huge burden to keep him alive. It was all the sudden my job to get him on the path to happiness and wholeness.

I was 15 when I was asked to be a part of a Christian ministry called "Freedom Express." We were a 10-peice band and I played keys and sang.

We started playing at maximum security prisons like "Wayside" and places like that. The first time I ever heard the Bible preached was by an ex-gang member who was preaching to the inmates.

It was my first personal experience with the Bible and realizing it to be accessible to me. Through our band leader, I ended up experiencing the Holy Spirit for the first time and coming to the Lord.

Simultaneously, I got involved with a guy who was four years older than me which started a very long, drawn out, unhealthy relationship with men. I was trying to find a "father figure" and just trying to find a sense of belonging. I always wanted to fall in love and have a commitment from somebody, but followed an unhealthy path trying to fill the void I felt.

In the same year, my Dad fell into another abyss and finally had to leave his job because of the alcoholism.

With help from my older siblings, he was able to put in just enough time at Department of Water & Power where he could retire with a pension. If my siblings hadn't stepped in, driving him to and from work, he would have been fired after 25 years with nothing.


There was a guy starting to mess with me and break up with me back and fourth. Meanwhile, my Dad was a complete mess. I felt like all the men in my life were letting me down:

"They're the enemy and I cannot rely on them."

By the time I was 19, all my siblings were married and out of the house, leaving me alone with my parents. 

My Dad hit another really big ditch.


He would withdraw to the point where he stopped talking. There was no more normal conversation or real dialogue happening anymore. He also had bizarre ticks - he used to sit at the kitchen table and write his name over and over and over again. He was a chain smoker and his hands shook from beginning stages of Parkinson's Disease.

One day he told me:

"I want to leave your mother. I want to go back to Kentucky. And I want you to tell her."

I responded to him: "Dad, if you want to leave Mom, you need to take responsibility and you need to tell her yourself." I remember that night at about midnight, my mom came into my room crying hysterically: "Your Dad's gonna leave me!" She was just coming apart, falling to pieces like a young child. Emotionally, I've always felt like I needed to protect my Mom and treat her like a child.


I got up and completely land-blasted my Dad, tore him a new one.

"Look at what you've done! Look at who you are."

I unleashed years of anger that I had stored up and just let him have it.


I didn't know who else to turn to, so I called my friend, the band leader of Freedom Express and told him I needed help. He came over and went in to talk to my Dad. It must have been two o' clock in the morning. My friend came out and just said that my Dad struggled with a tremendous amount of guilt. He urged me to go in and talk to him.

My Dad was a complete mess when I went in. I remember looking in his eyes with compassion because he was such a tortured soul. He said "I'm so sorry. Your poor mother. You poor kids." He was in a state of remorse and I felt so bad for him.

In the years to follow, I would keep trying to help him know that we loved him no matter what.


After I had my third child, Emma, I brought my Dad along with me to a therapy session.

I remember in that session, my therapist had him tell me that he loved me. This was huge because even though I knew my Dad loved me and we were emotionally connected, he didn't easily say it out loud. He was so guilt-ridden and mysterious that I was always afraid of what was going on inside of him.

When he said "I love you," I remember just pouring over him and saying:

"Dad, we forgive you for anything that you think you've done to us over the years.

And I'm really hoping and praying that you forgive yourself.

You need to stop being so guilt-ridden.

That's not serving anyone."

I think if I had anything to say to the public through this blog, it would be this:

If you're guilt-ridden in any way, dig deep and forgive yourself. Because if you think you're serving anyone by staying in a guilt-ridden state, you are completely deceived.


There are no shortcuts to healing.

You have to do the hard, hard work.

You can't escape in alcohol or men or drugs - or even in religion for that matter.

You have to build a solid relationship with your God and be aware of what you're escaping into. Seek out a therapist or a wise, trusted friend and don't use your children as a confidant like my Dad did to me.


I believe that Jesus Christ died for all of us. Not only did he die for our sins, but for the sins that have hurt us.


When you learn to trust God at the level of truly becoming your Father, that's where the healing begins. There is no single human being who can be your savior. With all the tools that my own father lacked, my Heavenly Father was able to fill in what was missing and provide me with stability. God put wonderful, strong men in my life who were able to give me a healthy, positive example.

Forgiveness is key to living an empowered life.


There's good in whatever background you've come from. Even if you've had a dysfunctional parent or upbringing, try to look at the person who hurt you through the eyes of compassion. Most people who have become abusive have also been hurt themselves and given dysfunction as an example. So the most powerful way to break that cycle is to truly live in forgiveness.

There's a promise in the Bible that says:


"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12.)


While some of us, I know - have been severely hurt by a parent or guardian, holding onto hate and resentment is only going to take your power away and continue to rob you of your strength and ability to rise above.

God can restore for you what has been broken or missing in your life. It can happen overnight, or a very long period of time. But just know that the grace of God is about forgiving yourself, forgiving others, and staying in the present.

Along your journey, if you continue to avail yourself to Jesus, He will lead you down a path of healing.

- Marilyn.

The 12th and final step of Alcoholics Anonymous:

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs."



Music & Lyrics by Marilyn Calvillo


My children listen to me
Come to me into my presence
Quiet your spirits before my throne
This is a call to all you people I call my own

Head to my word make your life a prayer
You’re living in darkness that you are not even aware
For the time is short the days are few
There’s so many souls just dying to be born through you

Cast your nets to the sea of the dying
The lost and alone and the crying
Cast your nets to the sea of the dying
Gather those with no hope ‘til the end

Cast your nets into the sea
Save the souls of the lost and dying
Children come to me
Head my call for the lost and the dying

Cast your nets into the sea
Save the souls of the lost and dying
Children come to me
Let my spirit heal the lost and the dying