I want to write this – but now I’m (finally) all set to go (actually managed to login, then added an update to the ‘about’ page) nothing is happening.
Fear? Inertia? Cbf after all?
But the last couple of months have been different.
It is now August. It has been a difficult year, caught up in two completely different and totally bizarre situations that have thoroughly tested my boundaries and my faith in humanity. I found myself searching for support and (re)discovered 12-step fellowship meetings. I have been a reluctant and semi-checked-out ‘participant’ in many meetings at various times over the past 15 years but this year I actually took it seriously and now, several months later, I am finding that these fellowship meetings are actually helpful.
That’s why the last couple of months have been different. I am able to identify my boundaries and limits, then separate myself from difficult situations in order to care for myself. And, I feel comforted by these fellowships and by the wisdom they offer.
I have found comfort in ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) literature, CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) literature and meetings, Al-Anon literature (especially ‘How Al-Anon works‘) and meetings, and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. Unfortunately there aren’t any ACA meetings nearby but I might work towards starting one up.
That’s enough for today.
Except this – which appears to be a slightly different version of the ACA laundry list (from here – scroll down, scroll right down).
Anyway, item number 7 stands out particularly for me today. Plus 4 and 15, always. And others too, of course. Most of them, in fact.
As stated by Adult Children of Alcoholics themselves
1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures;
2. We became approval seekers and lost our own identity in the process;
3. We are frightened by angry people and personal criticism;
4. We either became alcoholics, married them, or found another compulsive personality, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our need for and expectation of abandonment;
5. We live life from the viewpoint of helping and seeking victims, and we are attracted by that weakness in our relationships;
6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than with ourselves;
7. We suffer guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves; instead, we give in to others;
8. We confuse love with pity and tend to “love” people we can pity and rescue;
9. We have suppressed our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or to honestly express our feelings. Rationalization seems far easier;
10. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem. We sometimes compensate for this sense of inferiority by trying to appear superior;
11. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment. We will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience the pain of abandonment;
12. We became para-alcoholic, taking on the characteristics of alcoholism even though we did not pick up the drink;
13. We became compulsive and obsessive in our behavior;
14. We are unknowingly trying to recreate the chaotic lifestyle with which we are familiar;
15. We are afraid of intimacy and have difficulty forming close intimate relationships;
16. We became aware of feelings which seem to separate us from others, and we find ourselves depressed. Depression is endemic in dysfunctional families
Copyright 2002 Janet Geringer Woititz.