Adult children of alcoholics, as well as any child born into a dysfunctional family system were unable to get their emotional or psychological needs met by their caretakers.
As children we all needed our parents to mirror back to us a positive sense of self. When we looked into our parents eyes we were supposed to see love, acceptance, validation, respect, and joy reflected back to us. When we bumped into a wall, made a mistake, mispronounced a word, or tripped while walking, our parents were supposed to gently teach us that it was normal and acceptable to make mistakes. Most of us who have been born to emotionally inept households have instead been conditioned to fear coloring outside the lines, of appearing less than perfect, and of ever letting go.
There are many reasons why an ACoA, or a child from an emotionally dysfunctional home might be overly critical of Self today.
1) If your parents teased you, laughed at you, or ridiculed you in front of others, whether those others...
I often hear people ask, "Why am I always thinking negative thoughts?" or, "Why do bad things keep happening to me? When it rains it pours?"
As with everything there is to the nature of life, there is also a flip side to any situation and or thought.
These days I say "I am so happy that I always think positive thoughts. The better it gets the better it gets. I am so in love with life."
Fifteen years ago when my life was falling apart around me, right after my ex put our custom built home on the market and told me that my children and I had to find another place to live, I was practically lifeless. Years of anxiety rooted in negative and dysfunctional thinking had taken its toll. My marriage was over, and my ex husband was viciously passive aggressive about it. I was young, and ill prepared for his covert emotional violence.
Rewinding back to when I was a young child, at the tender age of twelve I contemplated committing suicide. The victim of incessant bullying at school and even at...
Many children who have alcoholics as parents are unaware at just how deeply their perceptions about life and about self have been negatively impacted by alcoholism. Because children come into this world knowing they are powerless--they naturally look to their parents for cues as to how the world works. When you are born to beings who are lost inside their own dysfunctional programming--the conditioning you receive is likewise dysfunctional. But because you are a learning being--have no concept of contrast--you sadly presume that what you are learning is law.
As the granddaughter of alcoholics, my parents chose not to drink alcohol in our home when they were rearing, my siblings and I. Unfortunately this was not a cure all, although I have tremendous respect for their attempt to raise us differently than how they themselves were reared.
Alcoholism is a disease, like any other that creates huge gaps between the spirit, the mind and the body. Cracked, shattered and divided within the...
Most adult children of alcoholics go through life never fully understanding the impact being raised by a self absorbed alcoholic has had on them. The double whammy is that in addition to being raised by an alcoholic--in most cases the counterpart--or other parent was a self absorbed enabler. And while on the surface it would seem that most damage would be caused by the alcoholic parent, just as much emotional damage is created by the parent who is lost in their own world almost as if in la la land doing his/her best to pretend that the chaos in the home really isn't all that bad.
Being raised by an enabling parent is like being a child born with a tree limb in your eye your parent refuses to acknowledge. Caretaker type, enabling parents are like sheep with blindfolds on. They follow the lead sheep, and dare not take a different path. When the lead sheep goes overboard, the enabling parent follows. And although the enabling parent may not be drunk, or high on pot, he/she is just as...
When a being decides they need to make adjustments in their life, they often do not realize that the adjustments they are seeking will require change. Many beings struggle with the idea of change--yet there is nothing that is--that is not in a constant state of flux.
When you are involved in a dysfunctional dynamic--growth--independence--accountability and self reliance are unwelcome notions. Dysfunctional dynamics generally follow certain invisible guidelines. Relationships that are unhealthy are dishonest. They are about power and control--which includes power and control over how others feel.
A client of mine was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. After talking in length about his family of origin, he revealed that while growing up--his father was totalitarian--and his mother was enabling. His father beat him routinely and made it crushingly obvious that he was disappointed with my client, as he did not wish to go into the family business. At family dinners my clients...
I was recently asked, "Why is it that drug addicts and alcoholics are attracted to me like a moth is to a flame? Why is it that I too, am attracted to people who are so self sabotaging? I don't get it. I confuse love with pity, and I am always thinking negative--like I don't deserve a nice guy or true happiness. Why?"
When I am in the company of a being who is distraught over their relationship, who is coming to the realization that they are the common denominator--I always feel as if I am watching a newborn baby being born. For as a being begins to see self--she/he is in the process of dissolving the illusions cast by the ego.
The ego is that part of our mind that served us when we were small children. It helped us understand our autonomy and separation from others. The ego of one man--is the ego of all men. It is the same psychological predisposition that causes a being to be blind to him/her own magnificent self.
When a child is not taught that who they are is enough--tall,...
When you are raised by parents who cannot see you--you are in essence being mirrored a sense of not enough-ness. You are vibrationally/emotionally being programmed to believe that YOU--the little divine--magnificent YOU--is NOT enough to gain mommy or daddy's praise, acceptance, validation, pride, joy, or love.
When you are raised by parents who are so self absorbed--whether they are absorbed by care taking for people who should be able to take care of themselves, or by shopping, or by alcohol, or by gossip, or by their physical appearance, or by worrying about what everyone else thinks about them--YOU as the child of these types of emotional vampires--do not feel seen.
When our parents deny us the love, acceptance, validation, compassion, forgiveness, guidance, worthiness and unconditionality we deserve--a hole in our hearts appears. This hole is felt on an emotional/vibrational level, and forever we the invisible children--seek to fill it.
The problem is--until we learn that that...
There is nothing that upsets me or excites me more than an adult child of an alcoholic, or an adult child of a dysfunctional home who is on the cusp of being able to comprehend that he/she is NOT her thoughts.
When you are born to parents who cannot SEE you, who cannot HEAR you, who are unaware at how self absorbed they are--in relation to you--YOU never learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Because it is the absolute responsibility of the parent to instill within a child a sense of unconditional love and acceptance--children are not born knowing how to love self. In fact, children learn about their worth or lack of through their relationships with parents. If the parents are dysfunctional, then so will be the messages the child receives about self, others, the world, relationships and love.
As a Life Coach I have had to learn how to detach from the emotions that well up within me whenever a client opens up their heart and bestows me the honor of stepping inside their temple of...
If it is true that energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed--then that means that at the exact moment of the Big Bang--all that would ever be--already was--and that includes you and me.
On my usual and routine hour long drive to work yesterday morning I was struck by the brilliance of the moon--as well as the thought above.
Along my road to emotional recovery there have been many times where I have wanted to dig my heels into the mud and exclaim, "This shit ain't fair, and somebody out there owes me." But as I continued along my journey I eventually pulled my wet emotional diapers off, and learned to accept that the world didn't owe me anything.
Although learning to let go of blaming others for why I felt so crappy was not an easy thing to do, in hindsight it was the most crucial step of my recovery. Standing in defiance of self reliance--never works out. Health is not possible without self responsibility as well as self accountability.
It still amazes me to ponder the...
As ACoA's and for those of us born to the self absorbed--we were so wrapped up trying to navigate our tiny beings through treacherous emotional terrain--that our emotional set point is one of fear.
As Adult children of alcoholics-we hate ourselves-because we never learned that we were enough. We never learned that we were enough-because our parents manipulated us in various ways-in order to get their narcissistic needs met. We were not 'real, or human or valid' in their eyes. Sadly, we were pawns expected purely to fulfill 'their' needs, and when we didn't--we were neglected, shunned, criticized, hit, scrutinized, labelled, ignored, or punished.
ACoA's are sensitive beings who received all the wrong messages about Self. It is not true that we are not enough. We were always enough-and we were always worthy. Unfortunately we were born into dysfunctional systems that programmed and conditioned us to believe we were unworthy of anything good.
Today, may you find the courage to confront...