Shame and Blame
"As ACA becomes a safe place for you, you will find freedom to express all the hurts and fears you have kept inside and to free yourself from the shame and blame that are carryovers from the past." BRB p. 590
The cycle of shame and blame was well established in our families of origin. We heard abusive words and/or were physically punished. We emerged from all of this with an established sense of shame that included thinking of ourselves as
- Defective: something is wrong with me
- Helpless: nothing can be done about this
- Alone: nobody else has this problem
As adults, some of us found that if we shifted blame to others, we could hide our own sense of shame. Some of us may have lashed out with extreme anger, not knowing where it came from, or used perfectionism, pride, people-pleasing, and approval-seeking to cover up our sense of shame. Some of us fell victim to addictions.
In ACA, we come to appreciate that there is nothing wrong with us that meetings, a sponsor and consistently working the Steps cannot overcome. Shame and blame give way to an understanding that we make mistakes, but we are not mistakes! We claim the identity that we are inherently good, even with all our perceived misgivings, warts and dents.
On this day I will use my courage and honesty to break the generational bonds of shame and blame.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 230