"Because we shut out our parents when we were children, we tend to shut out people as adults." BRB p. 187
Surviving childhood in a dysfunctional household required many of us to use a number of coping mechanisms to maintain any semblance of sanity. One was our ability to dissociate (separate mentally or emotionally) from what was happening around us or to us. Although dissociation helped us survive then, as adults it closes us off from the possibility of having healthy relationships.
Sometimes fear of rejection motivates us to dissociate, so we distract ourselves because if we don't feel, then we hope we won't experience any pain. But dissociation also deprives us of healthy joy.
Sometimes our hypervigilance causes us to constantly monitor our surroundings for signs of trickery or slights. But it can also deprive us of the opportunity to make good friends.
With these dysfunctional filters, we can misread the words or actions of others as an assault, causing us to become defensive, go on the offensive and shut down completely.
In ACA, as we peel back the layers of our childhood survival traits, we learn to sort out what no longer works in our adult lives. We leave behind traits that no longer serve us. We gratefully see how this program gives us the strength to change and the courage to be open to others. We no longer wish to be alone.
On this day I will be kind to myself if I find myself dissociating. I will be open to people and new experiences.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Page Number - 142