"My sister and I don't communicate any longer since she doesn't understand who I am." BRB p. 407
We used to make excuses for people when we said things like, "Oh, they don't know any better." There may be a lot of truth in that statement, but it feels like we were saying, "They just didn't see me when they ran me over, so it's okay." Just because someone is a family member doesn't mean we should accept the unacceptable, including subtle things like them not really hearing us, or less subtle things like having them label us as over-reactive.
Through ACA, we can now tell whether we're being heard or not. We realize that others don't have to agree with us, but they may not disrespect us. We recognize our needs and start to speak up for ourselves. We are learning to live a healthy emotional life, no longer wishing to be around denial and shame. We let go of those who can't journey onwards with us because we cannot carry them while we are climbing to the heights we need to keep our heads above water. We may reconnect with them later, but that will be our choice.
Before recovery, we may have spent all our energy on our families because we thought that was what we were supposed to do. Now we give our "gifts" to those who can appreciate and actually understand them.
On this day I choose to spend my time and energy on those who wish to make this journey with me. I deserve to be heard and loved for who I am.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 147
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