"…we do not have to participate in their dysfunction. We are free to live our own lives." BRB p. 123
As children, we may have had to literally be our "brother's keeper" because in the dysfunction we were given responsibilities far beyond our years. And we didn't learn to take care of ourselves in the process because we were so focused on others.
As adults, many of us continued this pattern: ignoring our own needs and being drawn to people we could take care of. We told ourselves we were okay because we were caring, compassionate people. And in return, we often received praise and adulation. People said things like, "Isn't she wonderful?" "What would we do without him?" This fed the hole in our soul for a while.
But then the praise stopped coming unless we asked for it. The satisfaction we thought we were experiencing diminished. We may even have started to blame others for being ungrateful.
When we joined ACA, we began a program of rigorous honesty and learned to recognize what we were doing. Yes, people took advantage of us, but we taught them to treat us that way. And now, with the help of ACA, our Higher Power, and our new family, we have begun to undo that. We are letting others take responsibility for themselves.
On this day I will continue taking care of and valuing myself because I am worth it! I will give others the gift of taking care of themselves.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 186