"Through the first 18 years of our lives, our families had 6,570 days to shame, belittle, ignore, criticize, or manipulate us during the formative years of our being." BRB p. 105
How could we have turned out any other way? We grew up in dysfunction, and it's not our fault we were affected by it. We were just children. All we knew of the world was what we were shown by our parents - the people we were hardwired to trust and emulate. It's not our fault we didn't find a way to stop the abuse. We learned the language of abuse, just as we learned to speak our native tongue - it was automatic.
We're not whining, over-thinking it, or making mountains out of molehills. Our Laundry List Traits are a legitimate reaction to long-term trauma.
The good news is that something magical happens when we accept we are powerless over our childhood trauma and its effect on us. It doesn't mean we give up and let it have power over us. The opposite happens. It loses power over us. We begin to have a choice about how we respond when the dysfunction manifests itself in our adult lives. It's like admitting there's a leak in the roof, and now we can put a bucket on the floor, change out of our wet clothes, and fix the roof. And we can do it without guilt because the leak was already there before we came along.
On this day I embrace the freedom that comes from accepting there is nothing I could have done to prevent the dysfunction I grew up in and the effect it has had on me.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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