"It occurred to me while we were discussing the personality conflict that I was reacting to my co-worker's physical demeanor, which subconsciously reminded me of my brutal alcoholic stepfather." BRB p. 425
Sometimes we don't even hear the words. A glare or body posture that's reminiscent of our childhood is enough to send us into fear and shame. We were taught to react this way by caregivers we felt we had to placate in order to get our basic needs met. Some of us were sexually abused in the process or physically beaten. In that world, we had no alternative. We were stuck.
But now we are grownups who can take care of ourselves. When we experience fear and shame brought on by someone else's actions, whether in the workplace or elsewhere, we no longer play the game. We start to let others be accountable for what they say and do and how they feel; we let go of the non-verbal cues. When it is safe, we ask questions. "It seems like you're upset. Is there something you would like to talk about?" We no longer pretend and try to manipulate people and things.
If the situation is dangerous, we remove ourselves, going to where we are nourished and loved. We are no longer controlled by others. We claim our power as an act of self-love.
On this day I will own my power. If others seem grouchy or unapproachable, I let that live with them and don't make it mine or try to fix it.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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