"Perfectionism is a response to a shame-based and controlling home. The child mistakenly believes that she can avoid being shamed if she is perfect in her thinking and acting." BRB p. 36
As children, many of us were either subtly or overtly shamed on a regular basis. We lacked true acceptance from our parents and learned to internalize the shame. We got the message that we were not okay as we were. Some of us tried to act in ways that garnered the approval and love we so longed for.
Further, we secretly blamed ourselves for our parent's alcoholism or dysfunction, thinking that if only we could be perfect, things would get better and our pain would end. But that was a losing battle. So we learned to associate being imperfect with being unlovable.
With our Higher Power as our true parent, in ACA we learn the right message: that we are worthy of love in all of our imperfection. We could not have changed our parents' sickness by being perfect, even if perfection was possible.
This is generational; our parents passed down the dysfunction in which they were also raised. But we are choosing to hear a different message and putting an end to the cycle of shame.
On this day I let go of my drive to be perfect by embracing the knowledge that I am enough and am lovable just as I am.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
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