"By working the Steps and attending meetings, we see that we are not unique and that our family is not unique as well. There are millions of people like us." BRB p. 96
Many of us grew up thinking our families were different, that we were unique. We witnessed drama that was way beyond our understanding. Often the very people who should have comforted us were responsible for the trauma. The resulting shame and embarrassment left us feeling that we could never be like our peers. We felt "apart" from them, so we donned our masks and acted as if we were "normal."
In ACA we share our darkest history and find that others identify with it. Uncovering our memories helps take the sting out of our hurt. We cherish the freedom we feel because we realize we won't be judged for the actions of our family members. We are not alone.
We learn about patterns of behavior we developed to cope with our feelings of shame, hurt and anger. Once they are identified, we give ourselves a choice: we can continue to act as we did when we were in darkness or we can try new behaviors that work better. When we keep coming back, we are choosing new behaviors.
On this day I celebrate the freedom of knowing I am not unique - I'm not alone. I can now use the tools of recovery instead of the dysfunctional survival tools I learned as a child.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 330