"We can pinpoint and measure our loss by comparing the treatment we received as children in dysfunctional families with the care we could have received if raised by loving, consistent parents." BRB p. 204
The grief exercises in Step Five ask us to journal about childhood incidents to help access emotions about events. If they don't surface, we try to see how a present-day child would feel in our situation. We can also look at childhood pictures to help connect with our innocence and what was lost.
Then we're asked to re-read our Step Four "Shame and Abandonment" worksheets and reframe each incident. We describe what would have been different if there were a loving parent in each scenario.
Experiencing loss in this way can help us release it. But if we're blocked, it may be that we switch from grief to anger when it hurts too much. It's like a button is pushed that sends us into shutdown, blame, or rage mode. But the deep sadness of our grief can also help us see the true level of destruction of our emotions, minds, and bodies.
In choosing the recovery process over dysfunction, we realize that grief work helps us find our strong, capable Inner Child. We are learning what a loving parent would do and how we can reparent ourselves. The ACA program is not easy work, but the reward is freedom!
On this day I will hold on to the ACA process when the grief and emotions are screaming. I will stop at nothing to recover my original self.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 21