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Post Info TOPIC: New Traveler on this Journey


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New Traveler on this Journey

Hi Everyone. Ive come here at the advice of my therapist, although Im not sure exactly what to do with myself. Ive only recently started in on this journey, so I havent quite gotten a plan yet. I really just want to heal, whatever that means. 

So, to start, I am the daughter of two alcoholics (my mom also dabbles in prescription drug abuse, but alcohol I would say was always the primary devil). As far as I can tell they were always that way. Per my older sister they drank aggressively prior to my existence, but post me it got worse, which is such a heavy thought I carry with me.  Granted they had me at 40 unexpectedly, so my rational brain can at least somewhat sympathize with how stressful that must have been. Anyhow, I dont know really to go with this story. I dont have a singular moment or two that defines my childhood or anything. It was just years of chaos and having to be the adult because my parents were too incapacitated to fill that role. I was about 5 or so when my dad taught me how to forge his signature (the secret is you hold the check upside down!), so that I could sign whatever needed to be signed and pay for things as needed. 

Everything got worse when my sister got kicked out of the house (she was 16, I was 8). I was walking back from the grocery store with my dad (I liked to go with him on his daily beer runs because the manager at the grocery store would often let me take a bag of skittles at check out. Back then I thought it was because she liked me and I was somehow special. Now I realize its because she probably felt bad for me showing up with my dad everyday to buy booze) when we saw my sister running up the street in her Pajamas with no shoes on. I remember my first thought being when I saw her How is she not cold? since it was the middle of January when this was happening. My dad called out to her, but she ran past us in tears, Mom kicked me out, was all we got for an explanation. So, we walked on home, and everything went on as normal just sans my sister, because of course, the first rule about abuse is that you never ever talk about it. The you that endures the abuse and the you that wakes up the next morning are entirely separate people and you wouldnt dare mention anything that happened the night before because that would tear the paper-thin sheet between them. Every night whatever happens, happens, and you lay another sheet on top of it, over and over again until youve a like a human being living in a shell of paper mâché. Writing this now I realize thats probably why I dont have much of a story to tell. Ive got it wrapped up that even I dont really know whats under there. 

It wasnt until I got into the working world that others could actually see that shell. That it was so obvious. That was actually what got me to therapy in the first place, because apparently jumping in fear every time someone runs the coffee maker and having to sit in my car and weep after my manager asks me a question I cant answer isnt normal. Of course, its not like the folks at work were saints either. As soon as they caught on to my peculiar need to be the adult in the room and inability to trust anyone else with anything, I was absolutely hosed down with work. I got in 7:30 every morning and wouldnt leave until well past midnight. I would do whatever it took to finish work without asking for help, and lord help me I never once said no. I was so good at being an enabler I enabled entirely normal, healthy people into abusing me. Thankfully through therapy I was able to realize that work environment wasnt good for me and left. I then wound up being unemployed for six months (granted trying to find a job during the coronavirus is no small feet to start with), but Ive finally managed to land a position at a company that (hopefully) will treat me much better. 

So going forward I would hope to get out of this some tools to keep they cycle from happening again, because I want to be a regular adult that can trust their coworkers and function without having a mental breakdown when the slightest crack shows in my shell. In fact, Id like to be rid of the shell entirely someday. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and going on this journey with me. 




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Thank you for sharing your story.

I also found ACA through a therapist.  I was embarrassed that I couldn't point out how I felt when she handed me a sheet of smileys.

I was also an "accident". 

My Mom divorced my alcoholic Dad when I was 7, and married another alcoholic when I was 12.  His 4 kids moved in, and the chaos ensued.  They wre in and out as they got shipped back to their Mom.

I went from one job to the next with the State.  Bullies could see the "victim" stamp on my forehead, and made my life Hell.  I even got fired in 2011, and it took me 18 months to get back on my feet.

I'm glad you found us!  I think the first step is to understand what happened; then we can make different choices in the future.

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!!  :relax


The Problem

Many of us found that we had several characteristics in common as a result of being brought up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional household. We had come to feel isolated and uneasy with other people, especially authority figures. To protect ourselves, we became people-pleasers, even though we lost our own identities in the process. All the same we would mistake any personal criticism as a threat. We either became alcoholics (or practiced other addictive behavior) ourselves, or married them, or both. Failing that, we found other compulsive personalities, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our sick need for abandonment.

We lived life from the standpoint of victims. Having an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, we preferred to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. We got guilt feelings when we stood up for ourselves rather than giving in to others. Thus, we became reactors, rather than actors, letting others take the initiative. We were dependent personalities, terrified of abandonment, willing to do almost anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally. Yet we kept choosing insecure relationships because they matched our childhood relationship with alcoholic or dysfunctional parents.

These symptoms of the family disease of alcoholism or other dysfunction made us co-victims, those who take on the characteristics of the disease without necessarily ever taking a drink. We learned to keep our feelings down as children and kept them buried as adults. As a result of this conditioning, we confused love with pity, tending to love those we could rescue. Even more self-defeating, we became addicted to excitement in all our affairs, preferring constant upset to workable relationships.

This is a description, not an indictment.

Adapted from The Laundry List



In Recovery,

Princess K.

Senior Member

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Posts: 101

welcome (((cicada shell)))



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Posts: 9105

Hey Cicada...welcome...I can't add that much to Princess K's offering here, but to say welcome and on the main page, we got all kinds of stuff to work on (worksheets, 12 steps stuff--you name it) and loads of love

My family was the family from was the alcoholic, sire was into young girls, 12 - 17....young..helpless...easy prey and it didn't matter if they were daughter, niece, any girl would do...he was a 5 star sociopathic sexual deviant who now rots in hell and here i am with GAD and PTSD to show for it....I found ACA thru an Al-anon'r who was my friend and who caught me about to commit suicide...THIS time I was not gonna fail, but my friend just happened to come by the house with popcorn , dvd's and a ton of recovery books for me....he said he was in his chair eating a snack when his HP (higher power) jolted him out of his chair and prompted him to get to my house FAST....i told him he interrupted what I was doing and he made a deal with me........try ACA, Al-anon, Codependents Anon for 30 days and if I don't see hope, he will not try to thwart my suicide again

well life isn't a whole lot better, I I AM BETTER....I AM making a life for myself (at least before Covid wiped out my freelance bookkeeping) but anyway, my God is providing for me, anyway, with unemployment so I have plenty of time to practice breathing adn being in my body that I have hated for so many years and I am even learning to pay attention some when I am doing something....

life begins all starts WITHIN me....the outside can't get better till i get better WITHIN

pardon my typing., I have a bad back spasm on upper back and its pinched a nerve in my right I can't type very well


ROSIE,  a work in progress!!! 

Keep it simple__Easy does it__Keeping the focus on me


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Posts: 2717

Welcome CicadaShell! I am glad you found us! Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for sharing, PK and Rosie.

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