repost from childhood laundry: a step towards healing: part ii

Okay, this is something I need to come back to several times over to really carefully contemplate what the author at childhood laundry is presenting. He is doing an analysis of Dr. Robert J Ackerman’s thoroughly developed “Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics” — a deeply written yet very accessible book.

What I find so interesting in the attached post is that Resilient Brilliance — the host of childhood laundry and himself a recovering adult child of an alcoholic — leaves virtually no stone unturned in getting to the painful, angry history of his own disease. Moreover, it challenged me to examine my own history as the child of an alcoholic and the choices I proceeded to make in such an environment.

… There is a section in the book called “Childhood Lessons.” This section urges the reader to look back on their life and identify whether or not they learned these unintended lessons within the process of adjusting to an alcoholic family and coming-of-age. Below are the selections from the larger list of lessons that I highlighted because I realized that I had been living these lessons my whole life:

If I can control everything, I can keep my family from becoming upset.

Whatever happens is my fault, and I am to blame when trouble occurs.

People who love you the most are those who cause you the most pain.

If I don’t get too close emotionally, you cannot hurt me.

Nothing is wrong, but I don’t feel right.

Expressing anger is not appropriate.

I’m unique, and my family is different from all other families.

I can deny anything.

I am not a good person.

I am responsible for the success of a relationship.

To be acceptable, everything must be perfect.

Dr. Ackerman goes on to write, “These childhood lessons become imprints or beliefs that you ave about yourself, and they begin to dictate your expectations of yourself and your behaviors…However, you have survived and somehow you have maintained some balance in your life. Therefore, you must have learned other lessons that have served you well or have allowed you to survive.”

Don’t hurry through this incredible post, and be sure to follow the links. One cannot rush, if serious about wanting to know more about what drives our broken thoughts and feelings in the midst of our disease. Equally important, it’s just as fascinating to watch this all develop… very much as slowing down as the scene of a very bad car wreck. Afraid to look for fear of what one might see, yet compelled to look nonetheless.

Childhood Laundry

In my first Step Towards Healing, I highlighted a book that sparked an awakening and awareness in me about what I had experienced through childhood and how it had affected me in becoming an anxious and mal-adapted young adult. From that first step, I’ve continued to pick up books and seek out resources to help deepen my understanding and develop a safe & healthy game plan for my recovery as an adult child of an alcoholic family.

The next book I picked up is titled “Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics” by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D. Dr. Ackerman has decades of clinical experience in helping women who have been affected by alcoholism, particularly those who have an alcoholic mother, father–or both. I liked this book because it really digs deep into the psychology of the adult daughter in all of these scenarios. While adult children of alcoholics share have…

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