From alcoholism and perfectionism to healing through safe relationships and professional therapy.
In retrospect, the Healing for Damaged Emotions Workbook discussion and support group was helpful in awakening my dormant emotions and pinpointing my emotional habits. With the help of professional therapy and guidance from church friends, those old habits are changing. I had pretty much ignored my emotions for a good part of my life.
As a result of growing up with family alcoholics, I still face the challenge of expressing my emotions to my family, and especially to my sister. I have a hard time with my sister as a result of feeling abandoned by her from the time I was eight years old. There was always fighting among my brothers, along with many family secrets and lies. Living in this atmosphere I developed passive-aggressive behaviors.
I am still working on making sure I am not people-pleasing or imprisoned by perfectionism. I am better able to say no when I need to and not feel bad about it. I am also better able to ask for what I need. Having reciprocal relationships is new to me since I didn’t have models of two-way relationships as I grew up.
I am excited about learning to enjoy my own company and getting in touch with my tastes and things I like to do. My perfectionism makes me want to procrastinate with going back to school, traveling on my own, and inviting people to spend time with me. The good news is that I have made progress and I don’t feel as hurt when friends try to help me grow (reinforcing that I am not perfect), or when they don’t have time for me.
God has allowed me to learn not to be so hard on myself when I make mistakes. He has taught me that I am still totally accepted even when I do. When I am having a hard time emotionally, I write my thoughts down, take a prayer walk, sing, and serve others.
Professional therapy has helped me deal with my perfectionism and the dysfunctional characteristics of an adult who grew up with alcoholic parents. The book discussion group provided a safe place for me to explore, share, and feel acceptance.