I spent my childhood wanting to grow up as fast as possible so I could leave. But I then had to spend my adulthood trying to undo my childhood.
If our past childhood wounds are not healed they will continue to wreak havoc, and we react from it, not from a place of truth. This was me for a very long time.
The uninformed, which is a vast majority of the population, tell us to just get over it. They rationalize everyone had something bad happen in childhood, which only adds to our current level of shame. Thank God I did not listen to their ignorance or I would be still self-medicating or possibly died.
Our past must be healed and not swept under the carpet. And my most significate healing was, and still is, the essential healing work Adult Children of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families.
A child who grows up in a family with addiction or other dysfunctions will often carry their fear of feeling unsafe right into adulthood. It will affect every area of their lives.
We desire intimacy but fear vulnerability. We say "come here (looking to connect)" but then say "go away" ( fear of rejection.) We try to keep people at length. We end up people-pleasing as a way to stay safe. Our need to feel safe is continuously playing in our subconscious programming without us knowing. It creates fear; the fear of being hurt again; which is inevitable because when we have unhealed wounds we will attract those things we don't want in our lives.
The message, "I love you – go away." It's the most common message that children experience well living in an unsafe dysfunctional family. It comes from both the user and the codependent, both have their part in the dysfunction. "The Go Away Part" represents, I don't have the time or energy to give you want you needed. The child experiences abandonment, confusion, and turns it on themselves. They must be the one at fault. They develop unhealthy attachment and it will be the way they understand love in adulthood.
I had first to get clean and sober and then I could then begin to heal little Paulie. It started by not running from the pain; I had to face my feelings of anger, guilt, shame, disappointment, abandonment, self-hatred, etc.
Here I am many years later, in long-term recovery, and sometimes I still can react from the hurt little boy. However, I have self-awareness, a program of awakening and recovery and come out of it fast because I know it has nothing to do with who I am today.
If we want to stop passing on addiction and other dysfunctions, from one generation to another, we must come out of our denial, uproot the shamed based programming. It's why the whole family needs help, not just the person with an addiction.
Addiction is NO ONE'S FAULT; however, it's ALL our responsibility to stop passing on the dysfunction to the next generation by healing ourselves.
Family secrets can go back for generations. Suicides, homicides, incest, abortions, addictions, public loss of face, financial disaster, etc. can be repeated until acknowledged and healed.
If we don't deal with the family secrets, they will deal with the whole family in many destructive painful ways. Addictions happen to be one way we deal with our shame.
It takes time to undo the old conditioning.
ABOUT THE PICTURE: THAT is my grandfather ( my dad's father). He was the one man I felt unconditional love and completely safe with. He died when I was about 12.