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Nice Matt – you rock
Love it Matt
@TheRuminant – WOW – those are amazing posts – thank you so much for making my day!
Some of the literature still refers specifically to alcholism, but as humanity and recovery progresses – so do we. We have dropped the alcoholism notion although it is still considered like anything else as the program is holistic in it’s approach – and spiritual in nature. Due to the fact that ACA only dropped the ‘alcholics’ part in 2006 officially – some of the literature is still catching up – such as this ‘The Problem’ piece above.
The Problem – from ACA (Adult children anonymous no longer encompasses alcoholism, but all people who grew up in dysfunctional homes. The idea is – that we bring our survival skills learned as a child, into our adult lives. It does not mean we are childish in nature).
Many of us found that we had several characteristics in common as a result of being brought up in an alcoholic household. We had come to feel isolated, uneasy with other people, and 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 ourselves or married them or both. Failing that, we found another compulsive personality, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our sick need for abandonment. We lived life from the standpoint of victims. Having an over-developed sense of responsibility, we preferred to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. We somehow 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 onto a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally. Yet we kept choosing insecure relationships because they matched our childhood relationship with alcoholic parents. These symptoms of the family disease of alcoholism 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.
*************** This is from ‘The problem & The Solution’ portion of the ACA literature.
I have a lot of personal experience with this particular program – some alanon, which to me is sort of a ‘scratching the surface’ room.
I am an Adult Child. That doesn’t mean that I am helpless. It doesn’t mean that I am incompetent. It doesn’t mean that I live in the past or that I think like an infant. It means that I still have a tendency to meet the demands of adult life with survival skills I learned as a child. It is not a matter of maturity and it is certainly not a disorder. Our capacity for normal living is exactly the same as everyone else, just as an IQ determines your capacity to learn. For some, without the opportunity to learn to have emotional health, we develop survival skills – also called ‘symptoms of the dysfunction’ such as the symptom of codependency; controlling (alanon issues) or addictions/compulsions (escape). They are all symptoms of the same underlying dysfunctional start to life – and the root causes of all 64 symptoms (12 step programs) such as – the mentioned codependency, controlling, Over eating, (OA) Exercise addictions, addictions to anything – even spirituality oddly and ironically enough – as it IS a spiritual program — are dealt with in ACA. I am a member of MIP ACA online and find it enlightening along with this site. There are always up sides and down sides to anything in the school of life. Having an open mind and heart and soul to all of it seems to be healthiest. Our goal here is not to ‘be appropriate’ as that is the sort of thing many of us suffered the shame that brought us to these symptoms in the first place. What we are really learning is that who we are is appropriate. Our true being, or true self is acceptable, loveable and wonderful as is. There is no need to worry what others think of us, or try to fit ourselves into some ‘appropriate’ box. We get to just Be.
love & peace to all – I appreciate this thread oxoxoxoxoo
My son always looked like a little man and never a baby – he wasn’t chubby… and he was walking crawling so early – walking at 8 months old! He looked like a freak walking through the grocery store with no understanding of the world – he’d walk off a cliff of stairs because he had no concept of anything – just walking around like a little man with no brains LOL. People would stop and stare – one lady took a picture – he was so tiny to begin with and so tiny walking – okay – you get my point.
He is still very mature for his age – I have read about the travels of a soul. I am guessing he is an old soul – the spiritual teaching I acquired now in my middle age, seems to be meant for him to start out this way. Sometimes – he astounds me at his integrity, his values – his self love and his wisdom that rocks my world. Yes they are things that I have taught him – but he lives them stoically and quietly – with humility beyond my comprehension.
He also has fits of rage like a 7 yr old only can – and to some degree, I see he is already experiencing the pains that can come with living and being able to see our suffering dysfunction world/humanity. Still – they are short lived – and necessary I believe to releasing emotion. I am able to stand by him in acceptance for all that he is and offers – and he is grateful and understanding too.
Sometimes when I write this out – I feel like it can’t possibly be real = it’s like a movie to me or something. Maybe it is the ACA in me waiting for the other shoe to drop or things to fall apart. But he offers constancy and we are kindred spirits. My daughter listens and watches and takes it all in. Some day I think she will surprise me. She is her fathers daughter – and he is innately spiritual… though he doesn’t quite know how to say that *yet*. I look forward to the day he will discover his true self wholly – but I feel satisfied believing in it though I may never get to see it in this life.
I feel for you with the wanting – I am attuned to what I am ‘being’, and the loving heart you have wants to break free and penetrate through the existing barriers so badly. The better actions you take will bring you relief for the better thinking your soul craves. Balance awaits dear friend.
🙂 I love this post Rumi – it’s very interesting. The Vipassana you are talking about I’ve never even heard of! I can’t wait to check it out!
I can relate to that feeling.
I had to try out all the senses… for me – music was the one. I am inspired most by sound – inspirational sights are augmented when accompanied by water trickling, or some ear buds with inspirational music that suits me (it took a lot of searching for this), if I also have the smell of a beautiful flower or lovely incense I’m even more intrigued… I am still not a touch person in a way I have figured out. But I could imagine myself in a hot spring surrounded by all of this and being tantalized… or possibly sitting on a bed of velvet… not sure.
Our senses are a gift. I’m not an expert on this by any means – and maybe I am wrong because I have read almost nothing about this so I only have to go off what I personally think – but here goes: If we feel a sense of value in ourselves…. that we are a gift to the Earth (not like Gods Gift to Woman or Men lol) but truly that it is an honor to be here – that everything that had to fall into place to get consciousness is an unbelievable gift and honor… and we have all these gifts in our senses… why not honor ourselves and the Universe that presented us by immersing our self in some peace in that regard.
To me – I think what I’m getting at – is a low self worth/value/esteem would cause for me to not cherish and revel in myself. And if I do not offer myself time to do this – I am not in appreciation for this (me) and the honor it is to be me. And if I am not engaging in that mind set and acting accordingly to stimulate my consciousness in these ways that I find delightful – then I am ‘less than’ I could be – or not living to my potential or testing my potentials, or interested in my true human potentials and capabilities. If I am not interested in me – then who else could be? And so if I am not good to myself, I end up no good to anyone – no good for my human family or species. And because I am a creature that was born into a need for socialization – it makes sense for me to figure me out – socialize with myself in the described way above (or other ways – again I’m new at this and pretty much making this up as I type) and spread myself out into my human family in the most happy or useful way.
In short – I know as a stay at home mom, I am not happy when I do not spend some time alone rejuvenating. I basically suck at mothering and I suck in general. Cranky – prickly attitude. When I am prickly at others – I have to feel prickly. That isn’t good for me – or anyone.
I am so glad to have this opportunity to work this out in my mind and slow my brain to the speed of my typing while sharing a moment in time with you. Thank you so much for this!
I’m glad to see you asking questions and searching within and everywhere for answers. I needed help for sure. I couldn’t ‘think my way out’ of anything – I could only think like myself of course, and it wasn’t working out well. I tried on lots of other ways to think to see what felt right for me and peaceful. I am coming into my own now – and it’s been a great journey.
The idea that your codependency has gotten a better part of your life can all be worth it if it is the reason you go forth feeling grateful for you independence and freedom of self. I too was stuck thinking I was ‘serving others’ but I found out – I was actually serving others in a desperate quest to serve my own need for love and validation that I never could fulfill for myself.
I did not believe I was worth anything or of any value to the world. And my quest – only proved it because I was always focused on others. By doing the very thing that I thought would fulfill me – I took away time from myself that could have been put to use on self improvement. My ‘serving’ was meant to improve others – and even that was backward – because all I actually did was TAKE from them the opportunity to do things for themselves that could allow them to gain their own self worth, esteem and improve their value to themselves and the world.
It was a very prickly road that led to no where but agony and suffering.
I needed to travel it – or I would not have sought a spiritual solution when all else failed. Today I am grateful I did everything wrong. I offer myself the room to make mistakes – do it ‘badly’ while I’m learning – and keep trying even when I know I may never be the best. Above all – I believe in me and know that I deserve love and need to fulfill that for myself. Everything else is just the cherry on top the cake I always say. And I do enjoy cherries… but they are not ‘NEEDED’. I just want them. Just like I want to spend time here interacting with my human family and you 🙂
All the best,
Today my cat was laying in her box… just laying there for hours — waiting for the rain storm to pass before going back on a hunt.
I was shocked that I stood still to watch her laying still for as long as I did.
I got married because I was bored with dating.
I had kids because I got bored with all my hobbies.
I sing and write music – but I get bored with it easily and want to be in an even better choir – traveling the country… or better yet – the world!
Someone said I had trouble ‘sitting with myself’. I would been working an ACA program for people who grew up in dysfunction of any sort or alcoholic homes. We learn to expect chaos – and need it to feel normal. It’s a drag. I am getting so much better personally – at staying in the moment, and enjoying the person I am, or in other words – my own company stripped of people, bling, stuff, boats, campers etc etc (funny I did the same thing with campers and boats and lake houses etc). I suppose I craved the calm – and in my mind – it was great, but when I got there – it was not how I thought it would be. It was work, I couldn’t sit and enjoy anything at all…
Today I am compelled to pull over the car and watch the sunset alone.
I can sit on the porch of said lake house and listen to nature. I can spend time with people connecting instead of fantasizing or entertaining or being ‘a monkey’.
I hope this for you. xxxxJune 28, 2014 at 10:17 am in reply to: Going With the Flow vs. Fighting for What You Want #59818
I know the feeling of being alone in a room full of people, on the outside looking in – or feeling alone when all alone.
I have gone from that feeling… to feeling a spiritual presence anywhere I go, and never really feeling alone.
I know that my expectations are quite high sometimes, that once I feel enlightened, I should never back track, only move forward. I believe that sometimes I need to take 2 steps back in order to appreciate the step forward again. I also feel it’s all part of the spiritual path and is set out as it’s supposed to be.
I honor the peace in you today. Thank you for sharing it. xxxx
I thought for sure there was no god or anything ‘powerful’ out there or loving or any quality that my human brain could come up with. I was SURE I was right.
Then someone said – ‘but could you be wrong?’
No one knows for sure. We all just come up with the story we like best and call it our ‘religion’. I like to call it ‘our delusion’. Or better yet ‘allusion’.
Still – just human descriptive words… way petty when it comes to a power beyond the universe.
So – finally – I decided since no one knows for sure = and I can’t possibly know… I can just pick something that feels peaceful and then go on with life. I choose to call my god ‘The god I do not understand – but know isn’t me’.
I have experienced this as well. It was yet another obsession of sorts. I hated to call my ‘stuff’ obsessive, because that sounded so harsh – but truly, my thoughts were stuck – my mind/body/soul responded accordingly with ‘unwell’ feelings and it felt something like shrinking inside – for lack of language to truly describe it.
I worked on some stuff spiritually that led me toward choosing better thoughts and actions. I started by being aware of my thoughts (similar to the ones you’re having, and similar to the way you’re becoming aware) and then did what you are doing. I got them out. I looked them over closely. I confirmed with out a doubt that I was troubled and stuck and needed help. I asked for it.
This was a major thing in itself for me! So yay me! And yay you!
Help came. For me, what worked was to recognize the thoughts without judgement. A simple spiritual tool across the map. Thoughts come at us all the time. What we do with them is important. If I follow the thought trail, but then spiral out a ton of shame and blame onto myself – I steal from my own better thinking that could take place. So the first thing to do was see the thought as just that, and not go down any unnecessary complexities in my head. When I freed up time to then exchange better thoughts in place of the normal shame time – I would insert some thoughts that were healthy for me. I would call myself ‘admiring’ instead of ‘jealous’. I would wish the person well in my mind, and say a little prayer for their peace (prayer to the universe, we can call this sending good vibes or well wishes if that suits you – I am not actually religious an don’t claim any particular delusion, allusion or religion).
When I did these things that allowed me to feel more like the true loving me – I could skip off to a happier destiny. It seems, that better thought actions, making a conscious effort at my own self talk, and reconstructing my words to be more peaceful in my thought trails – and then letting it all go in saying “The Universe has us all where it needs us – including me” brought me relief from my unhealthy thinking.
I hope this for you too. Best wishes,
I know this feeling of being so hung up and pinned to the wall with my want.
One day – years later (maybe 3), and after much self inflicted suffering, I read or heard that little catch phrase, ‘When you truly love something, you will let it go’. Or something along that line.
I guess it hit me hard – that I couldn’t love something truly, if I wanted it to be with me – even if ‘me’ wasn’t what made ‘it’ (him) happy. Boo 🙁 That sucked.
So why did I need this person who I really really loved to love me? The threads this person touched in me filled some many many holes in me… sewed me up in the just the way I needed to be patched up. I was not whole or complete to begin with… I needed someone to prove to me I was loveable. I needed a distraction from myself, that perfect distraction that took my eyes away from the gaping hole in my heart… that heart that thought it wasn’t loveable.
Turns out – now some more years later, after lots of ‘work’ toward inner healing – I find that as I learn to love and accept myself unconditionally… the need for others to love me isn’t necessary. While I do so enjoy it – there isn’t that NEED or void to fill. So my obsessing becomes less – I am able to love others in a way that feels like freedom – as in ‘with or without me is fine, I just want you to be happy because I love you’.
I wish this for you dear one xxxx
Yes – our neighbor sexually molested my 4 yr old daughter. Someone told me it was just the law of attraction – so I’m like “WHAT?” You mean my 4 yr old caused this by her thoughts? That has been a knife in my back for almost a year now. Thank you – some or most of you here for giving me the courage to remove the knife and chuck it into the Universe. That SUCKED!