My written inventory must be thorough, going back to my earliest memories, because this is where the root of my problem is. It was in childhood I developed a pattern of behavior which I thought would protect me from hurt, assure me of financial and emotional security, and gain approval and praise for myself. Step Four is an ego-reducer. To get to this step I have had to admit I have not been able to gain peace of mind and emotional stability by applying my old patterns of behavior and thinking.
Excerpt From: Emotions Anonymous. “Today.”
As I reflect on my childhood memories and experiences to try and make sense of patterns of behavior and thinking, I find myself thinking about the times I was fearful, lonely, angry, ashamed, sad, stupid, and feeling ugly. There was always a part of me that felt ‘different’ or ‘lower’ than my peers. Feelings of inadequacy resulted in the avoidance of ‘life’ to eliminate mistakes, ridicule, and embarrassment.
As an adult, I regret missed opportunities and experiences. I had few friends, accomplished little, and had no sexual experiences until adulthood. My anxiety and fear guided me. It was not until I was introduced to alcohol at the legal age of nineteen, did some of my feelings lessen.
Alcohol became a problem at times. Overeating or not eating was emotionally directed. As with many individuals who struggle with mental health disorders, coping with anxiety and feelings of being unsuitable; substances appeared to help – but do not.
My biggest wish is that my kids would be different. I would hate for them to repeat the same shit. To avoid experiences to protect themselves. To experience the same feelings and to have adult regrets.
As a parent, all I can do is helplessly watch, encourage, share strength and hope, and understand.