July 17

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 to make sense of patterns of behavior and thinking, I find myself thinking about the times I was fearful, lonely, angry, ashamed, sad, stupid, and 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.

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.

However currently, my daughter is painfully experiencing the same pattern of behavior at twenty-two. My eleven year old son isolates.

As a parent, all I can do is helplessly watch, encourage, share strength and hope, and understand.

Thank you

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