Children who grow up in alcoholic, dysfunctional, or abusive families often feel inadequate, defective or broken; and these feelings don’t magically disappear when they grow up and leave home. Feelings of inadequacy stick with us – plaguing many Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACAs) or Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families with a lack of self-worth. Why do some […]
Tag Archives: ACA
Shouldn’t I Be Over My Painful Childhood by Now?
“Why is my childhood still affecting me? Shouldn’t I be over it by now?” Amy, aged 37, asked me at her first therapy session. “I feel like I’m complaining,” she said ashamedly. “I’m sure other people have bigger problems — real problems. I feel silly coming to therapy to talk about getting over painful childhood experiences from twenty years […]
Codependent Thinking: What It Is and How to Reframe It
What is codependent thinking? Codependency refers to an unhealthy relationship dynamic where one person is focused on taking care of, fixing, or controlling the other to the extent that he neglects his own needs. The relationship becomes enmeshed – there aren’t clear boundaries or a sense of being separate, unique, independent people. Codependency is built on low self-worth – feelings […]
How to Set Boundaries Without Being Mean
Do you ever feel like it’s mean or selfish to set boundaries? Do you feel guilty — like you’re doing something wrong — when you set boundaries? If so, read on to learn how to set boundaries without being mean and without the guilt and icky feeling that your needs don’t matter. What are boundaries? Boundaries create physical and emotional […]
Why Being a “Good Girl” Isn’t Always a Good Thing
Let go of good girl syndrome, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and rediscover yourself! Be a good girl. Do as your told. Don’t talk back. Wait your turn. Don’t make trouble. Just sit here and be quiet. Smile and look happy. Don’t make your father angry. Where are your manners? How many times have you been told to be “good girl” or […]
3 Keys to Recovering from Codependency and Perfectionism
“I’m so busy being a wife, mother, daughter, and nurse that I don’t even know who I am anymore. I’m always taking care of others and trying to keep them happy. I’m not even sure what I like, believe, and value.” “I’m really self-critical. It’s hard for me to accept compliments. I dwell on my mistakes and imperfections.” “I […]
Why Do Some Adult Children of Alcoholics Become Workaholics and Perfectionists?
Why do some adult children of alcoholics become workaholics? “Work first. Play later.” That’s the motto Elizabeth grew up with. It was hard for her to relax and enjoy things when there was work to be done, a project left unfinished, or something still on her to-do list. She was more comfortable working than having fun. Play and rest just […]
The Effects of Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family
If you grew up in a family with a chemically dependent, mentally ill, or abusive parent, you know how hard it is — and you know that everyone in the family is affected. Over time, the family begins to revolve around maintaining the status quo – the dysfunction. Rigid family rules and roles develop in dysfunctional families that […]