Growing up many of us had a low sense of self esteem. This was especially true in families where one or more of the parents were active in their addiction. We could never know what to expect. One day our parent was full of rage, the next day they were crying and walking around depressed. Because we were children we often assumed blame for the way our parents acted. We got used to saying, “I’ll make sure that today I will be daddy or mommy’s good little boy or girl”. We twisted ourselves into a pretzel so that our parents would finally be happy with us and finally love us. When they still lashed out at us or became even more withdrawn we resolved to try harder the next day
We carried those feelings of attempting to please others into adulthood. When we entered the program, we found out a piece of startling news. We had not been responsible for the happiness and well being of our parents. They needed to have their own spiritual awakening. It was not our job to fix them. If they chose not to change, that was part of their journey. Our self esteem was not tied up in how others felt about us. It was really about how we felt about ourselves. Much of this was revealed as we engaged in step work.
Personal Reflection: When I look in the mirror, what do I see?