“People want recovery, but they prefer it be pain free. That is understandable, but unfortunately, identifying and feeling our feelings is a part of healing.” BRB Introduction p. xxiii

“Feelings? What are those?!” As children from dysfunctional homes, if we cried, many of us were told, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!” If we openly showed our feelings, we risked being told we were stupid or that we’d never amount to anything. When our parents failed to show up at our special school events, we learned not to show hurt or disappointment. The more vulnerable we were, the more we were shamed. When we were verbally or physically abused, we pretended it didn’t happen. Our broken hearts shut down.

When many of us first come to ACA, we may have no idea how we’re feeling. We’ve been shut down for so long that numb feels normal. Our tears are frozen. Opening up to our feelings seems threatening and scary.

As we keep coming back, we learn to heal by developing trust in our fellow travelers. This feeling of trust can lead to the opening of the flood gates, an expression of emotion that eventually feels normal. As we release our old pain, we make room for discovering how to play and have fun again. We open our hearts and feel joy in our lives.

On this day I welcome all of my feelings, especially those that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I have the tools to work through them in order to mend my broken heart from childhood.

Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Page Number –  214