My family of origin was much like any other family. We had our good parts, crazy parts, parts no one discussed and all the rest. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out my environment, thinking if I could “get to the bottom of things”, that I could make sense of it all and live a happy life. The life I saw the TV people live. The life I assumed my peers lived, because I only saw the outside of their lives, and they only saw the outside of mine.
In a conversation the other evening I was asked if I was afraid growing up in such a chaotic environment. About some things, yes. Some things really did scare me, but they were external; things that I had no control over. Internally, I believe I was more angry and frustrated more than scared, because I felt duped, lied to and insulted by the dysfunctional adults in my life. They assumed that I would just roll with whatever. And the more the craziness ensued, the more resentful I became. I was actually a pretty compliant kid in a lot of ways, but if I were in one of my more petulant moods, I would do something stupid just to show I couldn’t be controlled, and to show those who thought I was under control just how wrong they were.
This pattern, brought out while I wrote my fourth step, was to have some pretty dire consequences for my life. I decided to get pregnant and married at 18 in an act of rebellion which was actually me, cutting off my nose to spite my face. And during my husband’s uber-relapse, I did a lot of really foolish things to show I was not going to just curl up and let him treat me bad, and that I could give as good (or as bad) as I got. Let’s just say that through working my inventory, this character flaw (along with a number of others) reared it’s ugly little head and continues to be on my codependency watch list.
Now, I can choose to take the higher road, and not allow things to pull me into a cycle of acting out my resentments, and it is a remarkable gift of working my steps. Because without it, I am just one hurt, angry reaction after another to a world that will continue to hurt and disappoint me. These reactions will never make up for the hurt that has occurred and I will never gain anything from it but more misery.
To work a recovery program is to willingly, with all my heart, walk away from resentment and toward a joy-filled life that seeks to honor God, myself and others. I am grateful for the lessons, the testimonies, and the love I have found in joining in with others seeking healing and wholeness from every kind of addiction and dysfunction. I am a lifer in this, and happy to be so.
Much love and hugs. So glad you are here.