My twin and I were three years old.

by Karen
(Illinois)

Our mother left when we were three. I still don't have the whole story but at three, she was out of our lives. Dad kept us and our brother, who was 8 at the time, alone for about a year. He met a woman who had a 13 yr. old daughter and married her. I think he was looking for someone to help him take care of us kids. He worked all the time and she stayed home for awhile then she got a job too. My first memory of her was when I was about five. She told me that my own mother didn't care enough to take care of me and that she was the only one who would, so I'd better mind her. At that very moment it hit me that I was not good, that I was lucky to have someone, anyone, to take care of me. It stayed with me my whole life. It sat down in my soul that I was not good. My twin is today a drug addicted prostitute who lives from motel to motel and has been in prison seven times and county jail too many times to count. I have a drinking problem which sort of comes and goes, diagnosed manic depressive, married and divorced three times, have three children (each one a different father), 3 suicide attempts, at least 25 psych ward stays. Just a general very unstable life. I fall, I get up, I fall, I get up. So much therapy, so many self help books - and still at 53 yrs. old, I'm that same five year old little girl. I want to get to the bottom of this and heal myself. I'm tired of believing I am unworthy. I know, intellectually, that I am worthy of course. I know that because I can look at anyone else in this whole world and see that they are worthy. It's impossible that I'm the only one not worthy.
I have no idea how to begin this healing which is why I searched for and found this site.
I'm glad I found it and hope I get some new information about who and what I am and why.

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Nov 14, 2012
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Unworthiness
by: LH

Karen and anonymous,

I understand that feeling of being unworthy. Unlike you Karen I didnt have a defining moment when someone told me that I was bad or not wanted that I can point to. I think I just got repeated messages that I took to mean that I was not important nor worthy. My mother was ill most of my childhood. All of our family's attention and energy went to making sure that we had enough money for her medicine, we kids (me and my sister) were not upsetting to her, her mood was not altered by anything that would cause her to go into a screaming rant for hours. If I cried I was told shhh you will upset your mother.. she had physical as well as mental health issues. So what was all important was her. The fact that from the age of 8 I wondered every day if I would come home from school to find her dead or wake up to find her dead was not discussed nor dealt with. So my emotional well being was not a concern. I grew up and later became and addict/ alcoholic, a great enabler, co dependent and of course went into a nursing career. I grew up in hospitals. The smell of a hospital is like home to me. Nursing also grooms fantastic enablers if you do not have a healthy emotional status and strong ego development to begin with. My mother died when I was 18. 18 years later my life crashed and fell apart. I was confronted with my addiction/ alcoholism, unhealthy relationships, my intense emotional underdevelopment. My incredibly selfish outlook at the world yet my never taking care of myself out of a sense of martyrdom that was pathological.

Thank God I was stopped and then WANTED to stay sober. I then miraculously met the most amazing therapist. The combination of AA and Therapy changed my life. AA 11 years ago. Therapy started 7 years ago. I needed both. AA keeps me sober, working the steps helps me be of maximum service to my fellow human beings and function in society as a member. However intensive therapy has healed the deep wounds of my childhood. I love the 12 step programs but I do not believe that they alone can fix the damage done to our psyche by our environment, developmental, psychological, spiritual, physical, needs not met for perhaps our entire lives. It takes a well trained professional to assist with that. Thank goodness for people like Don and his wife who do this kind of work. Keep the faith. It is possible.



Nov 14, 2012
Rating
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Unworthiness
by: LH

Karen and anonymous,

I understand that feeling of being unworthy. Unlike you Karen I didnt have a defining moment when someone told me that I was bad or not wanted that I can point to. I think I just got repeated messages that I took to mean that I was not important nor worthy. My mother was ill most of my childhood. All of our family's attention and energy went to making sure that we had enough money for her medicine, we kids (me and my sister) were not upsetting to her, her mood was not altered by anything that would cause her to go into a screaming rant for hours. If I cried I was told shhh you will upset your mother.. she had physical as well as mental health issues. So what was all important was her. The fact that from the age of 8 I wondered every day if I would come home from school to find her dead or wake up to find her dead was not discussed nor dealt with. So my emotional well being was not a concern. I grew up and later became and addict/ alcoholic, a great enabler, co dependent and of course went into a nursing career. I grew up in hospitals. The smell of a hospital is like home to me. Nursing also grooms fantastic enablers if you do not have a healthy emotional status and strong ego development to begin with. My mother died when I was 18. 18 years later my life crashed and fell apart. I was confronted with my addiction/ alcoholism, unhealthy relationships, my intense emotional underdevelopment. My incredibly selfish outlook at the world yet my never taking care of myself out of a sense of martyrdom that was pathological.

Thank God I was stopped and then WANTED to stay sober. I then miraculously met the most amazing therapist. The combination of AA and Therapy changed my life. AA 11 years ago. Therapy started 7 years ago. I needed both. AA keeps me sober, working the steps helps me be of maximum service to my fellow human beings and function in society as a member. However intensive therapy has healed the deep wounds of my childhood. I love the 12 step programs but I do not believe that they alone can fix the damage done to our psyche by our environment, developmental, psychological, spiritual, physical, needs not met for perhaps our entire lives. It takes a well trained professional to assist with that. Thank goodness for people like Don and his wife who do this kind of work. Keep the faith. It is possible.



Feb 03, 2011
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Many years...
by: Anonymous

I've experienced AA for 15 yrs. I worked very hard at the program and the steps and found it to be ineffective for me. It became that thing I was doing over and over again expecting different results. So I don't attend any longer. I did put my whole heart into it and believed deeply. I have stayed sober for very long periods of time on my own, just choosing not to drink or alter my mood or feelings with any substance.

I am in some type of new transition now. I know I will grow from this and find new meaning. But that will only be realized once I'm at the other end and I can look back.

If AA or any other 12 step could have benefit for me, I'm sure it would have by now.

I am in a situation now that affords me the time for deep introspective thought without outside complication. It's just another lesson to learn, without which would make life rather pointless in my opinion.

Thank you for your comment and many wishes for continued success at personal contentment.

Feb 03, 2011
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To Karen
by: Angie Carter

Thank you for your post. It was very powerful as you described how impactful abandonment can actually be. I was VERY encouraged by the spirit inside you that continually helps you to 'get up' after each fall. And the part of you that is seeking to find an answer. This is good news! From my experience it is so those kinds of people who will eventually get to place where they find the answers that help them get better.

For me the answer was getting into treatment and then into support groups to deal with my drinking. It was hard at first, I didn't want to be there, it was awkward and it was foreign. But slowly over time I began to make friends and receive the support of those who had similar situations and more importantly similar feelings. You do not have to do this journey alone. Many people out there are suffering from severe abandonment and shame issues but we are getting better and healthier everyday.

I had to choose to invest in myself. I made a commitment to attend every kind of support group that would help me (AA, CoDA, ACoA, and others) I spent money I didn't have on a therapist who knew what she was talking about and could help me. I kept these things in top priority because I had two goals in mind...the first being - to be as well as I could be and the other - to be of maximum use to God and those around me. (the latter goal did not come into play until after I was sober awhile)

You story is heartbreaking and sad, but you can use your past to help others. There are other women out there right now who are living your story and if you get straightened out and centered you can be there and be of assistance to them when they decide to get well. The painful experiences of your past can be of use to you as you continue your journey and are there for others along the way. You will come to know a NEW you, and that is an exciting adventure...one you shouldn't miss!

Never stop getting up or moving forward, you can do this. Post your experiences along the way! I won't say 'best of luck' to you, but rather 'best of willingness' to you!

Angie C.

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