I just looked at the “laundry list” for the adult children of alcoholics or dysfunctional families. Here’s a link. Almost all of that pertained to me in the past. Almost none of it fits me now, thankfully.
If you look down the page, you’ll find the flip side of that list. My problem is with #5. This one:
We stop living life from the standpoint of victims and are not attracted by this trait in our important relationships.
That’s pretty easy to see. What I don’t see addressed here (and haven’t found elsewhere) is how you deal with those who were in your life before — getting them to change the unspoken “givens” in your relationship? Demands don’t work. At least in my case, neither does asking reasonably. My answer has been to cut off my family and all but one of my oldest friends. I’d like to have relationships with them, but in most cases I’ve moved on and they haven’t. Or, in a few exceptional cases, they’ve moved on and I’m not enough like I was to be “interesting” any more.
Says a lot about your value to someone, ‘eh? Either you’re valuable because you’re someone to be “better” than or “entertaining” or you have no value. If I did something extraordinary, that made me well known, these people would almost all in my estimation reclaim their relationship with me, whatever it is. But as an ex-victim, ex-emotionally unstable, non-victim, stable, older, housewife, who lives in the middle of nowhere, without drama — I’m unimportant.
And if I did something important, why would I want to be connected to these folks?
My old friends, I thought would be happy for me, because they cared about me, and I was stable and happy. Nope. Almost without fail, they were bored by me, because I wasn’t “exciting” any more.
My family? Well, that’s more complicated. I think they’d also claim their relationship with me if I did something “important.” But it’s probably easier to call me “overly sensitive” or some such, now, than realize that the only way I will allow them to have any but the most casual contact with me is to rewrite the premises. I’m not less than them. Different? Yes. Less? No!
Much of the problem of course is of my own creation. I thought for decades that being less and interesting/unconventional were some of the only real assets I had, as I was damned with some undefined piece. So, I started all relationships with the idea that I was less.
I changed, but that doesn’t mean that others want or need to.