How Deep are the Scars of Abuse?

A number of people have contacted me  over the past few months, wanting to talk about their victimization. These emails describe a wide range of feelings, reactions and heartbreak. For adults who were abused as children, the emotional outcome is as varied as people are. There are no hard and fast outcomes – there is only your outcome and it’s as perfect as perfect can be. It is always normal.  And it is always healthy. So...

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How Do You Define Success?

I had dinner Saturday evening with one of my girlfriends and we got into a deep conversation about a variety of topics.  But the one that had me thinking all evening and most of today was a simple question she asked me: “How do you define success?” In truth I don’t know. What is success?  My daughter and I discussed success today as it concerns weight loss.  Is it the number on the scale? The size of clothes you wear?  Or...

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How Do The Roles Play Out In Codependency?

As explained earlier, the roles learned by children are usually played out in adulthood.  How would each of the roles adopt the role of codependent?  It’s a little complicated but I’ll try to simplify as much as I can. Hero becomes the co-dependent in many situations. She finds a man who ‘needs her’ and begins to help him become all that he can be – whether he wants to change or not.  Ironically, the more she focuses on him and...

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The Last 3 Characteristics of Adult Children

We have reached the last 3 characteristics of adults raised in emotionally barren families. 1. Are super responsible or super irresponsible. 2. Are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. 3. Are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. The first characteristic is visible and obvious for heroes and...

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The Most Common Characteristics of Adult Children

The next three characteristics are common in all the roles.  In fact, I think they’re common in all people – well everyone I know, especially the last two. Overreact to changes over which they have no control. Constantly seek approval and affirmation. Usually feel that they are different from other people. Overreaction looks different among the different roles.  Heroes may get angry because their plans went awry (ever noticed a hero...

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Three More Characteristics of Children from Troubled Families

As mentioned before, these characteristics first evolved from work with adult children of alcoholics but have now been generalized to anyone raised in an emotionally barren family. In the last two posts we discussed characteristics 1 – 4.  Today we’ll look at the next three which include: Have difficulty having fun. Take themselves very seriously. Have difficulty with intimate relationships. The first two of these characteristics may...

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