Co-NNections Recovery Stories

L – 5-4-19

I spent the majority of my life trying to control everything I feared or deflect and distract myself from my fears and self loathing. I had lived in a dysfunctional household where trauma and neglect occurred on a daily basis. My mother was divorced with 5 children and we had an abusive father who abandoned us. He traumatized my 2 older sisters with sexual abuse and the rest of us with financial neglect.

My mother endured and worked full-time while we struggled to live without much supervision. We were in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and fought constantly for our own space, attention and identity. I would try to keep the peace and would do anything to avoid conflict. I was molested on the street by a stranger when I was 6 who lured me into a church because there was no one there to watch me. It changed the course of my life and I made terrible decisions and acted out in my adolescence to confirm my inner shame and lack of understanding.

My mother suffered from depression and lacked coping mechanisms but did sincerely love us. When things got to overwhelming for her she would just leave and we wouldn’t know if she was coming back.

I was taught basically to deny, deny, deny, which ultimately is to lie and I learned how to do it exceptionally well. I rarely ever showed who I was. I spent most of the time growing up never really showing who I was for fear of not being liked or accepted. I picked unhealthy relationships just to escape from home. Eventually it led me back there. Then my controlling behavior began.

I thought controlling everything in my life would keep me safe from my past but it was stopping me from growing and enjoying life. I developed destructive behaviors—like sabotaging my stability to punish myself—and some of these behaviors were life threatening. I also became a workaholic and would easily get burned out. My life started spinning out of control.

Thanks to a good therapist I finally found CoDA. It took me a while to start but when I started reading about other people’s experiences, one finally clicked with me. I realized that I was not alone and I could find help from suffering like this, for so long. I started learning about the program, the steps, and letting go.

I now keep consistent employment and I am not afraid to start new projects or goals. I also found out I have ADHD and am getting help for it. I no longer fear success and have learned to create healthy boundaries without fear of not being liked but it is still a work in progress. I’m not perfect and never will be but I’ve learned to love myself and accept me for me. I’m in a healthy, loving relationship, have a beautiful, loving daughter who is thriving and a job I’m passionate about. I’m even pursuing my degree. I’m so grateful to this program and I wanted to write this even for people who aren’t sure yet if this is right for them. Just keep reading the members’ messages. If anything, it will give you hope and then, who knows?

Sincerely yours, L – 5/22/19

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