According to Therapist Donna M. Torbico, the issue for most Adult Children Of Alcoholics is "that we feel guilty about things that are not actually bad - like having needs, or emotions!"
The way to free ourselves is to:
1. Identify the toxic rules that were internalized as kids. Rules we still live by. Example: You may feel bad for "making people angry", not making someone "happy" or standing up for your rights.
2. Recognize that these "dysfunctional" rules continue to disrupt your recovery.
3. Take action to willingly break these old rules so you can heal and grow.
The old rules have a strong hold. Be prepared- as you consciously disobey old rules you initially may feel like you are doing wrong. You may still feel guilty and uncomfortable. These feelings are a positive signal that you are on the right track. As new behaviors become habit, these feelings will diminish and lose their power.
This process can be stressful. Let your support system of healthy family, friends and recovery groups help you through it.
Check out Donna Torbico's full blog post about Guilt here: What is GUILT?
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children