Monday, September 1, 2008

I have / am the trifecta of psychological issues. I am the eldest born child in a alcoholic family who was born under the sign of the Virgo. That pretty much makes me a complete control freak with perfectionistic tendencies that will appologize for all actions whether in my control or out of it. I will organize everything, then still worry if I have everything in order, and if you look at me sideways I will be concerned that somehow I have persoanlly no accomodated you or outright offended you in someway. Sometimes it is frightening how right characteristic traits can be. As my husband often jokes, "You have issues!"

Virgo Traits
You Virgos have the uncanny sense to see what's wrong with a person, a situation or your environment. It's why Virgo makes such natural critics. Virgo practical analytical abilities are second to none. Your mental process may not be the most creative, but Virgo's razor-like thinking is highly effective. Like the maiden pictured in the Virgo glyph, you separate the useful wheat from the unneeded chafe, the good from the bad. Virgo might be a "clean freak," but most Virgos have a messy closet somewhere or a disaster under their bed.

The Virgo motto could be "Perfect is almost good enough." On one hand, this trait makes you very employable, for you're not likely to do shabby work. On the other hand, you can be so finicky that you put limitations on your interactions and experiences before they happen. You'll be happier if you can learn to be selectively less critical, both of others and yourself.

First Child Traits
-Is only child for period of time; used to being center of attention.
-Believes must gain and hold superiority over other children.
-Being right, controlling often important.
-May respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected.
-Strives to keep or regain parents' attention through conformity. If this failed, chooses to misbehave.
-May develop competent, responsible behavior or become very discouraged.
-Sometime strives to protect and help others.

-Strives to please.

Children of Alcoholics Traits
Adult children of alcoholics appear to have characteristics in common as a result of being raised in an alcoholic home. Review the characteristics listed. If you identify with these characteristics then seek appropriate sources of support to understand and resolve them. You will find many books at the bookstore on this subject. Additionally, there is Adult Children of Alcoholics 12-Step self-help community meeting, individual therapy, and group therapy facilitated by a therapist.

1 Isolation, fear of people, and fear of authority figures.

2 Difficulty with identity issues related to seeking constantly the approval of others.

3 Frightened by angry people and personal criticism.

4 Have become an alcoholic yourself, married one, or both. A variation would be the attraction to another compulsive personality such as a workaholic. The similarity is that neither is emotionally available to deal with overwhelming and unhealthy dependency needs.

5 Perpetually being the victim and seeing the world from the perspective of a victim.

6 An overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Concerned about the needs of others to the degree of neglecting your own wants and needs. This is a protective behavior for avoiding a good look at yourself and taking responsibility to identify and resolve your own personal difficulties.

7 Feelings of guilt associated with standing up for your rights. It is easier to give into the demands of others.

8 An addiction to excitement. Feeling a need to be on the edge, and risk-taking behaviors.

9 A tendency to confuse feelings of love and pity. Attracted to people that you can rescue and take care of.

10 Avoidance of feelings related to traumatic childhood experiences. Unable to feel or express feelings because it is frightening and/or painful and overwhelming. Denial of feelings.

11 Low self-esteem. A tendency to judge yourself harshly and be perfectionistic and self-critical.

12 Strong dependency needs and terrified of abandonment. Will do almost anything to hold onto a relationship in order to avoid the fear and pain of abandonment.

13 Alcoholism is a family disease which often results in a family member taking on the characteristics of the disease even if they are not alcoholics (para-alcoholics). Dysfunctional relationships, denial, fearful, avoidance of feelings, poor coping, poor problem solving, afraid that others will find out what you are really like, etc.

14 Tendency to react to things that happen versus taking control and not being victim to the behavior of others or situations created by others.

15 A chameleon. A tendency to be what others want you to be instead of being yourself. A lack of honesty with yourself and others.

Where did this come from today? My dad’s house was broken into. Why? Dear brother, the youngest in the family, exhibits other issues of alcoholic parents and has battled with his own abuse demons for years now. Of course the killer is that as the “responsible” one in the family, I am the one that gets shit on repetitively. Every time I think that I have extricated my family from craziness that swirls around that part of the family, we get drawn in yet again. With both of them gone, who do you think was down bringing in the mail and feeding the fish – yes, the responsible ones. So guess who found the break-in and got the joy of working with the police. As I told them and still maintain, somehow this will all become my fault. Sure enough, as I called my father to discuss the issue, “We don’t want to jump to any conclusions”. Let’s see the tv’s are there, the dvd players, china, silver, but every top drawer is pulled out. Hair clipper boxes are popped open. A first aid kit is rummaged. Social Security cards are still there, blank checks, and credit cards. “It’s like last time just kids in the neighborhood.” A few years ago, he was broken into and coins were taken. This time full jars of coins are still sitting there. This was not local kids and these people found whatever they were looking for and it was small. Of course, as I tried to put drawers back in dressers I came across items that indicate that dear innocent brother is on more of a downtrend than an up. But according to my father, I always think the worst of my brother----Hmm! He must have been warming up dinner - One spoonful at a time.

But in my typical fashion, I feel responsible for something I have no control over. I want to make it better and solve the problem and can’t get over my obsession to get to the bottom of it. I am hurt by my father’s response and frustrated by husband’s feeling that I am making it about me and not my brother. I want to escape and get away from all this and I am so happy that we are moving.

I have decided that the best gift that my father can give me is to write me explicitly out of the will. I really, really don’t ever want anything to do with my brother again. And I'm actually glad that my mother is not alive to go through this all yet again.

1 comment:

Gauri said...

Dawn - I came back to read this post a second time. I salute your patience and courage. And being the 1st born myself couldnt help but see a lot of me in those lines :) TC of yourself. You will be in my prayers tonight.