Time for Me to take a Hard Look.

I went to counseling yesterday. For the first time... I went once in college right after Dad died. It was a grad student who asked me a list of questions and looked uncomfortable when I cried... I didn't go back.

The counselor's name is Pat and she is great. She has a great soothing voice, but asks hard questions and she really listened to what I was saying. She took what I said and rephrased it in a way that I never really thought about. She came to two conclusions about me. I have serious tendencies of an Adult Child of Alcoholics. There is a whole laundry list of traits, but a few really stick our to me.

* We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
* We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
* We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

Those that know me know that I tend to "take care" of people. I feel responsible for fixing people and problems and tend to let my own self take the back seat. I feel selfish when I need to do something for myself and berate myself with guilt. I have to stop. I need to stand up for what I need and what I need right now is emotional support.

She also said that I need to face up to my abandonment issues... At first, I was like, "what?" But then it all made sense. Dad left me... and not just with the suicide. He was never really "there" for me or my Mom. We always took a back seat to his life and his desires. We were there at his convenience. He loved me the best way he knew how, but he had a serious addiction. I've always covered up my childhood sense of loss and the feelings around it by accomplishing things. Two weeks after my Dad died, I was back at WSU, working for the summer. Then I med Jimmy and got engaged. Then I graduated early and started my career. Planned our wedding, bought a house, sold a house, had a baby, continued the career climb, went back to school for my MBA... I'm exhausted... and I have yet to deal with any of those feelings.

My homework is to write a letter to my Dad. With all of the feelings I have toward him for all of it. We will see how it goes. My next appointment is on the 16th.

Wish me luck, this is sure to be a journey... but I HAVE to find myself in the midst of all this other crap that has been blurring my life for so long.